Wedding photography is a very saturated market. There are a million photographers out there, and they all have their own style and way of doing things, so as a bride, it can be extremely overwhelming trying to find the right photographer for you!
The first step in choosing your photographer is to understand what your options are when it comes to wedding photography styles. Before beginning your search, it’s a good idea to get an idea of what you want in a photographer. And once you understand what’s out there, you’ll be better equipped to search for your dream photographer and make sure you get the photos and experience you want!
Below is a guide to the main wedding photography styles to help you understand what exactly you might want in a wedding photographer.
Film vs. Digital
Film vs digital is simply a difference in the kind of camera the photographer uses. Film photographers use classic film cameras, meaning they take the picture, the camera records it on a film strip and the photographer gets the images developed after the wedding. Digital photographers use professional digital cameras that use technology to record the image to an SD card and provide the photographer with instant access to the image. Most wedding photographers shoot digital, including myself. It’s more versatile and more forgiving. I don’t know a whole lot about film photography, but those who do shoot film like it because of the unique look film images have. The colors really pop and can often have a vintage, artistic feel to them. If you decide you like the look of film images, be sure to do some research or talk to your photographer about the benefits and limitations of film so you really understand what you’re getting.
Some digital photographers use post editing to make their images look and feel like film. So if you want the best of both worlds, that’s something to consider!
This has to do with the approach the photographer takes to capturing your wedding day. This can get a little tricky because there isn’t a textbook definition for these styles. Photographers just kind of pick one they feel fits their approach and go with it, so there can be a lot of variation here. But here’s a rough definition for each:
Fine Art photographers use their artistic vision to create images on your wedding day that are works of art. They use composition, lighting and editing to create dramatic, beautiful images. Photographers who use “fine art” to describe their work typically focus on creating art while documenting your day. Their images include less candid shots, and more posed, creative shots. If the look and style of your wedding is important to you, and you want photographs that showcase the work you put towards wedding details, decor, style and your venue, then you might consider a fine art photographer to produce stylized images that really show off your day.
Photojournalism, also called documentary, photographers focus on telling the story of your wedding through photos while staying unobtrusive throughout the day. These photographers will deliver a lot of candid photos and will look at your wedding as a story to be told through their images. There will be minimal posed shots or intrusion, and instead, the photographer will focus on capturing the emotion and small moments from your day. So if you care less about the details and stylized shots, and more about the candid moments from your wedding, you might consider a photographer who takes a photojournalistic approach.
Traditional photographers are a little harder to explain, because they’re a mixture of both, honestly. They’re the photographer who will serve as kind of a coordinator, helping you get all the typical, necessary wedding photos while focusing on what matters most to you as the bride. This is the category most wedding photographers realistically fall into, but each photographer may lean more towards fine art or photojournalism. Madeline C Photography takes a traditional approach that focuses more on photojournalism. I spend time doing posed, artistic shots of your wedding details, your venue, your family and your portraits, but I put most of my focus on capturing candid moments throughout your day that tell a story.
Now this is when things start to get interesting! Editing styles have to do with what your photographer does in post-processing. Every photographer has a different editing style, and no two photographers will edit an image exactly the same. So there’s a lot of variation to choose from out there! Each photographer’s editing style is unique to them, but most fall into three main camps:
Dark and Moody:
This editing style typically favors deeper colors, shadows and a darker exposure. These images are often described as dramatic and bold and give off a pretty artistic vibe. This really is a beautiful style that I think feels very romantic and authentic. The muted colors and lower exposure really draws attention to the emotion in the photos.
This editing style tries to keep images looking as close to how they looked in real life as possible. These images are typically bright and colorful with natural tones and a neutral exposure. This style is classic and traditional, but can be really beautiful. This is the style Madeline C Photography uses. I try to capture the colors, lighting and details of your wedding as they happened without too much post-processing that changes the look and feel of your wedding. I want your wedding photos to be a realistic representation of your day, while still being vibrant and beautiful.
This style of editing is very popular, and for good reason! It’s elegant and really shows off the beautiful details and emotions of a wedding day. Light and airy photos are bright with less-saturated colors and a higher exposure. This style gives images a light, joyful vibe and really fits for weddings or venues utilizing a lot of light colors and white space. Some of the photographers in the wedding industry that I look up to the most have a light and airy style of shooting!
So, once you pick what kind of wedding photography style is right for you, it’s time to find the right photographer! Check out my blog on how to choose your dream photographer to learn what to look for in a photographer, how to find them, and what you should be asking!
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