Wedding Photographs – How to Choose the Best Style For Your Wedding

Your wedding day is going to be one of the most wonderful days of your life and you will want the best photographer you can find to capture the day for posterity. However, before you approach any photographer with a view to hiring them, it will be helpful if you have an clearer idea of the style of wedding photographs you would like done.

When most people think of wedding photographs, they tend to think of the traditional type of photography where the bride and groom pose for a series planned shots with different members of their family and friends. However, this is only one of the styles you can choose for your wedding photographs and many photographers will specialise in either one or many of these styles.   

So, before you even start thinking about actually booking a wedding photographer, you should try and work out what type of photographic style you would like for your wedding. Having decided that, you will be able to make a more informed decision about which photographer will turn your dreams into a reality.

Traditional or Formal

These are the classic wedding photographs and provide a good record of everyone who is at the wedding. The standard format for these posed photographs is take take them at key parts of the wedding day such as signing the register, leaving the church, cutting the cake etc. There will also be a list of photographs required during the reception e.g. one of the bride and groom, one with each set of parents, one of the whole family, and so on.

Although many people do not like them because they look so posed, they can still look nice and will ensure that all your friends and family are included in the wedding photos.

Candid

This is a much less formal style. Although it may still include some formal photos, it will also allow the photographer to take some candid shots of people at the wedding. With this style, the photographer may stay on and cover the speeches, meal, and even the first dance. This approach is more relaxed and allows the photographer to be more creative in his work. It allows him to catch the personalities, atmosphere, and emotions of the day.     

Reportage or Photojournalism

The photographer, working in the style of a good photo journalist, will aims to tell a picture story of your wedding wedding day.  This is a totally informal approach as none of the photos will be posed. The photographer will work discreetly in the background and hopefully capture the essence and emotions of the day. All the the nerves, tears, happiness, and laughter will be recorded for posterity. It is probably the most realistic representation of any wedding or event.

Romantic

If you want a romantic depiction of your wedding, then this is the style for you. The photographer will use the tricks of his trade such as lighting, backgrounds, soft focus, and even sepia tints, to create  a romantic atmosphere. There will probably be a few doves thrown in for good measure!

Eclectic

Of course, another option is to have a mixture of some or all of these styles in your wedding photos. You could have some formal group shots for your family and relatives, a few romantic ones of the bride and groom, and a selection of candid ones for the rest of the wedding. However, whether you can get this will depend on the photographer you choose.

Regardless of what style you choose, hopefully this article will give you a clearer idea of what wedding photographers can actually provide and what sort of wedding photographs you would like for your wedding.

Have a lovely and stylish wedding!

My Thoughts On Asking A Family Member Or Friend To Be Your Wedding Photographer

Is it a good idea to ask a friend or family member to photograph your wedding in order to keep the costs down?

Having been a photographer for both friends and family I believe I can comment on this and help you make the right decision when considering your wedding photographer. When building my wedding photography portfolio I had the opportunity to photograph weddings for my sister, brother and other close friends. I found that having such a close relationship to the bride and groom and all of the guests affected my performance when taking photographs. While I was not the only photographer covering the wedding I still felt I had a job to do, especially when I needed to expand on my portfolio, but it wasn’t as easy as I had thought.

In my opinion I either need to be a guest or photographer. To be a guest at a wedding you need to sit and watch the ceremony, you need to talk to relatives you haven’t seen for a while, you need to be part of the dinner service, enjoy the speeches and have a few too many drinks. all of these things cannot easily coincide with taking professional looking photographs.

While I was able to provide some nice photographs to my family/friend, I was unable to photograph key shots like the group shots, the ceremony etc. as I needed to be part of these celebrations and was not in the right mindset to manage a crowd and organise a large group of people. If you feel you need to save money by hiring a photographer who is a friend, I would advise you to find someone who isn’t a close friend e.g. a friend of a friend. That way the photographer won’t feel obliged to take part as a guest and only take part as the wedding photographer.

Be careful – even though you know the person photographing your wedding don’t just assume they are up to the job because they have a hobby in photography or own a decent camera. Experience is essential and without it you may end up with wedding photographs you never want to look at. Be sure to have a good look at what the person has photographed in the past, and decide whether it is relevant to what he/she needs to do on the day.

One last pointer – if you decide to hire a friend in order to save money, make sure to treat them as you would a professional. By this I mean make sure they know what sort of shots you want, who is going to be in what group shot, how early they will arrive and what time they will leave. This will both help ensure you get the photographs you want and will put the photographer into the right state of mind.

Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Many couples get so involved with planning all of the obvious details about their wedding, such as dresses and suits, cake, invitations, decorations etc that they forget the importance of hiring a wedding photographer. It is important to remember that the photographer that you select will have full responsibility of capturing all of the special moments and memories of your perfect day. With this in mind, you will want to ensure that you select the correct wedding photographer, because there will be no second chances. If you hire a non-professional and your photographs are not satisfactory, you can’t repeat the most special day of your life, it only happens one time.

Wedding photography is one of the most demanding types of professional photography. So it is important that you select a wedding photographer who has the skills and experience to ensure that everyone looks their best on your photos and produce good quality results. Bear in mind that your photographer may be experienced, but it would be nice if he had a personality to match, after all they will be spending a considerable about of time with you on your special day.

It is always a good idea to discuss the photography of your wedding with family and friends. It is possible that they can remember a certain event where there was a particular photographer present that happened to be extremely professional and good. In this case you will already have an idea of the photographer before you actually meet him/her.

You can visit the website and view possible photographers online along with their work.

Insist on meeting the photographer and seeing a portfolio, before you commit. You can discuss details about your wedding location and what kind of photos you want to have taken etc. You will also need to inform the photographer whether you want them to be present for only the ceremony or for the wedding reception also. It is important that the photographer interacts well with you, in order to know that he will interact with your guests on your special day.

Listed below are some questions that you may wish to discuss the prospective photographer.

How will they show you the pictures for selection?

Will they help you to choose the final photographs?

Will it be easy for friends and family to order reprints?

What are the costs?

How long will you have to choose the photos that you require and how many?

How long have they been in business?

Will they have an assistant?

Do they require travel fees?

Will they be using digital or film?

Do they have any guarantees of the quality of the photographs?

What would happen if the date of the wedding had to be changed, or cancelled?

Once you have asked these relevant questions to as many prospective photographers as you wish, you should have a good idea of which photographer you want chose for your wedding. Make the commitment and be prepared to leave a deposit with the selected photographer in order to reserve your wedding date.