If you are beginning your search for a wedding photographer there are three specific styles that are predominant in the field. Those styles are traditional, photojournalistic and contemporary. As an upcoming bride, you will want to determine where your likes and dislikes fall stylistically.
Wedding Photographer with Professional film
For many years the predominant style of photography was “traditional.” Photographers that were educated in photography schools, trade schools and mentored were trained very much the same. This was primarily because of a few different reasons. One of those reasons was film. Professional film was an expensive investment, particularly medium format film. A trained professional photographer was expected to “get the shot” right the first time. This meant more traditional poses with couples and family groups. Even when the bride and groom were photographed together the poses were often directed by the photographer. The film speed used by many photographers was 400 ISO which often tied a photographer to a tripod in order to get properly exposed and sharp photographs.
The next big style that came on the scene was a style referred to as” photojournalistic.” This style really hit the scene prior to the digital explosion by many celebrity photographers. This is a style that involves the photographer following the bride and groom around and capturing the events of the day as they happened, lending itself to a very candid approach. This style has exploded and is now the predominant style out in the world of wedding photography. This style became very popular with celebrities because the events of their wedding were unrehearsed, and not directed or posed in any way. After all, celebrities and film stars deal with getting it perfect for the camera in their everyday life and presenting a perfect image. Their wedding day with a photojournalistic style, allowed them to be themselves. Everything did not have to be picture perfect; it just had to be real.
The third style of photography, which I believe to be the best of both worlds, is contemporary. Contemporary is a mixture of traditional and photojournalistic. It is some wonderful arrangements of the entire wedding party and romantics of the bride and groom, as well as many “in the moment” un-posed photographs of the day. Moments like the bride as she talks with her mother as mother puts the veil on her daughter, the groom having a good time with his groomsman, the groomsman decorating the getaway car and other fun moments of the day.
Many brides often think they would prefer no traditional photography at all. I always tell the bride to keep in mind that even though the candid style of photojournalism is very appealing, that a total photojournalistic style with no posed formals means that more than likely the entire family will not happen to fall together magically for a great family candid. The same goes for the wedding party and other large groups that a bride may want. Some brides are fine with this but we find that most prefer a mix with the contemporary style.
Lynn Brown is an experienced Atlanta Wedding Photographer. She enjoys writing articles to give people tips on choosing the right wedding photographer.