Choosing your wedding photography style

After you’ve exchanged vows, danced your first waltz, the last of the Champagne has been drunk and you’ve tossed your bouquet, all that is left are your cherished memories and the photos from your wedding day, making them the most enduring keepsake.

Which reinforces just how important it is to find both the right professional photographer and decide on what style of photography you will have. There are various photography options to choose from but generally speaking there are three main styles: traditional, documentary and contemporary. Article by Emma Krieger.

Traditional wedding photography

Choosing your wedding photography style

Traditional (or classical) wedding photography captures those customary wedding day shots such as the exchange of rings, signing the marriage register, walking down the aisle as husband and wife, posed family group shots and the cutting of the cake.

 Weddings are still considered formal occasions and this style of wedding photography has remained popular. 

However, traditional wedding photography has occasionally had a bad reputation caused by photographers taking eons to complete endless group shots, with the bride and groom ending up spending more time in front of a camera and less time with their guests enjoying their wedding day. A good photographer however will be able to work quickly and put people at ease to ensure the posing doesn’t look uncomfortable or staged.

Documentary wedding photography

Choosing your wedding photography style

Documentary (or photojournalistic) wedding photography is generally more relaxed, with the photographer appearing to “blend into the background”, capturing events as they unfold, often without you being aware that your photograph is even being taken. Opting for this style of photography will result in some truly special shots, as people are relaxed and less likely to plaster on forced smiles or stand stiffly.
An experienced photographer will catch those unaware moments between you and your partner – a shared look, a stray kiss – which will result in an even more romantic wedding album.
This “reportage” style of photography really became popular with the onset of digital photography, due to the low expense per photograph that reportage style of photograph thrives on. Unfortunately, many new or inexperienced wedding photographers use the “shot gun” approach – shooting thousands of pictures during the wedding day in the hope that they capture a few good shots, so again, go with a proven professional.
It’s worth mentioning that you may want to request a few more traditional, posed shots, even if you want the overall theme of your wedding album to be photojournalistic, as these kinds of photos tend to make great framed gifts to loved ones.

Contemporary wedding photography

Choosing your wedding photography style

Contemporary, sometimes called avant garde, wedding photography generally involves unusual or “off the wall” ideas, often using unique camera angles.
This style of photography brings more of the photographer’s personality and their own artistic vision, whether it’s “fashion” or “arty” type photography. Although this style may be less popular, when done correctly the results can be fantastic and your wedding album will be highly unique.
The downside of this style is that it doesn’t really provide a true record of your wedding day. It’s very stylised and if you have a very particular kind of “look” you want, you may not like the end result if your album ends up like an art exhibition.
Just be sure to discuss your wedding photography “vision” at length with your chosen photographer and minimise any chance of miscommunication.
 Choosing the best: regardless of the photography style you eventually opt for, the most important thing to remember is hire a professional! It’s also advisable to get recommendations or read testimonials from other couples who have used a particular photographer’s services and check in with the Tasmanian Division of the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography).

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