What Kind Of Wedding Photography Style Is Right For You?


Wedding Photography Styles

Choosing your photographer is an important milestone of wedding planning. While most people simply base their decision on portfolios they like, it is useful to first consider what wedding photography style you are looking for. Wedding photography can be categorised by many different styles, from classic, to arty, to natural.

Each wedding photographer will have their own preferred style and this will have a big influence on the overall effect of your wedding photos. Are you looking for alternative, fun shots, or a more high-end fashion shoot style? Do you want to play it safe with traditionally framed family portraits?

Or would you prefer a more spontaneous approach that documents the day as it happens? It is worth considering other aspects of your day, such as your venue or the programme for the day. Will your wedding be formal and classy or bohemian and flowing? This will help you determine which style will capture your day in its best light.

Having a good idea of the wedding photography style you are looking for will make it easier to narrow down your choice of photographer. It will also enable you to have more informed discussions with your chosen photographer about how you want your day to look and feel.

Below are details of five of the most popular wedding photography styles, to help you decide which is right for you:

Lifestyle Wedding Photography Style

Lifestyle wedding photography is a blend of photojournalistic and classic photography styles. It uses natural lighting and camera angles to reflect the true nature of the couple. The photographer may give some direction and guidance throughout the day to get the most of the setting and lighting, but the photos are not overly posed. 

There are no cheesy, awkward moments. Instead the photographer allows for the couples’ own personalities to emerge and captures them enjoying celebrating with their friends and family. The goal is authenticity – for the final story to reflect the natural atmosphere of the day from start to finish.

Fine Art Wedding Photography Style

Contemporary and striking, this wedding photography style aims at creating a unique and artistic portrayal of the day. With quirky camera angles and alternative poses, the photographer will improvise and get creative. It may involve unusual settings, such as the couple walking through a forest or the bridal party posed against a rugged cliff-face.

The emphasis is on creating art, with each photo having the potential to be a stand-alone piece in an art gallery. At the editing stage, elements of film editing are mimicked, with bold colours and high contrast. This makes for beautifully rich and dramatic photos that will make an impact but are not for everyone.

Documentary Wedding Photography Style

The documentary wedding photography style tells the story of the wedding day as it unravels. The photographer focuses on capturing the emotions and hidden moments throughout the day – as well as the classic “photo opportunities” – to paint a picture of the day from beginning to end.

It will often start with the morning preparations to glimpse the excitement and anticipation, or look back at the friends and relatives during the vows to catch a tear in the mother-of-the-bride’s eye. 

Whilst the classic family portraits can be included, there is generally less of a focus on posed shots. The photos are candid and spontaneous, capturing all the memories as they are lived out. The result is a wedding album that narrates a story, with a wide variety of images throughout.

Editorial Wedding Photography Style

If you are a couple who will enjoy strutting your stuff in front of the camera in all your wedding finery, this is the style for you. This style treats the wedding as a photo shoot, celebrating wedding photography as an art form. It aims at catching interesting, stylistic shots mirroring those found on the pages of Vogue.

The photographer may direct the couple in the way a fashion photographer would direct models, allowing room for you to improvise and let your personalities shine. 

One popular theme for this wedding photography style is a “wreck the dress” session. Couples find quirky ways of going wild in their wedding clothes, including swimming in the sea or covering them in paint for the sake of fabulous and fun images.

Traditional Wedding Photography style

The traditional wedding photography style has stood the test of time when it comes to weddings. You will recognise many of the traits in your grandparents’ beloved wedding shots. Formal, classic shots that capture all the important moments in clean, trustworthy form, without looking to be trendy or quirky. 

The traditional style is perfect for a camera shy couple, as the photographer will have a set list of photos in mind and can give plenty of direction. From the cutting of the cake to the first kiss, all the key moments will be covered expertly. They will know their shots very well, and therefore be able to get the best out of the lighting and positioning to ensure every shot is well framed.

Getting the best out of your wedding photography style

The reality is that most couples will want elements of several different wedding photography styles in their day. Each brings a valuable perspective, from documenting the emotions of the day, to getting the classic family shots framed to perfection. 

It is important to discuss your preferences and priorities with your photographer, to understand their strengths and preferred working style, as well as acknowledging the must-haves for you. Most skilled photographers will be able to adapt to reflect style elements from all these categories. However, you will get the best results by finding a photographer skilled in the photography style you most favour.

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