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Choosing your wedding photography style

It can be an absolute minefield trying to plan a wedding, especially when it comes to choosing a photographer. We’ve created a handy guide to the main styles of wedding photography, so you can find out what you like (and what you don’t!) to help you narrow down which wedding photography style you want to choose. 

There is no right or wrong when it comes to wedding photography, in fact we tell all our brides and grooms that as long as they like the photos, that’s all that really matters; and we really mean it! Choose a photo style that you really love, find an experienced photographer who works with you and you are almost certain to like the photos. 

It’s normal to have a small mix of any of these styles (for example a few traditional family photos and then lots of candid documentary style photos) but we think to get photos you really love you need to find a photographer who loves the same style as you. It’s really important to work with a photographer who can deliver photos you will cherish for years to come and that’s why it is so important to know what style of wedding photos you like so you can find the right photographer who can deliver them.

Natural / Documentary / Photojournalism
(our favourite!)

We absolutely love natural, documentary style photos. These photos focus on capturing the moment as it was and giving you something to look back at that instantly sparks emotion and memory. There won’t be many posed photos for this style which really suits brides and grooms who hate the idea of having to smile for the camera! These images capture people naturally as they go about enjoying the day and try not to interrupt the flow of events happening, rather document them as they happen. Our main photographer James absolutely loves taking these beautiful, photojournalism style photos; are you looking for a wedding photographer? James is based in Stoke On Trent and will happily travel beyond Staffordshire and Cheshire to take beautiful wedding photos! Who this would suit: We think this suits everyone!

Landscape Wedding Photography

We love landscape photography and the beauty of it is the location of the photo itself! Sometimes the location is really special to brides and grooms (we’ve heard of cemetery wedding photos to help couples have a photo with loved ones) or it’s simply that the location is beautiful. Landscape photography is the kind of photos that win awards and most people would get a copy of for their living room wall or you can regularly find it on the front cover of a wedding magazine. It makes an impact and is ideal for couples who don’t want close ups or all of the attention directly on them; landscape photography encompasses couples rather than focuses on them. These photos tend to be planned in terms of getting to a location but once there can be posed or candid as a couple walks or talks. One thing to note is that wedding attire might get damaged during these shots as many couples will need to traverse rocks or mud for just the right shot. Who this would suit: Couples who have a very special location they want to include or are getting married in a stunning place, couples who maybe don’t want lots of close ups, couples willing to walk (or hike!) to beautiful places for just the perfect photo, couples who don’t mind getting their wedding attire a little dirty for the perfect photo Who this would suit: Anyone who loves black or dark colours, couples wanting a romantic feel to their photos, anyone getting married in the UK in the evening or winter months, couples getting married in dark / gothic venues such as a castle or warehouse.

Posed Wedding Photography

Traditional photography really is what it says on the tin! Photos taken in a traditional style are usually easy to spot. They’re the photos that you see of your parents or grandparents and often cover traditional shots (think cutting the cake, posed family photos, etc). Most of the photos will be posed and they are usually associated with natural editing, focusing on capturing a clean, crisp photo. Who this would suit: Couples on a time crunch as each photo can be preplanned, couples who want to ensure family are photographed and couples wanting to beautifully capture themselves and their family as they are on the day to look back on

Off Camera Flash Wedding Photography

Off camera flash photography focuses on beautiful posed positions but with an emphasis on lighting and the use of flash. It works by using external lights to the camera (usually large tripod based lights but sometimes photographers get creative with external lighting; like using a torch!) to enhance or create an artistic photo. We absolutely love these photos because they’re always unique and really provide a “wow!” moment when looking through your wedding photos! Who this would suit: Couples who don’t mind posing (even if their face isn’t being shown!), couples who want something really different and a real “wow!” photo in their wedding album.

Fine art / Dramatic Wedding Photography

Fine art wedding photography is about creating emotive pictures through stylised shots. This may involve some posing and usually a “scene” is created through planning for a photo rather than capturing as it is in documentary style photography. Fine art or dramatic photos work brilliantly for different and interesting venues (think an old warehouse or a forest!) and the focus is on the scene encompassing the bride(s) or groom(s). Fine art can focus on detailed shots all the way to capturing beautiful scenes; the focus is on beauty here. There is a subsection to fine art and dramatic photos which is black and white photography! Most photographers will include a few black and white shots within the final photos but some couples just want black and white and we think it’s stunning. Who this would suit: Anyone wanting art over traditional photos, couples who don’t mind being whisked away for up to a few hours for a photoshoot, those getting married in different or stunning locations

Dark and Moody Wedding Photography

When looking at dark (or dark and moody as one client told us!) photography, we instantly think gothic but colour is really what makes or breaks dark wedding photography. These photos are designed to create a romantic mood and use dark colours, contrast and usually a filter or two to achieve this. The result is beautiful photos that are very different from a traditional style of wedding photography. You can have posed and candid photos with dark wedding photography, the focus is centred on the colours and contrasts of the moment rather than creating a moment to take a photo. You will need a photographer with excellent editing skills to pull this one off well! Who this would suit: Anyone who loves black or dark colours, couples wanting a romantic feel to their photos, anyone getting married in the UK in the evening or winter months, couples getting married in dark / gothic venues such as a castle or warehouse.

We hope that the list above went some way into helping you decide what style of wedding photography you would like! Remember, there is no right and wrong and it’s all about what you love and finding a photographer who also loves the same style. Congratulations on getting engaged and we wish you the most amazing wedding! 

Are you still unsure of what style you would like? Or are you still looking for a wedding photographer? We would love to help you choose your photography style and take some beautiful photos for your day! We are based in Stoke on Trent, covering mainly Staffordshire and Cheshire but we are always happy to travel to a new place to take beautiful photos! You can get in touch with us here for a free, no obligation quote and chat today.

James