What's your Wedding Photography Style?...
These days it seems that we are so often expected to fit into a specific box - I often get asked what my wedding photography 'style' is or people will explain how they like 'fine art' photography or 'reportage' photography'. My problem is that I just don't fit into one single box - I never have really. I thought I'd explain a bit more about all these different styles and show you how I kinda use all of them, mix them about a bit and come up with my own thing:
REPORTAGE /. DOCUMENTARY
The term 'reportage wedding photography' or 'documentary wedding photography' comes from journalism images - taking photos of the action as it happens. Capturing stories and actions on camera, a single moment in time frozen - rather than a series of posed, formal images. This is certainly a key part of what I do - you want to look back on your photos and see the story of your day unfold in front of you. But I'm certainly not a devout documentary photographer. I like to take beautiful images of carefully styled elements too, which brings me onto the next area...
Fine art wedding photography has largely come from the film photography movement. I do shoot film, but very little for weddings - I don't charge enough to justify this at the moment (film stock and developing costs a lot of money!). But I see fine art as about creating beauty in an image by manipulating elements so it becomes like a work of art. This might be moving the wedding dress so it has the light shinging beautifully behind it and creating movement as it sways gently in the wind, or wrapping the veil around the perfume bottle with soft window light pouring in from the side. You could not get these images if you did not manipulate and move certain parts of the frame - but you are still captuing a truth of the day, showing key parts of the wedding in the most beautiful way possible
Your wedding day is one of the few times that you get all your friends and family in one room together. Of course it would be lovely if I could guarantee that at some point of the day I would naturally be able to capture a photo with all of your parents and siblings in one shot laughing naturally - but realistically this is unlikely to happen. The best thing to do is to select a group shot list of family shots that you really want done - these should be the photos that you cannot do without - of course parents, siblings, and any elderly grandparents. But think hard about this - do you really want photos with all your various aunts, uncles and cousins in various combinations - will you look at them again? This is where traditional wedding photography comes in - getting the essential shots that are more posed and staged but are so important to get. However as the bottom photo shows - they can be fun too...
Contemporary wedding photography is about doing something a bit different. It could be with how you pose the couple. It could be with props you use - smoke bombs or sparklers. It could be with the location you choose - driving out to a dark and moody forest for the shots of the bride and groom rather than just staying at the wedding venue for example. I love doing something a bit different but only if you as a couple are happy with it - this is why it is so important to book someone whose work you love and you trust implicitly. If you have seen an image you love talk to me about it and lets see if we can do something that works for you.
These are images that will never age - straight out of a timeless magazine it would look in place in your grandmothers wedding album or your grandchild's wedding album. These do tend to be a little staged, but will I won't set them up specifically. So for example, if things are not too much of a rush, often the bride will be putting the finishing touch to her veil or be handed her bouquet as she is standing by a window with beautiful light pouring in or perfectly framed by door frames and it looks so beautiful that I will ask her to pause for a moment and glance at the camera or look down at her bouquet and the photo happens. So it is not set up specificaly but it is something I have in mind throughout the day and I keep my eye out for
So, I guess it's pretty clear that just like me, my photography styled cannot be categorized - it is simply me and how I work. I do things my way, which takes inspiration from all sorts of 'styles' and applies them at the appropriate moment. I like to think that my style encompases taking "beautifully composed images, that are not posed, tell the true story of your day, while working hard to use the most beautiful light and locations available to me and with the ability to make everyone laugh and feeel relaxed so nothing looks awkward or posed" - but that's a bit of a mouthful, so feel free to call it what you will. I hope this helps give you a little insight into how I work and how important it is just to find a photographer whose images speak to you and you love. xx