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Wedding Photography Styles

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The All-Inclusive Handbook for Wedding Photographers
Vermillion, Stephanie Modified on May 22, 2015
Methods of Wedding Photography
From formalwear to home furnishings, partners have widely varying tastes. Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most significant fashion decisions that any couple must make. Actually, before you start reaching out to photographers, you should decide what kind of wedding photos you want. If you book without first researching the photographer’s aesthetic, the resulting photographs may not be what you had hoped for.

Photographer for weddings Jainé Kershner recommends doing this kind of prior study to ensure you spend your money wisely. “You want to love your photographer’s style,” she explains. Couples should make sure their shooting and editing styles are exactly what they want because “they worked really hard to figure out how they do it.”


New York City-based wedding photographer Jainé Kershner.

Fine art and even dark and melancholy photographs are among today’s most popular wedding photography styles, but classic images continue to be popular as well. But what if your taste runs more toward traditional, subdued, and somber photographs? Do either/both of these options sound bad to you? Kershner reassures us that we need not fret, as many photographers provide a range of styles throughout the day.

It can be difficult to narrow down the field of wedding photography to a single approach. Kershner, however, claims that there is a simple way to find out: peruse your saved social media posts. Kershner recommends keeping track of what kinds of pictures you like and save the most on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. “It’s terrific if you can spot a scheme in which everything belongs to the same genus or subfamily. Make a mood board or build a board on Pinterest to see what you like. You’ll see a pattern after browsing through and pinning for a few weeks.

Everything you need to know about wedding photography styles, from candids to classics, to help you choose your photographer.

Page 1 of 8: The Bride and Groom Take a Group Photo With Their Female Relatives
Many couples’ parents only have classic, traditional wedding photographs. Although these head-on, staged photographs lack originality, they have withstood the test of time. After the ceremony, when taking family portraits, most photographers still use some traditional techniques.

Kershner claims that his photographs will remain timeless because of their timeless subject matter. “It’s very basic, and there’s nothing crazy about it, but they still look good after 50 or 60 years.”

Photographic Grooms Make Their Wedding Day Debut
Many photographers now use a photojournalistic approach because they find that candid and documentary shots often result in the most moving and enduring photographs. These photographers document the ceremony and reception as if it were a news story or feature. They wait for the magic to happen spontaneously, and then they snap pictures of it.

It’s like being a fly on the wall, says Kershner, who employs this technique intermittently during the day. She explains, “I’m helping the couple because they’re nervous and I want them to feel comfortable, so I’m more classic and natural with light direction at the beginning of the day.” Once the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception begin, I just start taking pictures of the action as it happens.

Photo by Robin Harper, from the Editorial Team, on page 3 of 8.
Editorial photographs, on the other hand, are staged in a manner reminiscent of a fashion magazine. Although this aesthetic is less common in wedding photography, Kershner claims that many photographers have mastered it. They were able to expand their enterprises by focusing on this niche.

Usually, she explains, “the couple goes into wedding planning knowing that they want this.” Their wedding photography needs to be handled differently. They would like it to have the upscale, glamorous atmosphere of a picture shoot.

04 of 08
Somber and Dismal
Somber and Dismal
Photos described as “dark and moody” look and feel just like they’re described. The goal of this photography approach is to capture the pair in a way that highlights their unique personalities through the use of shadows and contrasting lines. Kershner explains that “dark editing and dark shooting” are hallmarks of this aesthetic. Many married people have been drawn to this in recent years. It’s being featured in a lot of periodicals right now.

Part 5 of 8 of the Definitive Wedding Photography Guide
Couple in the air, going down several steps
Although drone photography is probably not something you’d want for your entire wedding day, it’s a fun option that more and more photographers are beginning to offer. Photos from above are spectacular for the group portrait, the exit from the ceremony, and the outdoor celebration.

Before you sign a contract, you should find out if your photographer offers drone photography. Since this service requires a third-party photographer, some businesses choose to charge more for it. Some competitors don’t even provide it.

Fine Art, Number 6 of 8
Artistically Captured for READYLUCK by Edward Winter
While film remains the medium most closely associated with fine art photography, Kershner argues that the genre has become increasingly hybrid due to its rising popularity. The hallmarks of this style are its airiness, brightness, and lightness.

“It’s a softer, delicate, and cleaner look than straight digital,” she explains. Fine art complements the light and airy look that is typical of film photography. Photographers that strive for a film-like aesthetic typically work with film.

Seventh and Eighth Day, Monochrome
Inverted colors
Some photographers just shoot with black-and-white film or digital cameras, but the majority of black-and-white wedding photos are the result of post-production processing. Kershner claims that the vast majority of wedding photographers provide some black and white options.

“As the photographer, I can tell that some images will speak louder or softer in black and white, so it really comes down to feeling and emotion,” she explains. It’s up to the judgment of the photographer. Some photographers I know only provide color and black-and-white options for each photo. I focus on what might evoke stronger feelings when depicted in black and white.

08 of 08 Outdoors Romantic Scene: A Kiss
Photographers that specialize in weddings in naturally beautiful settings, like the mountains or the seaside, have found that offering landscape photography as an add-on service has become increasingly common. The photographer in this example collaborates with the couple in advance to scope out the location. The pair is included in the landscape shot for perspective and epic grandeur by the landscape wedding photographer.

“You don’t get a lot of photographs in this style because, in most cases, it’s only part of the day,” explains Kershner. However, be aware that in order to enjoy the breathtaking panoramas, you may have to go on a bit of a hike.

SEE MORE CHAPTER HEADINGS IN The Definitive Guide to Wedding Photography
Budgeting for and reserving your photographer’s services for your engagement and wedding photos
Wedding Photography: A Style Guide for Engaged Couples How to Choose the Right Photographer for Your Big Day
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