Types of Wedding Photography

There's a lot of terminology, and in some cases jargon, used by wedding photographers to describe different types and styles of work. Much of this terminology can be quite useful, but some just seems to be used for marketing purposes more than anything else. Often it is simply assumed that future brides and grooms will understand what these phrases mean, and we all know the famous saying that assuming makes an ass out of 'u' and 'me', so here are a few explanations.

Artistic Wedding Photography

This is the hardest term to tie down in a single definition. I would suggest that an artistic-style wedding photograph is one that you could imagine people hanging on their wall even if they didn't know the bride or couple in the picture. Sometimes this style makes use of effects such as sepia colouration, or darkened corners (vignetting) etc.

Candid wedding Photography

Candid photography attempts to photograph the subject without them noticing. This may also be referred to as the 'fly on the wall' approach.

Fashion-style Wedding Photography

This is the aspirational style that you will see in the magazines. It is usually semi-directed, choosing the best backdrops and lighting and then partially posing the bride or couple too look 'natural'.

Formal Wedding Photography

Formal photographs are the carefully arranged group shots where everyone looks towards the camera. You wouldn't want your entire wedding photographed like this, but your parents and grandparents will probably expect a few shots of this sort.

Photojournalistic Wedding Photography

This style of wedding photography attempts to tell the story of your day without interference or direction. This term has largely replaced the term 'documentary wedding photographer' because 'documentary' implies (rightly or wrongly) a more objective, warts-and all-type of approach, whereas the 'photojournalistic' approach will tell the story of your day whilst remaining entirely flattering. This type of photography is often black and white.

Traditional Wedding Photography

This phrase refers to the oldest style of posed photography, dating back to times when camera exposures were several seconds, or even minutes, long and subjects needed to be carefully arranged and stay very still. Whilst this style is not the most fashionable at the moment, family members inevitably want some of this sort of imagery to keep. These formal/staged shots ensure that the happy couple are pictured with all of the key groups of family, friends, bridesmaids and best men etc.