Styles of Wedding Photography: What’s Right for Your Big Day?

wedding photography

As if you didn’t have enough decisions to make, choosing a photography style needs to be added to your wedding to-do list. Photographs of your wedding will likely be passed on from generation to generation, as this is the one day frozen in time where everyone looks perfect and happy. However, styles of photography range from the classic look like the ones in your grandparents’ scrapbooks to the drastic, abstract angles you find hanging on the walls of your friend’s home, wondering if it’s art or a photo. Decide the style you want first; then, begin searching for a photographer that can best capture it.

Digital vs. Film

One of the first decisions to make is digital versus film photography. Some photographers scoff at new age digital pictures, even though it is more common form in today’s world. Digital photography wastes no time; it’ easy to delete shots, and the shoot itself moves quickly. Digital cameras can also shoot in different types of lighting and allow the photographer to preview each shot as they go to ensure they are getting focus and lighting at the same time.

Film photography is classic. Each shot has a softer look, often with an even better focus. The range is often better and the quality cannot be questioned. However, film photography is often more expensive and does take longer to produce.


traditional wedding photos

The traditional, classic photography style is simple and elegant. A couple surrounded by their wedding party with cheesy smiles and perfect poses is an illustration of a classic photographer. A person working in this style will usually get you all the shots you want of people posing as well as the detailed shots of your rings, cakes, and dances. Classic wedding photography usually is all about capturing the couple and loved ones having a perfect time. Artistic shots of just feet hitting the dance floor or just a strand of your wedding hair blowing in the wind won’t usually be found in this photographer’s camera.

The only problem with this style for some brides is that consistent and classic means your photos might look like every other couple’s wedding photos, but if you want photos like the ones in your grandparents’ scrapbooks, this is the perfect style for you.


Photojournalism is all about capturing people in the moment. If you’re not the type to strike a pose when someone points a camera in your direction, then this is a great style for you. Photojournalists don’t put focus on perfect lighting or pristine details, but highlight real moments and emotions that seem to jump off the prints. This type of photography will give you more of a documentary of your wedding. Each moment is shot with raw emotion; your smile is more natural, your movements are more fluid. While some brides want the posed photos where everyone looks as if they are doing a magazine shoot, this type of photography simply isn’t about staging.


candid wedding shots

Illustrative wedding photography mixes the classic and photojournalistic styles together. It’s about capturing the moment, but also being able to alter it. This photographer plays with lighting and scenery to ensure everyone looks his or her best while being candid. The shots are often artistic and unique, but still have a classic feel.


Commercial photographers are great at getting pictures of still things. They capture the beauty in things like your flowers, décor, and food. A placecard, to this photographer, can be turned into art in a simple snap. This might be a photographer you hire in addition to another professional for a more extensive photo collection.


artistic wedding photos

Photographers are artists of their own craft. They can turn a normal everyday photos into something that jumps off the page. They use lighting, colors, and focus to bring a picture to life.

An example of artistic wedding photography is a shot of the bride’s and groom’s feet standing together as they get married. Or, it’s a shot of the bride’s grandmother’s hands as she sits quietly watching her loved one get married. To some, a photo like one of these is accidental, but to others, these capture poignant moments during the big day. These are often found hanging in people’s homes, leaving you to wonder if they bought it at an art show. These photographers have a keen eye for detail and can find the perfect picture in something most find ordinary.


Fashion photography is for the bride who loves modern, dramatic shots. This type of photography is all about the attire. From the elegant wedding dress with beads and embroidery to the luxurious tuxedo, this photographer will capture all the details. These photos often have dramatic lighting to make the items pop, and the final shots will resemble those seen in a magazine.

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