Different Wedding Photography Styles
When ‘shopping’ for your photographer it will be much easier if you know what style you are looking for and what it’s called. The best wedding photographers have a technique of their own and while most can offer a mixture of photographs they will specialise in a particular style as their trademark.
As the name suggests this is quite literally ‘to report’. A photographer takes photographs as the day unfolds capturing moments as they happen rather than taking posed shots. Not to be confused with natural shots, reportage will not show and specific group or have any kind of structure. Natural shots can be slightly posed with out being forced and will mean that certain photographs can be requested such as one of the flower girl and page boy or one of the groom with his best man and ushers. With reportage, the photographer will blend in to the crowd and you won’t even realise photos are being taken, but a good photographer should be practically invisible no matter what style is chosen so don’t settle for this just because you are afraid of the camera being intrusive. To capture a moment as it happens is difficult and requires a keen eye, a fast finger and years of experience. Often if you choose to have a lot of this style of photographs two photographers with several cameras will be capturing events as they unfold, a photographer only gets an instant to capture a pose so if they’ve got the wrong shutter speed or are fiddling with the focus, the moment is lost forever a double act have less chance of missing any opportunities for the perfect photo. To have a little reportage in your album is a good way to reflect the atmosphere of the whole day but too many will result in an unstructured album with no focal point. You may also be disappointed if key photos are missing such as one of you and your mum, or that there aren’t enough romantic shots of you and your husband together. Reportage looks great in an album but most people like some slightly more posed shots that they can frame and send to granny for her mantelpiece.
Images of old-fashioned wedding albums showing uncomfortable families standing in a line have given formal photographs a bad reputation. Thankfully wedding photography has moved on considerably from this and the true definition of a formal photograph is one where the family members can be clearly seen and depicted. A good photographer will put the group at ease and ensure the pose is natural and without being forced. Often treasured in years to come, these images are a great family record of the wedding. Romantic.
These photographs are usually taken after the ceremony when the bride and groom are alone with the photographer. Some will be posed portraits whilst others will be candid pictures of the happy couple. Posed portraits don’t always have to be cheesy though most albums will have at least one of the bride and groom kissing under a tree or by a lake or while sitting on a bench or all of the above! The common denominator in all romantic photographs is that they show the love and affection the couple feel for each other on their wedding day. Often special effects during processing can add touches such as soft edge focus and tinting to add to the mood.
This style is best used sparingly to really add something special to the album. Angles and lines are used frequently as a backdrop with the bride and groom being the main focal point. Perspective can be used to add interest and the overall effect is usually very dramatic. This style is also known as Modern or Theatrical.
Black and White
This type of photograph is increasingly popular and can look very artistic. It is also very flattering as it shows shades and contours beautifully and can be much more atmospheric than colour shots. Bear in mind that it is possible to change colour shots to black and white but it doesn’t work the other way around. Therefore it is not advisable to ask your photographer to shoot in entirely black and white film as details such as the flowers, table decorations and bridesmaids dresses will be remembered more clearly when shot in colour.
This is done using a special dye which is added to the fluid when processing the photograph, giving it a colour tint which adds to the mood of the photograph. The most popular tints are sepia and light blue, sepia can add warmth to a plain photograph making it more atmospheric therefore changing its overall mood.
Spot or Hand Tinting
Before the introduction of computer technology and digital cameras photographers would paint on to the negative to highlight a particular object. Nowadays a similar effect is created on screen. This technique is frequently used on the brides bouquet where the flowers have colour but the rest of the photograph is black and white.
Gone are the days of grey and cloudy skies in wedding photographs, if the sun decides not to appear on your wedding day then don’t worry because a good photographer will be able to change photographs of dull weather in to a bright blue sky later. There are much more subtle examples of this technique which is carried out on the computer to enhance your photographs. Bear in mind that a photographer can spend up to an hour on a single photograph so if used too often it will be very expensive.
This is a costly and unusual effect that is used when the colours are required to predominate. Slide film is used instead of ordinary film, it is then chemically treated when processing. This effect can be replicated digitally.