15 Types and Styles of Wedding Photography

When it comes to your wedding, every detail counts, including how you capture the day. Will it be through candid photography’s spontaneous lens or a fashion approach’s stylised composition?

This guide breaks down wedding photography styles, offering a snapshot of each to aid your choice. Discover how you want to remember your ‘I dos’ with our encompassing rundown of photographic styles.

Key Takeaways

  • Wedding photography styles range from documentary, fashion, and traditional to aerial, vintage, and natural, each providing different perspectives and aesthetics.
  • The photographer’s role varies with the style, from unobtrusive observer in documentary and candid styles to meticulous director in traditional and fashion styles.
  • Certain photography styles, like film, black & white, and vintage, offer a nostalgic and timeless quality, while contemporary and aerial styles provide a modern and unique touch.

1. What is a documentary-style wedding photographer?

Wedding Photography Documentary Style.

I specialise in documentary wedding photography across various regions in England. Visit my Oxfordshire wedding photography page to learn more about my experience.

Documentary-style wedding photography is all about authenticity. This style captures the wedding day as it unfolds, focusing on candid moments and genuine emotions, providing a true representation of the event. Like a documentary film, this style tells the story of your wedding day without interfering with the flow of events. It’s all about capturing the moment’s reality, the laughter during speeches, the tear in a parent’s eye, the spontaneous dance-offs.

As a documentary wedding photographer, one goal is to blend in with the wedding party, almost becoming a part of it. This approach allows a photographer to capture the most intimate and heartfelt moments that might be missed. It’s about understanding the dynamics of the wedding, from the grand, joyful celebrations to the quiet, tender moments.

Related article: How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

2. What is a fashion-style wedding?

Wedding Photography Fashion.

Fashion-style wedding photography is where fashion’s glamour meets a wedding’s love story. This style incorporates elements of fashion photography, emphasizing stylish poses, dramatic lighting, and artistic compositions to create stunning images. It’s all about turning your wedding into a fashion-forward event, with you and your partner as the stars of the show.

This style of wedding photography isn’t just about capturing the wedding; it’s about creating a work of art. The wedding photographer works closely with the bride and groom, helping them strike the perfect pose, adjusting the lighting to highlight their best features, and setting up the shot to capture the elegance and sophistication of the moment. It’s about giving your wedding photos that glossy magazine look, making every shot worthy of a fashion editorial.

3. What is a traditional style of wedding photographs?

Wedding Photography That is Traditional.

Traditional style wedding photography is a timeless classic. This style focuses on:

  • posed, formal portraits of the couple, family, and bridal party
  • capturing the classic moments and details of the wedding day
  • following the tried-and-tested formula that has been passed down through generations
  • ensuring that all the important moments and people are captured beautifully.

The role of a Wedding Photographer in traditional style wedding photography is meticulous and structured. They have a list of shots to cover, including:

  • The exchange of vows at the ceremony
  • The first dance at the reception
  • Formal portraits, where the photographer arranges people and directs them on where to stand and how to pose

While some may consider this style a bit outdated, there is no denying the charm of a beautifully composed traditional wedding photograph.

4. What is photojournalistic style photography?

Wedding Photography That is Photo Journalistic.

Photojournalistic style wedding photography is all about telling a story. This style tells the story of the wedding day through:

  • Candid, unposed images
  • Capturing authentic emotions and moments as they happen
  • It’s like having a personal journalist at your wedding, documenting the day’s events as they unfold.

The role of the wedding photographer in this style is that of an observer. The photographer stays in the background, quietly capturing the laughter, tears, and everything. They don’t interrupt the flow of the day or ask people to pose; instead, they capture the day as it naturally unfolds. The result is a series of spontaneous and emotive images that tell the real story of your wedding day.

5. What is a black and white style wedding photographer?

Wedding Photography That is Black and White.

Black-and-white wedding photography adds a layer of timeless elegance to your wedding memories. This style uses monochrome images to create classic photos that emphasize emotion, texture, and contrast. These photos have a timeless quality, capturing the raw emotion of the moment in a way that colour photos sometimes can’t.

The role of the wedding photographer in this style is that of an artist, using shades of grey to illuminate emotions and expressions. By removing the distraction of colour, the photographer can focus on capturing the profound moments of the wedding. The result is a collection of timeless images that will remain beautiful and evocative for years.

6. What is contemporary-style wedding photography?

Contemporary-style wedding photography is a modern approach to capturing your special day. This style blends various styles, such as documentary, fashion, and traditional, to create a unique and modern approach to capturing the wedding day. It’s about breaking the rules, experimenting with new techniques, and pushing the boundaries of what wedding photography can be.

In this style, the wedding photographer plays the role of a creative director, curating a unique blend of styles to create an eclectic mix of images. They might capture candid moments like a documentary photographer, arrange stylish poses like a fashion photographer, and take formal portraits like a traditional photographer. The result is a collection of diverse images that truly reflect the uniqueness of your wedding day.

7. What is lifestyle photography?

Lifestyle wedding photography is all about capturing the real you. This style captures the couple in natural, relaxed settings, focusing on their personalities and connection, often incorporating everyday life elements. It’s about capturing your essence as a couple and showcasing your love story genuinely and authentically.

The role of the wedding photographer in lifestyle wedding photography is that of a storyteller. They capture the couple in their natural element, whether at home, at their favourite coffee shop, or in a park where they often walk. The result is a collection of personal and intimate images, telling a story that is uniquely yours.

8. What is film photography style?

 

Film photography style wedding photography is a nod to the past. This style uses analogue cameras and film to create images with a nostalgic, timeless quality, often featuring soft colours and a unique depth. It’s about embracing the beauty of imperfection and capturing the magic of your wedding day in a way that feels raw and authentic.

In this style, the wedding photographer is a master of the craft, understanding the intricacies of film photography. They carefully select their film, adjust their camera settings, and wait for the perfect moment to press the shutter. The result is a series of images with a warmth and texture that digital photos often struggle to replicate.

9. What is aerial-style wedding photography?

Aerial-style wedding photography takes wedding photography to new heights. This style utilizes drone technology to capture stunning overhead shots of the wedding venue, ceremony, and reception, providing a unique perspective on the event. It’s about showcasing the grandeur of your wedding from a vantage point that few get to see.

The wedding photographer in this style:

  • Is a skilled drone operator, understanding how to manoeuvre the drone to capture the best angles
  • Wait for the perfect moment, when the light is just right, to capture stunning aerial views of your wedding
  • Provides a series of breathtaking images that provide a bird’s-eye view of your special day

The result is a series of breathtaking images that provide a bird’s-eye view of your special day.

10. What is candid style photography?

Candid style wedding photography is all about capturing the heart of the moment. This style focuses on capturing spontaneous, unposed moments throughout the wedding day, resulting in genuine, heartfelt images. It’s about capturing the laughter, the tears, and the spontaneous dance-offs, giving you a collection of images that truly reflect the joy of your special day.

In this style, the wedding photographer:

  • is always on the move, camera in hand, ready to capture the magic as it happens by taking photos
  • has a keen eye for moments, always on the lookout for those unscripted moments that truly capture the spirit of your wedding
  • produces a collection of real, raw images full of life.

11. What is landscape-style photography?

Landscape-style wedding photography is about capturing the beauty of your surroundings. This style incorporates the natural surroundings and scenery into the wedding photos, creating breathtaking images that showcase the beauty of the location. It’s about turning your wedding into a work of art, with the landscape as the canvas.

A wedding photographer in this style:

  • Is a skilled landscape photographer
  • Understands how to use natural light and scenery to their advantage
  • Seek out the most beautiful spots for your photos
  • Captures the grandeur of the landscape and the intimacy of your love story

The result is a collection of fine art images that are truly awe-inspiring, capturing the majesty of nature and the love between two people, all while using enough words to convey the emotions behind each moment.

The South West of England has stunning areas of natural beauty. Learn about Gloucestershire Wedding Photography.

12. What is a destination wedding photographer?

Destination wedding photography is about capturing your love story in a unique, exotic location. This style specializes in capturing weddings held in unique, exotic locations, often incorporating travel and adventure elements into the images. It’s about turning your wedding into an adventure, capturing the excitement of your journey and the beauty of your destination.

The wedding photographer in this style, like many other wedding photographers:

  • Is a seasoned traveller
  • Is well-versed in capturing the beauty of diverse locations
  • It is adaptable and flexible, able to capture stunning images in a variety of conditions and settings

The result is a collection of images that capture the beauty of your wedding experience, the excitement of your journey, and the splendour of your destination, such as the Amalfi Coast, a location known for hosting many weddings.

13. What is a classic style wedding photographer?

Classic style wedding photography is about timeless elegance. This style emphasizes:

  • Timeless, elegant images that will remain beautiful and relevant for years to come
  • Traditional poses and compositions
  • Creating a legacy, capturing images that will be cherished by generations to come.

The wedding photographer in this style is a master of the craft. They understand the principles of composition and lighting and pose to create timeless and elegant images. They are meticulous in their approach, ensuring that every image is beautifully composed and lit. The result is a collection of classic and timeless images, capturing the beauty and elegance of your wedding in a way that will stand the test of time.

14. What is vintage-style photography?

Vintage-style wedding photography is about evoking a sense of nostalgia. This style evokes a nostalgic, romantic feel, often using soft colours, antique props, and retro-inspired editing techniques to create images reminiscent of a bygone era. It’s about capturing the romance of the past, creating a collection of images that feel like they’ve been plucked from a vintage photo album.

The wedding photographer in this style:

  • Is a lover of all things vintage
  • Uses their knowledge of vintage aesthetics and editing techniques to create images that have a distinct retro feel
  • Creates images that are not only beautiful but also evoke a sense of nostalgia, transporting you back to a simpler, more romantic time.

15. What is natural style wedding photography?

Natural-style wedding photography is about capturing the beauty of the moment. This style focuses on capturing the wedding day using natural light and minimal editing, resulting in true-to-life images showcasing the moment’s beauty. It’s about capturing the magic of your wedding day just as it is, without any artificial enhancements.

The wedding photographer in this style:

  • is a purist, believing in the power of natural light and the beauty of unedited moments
  • uses their skills to capture stunning images under natural light
  • uses minimal editing to keep the images as true to life as possible
  • creates a collection of images that are raw, authentic, and truly reflective of your wedding day.

Summary

Choosing the right wedding photography style is about more than just beautiful images; it’s about telling your unique love story in a way that resonates with you. Whether you prefer the candid moments of documentary-style photography, the glamour of fashion-style photography, or the classic elegance of traditional style photography, there’s a style for every couple. The key is finding a wedding photographer who can capture your vision and turn your wedding day into a collection of images you will cherish for a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between documentary-style and photojournalistic-style wedding photography?

The main difference between documentary-style and photojournalistic-style wedding photography is that the documentary style captures the entire event as it happens, while the photojournalistic style focuses on storytelling through the images. So, it depends on whether you want a complete depiction of your wedding or a narrative-driven approach.

 

Can a wedding photographer combine different styles?

Absolutely! Wedding photographers often combine various styles, such as contemporary, documentary, fashion, and traditional, to create a unique and personalized look for each couple’s special day.

 

What is the advantage of black-and-white wedding photography?

Black and white wedding photography can emphasize emotion, texture, and contrast, creating timeless and classic images that capture the day’s romance.

 

How is a destination wedding photographer different from other styles?

Destination wedding photography focuses on capturing weddings in unique, exotic locations and incorporating travel and adventure elements into the images, setting it apart from other styles of wedding photography.

See this guide on How to Choose Between Two Wedding Venues.

What is the focus of natural-style wedding photography?

Natural-style wedding photography uses natural light and minimal editing to create authentic, true-to-life images that capture the moment’s beauty. It’s all about showcasing the genuine emotions and atmosphere of the wedding day.