What style of Wedding Photographer do I need (e.g. Reportage, Traditional/Classic, Contemporary/Artistic)
I would very much class myself as a Reportage Wedding Photographer but what does this mean?
There are significant differences between the styles and one of the main questions that has to be answered before you book your wedding photographer is; which of these wedding photography styles suits you. Once you have chosen a style then you can look at the portfolio of photographers in your style and choose the one whose style appeals to you.
It’s important to remember that many photographers, combine styles for better coverage. Like me for example, although I am predominantly a Reportage wedding photographer, I usually accommodate a small number of formal group or portraiture shots, just like many contemporary wedding photographers take informal reportage style photographs. Let’s go through the characteristics of the main wedding photography styles.
Also known as photo-journalistic (or simply journalistic) or documentary wedding photography.
This is characterised by a natural approach from the photographer who follows the couple and the guests throughout the day while recording the events of the wedding as they happen in an unobtrusive manner.
The main goal of a reportage photographer is to make a narrative story out of the wedding by capturing natural and honest moments rather than setup poses. This method is all about observation, anticipation and spontaneity. These images convey genuine emotion with an added charm based on the photographer’s artistic vision and perception.
Also known as posed, conventional or classic wedding photography.
Traditional wedding photography was the only style in fashion until the new digital era, which allowed photographers (and couples) to not worry about the cost of film they put through their cameras at a wedding. Conventional wedding photography is dominated by carefully posed shots of groups ranging from the whole wedding party to just the wedding couple themselves.
Traditional wedding photographers rarely capture candid moments, they usually concentrate on the key moments and group shots only and they shoot a set list of photographs. This style involves a great deal of intervention from the photographer and a significant amount of time spent on the formal setups. The resulting images although document the participants, may not reflect the atmosphere of happiness and the excitement of the wedding day
Also known as fashion, editorial, illustrative, creative, modern wedding photography.
Contemporary wedding photography is partially inspired by editorial fashion photography. The emphasis is on creating high impact visually interesting images. Although shots are set up, they are less formal or rigid. The photographer aims to find interesting spots as a backdrop and uses or creates strong light effects and unusual angles. The created images are often given further treatment in post-production.
Similar to the traditional wedding photography style, due to the nature of artificially created posed shots of the modern editorial style wedding photography, the resulting images may not fully represent the originality and uniqueness of the wedding. It is more the photographer's style that will dominate the wedding album rather than the wedding couple's personality and the overall atmosphere of the wedding day.