Choosing The Perfect Wedding Photography Style For You

When the buzz and joy of your wedding day is just a distant memory, your wedding photos will be there to remind you of the happiest day of your life. They will be a part of your life as a married couple, displayed around your home, pulled out at anniversaries and family reunions, and poured over by future generations seeking to make a connection with their past (just try not to bore people too much). Wedding photos become treasured family heirlooms, so it’s really important that you get them right.

There are three major styles of wedding photography, each one offering something a bit different and special. Read on to find out which style is right for you.

Photojournalism style

Beautiful and natural photojournalism.
Capture the natural moments with photojournalism. Wedding photographer Emmanuel Bergere, France.

What is it? This is a very ‘au natural’ approach to wedding photography, which has more in common with photojournalism or reportage styles, than the traditional portrait images. Rather than posing for your photos, your photographer will focus on capturing spontaneous and authentic moments that convey the joy and intimacy of the day. It will usually involve a few ‘behind the scenes’ images of the bride and groom getting ready, creating a narrative of the day.

Pros You will end up with at least a few absolute gems which catch a special look or a happy moment. When you aren’t worried about posing for your photos, you can let yourself go and really be yourself on your big day. This style of photography is particularly well suited to bohemian weddings or smaller weddings.

Cons Since a lot of these images will be taken ‘in action’ (i.e. while people are talking, dancing or throwing confetti), there is a greater risk of ending up with blurred images. You therefore need to make sure that your photographer specialises in this style of photography and has all right equipment. Without a few posed images, you run the risk of leaving out certain people from your wedding album. For this reason it is probably best to combine the photojournalism style with a few more traditional shots, so you can plan ahead and make sure everyone is immortalised in your photos.

Traditional style


Traditional wedding photography
Traditional wedding photography adds a classic touch. Wedding Photographer Kajul Photography, Germany.

What is it? This is the classic, posed style of wedding photography. Your photographer will talk you through the various options for your different shots, but they will generally include an ‘exterior of the church’ shot; a ‘bride and groom’ shot; a ‘wedding party’ shot and a ‘family’ shot.

Pros It is the style your parents and your grandparents used, and there is something classic and almost regal about it. You can tell provide your photographer with a list of essential shots in advance of the wedding, so that they are well prepared. You can also identify key guests (parents, godparents, childhood friends, etc) who should be featured in certain images.

Cons There is no room for spontaneity with this style. You will generally be sitting or standing, facing towards the camera and smiling. Set shots can be frustrating and time-consuming when arranging large groups of people, especially if young children are involved.

Contemporary style

Stunning and different contemporary photographs add that special edge
Edgy contemporary photographs add an artistic element. Wedding photographer Cornelia Lietz, Germany.

What is it? An arty take on the traditional wedding photos, these are the sorts of images you would expect to see in a glossy mag. The photographer may have a unique style of their own, or they may choose to experiment with different exposures, filters and angles.

Pros You could end up with wedding photos that are a work of art. If your wedding is being publicised on a blog or in a print publication, these are the shots you want and your wedding album will be unlike anyone else’s.

Cons You may find that the resulting photos lack some intimacy, if style is favoured over substance and your chosen style could wind up looking dated after a few years. If your photographer has a signature style, this may dominate the photos, taking away from the uniqueness of your big day.

At the end of the day, whatever style you decide upon need to suit you as a couple and your day itself. Choose carefully! Why not browse the Wedding Photography Select Excellence Awards for inspiration.

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