Thursday, May 12, 2011

An Introduction for Some of Photographic Styles

One of the things that is often talked about between photographers and especially brides these days is photographic style. "What's your style?" is a question we hear a lot. Now there are two definitions for style in the photography world. The first is the photographer's unique style... what makes their images different from everyone else and what sets them apart. The other is the photographer's shooting style - the way they capture their images, and this is what most people want to know about and therefore what I'm going to talk about today.
Let's start with traditional photography because it is the oldest & most common style of photography. This is the type of photography you see often at weddings or in department store photos, and traditional photography is easily recognized by it's contrived posed or "set up" look. A benefit to this style of photography for weddings is that these photographer often use a shot list, which means that specific poses are part of this photographer's routine. There are a few disadvantage to this style. One of biggest issues involves their shot list. Traditional photographers get very focused on their shot list so much so that they may miss a special moment because they are more interested in shooting to sell and not necessarily capturing your story. The other big issue is often that the bride groom end up spending so much time taking photos that they miss out on getting to spend time with their guests and enjoying their day.

Then you have photojournalistic photographers. This has become a very popular style of photography among brides due to its candid and story-telling nature. It is also wonderful because there are no time consuming shot lists of images that need to be captured. The photography is left to the photographers artistic vision. What most brides don't realize though is that these photographers are simply quiet observers, capturing the events of the day as they unfold. They do not create posed portraits, nor do they give any guidance while capturing the images. There goal is to be a fly on the wall and accurately portray your day exactly a it happens. The benefit of this style is that the bride and groom aren't kept from their guests at all. They can easily flow from getting ready, to the service, to the reception with no need for hours of posed photos. However, brides (and parents) are often disappointed later because they didn't get any of those posed portraits.
The last style of photography is the contemporary or lifestyle photographer. These style is a sort of blend between the two. Contemporary photographers are often said to be more artistic and creative in that they are often thinking in terms of design and beautiful compositioned backgrounds. Good use of lighting is also often a trait of this style of photography whether its with lighting equipment or simply using the natural lighting in the area. Unlike the photojournalistic photographer, contemporary photographers provide direction and the couple together with their bridal party are encouraged to interact. This results in more spontaneous, artistic photos that capture not only those special moments but the over all feel of the day.
So there you have it. The three main styles of photography for weddings are traditional, photojournalistic and contemporary. There are pros and cons to each style and it really just comes down to what the bride and groom feel more comfortable doing. The best advice I can give is to start shopping for your wedding photographer early. That way you'll have plenty of time to shop around, ask questions, and determine what exactly you want on your wedding day - a rigid routine of outlined photos, accurate image captures of your day, or more creative and posed images capturing the over all feel of your day.


Post a Comment