Advice // Choosing the Perfect Photography Style for your Wedding

Image: Mango Studios {via Ruffled}

Modern weddings are expensive and there’s really no way of getting away from that. Unless you have your heart set on an extremely intimate affair, it’s highly likely that you will spend between fifteen thousands and twenty thousand pounds on this most important of days. Even if you do opt for a small wedding you will pay the same price for your flowers, bridesmaid dresses, and a photographer as a bride and groom who are organising a big event. One of the most expensive and also one of the most essential aspects of your big day setup will be your photographer. When your wedding has taken place you will be left with the most wonderful memories of the day, but you will also need a collection of stunning images to help you remember the specifics of those special moments during the years to come.

As a bride or groom you will be extremely busy on the day of your wedding and as a result you are guaranteed to miss out on certain sections of the day. The purpose of a wedding photographer is not only to create a record of your wedding for you to treasure for the rest of your life, it is also to capture moments, emotions and expressions which you would otherwise miss. No bride and groom can be everywhere at once after all! Think about the moments during your running order where you will be absent from the room; times such as before you enter the ceremony room, before you are announced into your wedding breakfast and any points when you decide to touch up your hair and makeup. It is very likely that sweet moments will happen between your guests during these absences, and that’s something you can’t afford to miss.

You have one shot at getting the perfect photographer for your wedding, and if you get it wrong there’s no way back. Recording your wedding is a one-time opportunity and if it isn’t done exactly as you want then it can be incredibly disappointing. I don’t mean to scare you, but you must take your time over this decision, do your research and meet with at least three photographers before signing on the dotted line. Wedding photography is one of the areas where you should go for the most expensive photographer that you can afford without destroying your budget.

Take a look below for an outline of the most popular and most beautiful styles of wedding photography…

Images: Vine & Lights Photography // Ian Weldon

Traditional

Traditional wedding photography is still the most popular style in the UK, however an increasing percentage of young brides and grooms are beginning to move away from this style in favour of something a little more contemporary. Traditional wedding photos are easy to identify as they are highly posed, and as a result they require a great deal of assistance and hands on intervention from the photographer in order to get them right.

Traditional wedding photographers often work to a schedule and will leave once the time frame you agreed upon before the wedding has been achieved. Working to a schedule often means that traditional wedding photographers work very fast and will bring at least one assistant with them to arrange people for group shots. They may also require you to appoint either the best man or the maid of honour as a second assistant who will call out names and collect people together for family shots. It is highly advisable to pick someone for this job who is familiar with your friends and family so that the process can run smoothly and be completed quickly.

An increasing number of people are looking at traditional wedding photography as outdated; however the older members of your family will almost certainly want a formal group shot for their mantelpiece. Personally I think that a good mixture of contemporary photos and more traditional photos is ideal as this will keep everyone happy!

Images: Source unknown // Pinterest // Ian Weldon

Documentary photography

My favourite style of wedding photography is documentary photography. Documentary wedding photography (or ‘reportage’ photography if you prefer) is a style which will appeal to couples who are interested in creating a truthful and poignant collection of images which really represent the atmosphere and emotion of their big day. Traditional wedding photography often fails to capture the happiness and enjoyment of the newlyweds and their guests, however documentary wedding photography is ideal for brides and grooms who want to look back on their photos and remember what an incredibly fun and moving day they had. Documentary photography does what the title says; it documents your big day from start to finish!

Documentary photography is conducted in a very hands-off way and the resulting images are both candid and natural. A good documentary photographer will often melt into the background so much that the bride and groom forget they are there. Not a great deal of posing is required for this style of photography and as a result the bride, groom and their guests are free to enjoy the wedding day without interruption.

Images: Erich  McVey {via Magnolia Rouge} // Alicia Swedenborg {via Pretty Chic Blog}

Editorial

Editorial photography is characterised by the resulting images which are highly fashionable and aspirational. Basically this is the type of image you will find on wedding blogs, bridal magazines and wedding planning books. Editorial images are always perfectly lit, beautifully composed and crystal clear so that they look amazing when reproduced. As it is quite a specialist area most brides and grooms do not search for this type of photographer, however I think they are really missing out! As well as appearing in blogs, book and magazines I believe that editorial wedding photography is something which many brides and groom would feel attracted to if only they knew more about it. Everyone wants to believe that their wedding would look amazing on the pages of the glossy bridal magazines, and with a few editorial style photos in your album, that dream can be realised.

Images: Matt Shumate Photography {via Wedding Chicks} // Ian Weldon

Photo booths

While photo booths are not strictly a style of wedding photography, I thought I’d include a bit of information regarding this trend. Now, some of you will no doubt be turning your nose up at the idea of hiring a photo booth for your wedding; don’t be so quick to dismiss it as amazing amounts of fun can be had! Once the champagne is flowing your guests will love the opportunity to grab a silly prop (much as a moustache or some fairy wings!) and pile into a photo booth for some fun and frivolous shots.

I will be honest here and tell you that hiring photo booths is not cheap and can be an extra expense which you simply cannot afford. If you’re faced with the option of spending more money on your photographer, or scrimping a bit to hire the booth then forgo the booth and get the most expensive photographer that your budget will allow. However, if you’re in the enviable position of having a bit of spare cash lying around, then a photo booth could provide you with an enjoyable focus for your younger guests, or those who are young at heart.

--Lottie ♥