After booking your venue, choosing the right photographer to capture your wedding day is one of the most important things on your to-do list. It can also be one of the most difficult – how do you choose a photographer, when each one has their own unique style? And let’s face it, many of us don’t know a whole lot about wedding photography until we start the search, and this is what we’re going to help you with in this post. With so many photographers to choose from (we have a list of the ones we recommend here!), the easiest way to whittle it down is to figure out which wedding photography style you like, and then find a photographer who shoots in that style. Many photographers can blend different styles, but most, especially the best ones, have one style that is their signature style. Choosing a photographer that aligns with your own aesthetic goals almost guarantees that you will be happy with the photos.
Here, we layout the different genres of wedding photography to help you narrow down your favourite styles, and therefore narrow down your search for your photographer. The three most widely used styles are classic, contemporary and candid, although photographers can combine styles to deliver a wide selection of images of your day. Use this post to pin down your personal vision and point you in the right direction, as your photographer is going to be capturing the happiest day of your life – and you want to love those photos!
Classic photography is a popular choice for couples who want to invest in images that stand the test of time. This staple style of wedding photography is guaranteed to have a polished, sophisticated quality that you will cherish for years to come. Usually the couple and their relatives are shot while posed and at eye-level and this style is a go-to-favourite for family portraits following the ceremony. Best of all it’s an easy one to blend with other styles if you chat with your photographer in advance.
This style of photography is definitely one for couples who want a more relaxed, caught-in-the-moment feel to the photos of their big day. It shares the same traits as Reportage, Documentary or Photojournalistic style photography. Documentary-style or candid photography is a creative style that has become a key element in many photographer’s toolkits as they capture the full story of your wedding day including all the raw emotions and reactions as they happen. These are often the moments that can go unnoticed on your wedding day – a tear from a proud parent, a heartfelt hug from a loved one or a cheeky grin from the best man – and often make for the most special photo keepsakes. Filled with movement, if you choose this style of photography, there has to be a certain acceptance that you won’t always look perfect, but you’ll definitely look like you’re having the time of your life!
With a nod to high-end fashion magazines, the contemporary or editorial style of photography has been rising in popularity in recent years. Contemporary photoshoots are highly posed and the photographer is likely to play around with composition and experiment with lighting to create an editorial style finished piece. This unique approach to wedding photography will add an element of luxury to any photo album.
These vintage-inspired shots have been gaining traction in recent years in line with the re-birth of the film photography era. Adding a warm, slightly grainy, nostalgic feel to your wedding photography, photographers can use a film camera to achieve this look or they can take the photographs on digital cameras and mimic the style of film during the editing process.
Top Tip: Dish out disposable cameras like a FugiFilm Instax to your guests to add that candid, retro vibe to your wedding album, and to fill up your guest book. Check out the Instax Wedding bundle here for a more sustainable, reusable option.
Black and White
It’s always a great idea to include a few classic black and white shots within your wedding photography as these timeless images never age. Black and white adds a layer of depth and can heighten particularly emotional photographs. Photographers can be selective with what images they decide to make black and white, or you can opt to get each photograph both in colour and in black and white, depending on what you prefer.
Dark and Moody
Infused with a sense of mystery and romance, your photographer will experiment heavily with shadow and lighting to achieve this style of photography. Layered with drama, these dark, modern images often include touches of dark greens, blues and blacks and can be a great direction if you want to add a unique twist to your photobook.
You’re getting married in a beautiful location with amazing views, why not show it off in your wedding album! This style of photography brings inspiring scenery to the forefront, so go outside (hopefully it’s not raining) and capture the magic of your wedding setting. Juxtaposing you and your partner against a scenic backdrop adds extra drama to your images, especially if your wedding colours pop.
Leaning to the edgier side of things, street style photography is a great option if you’re planning a city wedding or a civil ceremony. Urban landscapes are the perfect backdrop for fun and exciting photoshoots as murals, graffiti and iconic buildings make for eye-catching details, not to mention that you don’t know who you will bump into. It’s all about fresstyling and leaning into the unknown!
Top Tip: In order to breathe life into these types of images, it’s always good to adopt a more relaxed pose and don’t forget to interact with your surroundings for a great result!
Check out our list of the best wedding photographers in Ireland here and print out our ultimate wedding photo checklist here!