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Do you choose your photography before you choose your photographer?


This is a very competitive or should I say saturated service, but are they all the same? NO, they are not.

If you go to a small wedding fair there are often as much as 5 photographers in just one room. “OMG Really”? Yes!…. in fact, if you do the big fairs, probably around 15-20+.

Here I will go through a handful of the styles available:

TRADITIONAL/FORMAL

This style of photography is a very formal approach. The images are generally very posed and will require a good deal of intervention from your photographer. This style however will affect you in the following ways:

The photographer will work to a strict timeline, often with a list of pictures being organised during a specific time in your day. Often in these cases the photographer will constantly organise you and your guests into posed groups to produce a set of traditional wedding images.

Although considered out of date now days, this traditional style of images will still appeal to the older generation, so older relatives of the coupe are likely to be happier with these types of images. The downside for many modern day couples is that the resulting images can appear very stiff and rigid and so fail to fully convey the air of happiness and fun that is part of many modern ceremonies. However, sometimes it is a great opportunity to get those specific family pictures together that you will want, so maybe still consider half a dozen traditional photos!

Traditional photos generally suit Asian weddings or where families have come far and wide and expect those posed family photos!

CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY

This style has less formality and much more relaxed which can often result in a greater level of spontaneity. The more spontaneous the better it is of capturing the spirit of fun, as well as some of the formal elements because the photographer will not be organising guests line ups so much.

Photography: Pengelly Photography

This style is likely to capture a unique record of your day – no two weddings will look exactly the same. As a result, this style is more popular in comparison to the more traditional approach.

Once you know the style you want, you may look to engage with a photographer that knows your venue well as often they will know where the best backgrounds and settings to utilise will be on site to give you the best result in a stylised set of images which may look like the kind of images you may see in a fashion magazine.

Photography: Pengelly Photography

I recently managed a wedding at Layer Marney where the couple were recommended Photographers (www.pengelly-photography.co.uk) by the venue because they know every nook and cranny to get the best from the locations around the venue.

REPORTAGE OR DOCUMENTARY STYLE

This vogue is characterised by a very inactive approach by the photographer who can record the events of your wedding day as they happen within the manner of a fly-on-the-wall documentary.

Much of the time – the photographer will essentially be in the background; you may not even be aware of their presence! There will be very little in the way of posing or organising of individuals and groups. For this reason this style is increasingly popular with brides today as it does allow a lot of freedom of movement and the couple are essentially left to enjoy their big day.

Photograph: Slawa Walczak at www.slawawalczak.com

This style of photography will produce a very candid record of your wedding with a high proportion of unusual shots that you probably would not expect from traditional or contemporary styles. If you have been posed for all your photographs then you essentially have already seen the images and there will be none of the ‘wow’ factor that you may get from a reportage image of you and your newlywed in an unguarded kiss or embrace. Reportage photography has a great deal to offer but inevitably the drawback is that you simply cannot be sure what you may get in the end!

ARTISTIC

This is as the title is implies, led by the creativity of the ‘Artist’ or photographer in this case. This style is therefore characterised by its ability to produce a unique set of images from your big day.

Photography Lizzie / Shoot it Momma Photo

Depending on the photographer there may be a great deal of intervention or there may be none. The only way to consider if this style suits you is by looking through the portfolios of your shortlisted photographers to check if their style is going to appeal to you. This type of photography will provide more originality and provide gorgeous wedding photographs as a superb record of your big day. It may well be considered too much of a risk for some. I have met a lot of great photographers, but throughout my planning the one photographer that showed amazing artistic creativity was Lizzie from Shoot it Momma. So if you want something completely out of the norm, Lizzie is your gal. www.shootitmomma.co.uk

To see more of her style , you can shoot over to her Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/shootitmommaphoto/

SO WHAT STYLE TO CHOOSE?

Emotions run very high and you want to capture the core of what your big day means to you and that you want to relive and evoke the memories of your amazing day.

This may be the first picture of you as you walk back down the aisle as a newlywed, the moment you have your confetti captured, a shared smile between you and your grandparents, and hearty bout of laughter with all your bridal party or you crying throughout a moving and heartfelt speech!

Each photographer will have a style or two that they enjoy to capture, and you have seen some great pictures on their stand or their website, but to get a full understand of their style, I always recommend you see an entire wedding album cover to cover.

So when you see that album ask yourself:

  • Did you get pulled in by their pictures?

  • Did it tell you a story?

  • Did you get the feel for their wedding day?

  • Did it made you smile?

  • How do you feel?

  • Did you like the photographer?

So hopefully now that you have a better idea of choosing your style and what your favourite style could be for your wedding day.

Also important to understand, just because your friend recently got married and recommended their photographer, it does not mean that it would necessarily suit the style that you would choose for your wedding day, so accept the recommendation as a consideration but don’t base your decision on that alone.

Don’t skimp on your photography!

I have heard couples say at the wedding fairs "we don't need a photographer we have a friend who is coming to the wedding and they have a really good camera?"

It’s all very well to point and shoot, but the true value of your wedding photos is not something that you ever fully appreciate until your first anniversary, and every year after that.

They are a gateway through which your future generations will see and whilst your life changes over the years, the memories of how you and all of your guests were captured and that feeling in those moments will be timeless. The last thing you want to happen is miss on those all-important photos and a good photographer will capture the most important elements of your day!

Your wedding day goes so quick so a professional will have one function only and so will be at the right time and the right place at the right times to capture those fleeting connections on the day.

Happy wedding Planning.

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