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HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
A Question of Style

By: Daniel Ross
Essence Photo & Video
http://www.essencepv.com

Knowing your photographer before your wedding is perhaps the most vital element in selecting a photography company. But just as each person has a unique personality so to do they have a unique shooting style.

To help determine your style interest(s), I have provided an outline of both major types of wedding photography: Traditional Photography and Photojournalism. Please keep in mind, you may determine one style fits your needs or you may decide you are looking for a blend of styles.

Traditional Photography - What is it?

Very generally speaking, traditional photography is where the photographer controls all aspects of each picture. Some refer to this style as "posed photography." Some examples of traditional wedding pictures would be shots of the cake, invitations, flowers, rings, and of course shots of the bride and groom at the alter.

Sadly, many people have had bad experiences with "stiff" traditional photographers barking orders all day and have ended up feeling like a "puppet on strings." Many couples have expressed this negative experience as their most intense concern.

A good traditional photographer does not have to be stiff and obtrusive. In addition to personality, a good traditional photographer must have a creative eye and the ability to make his or her traditional pictures look natural. If you are having a good time your smile will show and the picture will glow with your mood. Of course, traits in a good traditional photographer such as the ability to work with groups of people to coordinate family pictures, create unique settings and poses, and use a variety of lighting and camera effects all make for pictures you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Most couples would like to have certain traditional shots taken at their wedding. These photographs are often even more striking when filters such as black & white, sepia and color select are applied.

Photojournalism:

Photojournalism encapsulates candid and documentary photography styles, and these style terms are often used interchangeably. In short, this style of pictures is taken unobtrusively by the photographer often times without the knowledge of the bride or groom. The nature of this methodology will lend more time for mingling with guests, and enjoying your day. Photojournalism has become the most requested and popular style of wedding photography in recent years. Many people like the look of photojournalistic pictures converted to black & white for effect.

What is your style? Directed Photojournalism?

To say that each photographer must fall entirely into one category is perhaps an oversimplification. The reality is photographers tend to have a preference in style but often times shoot a blend of traditional and photojournalistic elements, a style we consider "directed photojournalism."

The end result is a proof album that contains a wide variety of natural photojournalistic pictures along with a core set of traditional family and posed pictures. Typically, the traditional pictures are taken earlier in the day leaving the reception free for the bride and groom to enjoy the company of family and friends without being bothered to pose for complicated traditional picture sets.

Summary:

· Traditional: Posed pictures that are controlled by the photographer.
· Photojournalistic: Candid shots that the subject is unaware are being taken.
· Directed Photojournalism: Blend of traditional and photojournalistic styles. This is the most popular shooting style for most brides.

Good Questions To Ask:
· Will I know who will be my photographer?
· What style do they shoot?
· Will I see THEIR work? Or, will I only see your studio's general work?
· Do you guarantee that person on the contract for my wedding?


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