HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
By: Daniel Ross
A Question of Style
Essence Photo & Video
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 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.
· Traditional: Posed pictures that are controlled by the photographer.
· Photojournalistic: Candid shots that the subject is unaware are being
· 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?