Different Styles of Photography

Bridesmaids jumping on the beach in their dressing gowns

One thing that most couples think is going to be easy is to choose a wedding photographer, but actually when they start to look into it they soon realise it is a lot more complex than they thought. This is because nowadays there are a variety of different styles of photographer.  I am here to explain the differences to you so you can make an informed choice based on your personal preferences.

Reportage / Documentary Style:

This style is capturing images in a natural style, there is no posing for photos; the photographer follows you and your guests and captures stunning shots, capturing a natural moment in time, often without the person knowing they are being photographed.  This is ensures that your wedding album tells a story of the day, of what you and your guests did, with their natural expressions and with calm and flair.

Traditional / Classic Style:

This is the style you will have seen in your parents wedding album, a selection of posed images, maybe of the couple alone, or the full wedding party.  The list of required images is drawn up by the couple prior to the wedding and the photographer and their assistant gather the guests and instruct them where to stand.  Some might say that a selection of posed shots is essential for every wedding, such as the cutting the cake and signing of the register, but also the group shot containing all of your guests together creates a perfect memory.

Other Styles:

There are other less common styles of photography such as “Contemporary”/“Modern” where the emphasis is on creating high impact and visually appealing images that would not look out of place in a modern art gallery.   “Vintage” where the photographer uses warm tones and soft processing or pronounced scratches to make the images appear like an old 60’s Polaroid.  “Fine Art” is a little more unique and the photographer is looking to perfectly capture the beauty of a fine art image, the images are often described as beautiful, timeless and dream-like.

A Blend of Styles:

Many photographers will provide you with a blend of Reportage and Traditional, so that you can have a collection of relaxed and natural shots, but also have a few of those important traditionally posed pictures too.


As you can see you need to think about what you want to achieve and how you want to look back on your wedding day in the future – what do you want to see in your album?  Research photographers, and take recommendations from other couples or from your venue.  Once you have selected a photographer then meet with them and talk through how you see your day unfolding and how long you want to spend away from your guests being photographed.

Most importantly ensure that you feel comfortable with them, after all they are going to provide you with the long lasting treasure once the fizzy bubbles have faded away!

See my other blogs about wedding photography, “do I need a wedding photographer” and “the benefits of a pre-wedding photo shoot“.

Published by Angela Gibson Wedding Planner

I am a fully qualified wedding planner helping couples to plan their dream wedding.

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