The approaches of wedding photography

There are two primary approaches to wedding photography that are recognized today: Traditional and Photojournalistic. Traditional wedding photos provide for more classically posed images and a great deal of photographer control and interaction on the day of the wedding. Photojournalistic wedding photography takes its cue from editorial reporting styles and focuses more on candid and unposed images with little photographer interaction. These are two extremes and many of today’s photographers will fall somewhere in the middle of these two styles.

A third style that is becoming more popular is a fashion-based approach. In contemporary/fashion-based wedding photography, photojournalistic images of the events of the day are combined with posed images that are inspired by editorial fashion photography as would be found in magazines like Vogue or Vanity Fair. This style often involves more innovative and dramatic post-processing of images.

A fourth style that is popular in Asian countries, especially in China, is wedding studio photography (Chinese: 婚纱摄影; pinyin: hūn shā shè yǐng). Typically, couples will select a studio in a similar manner as western couples select a wedding photographer They will then make an appointment with the studio for either in-studio or location shoot, which is becoming popular in recent years, to do «glamour wedding shots». In attendance will be a hair stylist and make-up artist in addition to the photographer and the couple. The couple will go through many changes of clothing and backgrounds in a similar manner to the fashion based approach.

The term contemporary wedding photography is used to describe wedding photography that is not of a traditional nature. The emphasis in contemporary photography is to capture the story and atmosphere from the day, so the viewer has an appreciation of what the wedding was like, rather than a series of pre-determined poses. This term can be mistaken for meaning any photograph that is not posed or formal. The advent and advancement of digital cameras (and increased use of the internet) means that many people can offer their services as a wedding photographer, but contemporary wedding photography is more than taking informal photographs and involves the use of composition, lighting, and timing to capture photographs that have a strong visual appeal.

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