There are a lot of jargon-y wedding photography words out there. Lifestyle. Artistic. Fine Art. Light & Airy. Dark & Moody. Vintage Disco Dinosaur. Okay, I may have made up that last one.
But the point is, nobody expects you to be a professional wedding photographer. In fact, your wedding may be the first time you've ever even considered hiring a photographer at all. So why do all these terms have to be so confusing? Well, I'm a visual learner myself, so I brought together some awesome photographers, all with very different styles, to shoot the same couple with me so that you can get a straightforward look at how different approaches and styles lead to different results. Christian Rivera of Amber Exposure came along to capture the whole thing on video, and despite my intense desire to stay behind (and never in front of) the camera, I'm excited to share with you the awesome results!
Check out the video below and keep scrolling for more insight into wedding photography style terms and what they all mean.
It was so cool to get to work with such a fun creative team on this project! Here is a little more about these photographers and what their styles are...
I hear the phrase "Dark and Moody" used a lot in photography, but that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. When you hear this term, people are most often talking about a certain look with muted colors and a grainy texture like that of vintage film. This style has a matte effect where whites are dimmer and sometimes appear beige or gray. Moody can sometimes refer to a more serious posing style, but tends to apply more generally to a deep, soulful vibe. Liz's style reflects more of the latter and incorporates more natural posing.
"Light and Airy" sounds like the polar opposite of "dark and moody", and in some senses it is. This style tends to have brighter whites and a lighter overall exposure, which will show up more as an editing choice than it will in the photographer's photo-taking approach. What stands out about Noelle's work in particular is her use of unique poses, unexpected angles, and creative lighting. That is the true mark of a Fine Art photographer, as their goal is to both capture the moment and create a resulting final image that feels gallery-worthy.
Dramatic portraiture is a unique mix of carefully crafted poses and precise lighting. In the video, you'll see JD Renes of Reverie Photographic using reflectors and light stands to control his lighting conditions for a particular effect. JD also has a strong background in Editorial/Fashion photography, which shows in his wedding work. The use of high-fashion, edgy, serious, or artistic poses for storytelling effect is a hallmark of this style.
So this one is me! The first part of my style is pretty easy to understand: Colorful! Unlike film or "dark and moody" styles, which tend to have more muted or subtle colors, a colorful style emphasizes bright, bold shades. Colorful photography is shown both in a vibrant, saturated editing style and in a photography approach that seeks out bold-colored backgrounds and warm light. Being a Lifestyle photographer means I give my clients some direction and styling, but with a relaxed and casual approach. Lifestyle photos should be genuine and have an unposed feel.
A few other style terms to keep in mind:
Photojournalism/Documentary: Candid, fly-on-the-wall photography with little to no posing or styling. This style seeks to tell a honest, no-frills story much like a news piece would.
Traditional/Classic: Somewhat formal, mostly posed photography. Portraits are shot with subjects facing forward, and are sharp and either true-to-color or black and white.