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Lifestyle Wedding Photography: What It Is & How To Ace It

With time, wedding photography has evolved, and so have wedding photographers. Wedding photos are no longer about awkward poses or forced smiles. Wedding photographers and couples are increasingly going for documentary-style photography, capturing moments as they unfold in their natural form. When it comes to lifestyle wedding photography, besides documenting a couple in their natural element, the professionals practicing it also strive to include some artistry in those wedding photos. In short, this wedding photography style is a mix of documentary-style photography and fine art photography. If you want to hone your skills or want to incorporate this wedding photography style into your future work, this blog is for you!

What Do Lifestyle Wedding Photographers Focus on

Infographic stating narrate your couple's love story in the most authentic way

The main goal of a lifestyle wedding photographer is to narrate the story of his/her couple and their special day in the most authentic way. However, this doesn’t mean that this photography style doesn’t involve posing. In this style, photographers guide their couples and give them cues to capture their natural responses and create realistic and gorgeous wedding images.

How To Hone Lifestyle Wedding Photography Skills

Your approach to this style will essentially depend on you. You may want to blend other wedding photography styles such as light and airy wedding photography, outdoor photography, or natural light photography to bring out your couple’s personality and their story in the best way possible. Once you’ve found your perfect mix, you can follow the tips below to get your desired results.

1. Establish a Personal Bond With Your Couple

Black and white photo of a bride and groom laughing as they hug each other
Image Credit of ShootDotEdit Customer @christinandchris

If you want to photograph your couple’s special day with a more lifestyle photography approach, then your first step should ideally be to get to know your couple better. How they met, where they met, how they felt, how their bond grew, their proposal story, so on and so forth. If they already have a wedding photography vision, take some time to explore that. Whether you choose questionnaires, in-person meetings, or Zoom calls, try to figure out a way to genuinely discover who your couple is before visualizing how you are going to photograph them.

Related Read: 10 Questions To Include In A Wedding Photography Questionnaire

2. Be Aware of The Wedding Timeline

There could always be last-minute additions to the wedding but having a basic structure and flow of your couple’s wedding could help you create your own wedding photography timeline and plan your shot list. As a lifestyle photographer, knowing what activities are going to take place at your couple’s wedding could also help you prepare your cues and prompts to get the portraits you want.

3. Chase Light or Create It

A bride and groom hugging each other at a beach
Image Credit of ShootDotEdit Customer @kpcandcophoto

At the venue, look for well-lit spots and use them for the photos. Even though this type of wedding photography includes taking pictures of your couple in their natural state, it doesn’t mean you can’t use artificial lighting to enhance them when needed. So when you do find yourself in a spot where there’s low light or no natural sources of light available, put your artificial lighting skills to test and use them to create light.

4. Be Cautious With Your Posing Cues

Knowing when to give cues to your couple and when to let them be themselves could be a crucial lesson for lifestyle wedding photographers. During the wedding, there could be situations when your bride or groom are naturally emotional, but your prompts might ruin the moment for them. For example, the groom’s reaction during the first look or when he’s watching his bride walking down the aisle towards him. There are some moments at every wedding that are best left to their natural form, so focus on capturing them that way.

A bride and groom walking while holding hands
Image Credit of ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

If you are just starting in the wedding photography industry and want more tips to identify your style or pick one that resonates with you, you could take a look at our favorite styles. You can also check out our other blogs for more tips and ideas to grow your wedding photography business.

Further Read: A Styled Shoot Guideline For Photographers

At ShootDotEdit, we also offer professional photo editing services that can help lessen your post-production workflow. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, take a look at our pricing plans.


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