Infographic on Wedding Photography Styles

With the ever-changing trends in wedding photography, the job of a wedding photographer has become more than just about documenting the day. Now a wedding photographer also has to know (and show) the wedding photography style that appeals to clients who ultimately are looking for what they offer. We have seen styles evolve over time and watched photographers and customers take a common style and fine tune it to become truly theirs – ultimately becoming the photographers they are today. From artistic to documentary, this blog post is a compilation of our favorite wedding photography styles. Which one is yours?

Our Favorite Wedding Photography Styles

1. Film

A black and white image of a bride wearing her wedding gown
Image Credit @erinm_photography

Film photography (whether real or simulated) has seen a comeback in recent years and is identifiable by images that show added grain and often a softness in detail. A photographer can stylistically showcase photos that look like film without ever having to pick up a film camera just by editing their images to emulate film. If a photographer’s style “looks like film,” they often are either shooting film or choosing film-like effects for their wedding images based on a certain film type.

Popular film types that photographers use or simulate include Fuji 400H for soft, airy, muted tones or Ilford HP5+400 for contrasty black and white images. Of course, there are tons of film types to choose from, even more so if you are only adding film effects in your post-processing. Film (or editing with presets that make your images look like they are shot on film) photography tends to trend among those who gravitate towards a more artistic photography style and we hope this style stays around for a long time.

2. Artistic

Black and white capture of a bride and groom posing as superheroes while lying on the ground  Image Credit @jorgesantiagophoto

A wedding photographer who has an “artistic style” often is all about capturing ordinary moments with extraordinary perspectives, so this definitely makes our list of favorites for that reason! In this style, the photographer has the artistic freedom to experiment with composition, lighting, and framing and lean into the world of surreal, blending fact with fantasy. Post-processing is a big part of having a notable artistic style as the photographer introduces fine art techniques and creative processes to create images that stay with the viewer.

3. Documentary

Bride and groom walking while facing their backs toward the camera as the groom holds the bridal gown from one end
Image Credit @brandiallysephoto

Documentary-style wedding photography is another of our favorites to see and show! This style shifts focus away from the posed and perfect to capturing the day’s narrative and story as it unfolds. Raw and emotional moments appear throughout the wedding day, and it’s the true documentary-style photographer who can capture these candid moments quietly, creating a beautiful compilation of unfiltered glimpses from the day. A photographer working in this style is said to have a photojournalistic approach because they blend in with the crowd and capture images from the sidelines without ever interacting (or doing so minimally) with the couple. Also, a monochromatic color scheme is often used with this style to enhance the storytelling.

4. Editorial

A bridal gown on display
Image Credit @sierrasolisphotography

A photographer who embraces an editorial photography style may also be found following (and being inspired by) the latest fashion trends. This style describes images with uncluttered and solid backgrounds, clean lines and involves simple, classic posing. Think about Vogue magazine and some of the work showcased there as an example. Having an editorial style may not translate as well for wedding day photography but could be perfect for wedding day details, a bridal portrait or post-wedding styled session.

5. Natural Light

A couple posing outside in the natural light during the golden hour
Image Credit @looyengaphoto

At ShootDotEdit, we love watching our natural light photographers shine! Deciding to showcase a style that embraces “natural light” means the commitment to only photographing using the light that is available – whether the sun or ambient. The resulting images can be light, bright, and airy but also may be enhanced with post-processing techniques to look dark and moody. And seriously – we dig them all! Natural light photographers often find their happy place during the golden hour, which is the ideal time of day for this style of photography, and these are the ones that often wow us.

6. Dramatic

Dramatic photo of a couple posing for an engagement session on the edge of the cliff
Image Credit @hummelphoto

We loooooove the moody, dramatic images that we see from our customers, so this may be our favorite style here at ShootDotEdit. What we love is that this style is defined by the darkness rather than the light, but with enough light to draw you into the image and keep you there. Shadows and often backlight hold court in this style, and all these elements, when blended, form a memorable effect. To achieve the desired result, the photographer may adjust the lighting post-process, but more importantly, knows how to light on-scene with off-camera lighting used for both front and back/sidelight.

Suggested Read: Going Against The Grain In Wedding Photography

Define Your Style

A model posing in a red gown in the outdoors
Image Credit @photography_by_orlando

There are so many different wedding photography styles that a photographer can start from when defining their brand, but the best style is the one that speaks to you. It is possible that your photography style might not fit into any of these categories, and it doesn’t need to! Your style, like film, will develop over time. Just go where your heart and camera take you and your true style will emerge naturally with every new image you capture.

Further Read: How To Take Wedding Photos

At ShootDotEdit, we love bringing you ideas that will help you stand out as a photographer. We also love making editing effortless by taking the “heavy lifting” off your plate. Check out our price plans to learn more about how we can help.

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