If you are going to be enlisting the services of a wedding photographer in the near future, you will need to think about the style you would like for your wedding pictures. Of course, each photographer has his own unique style to some extent, but most favor one or the other of two very different philosophies that are prominent in wedding photography today. It is essential to know the difference between traditional and photojournalistic style wedding photography to ensure that there are no surprises when your wedding album arrives.
There is little difference in the equipment used to produce these contrasting photography styles. The chief difference between the two is in the techniques and approach used as the photographer shoots your wedding pictures.
Traditional style wedding photography focuses primarily on formal portraits. This style is characterized by planned and posed images that demand a great deal of direction and control by the photographer. These are the arranged group shots that are taken at weddings, such as the wedding party portraits or family portraits, and the scripted photos of important moments, like the cutting of the cake, the exchange of the rings or the bouquet toss.
In photojournalistic style wedding photography, the photographer’s goal is to capture a series of spontaneous shots, each a candid, unscripted moment that when combined, will tell the story of the event as it naturally unfolds. Rather than pose subjects, the photojournalist blends into the background, catching that action on camera as it happens with the goal of capturing the emotion and atmosphere of the wedding in intimate and artistic images.
Both styles have advantages and drawbacks. Which of the two is best for your wedding is primarily a matter of your personal taste as well as that of friends and family. Traditional wedding portraits are often most pleasing to mothers and grandmothers of the bride, and some couples prefer the scripted shots of traditional wedding highlights. Other couples want their wedding albums to capture the spontaneous joy and excitement of their wedding guests, uninhibited by planning and posing.
Both, in the hands of a skilled wedding photographer, can produce beautiful and vibrant wedding albums for the newlyweds to enjoy. And, if you aren’t quite sure which style you like best, you can have the best of both worlds. A photographer who is skilled in both forms can shoot those traditional wedding portraits first, then move on out to the crowd to capture the reception action in photojournalistic style.