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Defining Wedding Photography Styles

Selecting the perfect wedding photographer is like finding the missing piece to complete your wedding day puzzle. To embark on this journey with confidence, the first step is to understand your unique style and vision. Whether you envision timeless classics or crave modern artistry, this will guide you in how to define wedding photography styles and set the stage for a beautifully documented wedding day.

Take a glance at the first two images above. Although both are in black and white, they exhibit distinct characteristics. The image on the left exudes a candid feel, capturing authentic moments. Conversely, the one on the right leans towards an editorial or fashion style, showcasing more deliberate poses. While many couples seek a blend of various styles, recognizing the ones that resonate with you is paramount in your quest to discover the perfect photographer for your wedding. The terms below can help you better understand what type of photography you are wanting.

Traditional Wedding Photography

Traditional wedding photography is characterized by classic, posed portraits of the couple and their families. It often includes formal shots, such as group photos and structured poses, capturing key moments throughout the wedding day.

Photojournalistic or Documentary Wedding Photography

This style focuses on candid, unscripted moments, aiming to capture the day’s events as they naturally unfold. Photojournalistic photographers blend into the background, documenting genuine emotions and interactions without intervention.

Artistic or Fine Art Wedding Photography

Artistic wedding photography involves creative and stylized imagery. Photographers use unique compositions, lighting, and post-processing techniques to produce visually stunning and dramatic photos. It often incorporates elements of fashion and editorial photography.

Contemporary or Modern Wedding Photography

Contemporary wedding photography combines elements of traditional and photojournalistic styles with a fresh and updated approach. It typically includes a mix of candid shots and posed images, often with a focus on creative angles and lighting.

Destination or Travel Wedding Photography

Destination wedding photographers specialize in capturing weddings held in exotic or remote locations. They excel at showcasing the couple’s unique surroundings, blending elements of landscape and adventure photography into their work.

Vintage or Retro Wedding Photography

Vintage wedding photography aims to evoke a sense of nostalgia by using editing techniques or equipment that mimic the look of photographs from a bygone era. It often includes soft, muted colors and a timeless, romantic feel.

Natural or Organic Wedding Photography

Natural wedding photography prioritizes authentic moments and genuine emotions. Photographers seek to capture the raw and unfiltered beauty of the day, often with minimal editing to preserve the authenticity of the images.

Fashion or Editorial Wedding Photography

This style infuses elements of high-fashion and editorial photography into wedding coverage. It includes carefully curated and posed shots, often with a focus on fashion-forward and glamorous aesthetics.


Understanding these photography styles will help you define your wedding photography style and articulate your vision to potential photographers. Keep in mind that some photographers may specialize in one style, while others may offer a blend of styles to cater to your unique vision for your wedding day.

For more help, check out 10 questions you should ask any potential wedding photographer before you hire them.

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