Wedding Photography Trends in America

Wedding photography in every market is constantly in a state of flux and change. Both people and society evolve constantly, causing evolution in every part of our daily lives.

Weddings have become highly personalized affairs with couples competing to set their even apart from the ones that have come before.

Marriage photography in general must evolve to stay relevant and in line with the other elements in these unusual weddings. Presented here is a look at the latest trends in certain key markets around the country.

The main trend in California marriage photography is photojournalism. Photojournalistic wedding photography allows the marriage day to unfold naturally. Rather than playing an active role in posing shots, the photographer captures events as they happen.

This style of photography results in more candid and natural looking photographs. The major drawback to this style is that an inexperienced photojournalist may miss certain shots or fail to capture the shots well in the ambient light.

If you choose to go with the photojournalistic one, be certain that your photographer is experienced in this style.

The typical Seattle marriage photographer will blend the new trend of photojournalism with a more timeless traditional style. The Seattle trend seems to be creating a marriage album that highlights the best of all worlds, thus offering the most complete account of your special day.

Florida wedding photography has begun to move in the direction of candid photography, which is very similar to the photojournalistic one. The main difference between the candid and photojournalistic styles is that in photojournalism, the shots combine to create a dramatic storyline. Candid photography is more laid back in style, reflecting the general feel of a Florida marriage.

The trend in Toronto marriage photography appears to be “creative candid” photography. This style is a sort of offshoot of both the laid back candid photography popular in Florida and the dramatic photojournalism of the California market.

Rather than simply sitting passively and letting the events unfold, the creative candid photographer works to set up good candid shots, but without the posing required by the timeless style.

No matter which market we talk about, one common thread binds them all. People are trying to get away from pictures that look posed. Couples want their shots to look as natural and as candid as possible.

Natural compositions in photos lend overall warmth to the marriage album, something that was lacking in wedding photography in earlier days.

The style of wedding photography that you choose should match the style of your special day. A traditional ceremony is best documented through traditional photography.

A relaxed destination ceremony calls for equally relaxed candid photography, while a creative themed marriage would be best matched by a dramatic photojournalistic approach.

Despite local trends, wedding photography in most markets have a number of photographers from which to choose, all of whom offer their own personalized approach.

Shop around carefully to find the photographer whose personal style best matches yours, then work together to design the perfect wedding photography package.

The Different Styles of Wedding Photography Available to the Couple Today

Typically, your wedding day is one of the most important milestones in your life. You spend a fortune on flowers, stationery, dresses, a makeup artist, hotels and so much more. Your personality and style goes into those details. Whoever you are and what ever you like there is a wedding photographer out there for you.

Photographers come in many different personalities, sizes and styles. Some shoot in only one specific style and there are photographers who shoot in a variety of different styles. Then we have the real innovators who create their own style.

The most popular styles of wedding photography in today’s market are as follows:

– Photojournalistic

– Traditional

– Illustrative

Lets take a look at each of these…

Photojournalistic

Wedding photojournalism is said to appeal to the bride and groom that require a series of unique photographs designed to “tell a story” or narrate their wedding day. Wedding photojournalism has become a very popular style of wedding photography and is the art of capturing moments unobtrusively. Normally you barely know that the photographer is there. Normally the photographer covers the wedding with a large telephoto lens (although not always) and tries not to get in the way of the story as it unfolds.

Wedding photojournalist’s respond to events as they unfold, they do not manipulate or create events. The resulting images therefore can be unpredictable (as is life unpredictable), some consider this unpredictability as a drawback with this particular style. Personally I feel its not a drawback it’s the beautiful aspect of this style, it really is a record of your day. The goal of Wedding Photojournalism is to tell the unique story of your wedding day. Wedding Photojournalism captures moments rather than poses, documenting the emotions and energy around the entire occasion. The images convey genuine emotion and capture the story of your day as it unfolds naturally.

Best in the world: Well for me its Jeff Ascough but many photographers will say Dennis Reggie. Dennis is the father of this style.

Traditional

Traditional wedding photography is a photographic style that is a series of contrived posed or ‘set up’ photographs, usually of the wedding party and the couples’ families. Traditional wedding photographers tend to follow a ‘shot list’. Lighting and backgrounds are tightly controlled by the photographer resulting in well exposed images. The disadvantages of Traditional wedding photography could be issues like, the amount of time the Bride and Groom spend getting their photograph taken. Images can look visually pleasing but stiff due to their static and contrived nature and predictable.

The upside of traditional photography is that you end up a set of professional photographs of your family and loved ones.

Although Traditional wedding photography still has it’s place in the modern photography world it is being pushed aside by more illustrative and photojournalist styles of shooting. You see more traditional photographers that are older and have been in the industry a long time and have not changed their ways or you will see it in the lower end beginners as it is any easy style of shooting that does not take much creative input. But be aware it still takes skill so don’t be thinking anyone can do it well.

You probably don’t want to rely too heavily on formal portraiture, however, or you will miss out on a lot of the energy, passion, and raw emotion surrounding your wedding. Most couples want to make sure to include some candid, photojournalistic photography in their wedding albums alongside the formal shots.

Best in the world: Well for me its Monte Zucker.

Illustrative

Wedding Photographers who shoot weddings in the Illustrative style, think in terms of design elements by placing their subjects in settings of interesting composition and backgrounds. This photography is usually a creative person who loves design and elements of color and texture. The photographer provides direction to their subject but they are also encouraged to interact. This results in a more spontaneous feel. Illustrative wedding photography is said to bring out the photographer’s ‘artistic’ creative and compositional skills rather than simply capturing a series of moments.

Its influenced by fashion, editorial and lifestyle photography.

Illustrative Wedding Photography is the newest style to break into the wedding scene. Its a modern and fun way to photograph a wedding resulting in artistic and edgy wedding images. Photographers who shoot in this style are skilled both artistically and technically.

If I was to pigeon-hole myself into one particular style it would be the category of photography best suited to me.

Best in the world: For me its, Australian photographer Yervant his website simply says “Fashion meets Wedding”.

OR

San Francisco based photographer Bambi Cantrell.

The History of Reportage Wedding Photography

Reportage Wedding Photography is still thought by many to be a recent trend in photography. In fact it has a long heritage and was often called candid photography in the context of a wedding. Seen by extreme traditionalists (a rare breed now) as a new fad, it was felt to threaten the supremacy of the medium format camera with its staged shots and posed set ups.

In the old style, photographers always had a big camera set up on a tripod and even a hood over the head of the photographer. This Very formal and very posed art of portraiture was born, like so many of today’s cultural norms, of technological limitations. Way back when, photographic technology required long exposure times, long winded plate or film changes and “keep still” poses. Fast 35 mm film basically solved this problem, again with certain limitations. Lighter cameras holding rolls meant that photojournalistic techniques could be applied to wedding photography.

The game changer was that wedding photography needed no longer to be posed. Wedding Photography could now become Reportage Photography. Precious moments, unrepeatable in a pose are only possible with the participants being unaware that a camera is in use. Fast film offered this to a degree, although the fastest film was ISO 1600 or 3200 and were very grainy. In fact the grain produced by fast film (which enabled action freezing photojournalism in low-ish light) became a signature “look” found in Time magazine and other iconic journals.

Naturally, wedding photography started to borrow this look and start demanding the grainy black and white look. The grain is of course a form of visual artefact – a distortion of the truth in reality. Today’s technology now takes this several steps further with the equivalent of ISO 102,000 available on some machines. A shot at ISO 6400 is now considered routine – affording incredible reportage wedding photography options to the photographer – with no grain in sight.

At times the modern, digital photographer is asked to add a simulation of celluloid film grain to otherwise pristine photograph. Although it can look great, it is an intriguing fact of aesthetics that a photograph can seem more timeless and real with artefacts added to it.

Part of the maturation of reportage wedding photography has to be the evolution of the Wedding Album. Rather than present the married couple with a simple book with best pictures placed in order of preference, the wedding photographer’s task now includes the design and layout of a book that well tell the story of the wedding. Photographs are placed in a digitally printed book, in chronological order. Each photo relates to each other photo as part of a linear story, bringing vividly back the memories of the big day.