Capturing the love and magic of your wedding day is what every couple wants, and when it comes to wedding photography, there are no do-overs.
This is why choosing the style of photography that …
- Reflects your personality
- Showcases your chosen venues for the day; and
- Highlights the moments you want to remember the most
… is so important.
In this guide, we detail the 10 most common wedding photo styles, making it easy for you to select a photographer that specializes in your chosen style.
What Does Wedding Photography “Style” Mean?
Choosing your “wedding photography style” simply means selecting the type of photos that stand out to you.
At Julian Ribinik Wedding Photography, we do not rely on any one style of photography. Rather, we have our own signature which we have developed over our years of wedding photography experience. Our photos are uniquely tailored to fit our client’s taste, the venue, and style of wedding.
How do you want to remember your wedding day? When all is said and done, your wedding photos are the looking glass that allows you to relive the best moments of your ceremony, reception, and everything in between.
Whether you prefer …
- Traditional poses
- Artistic touches
- Dark and moody; or
- Light and airy
… there is a wedding photo style to match. Before hiring your wedding photographer, it’s important to learn some of the basic principles of each style, so you know what to expect.
We also recommend that you ask potential photographers to provide you with a sample gallery and check out their online reviews before committing.
10 Common Wedding Photo Styles
A traditional or classical wedding photo style, while the most common in the past, is not as attractive to many couples today.
These photos can be timeless, don’t get us wrong, but the formality is less fitting of modern times.
So, what can you expect from traditional wedding photography? Picture images that are deliberate and posed and focus on what some might see as the notable moments of a wedding day, from the walk down the aisle to the cutting of the cake.
However, what traditional photographers tend to miss are the candid moments. Those stolen kisses and glances, or the inside jokes shared among the wedding party — to us, these are the photos that really stand the test of time and tell the story of the day.
Not only that, but traditional wedding photography can also cause an interruption to your day as the photographer “sets the scene” with every wedding event. This can often mean a lot of shuffling people around to get that perfect family portrait type shot — but your wedding day isn’t a movie set, and the photographer doesn’t have to be the director.
Choosing a traditional wedding photo style may work well for couples who want just a few quintessential wedding photos.
#2: Light and Airy
Often referred to as “SoCal style,” light and airy photography just screams for …
- Bright sunlight
- Subdued colors; and
- Blown-out skies
… giving the images a softer, romantic feel. But, this whimsical style involves the right location or a lot of editing.
Couples living in the gray areas of the county, like the East Coast or Washington State, for example, may have a difficult time replicating this style.
Whereas, couples marrying in California often choose this wedding photo style because it’s natural-looking and easy to achieve in that area — hence being referred to as SoCal style.
#3: Fine Art
When considering a fine art wedding photo style, imagine the magazine photos as seen in the top wedding publications.
The style is very fashion-forward, meaning that the photographer will do their best to use the background, lighting, and any other elements to create a visual masterpiece.
Fine art wedding photography is often focused on composition and the subject of the photos, having more of an editorial feel than any other style.
Striking black and white photography along with vibrant, airy images are popular within this style of photography. The fine art style is very well suited to couples who opt for a chic and trendy style — you know, those weddings that embody a certain “je ne sais quoi.”
For couples looking to capture the most candid and natural moments of their day, the photojournalistic wedding photo style (also known as natural, reportage, or documentary) is a perfect match.
Never forced, never contrived, photojournalists blend into the background of the events and shoot the unposed and natural moments that occur throughout the day.
That doesn’t mean that your “moments-focused” photographer won’t set up a few of those must-have wedding poses if you ask them to. But, the idea is to steer clear of the traditional style.
Some photojournalistic photographers don’t veer too far from their style, so be sure to ask if some posed photos will be taken if that’s something you desire.
#5: Dark and Moody
Dark, shadowy, and moody photography is popping up more and more in wedding publications — and for good reason.
The style is not only dramatic in its lines and effects, but it has a certain edginess that many couples are attracted to.
Using natural darkness and lighting — or lack thereof — to invoke certain emotions, dark and moody photography demands attention and generates mystery and intrigue when done properly.
This mystical and romantic style is perfect for New York City wedding venues, where low light, history, and urbanity come to play. New Yorkers are already edgy and moody, and are well-acquainted with dark days and even darker venues.
As you might expect, this particular style is common with NYC wedding photographers.
While many of our photos incorporate elements of this dark and moody style, Julian Ribinik photos incorporate an elegant combination of all styles in order to capture the essence of New York City weddings
Lifestyle wedding photography is basically a marriage between photojournalistic and traditional.
Picture photos that appear candid, but on the other end of the lens is a photographer giving some direction and ultimately setting the scene.
If you love the spontaneity and relaxed look of candid photography, but don’t feel comfortable going into the day without direction, then lifestyle photography could be the perfect fit for your wedding day.
Very similar in style to the fine art style of wedding photography, editorial wedding photos will look like they’re straight out of a magazine shoot.
However, this style is more focused on the subject of the photos, rather than the elements surrounding the subject.
They can be black and white, moody, or even candid (if the perfect moment arises), but mostly they are posed and intended to draw the eye to the people within the photo.
This style is perfect for couples who opt for simple backdrops without a lot of detail, or those who prefer to be the center of attention in their wedding photos.
Landscape wedding photography is intentional. The entire purpose is to highlight the incredible or scenic backdrops of the wedding location or the wedding photography location.
- Sprawling beaches
- Grandiose structures
- Endless sunsets
- Ancient churches or ruins
- And more
Landscape photography is captivating and works very well for couples whose location demands just as much attention as they do.
#9: Black and White
Black and white photography instantly sparks nostalgia in a lot of people. The vintage style is eye-catching and can be used to capture the emotion in a photograph.
While black and white photography is usually a style of editing offered by photographers, there are some photographers who use black and white cameras. Be sure to ask the photographer if you want a mix of both color and black and white.
Almost every photographer will offer some of your wedding photos in this style, but if you have a favorite that you’d like to see in black and white, don’t hesitate to ask!
Lately, drones have become a mainstream addition to many styles of photography. Aerial photography can add a dramatic addition to your wedding day shots, but not all photographers offer this service, so be sure to ask.
Drone wedding photos are perfect for couples who want to capture their exit from the ceremony or shots of an outdoor reception. Aerial photography is quite a bit more difficult to achieve indoors, which means some photographers won’t offer it.
Aerials are also perfect for couples who choose a photoshoot location, such as:
- Open fields
- Old buildings and churches
- And more
Wedding Photo Editing Styles
Editing is a crucial step in perfecting the photos of your wedding day. Every photographer will have a particular style that they lean toward, so it’s important for you to understand a little bit about each of these styles before choosing your photographer.
Here are a few editing styles that your photographer may use:
- Natural and light – these images are clean and the intention of the style is to give an uplifting and airy feel to the photos. This usually requires a lot of light, with natural light being the best option.
- Dark and moody – using dark shades, the effect is cinematic and somewhat dramatic. The right photographer can achieve this look without too much editing, giving the photos a timeless and natural feel while maintaining the mystery and intrigue.
- HDR image editing – this style is great for landscape photography. The high levels of saturation and contrast make this style perfect for adding a pop of vibrant colors within the photograph, like a bridal bouquet, for example.
- Vintage style – this style utilizes warming filters to give the photos a vintage feel, making them appear as though they were taken at sunset, regardless of what time of day it is.
- Matte finish – this editing style places a hazy filter over the images, which can give them a romantic feel. But too much, and the image may appear dull or unclear.
- Desaturation of elements – this style is used to dull out colors, usually of bushes or trees, to lessen the contrast.
At Julian Ribinik Wedding Photography, our editing style is unique and elegant. We edit every single image by hand (without applying templates or presets) in order to capture the magical essence of your wedding day. We incorporate techniques from many editing disciplines – this allows our images to be timeless, classy, and not restricted to fit any one particular style.
Finding Your Wedding Photo Style With Julian Ribinik Weddings
Julian Ribinik is a New York City wedding photographer who specializes in capturing the magic and mood of both the city and the couples who marry here.
We don’t believe in stuffy or posed photography but aren’t entirely candid either.
Our goal, using concepts from all disciplines of photography, is to give our clients wedding photos that perfectly capture the uniqueness of NYC as well as the essence and personality of the couple.
If you’re interested in learning more about our wedding photo styles, give us a call, and we’ll happily discuss your photography desires.