You have chosen your date, you have reserved your place and you have started buying dresses. Now you are looking for a wedding photographer. There are many styles of wedding photography, and while people in the industry may know these styles backwards, they are confusing for couples. Also remember that you are not only choosing a style of photography, but different types of wedding photography can make different demands on your time on your wedding day.

Choosing the style of photography you want at your wedding comes down to three things. What style of images do you want, how much time do you want to spend with a photographer on your wedding day, and most importantly, your own personality and comfort in front of the camera.

There are many different photography buzzwords out there. Vintage, editorial, artistic or contemporary are just a few. Perhaps more confusingly they are used by different photographers in different ways. Ultimately, it's up to couples to ask a lot of questions and do a lot of research before choosing a photographer, and trust to see a full set of completed wedding photos. Don't trust the best five or six shots of various weddings to choose from.

Wedding photography styles are a compromise between producing fantastic work and keeping a schedule. A photographer can produce brilliant photos, but if it takes too long to produce, you probably won't enjoy the experience.

Traditional (or posed) wedding photography

Many people think of traditional wedding photography as endless group photos where everyone is stiff as a board. Worse yet, the different collections of people seem to go on forever. I think there is a fad in traditional wedding photography, but the actual framework remains the same for most wedding photographers. The photographs may be more elegant, but the actual experience of the day for the bride and groom is very similar.

There is always a tradeoff between the type of work a photographer does and the time it takes to shoot it. The more formal photographs taken will take longer to configure and achieve. Any photographer producing posed artwork will take a certain amount of time to produce their best work. It is important that you find out how much time it will take and determine how it will fit into your day. There are photographers who spend a couple of hours in formal shots. Make sure you're happy to spend that amount of time on your wedding day. If you are not so comfortable in front of the camera, this type of photography may be more difficult. A good photographer should be able to help and reassure you, but for many people it may still seem a little daunting.

Report Wedding photography (wedding photojournalism)

If traditional is about posed photographs, then reportage wedding photography is just the opposite. It's based on capturing moments as they happen, and it's more like a fly on the wall documentary. This form of wedding photography means that the photographer spends most of his time in the background, which is why he has become increasingly popular with couples. Weddings are also less and less formal than they used to be. Documentary wedding photography demands a different skill set than traditional wedding photography, so you need to make sure your photographer has the right photographic background and can show you complete weddings to back this up. Wedding photojournalism is more about a complete set of all-day images than a set of a dozen highlights. There are photographers out there who will jump on the last car to win business, but still wear the same old style. Wedding photojournalism is about anticipation and being in the right place at the right time. It's not about directing people closely, which is why it puts many traditional wedding photographers out of their skill set. There are some less ethical photographers who will use the latest buzzwords to enhance their search engine presence, but still take the same tired old photos.

If you are reluctant to have your picture taken, wedding photojournalism is probably your best option. Photography happens without you really realizing it and you will look your best.

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There is always a tradeoff between the type of work a photographer does and the time it takes to shoot it. The more formal photographs taken will take longer to configure and achieve.