One of the first questions I ask a potential client is this: What kind of photos do you want? It always causes the couple to pause, look at me indecisively, and then throw out a few words they've heard tossed around on the wedding blogs like "fun," "candid," or airy. Every once in a while, I meet a couple who has put together dozens if not hundreds of images of weddings that they love.
It's no surprise that couples aren't really sure what they want in a photographer. Not only might this be one of the few times they hire a professional photographer, but also people don't know the vocabulary necessary to communicate what they really like. Let's start with style, as it is in some ways the easiest to define.
Wedding photography mostly falls into a few categories:
- Traditional: This approach focuses on beautiful posed portraits, and it was the primary kind of wedding photography before the digital age. Most traditionally styled photographers are looking for great portraits first, and the candid images are less of a focus. Great wall prints are a typical deliverable.
- Photojournalistic or documentary: This approach treats the wedding as a story to be covered, focusing on candid moments as they occur during the day. Photographers in this style tend to look for storylines of the day, reinforcing them in multiple images, and usually showcasing a collection of images that tell the story in your album.
- Contemporary: Inspired by fashion editorials on the pages of glossy magazines, the contemporary (or editorial or fashion) style generally relies heavy on the artistic vision of the photographer to produce visually interesting images. The poses and settings are often quite unusual to mimic the look of a fashion shoot. Many who photograph in this style also spend a fair amount of time arranging and photographing the details of the day.
Very few working wedding photographers today are only one of these things. Rather, they take their cues from a variety of places and blend it together to create their own, personal style. But as you think about your wedding, an understanding of different photographic approaches will help you to make a better choice when hiring your wedding photographer. If portraits are very important, you might lean toward a photographer with a more traditional style and should expect to spend a larger part of the day doing these portraits. Conversely, a photojournalist might spend less than an hour of the day doing portraits, instead concentrating on what's happening organically among the couple, their wedding party, and their family and friends. A contemporary or lifestyle photographer will spend more time constructing a vision of your day, meticulously arranging your details and portraits to suit a more editorial vision.
Steve Daubs Studios is firmly in the documentary or photojournalistic camp, as Steve started his career in journalism and has spent many years as a documentary photographer across the United States and abroad. But we see storytelling photography as something which blends traditional portraiture, documentation of details, and true candid moments, so we photograph what we see in the approach which suits the story best. We love the story aspect of your day and make sure our images reflect your style and approach to the wedding. To book your South Florida wedding, just give us a call at 561-445-5483 and we'd be happy to meet with you! Or fill out our contact form and we'll respond quickly.