Wedding Photography Styles

Wedding Photography Styles

What are the most demanded and highly paid wedding photography styles? Is it better to stick to one photography style or combine several styles of wedding photos? Choose among classical, artistic, themed, lifestyle, naked, fashion, portrait, photojournalistic, drone, etc. wedding photography styles that can make any wedding photoshoot memorable and wonderful.

Basic Wedding Photography Styles

A successful wedding photoshoot is always a detailed and long preparation. The first thing you should do is to discuss with your potential clients what photography style to follow. Don’t know what wedding photography styles to offer, read about 10 basic styles, my wedding photography tips, and choose the one/ones you like the most.

1. Traditional/Classical Wedding Photography

traditional wedding photography

Photographer: Amy Bluestar
  • Classic, beautiful group and couple pictures
  • The photographer focuses only on the main moments of the wedding
    • Narrow-focused style, the finished pictures are alike
    • The shooting is carried out according to the planned scenario
    • Too many posed photos
    • Without individual approach

Traditional wedding photography belongs to the oldest wedding photography styles. Actually, it appeared in the time when all the photos were taken with a film camera. There is a certain set of classical wedding photography poses that all photographers of the old school used everywhere. Similar to some other photography styles wedding, the shooter poses the models beautifully in the frame and takes a picture. Putting on rings, the first kiss, signing papers, and group family photos will surely be in your photo album if you choose the traditional wedding photography style. Download free wedding photography checklist templates to use while traditional wedding photoshoot.

2. Fine Art / Artistic / Illustrative Wedding Photography

fine art wedding photography

Photographer: Lukas Piatek
  • Unique photographs
  • Magnificent backgrounds and creative photography props
  • Aesthetic character of the frame
  • Professional photo retouching and photo manipulation
  • Soft natural light (photos are not overexposed, not too contrast, but, on the contrary, very soft, with gentle pastel shades)
  • Minimalism (there is nothing extra in the frame)
  • Attention to the details (everything is important here: from the rings to the ribbons on the bride's bouquet), great posing work
    • Big photography experience
    • Expensive gear
    • Being a pro in Photoshop
    • Artistic skills

Artistic wedding photography style is a mixture of different styles. It typically includes creative framing, natural lighting, composition, and difficult photo manipulation techniques. Photographers who do fine art wedding photography always take unique photos. Photographers who choose this style for wedding and pre wedding photoshoot have a certain vision of light and color, which allows them to create artistic atmospheric pictures. And the result is worth it: the photos turn out to be incredibly sensate, gentle and very beautiful. The founder of the Fine art style is Jose Villa. He was the first to introduce this term and applied it to his marriage couple photo style, which has become really popular.

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3. Photojournalistic Wedding Photography

photojournalistic wedding photography

Photographer: Melia Lucida
  • Unique moments, many lifestyle photos
  • Tells the story of a wedding day, not the made-up poses
    • Everything is unpredictable
    • You need an expensive telephoto lens
    • You can’t ask to take a photo again
    • You should be “invisible”

This style holds its position stably among the rest of the wedding photography styles. In fact, even beginner photographers choose it. Photojournalism is often mixed with traditional wedding photography, and it resembles reportage or a documentary shoot in which the photographer takes a more informal approach, telling the story of the day. Similar to other wedding photography styles, this one is characterized by the special creative approach and the advanced skills of quick focusing, camera settings, cropping, and shooting when there are lots of important moments around a photographer. Instead of simply taking the photos, the photographer follows a couple and their guests throughout the wedding day, capturing events when they are happening or, on the contrary, give signs of admiration to tell the story of the Big Day. Also, the photographer must be able to disappear in the background and become "invisible" for the crowd in order to create the candid wedding photography. Since the photojournalist does not give instructions, he/she will need a sharp look and readiness to "do whatever it takes to get a picture." As a result, you will get sincere and natural moments that evoke lots of emotions. To make your wedding photos look more charming and glorious, use these Lightroom presets to make professional photo color correction in several clicks.


4. Lifestyle Wedding Photography

lifestyle wedding photography

Photographer: Zephyr and Tide
  • Photos look realistic and natural
  • Sincere emotions
    • You should be “invisible”
    • You need an expensive telephoto lens
    • There is no second chance to take a photo

This wedding photography style is about taking photos that are not posed. Lifestyle photography is familiar to photojournalism. It’s candid, but still with some direction and styling. A professional lifestyle photographer will look for moments but also set the scene. You just photograph your couple and their guest making their thing, laughing, smiling, talking, dancing, singing, etc. Natural light and nature-filled compositions are the backbones to lifestyle wedding photography style. It’s very important to have professional wedding photography gear, a lens that can provide high quality photos without noise. Check out the best Nikon lenses for weddings and choose the best telephoto lens for your lifestyle photos.

5. Fashion Wedding Photography

fashion wedding photography

Photographer: Lilly Red
  • The image is elaborately designed
  • Fashionable photos
  • Dramatic
    • The attention is on the clothes/jewelry/wedding stuff, not on the person
    • Difficult high-end photo retouching
    • Experience photography gear for high resolution photos for printing and ads

Fashion wedding photography is a genre that focuses on displaying clothes and other fashion items for commercial purposes. This photography style is popular in large metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles among the best wedding photographers who work in fashion photography industry for a long time. Commercial photographers succeed in creating bright but simple images that are dramatic and sell wedding clothes.

6. Portrait Wedding Photography

portrait wedding photography

Photographer: Greg Petersen
  • Gorgeous photos
  • Close-up portraits
  • Creative cropping
    • Narrow-focused style
    • Posed photos

Wedding portraits certainly enable you to create some of the most beautiful images. However, this style fully means the posing. The photographer will correctly arrange the newlyweds, guests or family, who are usually directed and posing in the camera. As a rule, it is not treated as a separate style. Many shooters combine several wedding photography styles such as Fine art and Portraiture with its dramatic lighting, unique angles, and creative photo retouching.

7. Aerial/Drone Wedding Photography

Aerial wedding photography

Photographer: Dani Purington
  • High demand, comparing to other wedding photography styles
  • Capture the beautiful landscapes
  • Interesting and vivid images
    • Need an interesting destination
    • The style is difficult to do
    • Need expensive drones
    • Skills of controlling drones and a license

Aerial or drone wedding photography is the most popular but too expensive wedding photography style. Such shots are great for showing weddings venues and couples in a remote area against beautiful landscapes. The composition of the image is not so important since the pictures from a bird's eye view in a combination with the excellent scenery make the images very interesting and rich. The only thing you need is a magnificent landscape.

8. Black and White Wedding Photography

black and white wedding photography

Photographer: Roy Nuesca
  • Suitable for beginners who can’t work well with lighting
  • Dramatic and romantic photos
    • Low demand
    • Can’t exist separately, you should take wedding photos of other styles

Black and white wedding photography is a good way to create classic and timeless images. Many shooters prefer color images, while others appreciate greatly how lack of colors can improve a photograph. Monochrome images may not be attractive to some people, but in fact, photographers who work in this style can create more attractive results, as they make the subject and the composition shine. Due to this, B&W photography is one of the most beautiful wedding photography styles. This is a great technique that all photographers encourage to practice, but many shooters often use it to “save” images taken in mixed and difficult lighting conditions.


9. Themed Wedding Photography

themed wedding photography

  • Unique and funny wedding photos
  • Help to merge into the atmosphere of the movie/TV show/book/time
    • Very few people order this kind of wedding photoshoot
    • You should study the theme of the wedding photoshoot in detail
    • Much time to spend on the preparation
    • Professional photo manipulation

Themed wedding photography style is the photoshoot in the style of Game of Thrones, Garry Potter, Vintage, Indian wedding photography, Rustic, Beach, Star Wars, etc. This is the most rarely ordered kind of shooting because few couples agree to refuse to have classical wedding portraits. The photographer don’t simply capture the day, he/she completely put his/her heart into knowing the couples to offer them more then just a "service". You plan all poses, buy necessary wedding photography props, do professional and stylized color correction, and apply creative photo manipulations to make photos as close to the theme of the wedding as possible.

10. Boudoir/Naked Wedding Photography

boudoir wedding photography

  • Sincere and sensual bridal photos
    • Difficult to establish contact with a model
    • Fine line between vulgarity and tenderness
    • Skills in deep skin retouching and body reshaping

Boudoir wedding photography style is mostly chosen by brides who want to surprise their partners with an intimate photo album. Boudoir wedding images range from intimate and flirtatious to straight-up sexy, depending on the comfort level and preferences of your clients. The main thing here is not to overdo to become a dirty wedding photographer.

How to Choose a Wedding Photography Style?

The question seems sometimes a little bit confusing even for professional photographers. In general, the popular types of photography can be characterized, using such concepts as:

  • The prevailing photography genre
  • Shooting techniques
  • Photo retouching/manipulation techniques

The combination of these notions forms your photographic style. The present-day photographers use not only classical styles, but also more non-standard, such as glamor, retro, fine art, journalism, and many others. The formation of a photo is influenced by the variety of different factors:

  • The traditions of various social groups
  • New ideas, emerging as a result of human activities (drone wedding photos) etc.

What Does the Wedding Photo Style Consist of?

The style is a combination of certain "parameters" that are peculiar to the photographer.

1. The Prevailing Photography Genre

wedding photography style

Usually, photographers become famous for their photos of a certain genre. Well-known shooters, who specialize in such styles as journalism, retro, glamor, traditional, portraits and much more, create fantastic wedding pictures and photo collages. Define the genre you enjoy working in, look through the finished works and choose those that look gorgeous.

2. Shooting Techniques

wedding photography style

The technique is chosen separately for different types of photography shots. It depends on photography lighting preferences (natural or artificial, chosen lighting schemes or time of a day/night for). Characteristics of exposure settings, for example, some photographers shoot landscapes on long exposures, other shooters take portraits on open diaphragms, and there are professionals, who capture water splashes on super-short exposures etc. The shooting mode – manual, priority shutter speed, the priority of the aperture. If you use any special complicated techniques (HDR photography, time-lapse, multi-positioning, drone photography).

3. Wedding Photo Retouching

wedding photography style

This is how the final image looks, starting from the color correction (warm, pastel, warm or cold color scale), tones, contrast, shadows and lights ration in the photo and finishing with some special effects (if they are appropriate). Actually, it is the photo post production, which distinguishes the author’s style and combines the images of one shooter. Anyway, everyone has his/her own taste and perception of how photos should look – bright and juicy, or dramatic and film, or black and white.

Famous Wedding Photographers’ Styles

Look at the works of famous photographers, check their Instagram or portfolios. There you can find interesting wedding photography ideas, which, perhaps, will influence your style. Besides, the best types of wedding photography styles will help define your own.

Melissa Jill – Lifestyle + Photojournalistic + Artistic

Website: web site
Instagram: instagam

Melissa Jill wedding photography styles

Melissa Jill creates an excellent sample of the lifestyle, photojournalistic, and artistic wedding photography styles. The pictures look realistic and natural. Her works are distinct because of the accurate work with light and photo retouching.

Eugene Michel - Black and White + Traditional + Artistic

Website: web site
Instagram: instagam

Eugene Michel wedding photography styles

eugene michel wedding photography styles

Eugene Michel wedding photography styles

Eugene Michel is a wedding photographer, who resides in East Washington. The main emphasis in his wedding photographs is made on the creation of a vivid example of fine art and classical styles. Besides, you may notice the combination of these wedding photography styles in some pictures. Work with emotions is the main component of almost all of his wedding images. He tries to show the moments, which are full of naturalness.

Jose Villa – Traditional + Fine Art + Portrait

Website: web site
Instagram: instagam

Jose Villa wedding photography styles

Jose Villa wedding photography styles

Jose Villa wedding photography styles

Jose Villa is the founder of the Fine art style, which at the moment has become one of the most popular style among others styles of photography wedding. Almost every photographer uses it. The main aim of fine art is to create bright, vigorous, expressive images that are as unique as the people in the photographs. Most often, pictures are taken in the film effect and that’s why, have bright and juicy colors. The photos are incredibly tender and delicate.

Joshua Dwain – Fashion + Artistic + Lifestyle

Website: web site
Instagram: instagam

Joshua Dwain photography styles

Joshua Dwain wedding photography styles

Joshua Dwain wedding photography styles

In these photos, you can see a vivid example of a mixture of different wedding photography styles, mainly Fashion and Art Fine. Saturated, refined, bright and at the same time soft colors. The posed photos will immediately catch your attention – you won’t see anything extra, all the elements are properly organized and match each other perfectly. As a result, the picture looks gorgeous and stylish.

Marcus Bell – Lifestyle + Photojournalistic + Artistic

Website: web site
Instagram: instagam

Marcus Bell wedding photography styles

Marcus Bell wedding photography styles

Marcus Bell wedding photography styles

Marcus Bell is one of Australia's highly valued wedding and engagement photographers. The uniqueness of his marriage couple photo style is that he often uses artificial light, which he says "helps emphasize somebody’s peculiarity." An expressive combination of such wedding photography styles as Fine Art, Photojournalistic, and Lifestyle.



Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.




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