There is a lot of confusion about photography
styles in weddings among the non professional (and sometimes also
among the professional) photographers.
Years ago there was only one style, if we can call it so: the classic wedding style.
Photographers went through the wedding day capturing only pre planned images with large and slow medium format
At that time the photography assistant was simply there to carry
the heavy photography bag and to load the magazines with film, while the photographer was shooting.
He or she was not shooting at all (today the assistant will aid the photographer by
shooting as well).
The photographer shot something between 5 and 10 rolls of film,
which meant between 50 and 100 images at the very most. Clients could choose
from the contact sheets and they were usually charged for each individual print. Just before the advent of digital photography, a
handful of brave photographers came up with a different wedding approach: the photojournalistic style wedding photography.
This style has different names: wedding reportage photography, real life reportage, real life photography, candid wedding photography
All of these photography styles can have very subtle differences,
but they mostly mean the same thing: a photography approach that is not formal and that tends to capture the
atmosphere and joy of the moment. These styles do not require
medium format cameras, because by
definition they are not keen on crystal clear quality images and actually at times the photographer might
intentionally use some blur or out of focus to produce a particular atmosphere.
This style picked up very fast as it offered a totally different
approach to wedding photography. People started to want this style and it has now become the predominant wedding
photography style by far, as it captures the essence of the day and of every moment.
Nowadays with the advent of digital photography
things have changed a lot. Most wedding
photographers (and I mean 99.9%) use 35mm digital cameras that
produce high quality images without the added weight and impracticality of medium format cameras.
The traditional wedding photography style has disappeared
altogether. Now what is called “traditional” is very different from the real traditional style of 50 years ago.
Today a traditional wedding photographers will take a lot more posed images than on the go, but he or she will
still shoot a large number of images as it is now unthinkable to only shoot 100 pictures.
Another style seems to be out there quite a lot, but in my opinion
it’s just one more term with very subtle differences from the other styles: contemporary wedding photography. The contemporary one is among the photography styles that changes the most, because by
definition it is “contemporary” so it can’t stay the same for too long.
Therefore it is hard for me to explain exactly what this style is
I advise you to look around for information about this and as you
will read about photography styles, you will find many different definitions for contemporary photography.
I have personally met some wedding photographers that advertised themselves as
“contemporary photographers” only because it sounded fashionable, but they didn’t really know what it actually
meant. Some people associate it with glossy magazines, but in my opinion that adds even more confusion to a
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