Whether photographing weddings or street photography we always demand the highest of standards of ourselves and the simple test we always use is this: Are these images good enough and interesting enough that we’d be happy to place them on display in a public gallery? Last week we went one step further and made that…
***Nine months on we’re loving the camera more than ever!***
For a while now we’ve using our Tuesday posts to explain in a little more detail about all the different styles of wedding photography and what they actually mean. There’s still a couple of categories we haven’t yet covered and we’ll be resuming the series next week, but, the reason we’ve been talking you through these styles is to put you on the right footing; to help you to get a grasp of the sort of photographer that you’re most likely to connect with depending on what you’re really looking for from your wedding photos. Hopefully these posts have been helpful in establishing some guidelines,
But now we’re about to blow those pigeonholes wide open.
I was blown away by the response to last week’s wedding advice post on finding the right style of photographer for you, but after receiving several emails from some of our avid readers this week it’s clear that there was one question on which we probably provided more questions than answers:
What do all these different wedding photography styles actually mean?
It’s a very good question and one that’s actually unbelievably difficult to answer. There are just so many styles and most photographers these days probably to some extent cross over several of them. Photographers do tend to have a primary style they categorise themselves under but at the end of the day we all just want to make our couples happy, and the result of that is that actually we cross over slightly into other styles of photography in order to fulfil our client’s wishes.
I have thought about writing this piece many times since we started Bride Vs Groom but I have always hesitated. The truth is that this has been a subject that has been addressed many times but rarely by photographers themselves. It seemed to me that it felt rather crass to talk about it; it is after all my job to photograph weddings and I didn’t want anyone to think I was writing to merely create interest for my own photography. It was only really after I got married myself that it occurred to me how useful this kind of information really can be to brides and grooms. I’m surrounded by wedding information on a daily basis and to me it was relatively simple who I was going to pick as my wedding photographer (and as it happens it was someone who shoots in a very different style to me!), but what if it isn’t as clear cut?
What if you are going into the subject blind, never having been to a wedding and with no real knowledge about photography? What then do you do?
When we first started Bride Vs Groom I wanted to tell the story of our wedding in the hopes of offering a little inspiration and advice from one Bride to another and share the journey together with other Brides and Grooms. Now that my wedding is over I’m starting to think about things more as a professional wedding photographer and consider, in retrospect, the things that if I hadn’t already experienced I would like to have known in advance.
When you work in the industry it is very easy to find yourself lost in the wedding bubble. You notice things and see different ideas all the time but don’t necessarily realise their significance to Brides and Grooms until you find yourselves standing in their shoes. For example when I talked last week about the First Look I had no idea that this might be a concept people had never heard of. Over the years it’s also become apparent to me that Brides and Grooms clearly aren’t being made aware of the various rules and restrictions that they may find themselves faced with on their wedding day.
WHAT is a First Look?
As a wedding photographer I almost forget that a First Look isn’t a common and immediately understood household term. When you are working in the industry it’s so easy to get caught up in that assumption and just expect everyone else to sleep, breathe and ummm eat weddings! First looks are most definitely still not common in this country and in fact even as a wedding photographer I am personally yet to photograph one as seeing your partner for the first time whilst walking down the aisle is still the traditional thing to do.
Now this post is most definitely not a declaration that every bride and groom in the UK should do a First Look! But I do want to give you the facts so you can make up your own mind… every couple is different and who knows, the first look might just be the perfect solution for you!
“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
― Eudora Welty
I‘m going to let you all into a little secret: a photographer, however incredibly talented they may be, is not actually a magician (as much as they may sometimes seem!) They cannot transport you into a wonderful spot without you physically being there (unless it’s some dodgy photoshop job!), they cannot make you laugh if you are not listening to them and if you don’t go outside on your wedding day you can’t have those stunning portraits in the rain, sun or snow. Now I don’t say this to scare you or make you stress on your wedding day but to give you a small piece of advice… I know it can be scary to let go and truly be in the moment but please, trust me on this you will only get the very best photographs if you do.