So, you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Toronto. Where do you start? One of the most important steps in finding the perfect wedding photographer is to decide on what wedding photography style you’d like you big day to be captured in. Didn’t know there were different wedding photography styles to choose from? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people that aren’t in the industry aren’t even aware that there are various photography styles, and that’s where we come in. To find a photographer that’ll capture your wedding the way you imagined, you should have a general idea of the different wedding photography styles, so you can let them know exactly what you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that most photographers (like us) can specialize in more than one style, and can even combine photography styles to make your shoot as comprehensive and complete as you’d like. To learn about the different wedding photography styles you have to choose from and to figure out which one(s) would be the most suitable for your big day, keep on reading.
Wedding Photography Styles
Traditional Wedding Photography
While many photographers refrain from referring to themselves as “traditional,” it’s important to note that the ones that do, don’t mean that their style is dated. Photographers who adhere to the traditional methods of wedding photography tend to use a lot of external lighting to create more dramatic images, with a classic look. Portraits of the couple are more conventional and posed, which some prefer — especially parents or grandparents. I think it’s a good idea to include at least one, or a few traditional shots in any wedding shoot, even if it’s just to have all your bases covered.
Modern Wedding Photography
A modern wedding photography style doesn’t refer to just one thing. Rather, it speaks to the photographer’s affinity to keep up with on-trend techniques, and create a diverse set of shots. Modern photography tends to have much cleaner lines than traditional images, and uses special effects very sparingly. For example, it used to be very popular to have faded edges and blurred borders, but a modern photographer would never use such techniques.
Contemporary Wedding Photography
Contemporary in this sense really just means current. In the art world, this can refer to any style or medium that’s fresh and new, at the time. This is how we like to describe our photography, which is a melding of a few different styles, but maintains a consistent contemporary look overall.
Vintage Wedding Photography
Vintage photography is more of a “style” than any of the aforementioned wedding photography styles in this post. When you think about vintage wedding photography, think of a much, much better version of those photos you see on Instagram. Photographers with a vintage flair may shoot on film or use special effects to create a film-esque look to their images. Images are often soft, faded, or grainy in this style, so you’ll be better off choosing someone that describes their work this way if you’re looking for a vintage vibe. I personally try to throw a few vintage shots into the mix when I photograph a couple, as long as it makes sense for the time and place.
Lifestyle simply means pictures that capture your lifestyle. Photographers that claim this style send to combine a few different styles in their work, but usually have very natural images. If that’s what you’re looking for, then a lifestyle photographer would be the perfect option for you. You should also keep in mind that lifestyle tends to encompass photo-journalistic, cinematic, and editorial styles as well.
Photo-Journalistic Wedding Photography
There are two types of photographers in this category:
These photographers are there to capture your big day in the way a true journalist would. They won’t create a scene, try to pose you, or prompt any family members to get in the shot. They’ll be the proverbial “fly on the wall,” and photograph your day exactly the way that it happens — not always the way you want it look like it happened. They’ll create “true” images that’ll tell the story of your wedding day in a compelling way, without getting in the way of the day’s festivities.
What Most People Do
Very few wedding photographers practice true photo-journalism, simply because it’s nearly impossible to get all the shots a couple would want without giving a little direction at some point or another. When most wedding photographers say they have a photo-journalistic style, they mean that the shots they take will look natural, and like no one knows a photographer is present. This is generally how I capture most reception photos, and external lighting is kept fairly minimal.
Cinematic Wedding Photography
A cinematic wedding photographer will make the shots from your big day look like film still. Pictures will be dramatic and have a shallow depth field, meaning the background will be out of focus. This style became popular in the 1970’s, thanks to artists like Cindy Sherman. Many of our best photos and what we aim to deliver to each couple would be described as cinematic.
Fashion Wedding Photography
Fashion-styled wedding pictures are meant to look like they were torn right out of a magazine. These photos are usually dramatic, stylized, and sometimes a bit sexy. While it’s not a style that many couples opt for, it’s definitely fun to shoot and I’m always up for a fashion wedding photography shoot when clients are.
Editorial Wedding Photography
Highly creative and stylized pictures, these images most resemble those found at the back of a magazine, that tell a story. Editorial shoots can be found under the umbrella of fashion photography.
Fine Art Photography
Fine art is usually a term that photographers use to refer to themselves, rather than the images they produce. There are quite a few fine art styles out there that could fall under any of the styles listed above. Fine art photographers will usually describe themselves in a more creative or artistic way than other photographers.