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Traditional vs. Photojournalistic Wedding Photography

old wedding photo
The profession of wedding photography has evolved over the years from a simple one or two shot posed portrait (photo by Erica_Marshall) into what it is today, where the bride has almost endless options of how, who and what she wants photographed on her wedding day and the line is being blurred between "traditional" type wedding photography and a more photo journalistic approach to the wedding day. Here are some characteristics of each:

  • Traditional Wedding Photography - is more portrait based. Scenes and shots are usually set up in advance during, before or after the wedding. The subjects are posed using tried and true / pleasing to the eye arrangements.
  • Photojournalistic Wedding Photography - is more candid and photos are captured spontaneously to show once in a lifetime moments and emotion. Much like photojournalists for the media, wedding photojournalists present a story through the use of photographs.
Advantages of Traditional vs. Photojournalistic Wedding Photography
  • wedding dressTraditional Wedding Photography creates more classic and commercial / frameable type photos that a wider range of people will enjoy (ie. close ups on faces, family portraits, well framed staged events like the cake cutting).
  • Photojournalistic Wedding Photography creates more of a reality capture and true feel of the day as the photographer stays out of the way and shows details that would usually be missed. He also captures the action as it happens on the spot, bringing the emotion and fun of the day to light. While these pictures may not be classically framed or lit, they are always very artistic and bring back memories for the couple.
Most brides these days want a combination of the two styles so they can get traditional family pictures for their relatives AND have some great artistic shots for themselves.

Another evolving type of wedding photography is the Fashion Style wedding photography. This is a combination of both traditional and photojournalistic where the photographer creates pictures that look like they are inspired by editorial fashion photography as would be found in magazines like Vogue or Vanity Fair. This type is usually more involved and more expensive since the couple usually have to go to different locations either before or after the wedding with the photographer and have shots done with studio style lighting, fashion posing and professional makeup and hair.

An easy alternative to a fashion wedding shoot is another interesting trend called Trash The Dress. This involves a post wedding photo shoot where the couple dress up formally and go to grungy locations for a contemporary fashion shoot. Some also jump in the water with their dresses or explore caves and forests. These can be done with studio gear but available light (because the shoot is outside) makes these look great. Convince your bride (and MOB) to do a Trash The Dress and you'll both have a blast and some great looking pictures!


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