One of the first questions couples ask is: “What is your style of photography?” This is, of course, a very valid question and one that I would probably ask if I were abut to hire a professional photographer for any special event.
In the case of full-day wedding photography in particular – but all weddings to an extent – this question is not quite as easy to answer in one quick sentence as one might think. The reality is more complex – with the couple wanting to capture those “must-have” moments that cannot be missed – and that also cannot be repeated. However capturing those alone would lead to a series of disconnected images that did not tell the whole story of the day.
Equally “setting up”, otherwise known as “posing” all the photography between those moments could risk leading to a simple collection of portraits with no character.
After photographing over 700 weddings the solution has proven to be a mix of styles encompassing all those must-have moments, and including a small number of set-up photographs of families and friendships groups, but also keeping a keen eye open for real-life moments that show personality and movement, and add character to the record of the day.
It still doesn’t feel quite right to say nothing is posed – that could risk missing a vital family photograph that might upset a guest who has travelled very far to be with you for the first time in years. You may regret that in years to come. I know others have other styles and they are often brilliant – there are plenty enough to choose from – but this balanced approach works best in my experience for me as a photographer at your wedding.
This article shows a small number of images from a very active wedding at The Talbot Hotel in Oundle. These show how the moments of movement and life can be captured whilst still capturing both the must-have and more formal images. Every wedding day is different and styles must be adapted to meet the circumstances – but I would encourage everyone to feel as relaxed and informal as possible.
In the image below – while photographing the bride and groom I noticed the flower girl collecting rose petals – and quickly swung round, knelt down to her level, capturing her cheeky look – with her mother watching on and the bride’s father busy taking photographs. This is almost “street photography” as it is known and is a decisive moment captured.
The images below represent the middle ground – what I like to call “prompted not posed”. The couple would probably not have walked hand-in-hand through an archway in to the garden without being prompted – but they are not posed – it makes for an image that has more life and movement and is more relaxed than simply saying “stand there and look at the camera” – but it is, nonetheless prompted.
Here again, below we chose to relax on some garden furniture rather than standing formally – but in this case we have chosen for the groom and best man to be facing towards the camera and this is the chosen “formal shot” of the groom and best man – rather than trying to pose an image of them standing trying not to look awkward.
Hopefully this exploration of documentary-style wedding photography has given some ideas for your special day – but the photography would also include those must-have shots and some portrait-style images with friends and relatives as well, to ensure that everything is covered.
If you would like to know more why not drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org – I am always happy to chat about anything related to photography and weddings.