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Wedding Photography - Portraying That Perfect Day
There are no real rules when it comes to photography or the different styles that photographers will choose to follow. At one time there were unspoken rules on how some photos were achieved. This included wedding photos. The photographers used to shoot from a list and did most of the photos for wedding albums in a controlled environment and sequence.
The History Of Wedding Photography
These controlled portraits were all perfectly lit and contained perfectly posed bride/groom/family shots. Photographers at the wedding tried to keep the wedding scheduled to picture perfect moments so as the event occurred, each moment was captured as the best shot.
Then came the era of the less controlled wedding photography. Photographers began about 15 years ago taking a more creative or photojournalistic approach to wedding shots. These photographers relied more on candid and non-posed photos. There were no lists or rules for these wedding photo journalists as opposed to the photography traditionalists.
There came some competition between the two types of photographers. This did allow the public more options in their photographic choices though. Today’s photographers do realize what photographic category they fall into. It can be the more controlled traditionalist or the less controlled photojournalist.
Wedding Photography Giants
Some photographers such as Rachel LaCour Niesen and Andrew Niesen went from newspaper photography to the journalistic style of wedding photos. They take weddings as serious as the news and their photos capture the even in a real-time method that follows the event as it happens.
Their photography style hasn’t changed a lot. They still capture the wedding events but in a less-pure photojournalistic way. This gives their clients what they want with a less news-worth feel.
The Niesens acknowledge that their photos are not the same historical news variety as when they did the news but it is still historically important to their specific clients. They know their couples and family will cherish these photos for a lifetime and for many generations.
On the other side of the coin is a more traditional kind of photographer, Robert Lino. Lino has been a wedding photographer for 35 years. Mr. Lino believes that his controlled style of photos being so complicated lost favor in favor of the less controlled variety. This being the environment of the photojournalism wedding shots and photographers. Lino realizes his work in the studio with hours of posing and smiling was too much for many brides. He also knows that his photography holds on to the elegance and formality that many do seek. He twisted and manipulated his controlled photos to give them a natural look.
Lino does agree that in this age anyone can shoot a wedding with a decent camera. This is true but it takes thousands of shots to get that handful of really great ones. He also believes that the photographers of the less traditional type promoted the different shots that could mean as much. With more traditional photos the bride is facing the camera and smiling. With the other style there are photos of the many expensive details that are included in the wedding such as the flowers and cake.
The Bottom Line - Perfection Is Key
The bottom line is that no matter which type of wedding photography you want to emulate you should still have your own unique style. This can be a combination of the two but with a twist that makes your photo style stand out.
Tony Hewitt is a photographer that states, “your viewpoint is something no one else in the world shares.” Copying another photographer will not make you a better photographer but your own style will. Great photographers do their own thing, they have their own perspective.
Hewitt also says that any photographer can excel by finding the differences in what appears to be the same to many. There are a lot of similarities in weddings but a photographer can focus on the differences and bring their own creative mix to the photos.
For Hewitt’s perspective he checks out many different venues of other artists, across many markets. Magazines, television and even Facebook provide him inspiration. He believes that a client goes for the photographer they are seeking on a personal basis before they choose that style, technique or reputation. You may, in the end be chosen for those things but it is more about who the bride is the most comfortable with.
Lino also believes and gives the advice to follow your own personal style. He knows that there is enough work for everyone and not a lot of concern on competition. People will recognize you for you. He also informs the many photographers vying for work, “You’ll know when your style is really working when clients call and ask if you’re available for a certain date before they ask how much you charge.”