Your wedding photography and wedding photography style is possibly one of the most personal and important choices you will make for your wedding day. Weddings are amazing days, full of love, joy and emotion. But, it is, unfortunately, true that wedding days do indeed go by oh so quickly! 

Weddings are days filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of beautiful moments. All of which you will want to remember and cherish for a lifetime. But how do you stop the memories from fading once the vows have been said and the party is over? It is down to your photography and video to capture and preserve these lasting memories.

Choosing the right style of photography, one that compliments who you are, will mean that your photos and memories resonate. Your photos won’t simply look like your wedding; their look and feel will take you back to a specific moment or emotion like you are enjoying your day. 

Wedding photography isn’t simply about taking photos. The skill is in capturing the emotion and energy and being able to tell a story in a single image (don’t worry, we do deliver more than just one)   

Briars Hall Ormskirk Wedding

Wedding Photography Styles

When choosing a wedding photography style, there is no right or wrong, just what is right for you. Which style is right for you is a personal choice, and each genre has its unique aesthetic.

Traditional Wedding Photography Style

Traditional wedding photography is most often the style that comes to mind when thinking about wedding photography. And is often considered more formal or posed. 

Traditional wedding photography, however, was forced more by necessity rather than choice. Pre-digital (yes, there was a time before), all photographs were taken on film. And while you could swap a roll of film between shots, each roll had a cost and would need to be developed. This meant couples would choose how many photos they wanted based on their budget. For most couples, this meant only a set number of photos could be taken, with each image reserved for a precise moment in their day. Due to these restrictions, most key moments were posted to “guarantee” the picture.  

The new digital era in wedding photography meant that photographers and couples stopped worrying about film costs. Freeing both to see wedding photography as something more fluid and allowing further creativity to flourish.  

Traditional wedding photography focuses on maintaining this formal approach with multiple posed shots of you, your friends and your family. However, it also typically involves a lot of input and direction from your photographer throughout your wedding. While not to everyone’s taste, traditional photography will get you classic and timeless shots. However, you will likely miss some of the emotion. 

At FITZPATRICK Photography, we typically blend a little formal with something more relaxed for the group photos. 

Photojournalism or Documentary Wedding Photography Style

Emily Mae + David

As both photographers and couples became less concerned about the number of images taken and more focused on the story of the day. The style of the documentary wedding became an increasingly popular choice. Today it is probably the most widely offered style of photography, although each photographer has their own style and approach. 

Documentary wedding photography or photojournalism is a style of photography that focuses on capturing moments as unobtrusively as possible. Documenting the wedding day as it unfolds rather than directing things to happen. Essentially the opposite of traditional wedding photography. It is a form of photography with the minimal direction that allows couples and guests to relax and enjoy the wedding yet delivers images full of life, emotion and context.

The term’ documentary wedding photographer is often interchanged with either ‘reportage wedding photographer’ or ‘wedding photojournalist’, but essentially they are the same. When used correctly, it is an observational and unobtrusive approach to photographing a wedding.

Documentary wedding photography plays a large part in how we at Fitzpatrick photography capture your day. Although our unique style of photography blends elements from lots of different styles. 

Portrait Wedding Photography

Portrait photography is less of a distinct style but describes the photography of an individual, couple or group. When most people think of portraits, they instantly think of posed formal photographs, similar to traditional photography. In reality, however, nothing states that you can’t also have a bit of fun! 

Many of our small group photos, and certainly our couples portraits, tend to be more relaxed. And while we do offer some gentle direction, the main focus is on capturing emotion. 

Fine Art Wedding Photography Style 

Fine art photography is a style of wedding photography that focuses on creating artistic images that are unique and creative. This style of photography uses exciting angles, lighting, and poses to create unique images that stand out.

Editorial Photography Style 

Traditionally, editorial photography means images that accompany an article or publication. Think glossy magazine photos. Today though, editorial images can exist on their own and be used to imply a narrative or outline a creative concept. 

Editorial wedding photography is often wrongly used as a substitute for documentary or reportage. A posher word that means the same thing. But documentary and editorial photography are not the same thing. In authentic documentary photography, the photographer has no direct influence over what they see. While editorial often requires planning, preparation and intervention. 

At Fitzpatrick Photography, a lot of our work falls into this category. We document real emotions and moments with the intent of telling a story. Neither completely hands off nor dictating every moment. 

Destination Wedding Photography

Destination wedding photography isn’t a “style”, but choosing to celebrate your wedding abroad will impact your photography. The first thing to decide is if you will book someone local or take your chosen photographer with you. Both offer pros and cons, and like everything related to your wedding, the only right choice is the one right for you!

Choosing a local photographer as part of a destination package or on recommendation is likely cheaper. They will also probably know the venue and be familiar with your other wedding suppliers. But you will unlikely have the flexibility you want to tell your unique story! 

Taking a photographer with you will cost more. This is because on top of their fee for your photography, you will be expected to pay for travel and accommodation. On top of this, you might consider two to three days of photography rather than just one. However, the advantage is that your photographers will be with you for multiple days. They will be looking to capture the whole story of this fantastic time away with your family and friends. They will most likely speak the same language, and you can get to know them before your wedding! 

We love really getting to know our couples and spending time with them. So unsurprisingly, we LOVE destination weddings at Fitzpatrick Photography! 

Aerial Photography

Until recently, areal photography was the reserve of big-budget adverts and glossy magazines. The possibility of sending your photographer up in a helicopter to capture a unique perspective of getting everyone in a group shot simply wasn’t practical. 

Drone wedding photography has, however, completely changed this! As drones have not only gotten smaller but cheaper and more capable, it has opened up possibilities. 

This style of photography is perfect for couples looking to document their wedding day. Aerial photography is a unique and stunning style of wedding photography that captures the beauty of the wedding venue from a bird’s eye view. 

Choosing the Wedding Photography Style for You

It is essential to choose a wedding photography style that you are comfortable with and that matches your personality. There are many styles to choose from, so take your time to look at different photographers’ portfolios to get a feel for each style.

Our Natural Luxury Wedding Photography Style

DJI Mini 3 drone photo of bride arriving via Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe at Saddleworth Hotel, Greater Manchester

Choosing your ideal wedding photographer can seem overwhelming. Even if you are familiar with photography and its seemingly endless use of buzzwords and jargon, how do you pick who is right for you? But, in reality, it needn’t be!

First, think back to your own personal photographs. What images instantly make you smile, giggle or laugh? Which images genuinely mean something to you?

Right now, I will guess that few, if any, of those images were planned, staged or (do I dare say this) even taken by a professional. Instead, they are most often snapshots taken by those closest to us during moments we hold precious & because they genuinely mean something. They are absolutely timeless. These images remind us of a story. They can transport us instantly back and, in our minds, magically come alive.

We use our unique and creative approach at your wedding to capture these images repeatedly.

There will be hundreds of fleeting moments of joy and emotion where the unobtrusive style of reportage wedding photography,  documentary wedding photography or wedding photojournalism (they are all very similar) works best. At other moments we love to talk to and interact with your guest to bring life into an image. We will honestly love being at your wedding as much as you do! Allow us to stay late enough, and you will most likely find me on the dance floor, photographing the party from the centre of the action (I can’t but do even occasionally try to dance!) long into the night.

I have created this approach over a decade of working professionally in photography, creating a unique style that my clients love. It creates images that are as unique and personal as they are and are enjoyed repeatedly.

What about group shots and portraits?

Robyn + Dean

Traditional wedding photography was about group shots and individual portraits, mainly because the film was expensive. While we no longer charge by the number of rolls shot, group shots and individual portraits still form part of our day’s photography. 

To keep everything as painless as possible for everyone involved, group shots are typically kept to a minimum and organised quickly. Of course, the groups you wanted to include would be discussed before your wedding, but there is always the option of being flexible on the day.

Portraits are a personal choice but typically allow you 15 to 20 minutes alone as a couple after the ceremony. Again, we keep these as low-key as possible, again focusing on the natural emotions of you both as a newly married couple, but with minimal direction to create stunning images. This often falls under the editorial wedding photography category but is yet another buzzword.

To help with your wedding planning we have put together a comprehensive 32 step guide taking you every step of the way from picking your venue, to last minute details. Wedding planning, shouldn’t be stressful, and we would love to join you on your journey from saying “Yes” to “I Do”

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