8 Types of Wedding Photography Styles - Westley Leon Studios

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8 Types of Wedding Photography Styles

Different Styles of Wedding Photography and What They Mean

Wedding photography is not only one of my favorite genres of photography but it also encompasses so many different styles within it. There are different styles of “shooting” as well as different styles of “editing” or post-processing.

With the “labels” they should help give you a sense of what some of the different styles are within the wedding photography world. The thing is though, most great photographers are a little bit of each while leaning heavily into a small few of those styles. The wedding day and couple themselves also inspire the photographer on which direction to approach when taking photos too.

Just remember that these are just helpful definitions to aid you in finding your wedding photographer and not strict guidelines or anything or that one photographer is ONLY that type.

Here’s the quick list of just some of the wedding photography styles (definitions below)

  • Candid Wedding Photography

  • Lifestyle Wedding Photography

  • Traditional Wedding Photography

  • Fine Art Wedding Photography

  • Natural Wedding Photography (Light & Airy)

  • Dark and Moody Wedding Photography

  • Black and White Wedding Photography

  • Editorial Wedding Photography

Below you can find a little bit more in-depth definition of what those styles mean with some of my own example images.

 Candid Wedding Photography

alt text="candid wedding photography images"

Some couples are not fans of being posed at all and might not want anything but true candid moments throughout the day. Candid wedding photographers are capturing life as it happens without setting it up or staging it. They’re there to catch moments that you may not have even noticed happen all without having to have been posed.

Lifestyle Wedding Photography

alt text="lifestyle wedding photography images"

Lifestyle is photojournalism but with a modern twist. The aim is to be very candid in look and appearance but you’ll usually have some mild direction to assist with the pose or lighting. Creating real situations but helping craft and refine it a little more.

Traditional Wedding Photography

alt text="traditional wedding notre dame"

If you open up most past wedding albums, you’ll see a lot of traditional and timeless images in them. Today it’s more of a modern take on your parent’s wedding album filled with the bridal party lined up for some photos, family formals at the altar, first dance or tossing of the flowers, this would be a more traditional American wedding.

Are you imagining a specific set of shots you want? The bridal party lined up and laughing? Elegant family photos on the alter? Gorgeous wide shots of you two being married at the Basilica? Then I think you will appreciate having these more traditional images in your album.

Fine Art Wedding Photography 

alt text="fine art wedding photography, creative images"

This style of wedding photography is one that really draws from creativity within the photographer. Using the skills they’ve learned and the environment around them. They’ll use creative composition, framing, lighting and even Photoshop to create their imagery. It can be moody, artistic, fun, different, etc. It’s defined as fine art when they’ve had a vision or direction of what the image will look like.

A photo in this style typically tends to lean more towards the posed side of things but you’re able to create amazing artwork this way. Fine art candids are totally possible when the photographer plans for the lighting and location but waits for the candid moment to happen.

Natural Wedding Photography – Light & Airy

A Natural Wedding Photographer can also sometimes be called Light & Airy or Boho. This style will almost entirely use just natural or practical lighting. This style of photography has a beautiful and natural feel. with usually green and earthy tones.

You will want to make sure with the photographer though that they’re able to handle low-light or very dark reception areas. Make sure to check that part of their portfolio.

Dark and Moody

alt text="dark and moody wedding photos"

On the opposite end of things, if Light and Airy isn’t your thing, try searching for a dark and moody wedding photographer. These images have a dramatic contrast between light and shadows giving off a romantic and often cinematic vibe.

Black and White Wedding Photography

alt text="beautiful candid black and white wedding photography"

B&W photography in the digital age is now on the editing side rather than using actual B&W film but it’s still a beautiful style. This style is typically used for special moments. It could be candid, fine-art, posed, etc. but black and white wedding photography can give it a timeless and classic feel even in a modern image. B&W images are perfect for special moments where the feeling is more important than anything else.

Editorial Wedding Photography

If you want to feel like a model on your wedding day, editorial images are possibly your flavor. These are the images you’d find in the top bridal magazines where everything is polished, posed and lit to perfection. Make sure you account for these shots in your timeline as they can take more for setting up. If you’re wanting to see your wedding in print or posted on major blogs, this style might be for you.

You Know The Styles to Search For, Now What?

Now that you understand some of the different types of styles there are, you can now start your search for the perfect wedding photographer near you. Be sure to find a wedding photographer who not only takes beautiful images but also cares about you two and gives you the wedding day experience you deserve. You can read my blog “Finding a Wedding Photographer Who Gives a 💩“. It gives you some great info on how to search and find that wedding photographer you WANT to hang out with and capture your wedding day.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and if you have ANY questions, feel free to reach out. Let’s chat! 😀

  1. […] trying to find your wedding photos is what do you like? With wedding photos, there are plenty of wedding photography styles to choose […]

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