Traditional vs Candid vs Photojournalism

So you are looking for a photographer to cover your big event and probably confused in some latest photography styles!

You must have heard, read about or seen various styles of photography but still finding it difficult to differentiate. Without getting into detailed technical discussion, here I would like to give you a brief description of various common styles of wedding photography.


Here objective of photographer is to cover all guests and ceremonies. Most images in this case are group shots, and posed shots with subject looking at the camera resulting in monotonous made-up expressions. Most of the time guests as well as the wedding couple look conscious. There are lot of group shots. The end result you get here is an album where you can find your wedding setup; and an account of how many, and who all attended your celebration.

Its a generic style of photography where often you don't get the signature style of a photographer. Clicks will be more or less similar, regardless of the photographer. Often you wont even know which team member is going to cover the event ( nor you will ask or care ! )

After one look, this album typically finds its place in the archive.

Often those glorious moments and the fun part is missed. These Images are clicked in JPEGs and photographers rely on their camera to process it. JPEG out of camera is camera-processed image, and since emphasis is on quantity of clicks rather than diversity of clicks they do not prefer to spend time on editing. The best-of-the-best traditional photographers will get you some good composition, color correction , sharpness, and contrast. But the end result would still be an album with monotonous expressions.

Your album will be more of a document than a memoir.

Candid (Creative photography)

As the name suggests, here the Artist tries to capture candid moments. Either photographer is away from the crowd with his long lens, or is blending in the crowd- making people relaxed and feel at ease around the camera.

Sometimes candid photography typically requires use of available light since flash alert subjects to camera and may startle them, causing them to react or become self-conscious and stage their photo appearance rather than behaving naturally.

To avoid using flash, Candid photographers in early years used high speed films. They were forced to use black and white films, rather than color films because of its greater film speed. Black and white gave atleast three stop advantage. On the flipside, these images used to be bit grainy.

Ever since digital camera has evolved, we have an advantage of clicking at high ISO without getting grains in the picture. Better the technique and equipment, better are the images. Today you will find candid photographers using high end DSLRs (yes, expensive ones), along with high-end, fast pro lenses.

High end camera does not capture great moments or excellent composition, but just ensure better quality, less grainy images with excellent colors.

However, Candid photography is pure moments and is more of a random nature. It does not narrate the complete story. Candid alone cannot give you a good/complete wedding album.

Photojournalism/ Documentary style (Creative Photography)

Photojournalism means to capture the true and real thing. This is an art of story telling. Each frame will be part of a story and will enthuse the feeling. You will end up with an album which is complete in itself with emotional and artistic photos capturing the very essence of your wedding day. A skilled artist will add charm to your images.

Since it is a story telling process, it includes all details of your wedding including candid moments, backstage and behind-the-scene moments. Overall its a combination of beauty, emotions and decisive moments. So when you were busy in your wedding ceremonies, lots was happening around you. These images will surprise you.

Which style you should choose:

Depends on your preferred style and latest trends. In Indian weddings we have a huge guest list , so most often you will need traditional as well as creative photographer.

How to choose a photographer:

Ask questions: If a photographer is able to reply to your satisfaction he is probably understanding your requirements. Also , see his/her work. This will give you a fair idea if he is suited per your expectations.

Be cautious: It is a digital era. Heavy editing, manipulations and editing styles are at peak. If you surf on the web, you will often find photograph with poor moments, but beautifully edited. These are often very contrasty or faded looking, this looks sophisticated on digital screens. However, the truth is that these images are short lived and often look poor in prints.

Serious candid and wedding photojournalists will always shoot in RAW format, edit / enhance shots to their taste and convert into JPEG format before handing over to you. This ensures highest quality images.

Never Do This:

Too many photographers, and there will be chaos. One or two photographers will be enough. Your photographers as well as guest will get good space.

I hope this explanation has given you a fair idea of the different styles of wedding photography. If you still have questions, please feel free to email at