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Wedding photography style

friends enjoying in wedding

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

Traditional vs Candid vs Photojournalism - wedding photography style

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

Click on the video for a summary


Here the objective of a photographer is to cover all guests and ceremonies. Most images in this case are group shots and posed shots with the 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 a 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.

It is 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 won't 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 a camera-processed image, and since the emphasis is on the quantity of clicks rather than the 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 the use of available light since flash alerts subjects to the 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 the 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 at least three stop advantage. On the flip side, these images used to be a bit grainy.

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

The high-end camera does not capture great moments or excellent composition but just ensures 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 storytelling. Each frame will be part of a story and will enthuse the feeling. You will end up with an album that 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 storytelling process, it includes all details of your wedding including candid moments, backstage, and behind-the-scene moments. Overall it's a combination of beauty, emotions, and decisive moments. So when you were busy with your wedding ceremonies, lots was happening around you. These images will surprise you.

Which style you should choose

Depends on your preferred style and the latest trends. In Indian weddings we have a huge guest list, so most often you will need a 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 to your expectations.

Be cautious

It is a digital era. Heavy editing, manipulations, and editing styles are at their peak. If you surf the web, you will often find photographs 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 print.

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

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