Defining Your Style for Wedding Photography


April 3, 2023

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Forget everything but the way it feels to be here. No matter her subject, Nikki documents moments with an intuitive sense of their emotional relevance and inherent beauty. 
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Because you want to look and feel like the best version of yourself.

Bride sitting on groom's lap while she touches his face tenderly. She is wearing a short feathery dress and he is wearing a black sweater.

If I had to take a guess, you’re here because style is important to you. When you’re looking to be inspired, you book a ticket to see your favorite musician. You’re always scouring the internet for the newest restaurant to score a reservation at. There isn’t a piece of clothing in your closet that isn’t chic (okay, maybe there are a few fast fashion finds in there). And when it comes to your wedding, one of your biggest goals is to make sure everything you plan is an extension of you—and the very best version at that. But when it comes to most of the advice you’ll find about researching and landing on the wedding photographer who is going to do your vision justice, most of it overlooks a very important step. So I want to make sure you don’t make a grave mistake with booking your photographer because you weren’t actually pointed in the right direction. Here is what you need to do in order to define your style for your wedding photography—and look stylish AF in your wedding photos.

Look at your personal style

The biggest mistake I see couples make when planning their wedding is trying to be something they actually aren’t. Sometimes that’s trying to be fancier than they are. Sometimes it’s trying to be more buttoned up than they are (hello, black tie weddings). So, when it comes down to it, the very first thing you should be turning to for inspiration is your own personal style—we are just trying to capture the best version of this anyways!

  • Are you more casual or formal in your everyday life?
  • What do your clothes, home decor, places you frequent say about you?
  • Do you want to be photographed in a way that is in line with your personal style or are you wanting something polar opposite? (I don’t suggest the latter)

My advice is to sit down and discuss this with your partner before diving into your research—because this is how you get on the same page and start looking at different photographers with a discerning eye.

Think about your wedding design and experience

Wedding photography isn’t just about how great you look in the attire you’ve put so much effort into—your wedding design and how you are planning your guest experience does as well. That’s because these elements create the backdrop to all your wedding photos and influence how your photographer can (or cannot) move throughout the space and day. Think of it this way, if you’re wanting your wedding photographer to capture lively, candid, and emotional moments, but you’ve planned a very formal black tie affair, it’s going to be harder to get what you want. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re wanting fine art photos shot on film, but have planned the party of the year for your social network, your photographer might feel like they are swimming upstream to capture those curated moments. 

Understand the different wedding photography styles

Which brings us to the place where your personal style and wedding design intersect with the actual photography style you’re drawn to. There is no right or wrong answer—but there is a best fit for what you are envisioning. And here are my honest thoughts about the 3 most popular wedding photography styles.

Editorial: Leans heavily into posing and is highly curated. Every detail is pored over and planned to be intentional: the light in each shot, your attire and accessories, each pose, the location for each part of the story. Think: pulled from the pages of Vogue. Think: packs a punch.

Fine art: Heavily inspired by what you’d find in an art museum. Shot on film to be soft, and highly aesthetic— like water could just drip off of your fingertips ever so gently. Relies heavily on natural light. Amazing if your outfits are couture show-stoppers.

Photojournalistic: An approach that is unmanipulated and intuitive—meaning, your photographer captures things as they are (and in real time). This sounds great in theory, but actually can be the toughest style to get right because people need to be themselves and innately comfortable in front of the camera.

In the end, I’ll leave you with this. Don’t obsess over what you “can be” when defining the style you want for your wedding photography and instead think about who you are. Because, even if this might be the first time you are having your photo taken by a professional, I hope it isn’t the last. 

Interested in learning more about my wedding photography services and style? Be sure to visit this page of my website and schedule a consultation if you like what you see!

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