Have you ever gone into a store and looked at all the different options for soap? You would think this would be a relatively easy decision. I mean it’s soap. How different could each be? Well, it sure seems like there is a big difference. You can get it in a bar or liquid form. There are 30 different brands and hundreds of different scents. The same thing can be said about wedding photographers. You’d think we are all the same, but truthfully, we are all very different. I’m not going to go into every single detail, but in general, there are 7 Different Types of Wedding Photographers. Keep reading to find out which is right for you!
7 Different Types of Wedding Photographers
Cameras are so cheap these days that everyone can be a wedding a photographer. You simply have to go buy a kit for $400 and you’re good to go! The great thing is you don’t even have to be hired. You just show up with your camera to a friend or relatives wedding and follow the photographer around and take pictures!
Of course, I’m somewhat joking about this, but I think you can see how this could be a problem. Amateur photographers aren’t all bad, but most of them don’t have the skill, equipment, or experience to be a wedding photographer. It’s fine for shooting things like portraits, but please don’t trust them with your wedding day!
The next step up from being an amateur photographer is usually the candid photographer. They’ve done some shooting, gotten some decent equipment, but they probably still lack a ton of experience. The candid photographer’s main way of shooting is letting everything happen and capturing the real-life moments. They are more of an observer and don’t want to interrupt or disrupt things.
While this sounds good, most candid photographers fall into this style of shooting because they aren’t yet comfortable with posing and guiding people. I remember when I just started off shooting and I was definitely in this world. I had no problem capturing the events and I even got some really cool photos, but I was afraid to interact with people.
Candid photos can be some of the best photos of a wedding, but that shouldn’t be all a wedding photographer does. Wedding photographers need to interact and guide people. You can’t just expect things to magically fall in place. You can’t just follow a couple around and expect things to turn out perfectly.
Natural light Photographer
Another popular style of photography that is out there is the natural light photographer. This style only uses the available light to create photos, like the sun or the cam lights in a room. Natural light can create some of the best photos! I just love that warm, glow. It really is wonderful when the light is nice.
The problem is that the light isn’t always that way. The sun isn’t so nice at midday, and what does a natural light photographer do when it’s cloudy or when the lighting in a room is horrible?
I love looking at social media and seeing all the creative wedding shots. People are doing cool things with reflections, different colored lighting, silhouettes, crazy angles, and all sorts of other things.
Being creative is one of my favorite things about being a wedding photographer, but I can’t shoot that way all day. There are lots of times I have to get the safe shots. I can’t always be running around trying to be creative. The ceremony is one of those situations. I play it very safe, so I don’t miss the important shots.
Weddings are about being around family and friends and, in general, having a good time. There are some photographers that are all about doing goofy things and cracking jokes and making things a party.
I’m all for having a good time! Some of my favorite weddings were the ones with really relaxed brides and crazy groomsmen. I don’t think this type of style is for everyone, though. That’s why it’s so important to really get to know a photographer before booking them.
No, I don’t mean photographers that themselves get extremely emotional (though there are some that act pretty crazy). These wedding photographers want to capture the emotions of the day. They are all about posing couples to try to create some kind of emotion. They want to see happiness, tears, giggles, and all sorts of emotions that should be happening on the wedding day.
Emotions are good, but the problem comes with drawing the line. How much of it do you let happen naturally and how much of it do you try to produce? Then, you’ve got those people that aren’t comfortable with showing emotion. What do you do with them?
Each one of these types of photographer has positive and negatives. That is why I’ve learned to be more of a hybrid of all of those types (except the amateur). I’ve learned that there are times and places for each one of these styles. I tend to use candid photography throughout the majority of the day. I like to let people do their thing and enjoy the day without me being in the way. I also try to use natural light as much as possible. Again, flash can be a distraction, but I also really like the way natural light looks. I only bring in flash when I think it’s necessary or when I’m trying to do something creative.
A smaller chunk of the day I’m focusing on portraits and being creative. These are the safe times where we aren’t on a time crunch and I can always reshoot if something messes up. During these times, I also try to bring out the emotion. It might be something touching like her laying her head on his shoulder or I might crack a joke to get them to laugh. Overall, though, I want people to feel relaxed and have a good time (party photographer!).
I’m sure most wedding photographers use several of these styles. Still, I think it is extremely important to see the positive and negative sides of each style and make sure to ask questions before hiring a wedding photographer. How many wedding have they shot? Do they only shoot with natural light? Are they comfortable guiding and posing people? Do this and not only will you protect yourself, but you’ll also find the wedding photographer that is perfect for you!