How Rory Witham Deals with Wedding Photography style

4 01 2010

One of the biggest problems that faces any wedding photographer is meeting the requirements of the clients, and not only the Bride and Groom but also parents.

For many years Clients have always asked me for a mix of  reportage and traditional photography for their wedding. Traditional  was quickly followed by for my parents and grand parents.  So the mix of the photography styles  had to suit the different styles and expectations of three generations. On the other side of the wedding, there is of course the design of the albums which may need back ground images and details images just to make the page of the album flow well and hold the album together to make the story of the day.

As you can see in these images, there is a range of styles going from contemporary style to album design styled for content, to reportage and then a more traditional shot. This often meant taking wedding photos in 3 different ways to offer the right images for the different groups.

One of the things that I found  was that people gave me the ‘feel’ for what they wanted when I met them, you can tell from their personalities, how their homes are decorated and just how the wedding day itself goes and you work with this to take the photos and also to make the finished product which of course is the wedding albums.

One of the things that I do think helps a lot in taking the wedding photos is that I have studied psychology for several years and I apply this to the wedding photography, Clients have commented on how I have captured the personality of the person in the photos when I have taken a portrait of a person; you may think this is easy but I may not speak to the person on the day so it is just good guess-work.

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Wedding Photography Styles

4 01 2010

 Definition of the photographic styles and their pro’s and cons, this is a short guide to help you. Many couples select reportage mixed with traditional photography, and as you will see from the gallery, this is the case.

1. Traditional styles
Traditional photography is considered as a formal or portrait approach to photography. It has neatly arranged subjects which make a triangle which is the way the human eye works when looking at pictures. Traditional styles requires a lot of interaction with the photographer and the guests to position them for each shot which is taken. This style has a distinct number of advantages over other types of photography. I would recommend that people consider having a few traditional shots for their album regardless of their approach to their main wedding photos.

Traditional Advantages
The subjects in the photo’s are usually still which gives the photographer time to make sure the camera is set up correctly and each person looks their best.
The photographer has time after the picture is taken to check that they have the desired shot and retake if they so wish.
Wedding photographs taken some time ago will look pretty much the same as those taken today.
They can be very well composed because there is time to make more balanced images with subjects and objects.
Traditional photo’s don’t go in and out of fashion as they are considered to be “time-less classics”.

Traditional Disadvantages
The style isn’t as popular it is a “fixed” style that doesn’t tell a story of the day.
The group shots can take a long time to organise the people and gathering the correct people.
Needs a larger working space which is big enough for organising larger groups.
Not very “fresh” in its approach.

2. Reportage
Reportage is a popular as the main style for wedding albums, this style is taken with a informal approach to the capturing the picture’s.
It’s roots are in the “paparazzi” styles of photography and requires quick reactions and a good array of opportune moments for your photographer rather than organisational skills which is associated with traditions and contemporary styles.

Reportage Advantages
Tells the story of the day as it happens.
Most of the images are taken “on the fly” while you go about your day.
It captures more of the emotions and events as they unfold in a more natural way.
Very fashionable (currently).
Suit’s people who are uncomfortable in front of a camera
Delivers often better image results of the day’s events where people are more relaxed.
free’s up time for you to enjoy your day.
No design or staging of the shots as in contemporary and traditional styles.*

Disadvantages
No design or staging of the shots as in contemporary and traditional styles.*
Can sometimes give you ‘untidy’ images with some people out of focus or missing from pictures.
Reportage is based on “taking the shot” not ” making the picture”.
It is the subjects behavior and interaction with others at the event that is captured.
Larger volume of shots are taken, but not all may be printable image’s.

* This can be a good or a bad point regarding the style and time of your wedding day

3. Contemporary
A contemporary style is defined by a strong element of design within each image, but their origins come from the reportage style but leads into more traditional staged approach. This is where the pictures are captured through some planning and design. This style allows images to be created and kept informal akin to the reportage style. Contemporary style in short; is a staging of a reportage style, as you have seen in many of the magazines.

Contemporary Advantages
Images can contain a style that are interesting and fun.
Much more modern than traditional images and blends both the reportage and traditional styles. The finish is neater than reportage styles.
People captured in the images can arranged.

Contemporary Disadvantages
Works best in the outdoors or with an interesting set of backdrops and locations.
Fun contemporary works needs fun, flexible people.
Time consuming, this means a lot more time taken out of your day to capture images and staging them.
You either like a image or you don’t. It is much more important to find a photographer with a style that you enjoy.

4 High Fashion
A contemporary style is defined by a strong element of design and posing within each image, and leads into more traditional staged approach to each of the photographs. This is captured through planning and training from the ‘models’ for the shoot before the day takes place. This style allows images to be created as you have seen in many of the magazines, it is distant to traditional and reportage photography.

High fashion Advantages
Images can contain a style that is both fun and stunning.
Much more modern than traditional images and the finish is ‘neater’ than other styles.
People captured in the images are arranged.
You will take the posing training with you for future use.
Gives a unique look to your wedding album.

High Fashion Disadvantages
Works best with an interesting set of backdrops and locations.
Needs fun, flexible people who are willing to learn before the wedding.
Time consuming, this means a lot more time taken out of your day to capture images and staging them.
You may not directly be looking at the camera as fashion images are about style and not you.