I am so excited to give you our first guest post! Robert (Bobby) Drakulic is a friend of mine and an Oh my goodness amazing photographer here in the Pittsburgh area. He’s here to talk to you about styles of Photography. Read, then check out his website!
Lots of Love,
Sarah Joy McKenzie
I’ve been asked to do a guest blog post about wedding photography and I wanted to cover a few things that may be helpful for newly engaged couples when searching for their wedding photographer. I’d like to discuss a topic that would give couples a good understanding about the differences in wedding photography… “Photographic styles.” This can ultimately help them in selecting the right photographer for their special day.
This is an interesting topic because many people, and even many professionals, are really unsure of what exactly “photographic style” means and how they differ. It is a tricky discussion because there are so many different styles that photographers use, even sometimes blending them together. The terms are often very broad and blurred. I will do my best to thoroughly describe a few.
Documentary photography and photojournalism are styles used by many photographers that include, but are not limited to: weddings, editorial, sports, and various degrees of other reportage. This form of wedding photography is usually used to tell a story visually. It usually involves candid photographic portraiture from an unobtrusive outsider’s perspective. Documentary photographers use their keen eyes to record images as an eyewitness to an event(s.)
Fine Art Photography.
Fine art wedding photography has a slightly different look and feel to it. Fine art photographers, or artistic photographers, utilize many visual elements to create an image that is viewed as a stand-alone piece of art. Lighting, composition, color, pattern, texture, and line are just some of the key elements that fine art photographers often try to incorporate within their photographs. A fine art photographer often has an art background, and even sometimes dabbles in other artistic mediums such as painting, sculpture, or drawing. They are also many times involved in exhibitions and other artistic enterprises.
Traditional wedding photography involves posing for the camera with the photographer directing many of the shots. However, don’t be fooled, if this doesn’t initially interest you, be aware that traditional wedding photography can yield some of the most dependable photographs of your special day. Most of the formally posed photographs with family and friends fall into this category. Traditional wedding photographers have pre-planned ideas of how to set up shots and poses. This style is also one of the oldest and widely used photographic styles available for weddings.
This style is uncommon for weddings; however, many amateurs and even some professionals use this practice without even being aware of it. Snapshot photography can include disposable cameras that are sometimes left on tables for guests to use during the reception, or during the service. Any photographer who basically snaps photographs spontaneously would fall under this category. This style can sometimes be closely related to documentary but the difference is that the snapshot photographer is more interested in the “moment” rather than the technical aspects of the final image. Some of the photographs may be considered imperfect or amateur looking, and snapshot photography is a “risky” style, but they can produce stunning and awe-inspiring images. Most “professionals” won’t admit to being a snapshot photographer, but the proof is in the portfolio. If you find a self-proclaimed snapshot photographer you may want to give them serious consideration.
In my honest opinion, I truly believe that no style is better or worse than the other. It may all be subjective, and the decision ultimately rests on the likes/dislikes of the bride, groom, and whomever else that is associated with the selection of the wedding photography.
Personally, I consider myself a Fine Art Photographer but many times I have photographed weddings using several or ALL of these styles. My friend and colleague, Rick Mullaney (owner of Forever Framed Photography) and I shoot all of our weddings together as a team, and he usually shoots a photojournalistic style of photography in which our combined styles make for a diverse final portfolio for our clients. It is also my opinion that it is extremely difficult for 1 photographer to fully cover a wedding in its entirety, so my advice is to look for a team when choosing your wedding photographer.
It must also be said that these “styles” are not the ONLY photographic wedding styles out there, they are just some of the most common. I must reiterate that it is easy to combine styles and to move within one another freely. You can do Internet image searches for any of these categories to see which style you may prefer. Hopefully this gives people a better understanding of the styles and helps educates them for what to look for. When meeting with a potential wedding photographer, ask them what style they fall under and view their portfolio. If they don’t have a portfolio, RUN! Thank you, and happy wedding photography hunting!
Bobby Drakulic-owner Drakulic Photography LLC.