The sentimental value of your wedding photographs and video are priceless, as they’ll allow you to relive the moments for years to come. This is why it is so important for you and your fiancé to talk about the how you’d like the photographs and video to capture your special day.

There are several types of photography and videography styles, format, and color choices, as well as enhancement options to consider.

Traditional Photography

This type of photography is classically posed by the photographer. Posed photographs of specific groupings are shot, such as the couple, the bride and her bridesmaids, the groom and his groomsmen, the entire wedding party, etc. At the reception, the photographer will usually focus on structured highlights of the wedding such as toasts, cake cutting, the throwing of the bouquet and garter, and other similar activities. Some of these might be directed and taken before the actual event to ensure a detailed shot is snapped. Action shots may also be requested.

Photojournalistic Style

A photojournalistic flair aims for more natural and candid images. The photographer will have minimal interaction with attention paid to capturing the story of your wedding. Emphasis is placed more on moments and emotion versus orchestrated shots. Images are shot quickly rather than formal posing, although requests can be made to have select group shots taken.

Digital or Film Photography

A lot of discussion is placed on whether to have the photographer use digital or film in capturing your wedding. Particular photographers may be more comfortable in one format or another, and may push for the one they are most adept in.

Photojournalist David Hill writes in Wedding Photography Directory that either method, when taken under optimal lighting conditions, will look very similar. Hill points out that many photo labs today use digital scan and this can make a difference in your end results. Therefore, it’s important to know what type of lab your selected photographer plans on using before deciding on your format choice.

Bottom line: if you find a quality wedding photographer, it shouldn’t matter if film or digital is used. The best way to gauge your decision is to look at the photographer’s portfolio. If you like what you see, you’ll more than likely be satisfied with your wedding photographs.

Black and White or Color Photographs

Photographs captured in black and white focus the viewer’s eye to the subject matter in a picture since there are no colors to distract attention. Wedding photographs use black and white to highlight poignant moments. This may be tearful parents presenting their daughter’s hand to the groom or the couple looking lovingly into each other’s eyes as they say their vows.

On the other hand, a shot of the wedding party in front of a field of flowers or the couple kissing as the sun sets are much better presented in color. In situations like these, color gives the viewer a sense of place and helps them connect to the image as though they were there.

Color captures the various hues and excitement of your wedding while black and white often captures its emotion. Many times, photographers will shoot both color and black and white photos during the event. Or, a color photo can be doctored into a black and white shot if the image calls for it.

Realistic or Photoshop Images

The choice between realistic images and Photoshopped ones is subjective, and may vary with each photograph.

Couples favoring a photojournalistic style are likely looking for authentic moments during their festivities and may find editing photographs alters their genuineness. However, using a graphics program to adjust an image may help by correcting lighting or eliminating distracting elements.

Photo editing software allows your photographer to softly boost contrast, so that the light tones are lighter and the dark tones are darker. Also, the image can be softened for a romantic touch.

There are a multitude of dramatic effects you might want to select, such as using brushstrokes to streak background images—adding an artistic feel to a few of your photographs. Consult with your chosen photographer for more advice on your specific vision.


Couples wanting to revisit their wedding in action should think about hiring a videographer. As with photographs, there are a wide variety of styles that can be used, including:

-        Journalistic video style–a documentary of the day

-        Cinematic–shot like a movie and edited for dramatic effect

-        Storytelling–sound bites are interspersed within the video’s story

-        Short Form Wedding–video is edited down to fifteen to fifty minutes in length

-        Traditional–similar to a family-shot video, but may run two to three hours or longer

As with most any modern wedding, you can certainly use a mix of styles for either the photography and/or videography, and don’t be afraid to think creatively–there are no hard and fast rules about what your wedding photography must look like. Think about how you both would like this special day remembered so that you two can enjoy and share this time in your lives for years to come.

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