Why I Call Myself a Story Teller – Candid vs. Styled Wedding Photography

I believe there are as many wedding photography styles as there are wedding photographers.  No two photographers are quite the same.  Which is great!  Because no two couples are quite the same.  Photographers tout themselves as Photojournalists, High Fashion Photographers, Documentary Photographers, Traditional Photographers, Candid Photographers and countless other types of wedding photographers.  These terms can mean different things to different people.  So it’s important to look at a photographer’s full portfolio to see if it speaks to you.


When choosing the perfect wedding photographer, it’s important to think about how you plan to use your wedding images.  Are your images an opportunity to make your dream of being a high fashion model materialize?  If that’s the case, I’ll be honest.  I’m not your girl.  That doesn’t mean I don’t love that idea!  I think it would be a blast to feel like a celebrity for a day and have the images to prove it.  I simply don’t provide that style of photography.  Your wedding day is over so quickly!  I don’t want you spending time with me styling your wedding.  I want you out enjoying your precious time interacting with your closest friends and family.


On the other hand, do you want future generations to look at your wedding photos and know exactly what your special day was like?  If so, step into my office!  Whenever I pick up a camera to photograph a wedding or any other life event, I fancy myself a story teller.  I want to capture the look on the groom’s face the second he sees his bride for the first time.  I love catching the private giggle the couple will share at their table.  I take a photo of every little bit of DIY I find because the couple and their friends put their blood (sometimes literally…paper cuts are the worst!), sweat and tears into those little details.  My goal is for outsiders see your wedding photos and be able to hear you laughing, smell the flowers and know exactly what he was thinking when he looked at you.


Of course, I fully intent to rock the formal photos at each one of my weddings.  I want my clients to look their best.  But the formal photos are a small portion of my wedding portfolio.  The only posed (and I use the term posed loosely) photos in my website‘s wedding day galleries are found in my First Look and Formals Gallery.  Virtually all of the other images in those wedding day galleries are candid and spontaneous.


When speaking to potential photographers for your wedding day, you may want to consider asking them how they crafted the images on their websites.  First, are they from actual wedding days or from styled fashion shoots (using models)?  Were the moments actual spontaneous moments or were they posed and crafted to look spontaneous?  There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these types of images.  But knowing your photographer’s style will help you predict how your day will flow and how much time you will spend interacting with them.  As I always say, there is no right or wrong answer.  There are only informed decisions.  Happy planning!

About the Author:
Nikki Cole is a professional photographer who captures Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Senior Portraits and other life events. Please contact her to start telling your story!

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