To kick off photography week, I thought I’d start with photography style.  Chances are if you have a wedding planner, or ask a friend for advice on finding a photographer for your wedding the first question they will ask you in return is, “What style of photography do you want?”

If you are anything like me, you probably have no idea what style of photographer you want.  Are “pretty” and “affordable” technically considered styles!?

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Photo Credit:  Luke Eshleman Photography

We polled the greater Washington DC area wedding community and one of the first questions that we asked was:  “What is your photography style and how would you describe it?”  Suffice to say:  the answers were all over the map.  There wasn’t a typical style and more importantly, no standard definitions.

Direct from the pros:  “I can say I have little bit of every style you listed.  During events, I know when to step in and take charge so I can create artistic shots, and I know when to step out so I can document important moments when they happen with creative compositions,”  said Ethan Yang.

Here are are the responses from the photographers we talked to:

  • 33% defined their style as photojournalist;
  • 25% defined their style as  documentary;
  • 19% defined their style as fine art;
  • 9% defined their style as editorial; and
  • The rest defined their style as commercial wedding photography, candid, thematic, and fashion.

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Photo Credit:  Love by Serena

Most photographers seemed to be a blend or hybrid of a few different styles.  In general, photographers in the DC-area each consider their style to be unique to themselves.

Direct from the pros: “My style is artistic documentary. What that means to me is that I primarily capture the wedding day as it unfolds without interrupting or directing the events of the day. But I’m not so true to photojournalism that I won’t straighten up the room in which the bridesmaids are getting ready so the photos won’t look all cluttered, ask a bride to turn toward beautiful window light while getting in her dress or direct the newlyweds into a beautiful setting before we shoot their portraits.  I also take great care to shoot the most artistic and real photos I can capture on a wedding day so that my clients receive a collection of images that represent all the emotion and fun of the day, not just a bunch of snapshots,”  said Jennifer McMenamin.

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Photo Credit:  Rebekah J. Murray Photography

What does all of this mean for you, the engaged couple, looking for a wedding photographer?

It means you should look for a photographer that you like and that you think fits your style.  Don’t worry so much about the photographer’s style, worry about your style.  What do you like?  What types of pictures do you want?  What will you love in 10 or 20 years?  Start with yourself and then begin to look around for a photographer.

Most photographers have a website, and often times a blog.  This is a chance for you to check out their portfolio before you even contact them.  If you like what you see at a first glance, you might love what you see after you ask for more.  The more portfolios you look at, you’ll start to develop a sense of what you like and don’t like.

Hang in there, we’ll be back all this week with more advice for our photography week.

*  Ethan Yang Photography is one of our fabulous sponsors.  For information on our editorial policies, please click here.

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