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What are photography styles?

If you are on the hunt for a wedding photographer, you may have heard the terms “Light and Airy” or “Dark and Moody” to describe how photos look. Every photographer has a different style in the way they take and edit photos. Having a basic understanding of the different styles out there will help you find the photographer that fits your vibe.

Traditional / Classic

Think of these as timeless - photos that could have been taken last year or 10 years ago. With this style, the photographer generally does posed shots with the couple, as well as group/family portraits. Coloring in the photos, even after editing, is natural.


Rather than having poses, this style focuses on capturing candid and spontaneous photos of the action throughout the day. It's more about capturing the moments that contribute to the mood of the day.


This style falls right between Traditional/Classic and Photojournalistic. Candid images showcasing sweet moments are taken, but direction and styling is provided to get desired couple and group shots. This style has an approachable feeling with a relaxed result.


If your dream is to have wedding photos that are worthy of Vouge, this style is for you. This style is much more technical and planned. Photographers are hands-on and plan each shot in a controlled setting.

Dark & Moody

Think: Lifestyle w/ an edge. Specific post-process editing to create a “mood” and filtered effect. "Bohemian" looks are a current trend that are considered to be a "Moody" style.

Light & Airy

The name really speaks for itself. If you picture a brightly lit and whimsically romantic, wedding...then look no further than this style. This style pairs well with scenes in nature.

Fine Art

This style is Traditional with a twist. It's bright with a softer, more delicate feel. Grain/Texture is typically added in post process editing to give a more film look.


Ever see a couple perfectly lit while standing under the Milky Way? Or a strip of light that seems to spiral around a couple? These are great examples of creative photos. This style requires advanced camera and flash/lighting techniques to create unique effects. It turns the ordinary into extraordinary.

This last bit is not really a style, but it's a good to think about when searching for a wedding photographer. Make sure you have an idea your (and your photographer's) Areas of Focus or Priority. For example: are photos of you and your parents interacting at your wedding a priority to you? Is your main goal to have fun and have silly photos? Other example of Areas of Focus or Priorities might be: Natural Posing and Detail Shots. Whatever the priority, it is important to make sure you and your photographer are on the same page so you can get the photos you dream of.


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