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Wedding Photographer - Choose The Right One

Updated on May 7, 2013

Types of Wedding Photography

There are a couple of different types of wedding photography available to brides and grooms.  Traditional and Photojournalistic styles of photography tend to be the predominant choices. The style of photography you choose is a matter of preference, not necessarily price.

Something to keep in mind is that there can be upwards of three or four photographic sessions, depending on your budget:

Engagment Session Photos - for both you and your fiancee

Bridal Portrait - which can be done before, after or on the day of your wedding

Wedding Photos - Before, during and after the actual wedding ceremony

Boudoir Photos - Private sensual/erotic photos shot prior to the wedding as a gift to the groom.

Lifestyle Photography Compared to Formal Photography

Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bridal Portrait
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bridal Portrait | Source
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bridal Portrait
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bridal Portrait | Source
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bride and Groom Portrait
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bride and Groom Portrait | Source
Formal Bridal Portrait
Formal Bridal Portrait | Source
Formal Bridal Portrait
Formal Bridal Portrait | Source
Formal Engagement Photo
Formal Engagement Photo | Source
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Engagement Session
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Engagement Session | Source
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Engagement Session
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Engagement Session | Source
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bride Engagement Session
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bride Engagement Session | Source
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bridal Party
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bridal Party | Source
Formal Bridesmaids Photo
Formal Bridesmaids Photo | Source
Formal Wedding Party Photo
Formal Wedding Party Photo | Source
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Wedding Party Photo
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Wedding Party Photo | Source
Formal Bride and Groom Portrait
Formal Bride and Groom Portrait | Source
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bride and Groom Portrait
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bride and Groom Portrait | Source
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bride and Groom Portrait
Photojournalistic or Lifestyle Bride and Groom Portrait | Source

Which Style is Right For You?

Most photographers can do one style. So, choose carefully according to what you want. You'll be looking at these photos for a very long time!

A photographer is a story teller and by hiring a wedding photographer, you are trusting the story that they want to tell about your wedding. Especially, since you will only see photos of your special day as seen through the eye of your photographer's lens and their knack for editing.

The photos posted to the right, offer an array of high quality photography. All of these photographers have their own flair and style for what they enjoy capturing with their camera.

One main difference I notice between the two styles, is that the Photojournalistic/Lifestyle photographer, captures motion and movement. Things that are ephemeral in that moment. They capture a great deal of personality and try to expose the feeling of the people in the frame. These photos tend to document an accurate feeling of your wedding.

Whereas, the formal photographer documents accurately the people, places, things and content of the wedding. Usually, the wedding party is posed in specific angles that are tried and true. There is little room for experimenting and funky lighting isn't really an option. These photos guarantee and accurate account of your wedding.

Most wedding photographers have photographed so many weddings, that they have specific tricks up their sleeves and will try the same poses or places to photograph that they know have worked in the past. If you want something specific or something totally new, talk to them prior to your big day.

Many photographers use assistants. These are up and coming photographers. They usually already know what they're doing, and will charge a lower fee to build up their portfolio. If you really want high quality photos, but can't afford the photographer you want, ask if their assistant is available.

Keep in mind with Lifestyle Photographers, they are looking through the camera with a more artistic flair. You may get images of your dress without your head. You may get photos of scuffs on your shoes or a messy curl dangling down your face. I doubt you'd ever get a shot with food in your teeth or something like that, but when you hire an artist - expect the unexpected! (This could be an amazing thing, or if really wanted formal pictures, it could be a disaster!).

I personally lean toward the Lifestyle photographers, only because I enjoy how cinematic their images can be. I like how they play with lights and shadows, contrasting colors and textures. I feel it adds to the story of the day. However, I still love looking at old family photos which were very formal. They appear as if they're time capsules, and that is romantic in it's own right.

Photo Tips for Your Photography Day!

These are a few things I learned while working with my own wedding photographer:

  • Drink plenty of water the day before and the day of the photo shoot. It actually helps you to be less bloated.
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before the photo shoot. Thus, less bags and circles under your eyes.
  • Preparation H is a useful tool to remove bags under your eyes before make up is applied. Rub a tiny dab under your eyes, wait about 10 minutes, wash it off and apply your make up. I know it sounds gross, but I learned it from a known make up artist - and it works!
  • Look at as many photos as you can of your prospective photographer before you make your choice. Think of them as selecting a friend and what you would have in common. Afterall, the day of your wedding, they are your BEST friend. (aside from your bride or groom!).
  • Talk to your photographer - don't be shy! They want to hear what you don't like - and more importantly, what you DO like! Tell them what works in their other photos that you hope they'll achieve in your photos.
  • The engagement session is worth it! If you have the money and time, go out on an engagement session photo date with your photographer. It's a great way to get to know one another and how all of you work together. It's a great collaboration.
  • On your wedding day, lifestyle photographers are often invisible. They're busy finding the nooks and crannies of the stories behind your wedding...all of the details that you may not even notice. Don't worry if you don't see them all the time, they may be in a dark corner with a telephoto lens...they see you!
  • Finish all discussions about money prior to your big day. Nothing is more annoying than having a photographer walk up to you as you get ready to cut the cake and they announce their "time is up" and ask if you want to hire them for additional hours.
  • If you move a lot, consider purchasing a CD of images from your photographer, rather than a book or prints. Many of them offer this service now.
  • You can alter the color of your photos even after you see the proofs. (unless the original color is black and white or sepia). So, if you see a romantic color image that you really want in black and white, they can do it for you.
  • Final photo touch ups are often done after you select your final images.
  • Most photographers have a website you can go to and see your proofs - this is a great place to send relatives and friends to see if they want to purchase their own photos from your special day.
  • If there are any very specific photos you must have (you with grandpa), make sure to tell your photographer prior to the wedding day. Make a list of these and send them to your photographer, then assign a member of your wedding party to point out who these people on your list are to the photographer (so they don't have to keep asking you who Uncle Larry is!)


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    • profile image

      Elisita Photos 

      6 years ago

      LOVE your photo tips for the day... Never used preparation H on my eyes before... might have to check it out.


    • Shannon Paigah profile image

      Shannon Paigah 

      6 years ago from Irvine, CA

      Great hub! Lots of useful information. ~ Thank you.

    • EllenDean profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Austin

      Hi telltale, Thanks for the tip on the photographer. What style photos does he take? I guess I'll answer this by going to his website... Thanks again for stopping by!

    • telltale profile image


      8 years ago

      Congratulations! Talking about Wedding Photographers, I personally know of a great wedding photographer (not me), not only did I say so, others do at the same time... you can view his website at and decide whether he is one.. :)

    • EllenDean profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Austin

      Congratulations on getting married! I hope your photos turn out well. Did you use a formal photographer or photojournalistic one? I like the CD because I can easily put pics up on Facebook or Flickr.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I just got my wedding photo's done in Can Tho. The amount of work involved getting good picture perfects is amazing. I prefer the book though, i will ask for a cd as well when they are done.


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