Have you ever browsed a wedding photographers website and found yourself needing a dictionary to understand all the jargon?
I'm going to try to break down some of the Industry terminology and hopefully explain what it all means in good old plain English!
Traditional/Formal: basically provides for more posed images under the control of the photographer. This is often the stereotype of the wedding photography business - some stuffy dude in a suit, yelling directions. The posed style is however still popular for certain shots as it provides the often requested family group pictures favoured by parents/grandparents.
Candid/fly on the wall: this just refers to unposed/off-the-cuff photographs taken without the subject even noticing and without interaction from the photographer.
Photojournalisitic/Reportage/Documentary: various fancy ways of describing basically the same thing. Here, your photographer will remain in the background taking candid photos that tell the story of the day. A good way of capturing genuine emotions and off-the-cuff moments as well as putting the more self conscious among us at ease because they probably won't even notice that they are being photographed. The downside is that the lack of communication with the photographer means you have to trust they will get all the shots you want.
Contemporary: this one's a bit more confusing as the word implies that the photography should be in accordance with current trends. What it inevitably translates as, is something of a mixture of formal and candid photos. So you get the story of your day along with the more traditional posed shots. Ultimately, the word contemporary is rather over-used in our industry and can end up having all sorts of meanings!
Fashion: the photojournalistic style will combine candid images of the events of the day with semi-directed/posed images that are inspired by editorial fashion photography as would be found in magazines like Vogue or Vanity Fair. This style often involves more innovative and dramatic post-processing of images and is ideal if you have a particularly striking dress or venue.
Artistic: similar perhaps to the fashion style, these images will be carefully thought out, possibly abstract or highly stylized and would not look out of place on a gallery wall. Arguably beautiful photographs, but not necessarily everyones cup of tea.
Wedding Studio: popular with Asian religious weddings, the studio is used to provide a controlled environment in which you as a couple can make sure you look your best (make-up artists and hairdressers are normally in attendance) in a series of glamorous portrait shots. This would ideally be done as an 'extra' shoot before or after the wedding day - unless you don't want any photos of your ceremony/reception at all.
...Don't know about you, but I'm exhausted after all that!
The best way to deal with all this jargon is to understand what it means, but not be restricted by it. For example, if you feel that the reportage style would be best for your day, but you'd like some beautiful artistic and fashion shots as well, you shouldn't have to choose between them. Our ethos is that every wedding is different and we are as flexible as you want us to be. We are creative photographers - you tell us what you want and we'll do it...whatever you want to call it!