Traditional vs. Reportage Wedding Photography: Which One is For You?

With the evolution of photography and media in recent years, there is also an evolution happening as well in the realm of wedding photography. This evolution has brought about not only change in the style of capturing photographs of such events.

In particular, this has brought up two different and distinct styles of wedding photography: the traditional wedding photography and the reportage wedding photography. Quite often, this has been a subject of debate among wedding photographers like Rafe Abrook and Rowan Watts as to which is the best, not to mention a source of confusion among those who are about to getting married not only on the aspect of what they are but also as to which would be the best for them.

To answer these questions, it is important first to know what these different wedding photography styles are about and what they bring to the table as far as the output is concerned.

TRADITIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

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As the term implies, traditional wedding photography is the oldest style of wedding photography that has been practiced by photographers for years since photography began. It is the photography style your parents and the ones before them were used to when they got married.

Traditional wedding photography is considered to be the more “rigid” and “predictable” style as the photographer has taken note of a set of moments to capture, with everything planned out beforehand. It usually is characterized by formal setups with people looking stiff at the camera. As such, candid moments are rarely captured by this type of wedding photography, creating an impression that the images produced look “fake” or “stiff” in the sense that the genuine emotions of a wedding are not perfectly encapsulated by these images.

Also due to the “rigid” nature of this photography style, it is also a style that is time consuming. Photographers of this style take more time in setting up the areas where the photos will be taken and other pertinent details of the shots to be planned, making sure the elements are set up the way the photographer envisioned it to be.

REPORTAGE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

The name may imply that there is an element of a documentary or journalistic report. In essence, that is what reportage wedding photography tries to convey with the photos. This style of photography has become more popular in recent years as the preference for realism in photography has become the trend around the same time. Current trends indicate that this particular wedding photography style is the style of choice among many couples who plan to get married.

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Reportage wedding photography aims to tell the story of the wedding as it happens naturally, with less to no direction or supervision being provided by the photographer. Thus, raw, spontaneous moments and emotions of people at the wedding are captured. For photographers, they get more freedom to capture any moment that are noted to be recorded, without having to rely on a preplanned list of moments to be taken.

TAKING THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

With such contrasting styles and approaches that are popular in wedding photography these days, there are some photographers who manage to combine elements of both styles into one. It would not be surprising to see in their portfolios some photos of a wedding shot in reportage style while other photos were taken in the traditional style. In addition, employing both styles provide an opportunity for photographers to be creative in documenting the wedding, employing one particular style in moments that may be deemed appropriate by the photographer.

Nevertheless, there is a dominant style that can be gleaned at such photos, as only a few photographers have managed to acquire true expertise of both styles. More often than not, majority of the photographers choose to develop expertise in a single style of photography and at times, employ elements of other styles to make a unique photography style that will be distinguished from the rest.

WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE

Now that we know the different wedding photography styles, the question remains as to which one you would choose. Ultimately, the choice of wedding photography style is up to personal preferences as each style is suited to fit certain preferences and tastes of the couple.

If you have yet to decide on a photography style you would like to see in your wedding, check out the works of different photographers who employ either style of photography and see which style you would prefer. After all, a wedding is your moment and you get the freedom to choose which style would capture your moment the way you want it.

 

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