Wedding Photography is perhaps as important as the wedding dress or wedding venue. However, it is often the one area that couples gives the least thought to; but it is the one element of your wedding that will stay relevant to future generations, and help you keep the memories of the day fresh.
There are two principal approaches to wedding photography one is Traditional and the other Reportage. Traditional wedding photography provides the more classically posed images and a degree photographic control and interaction on the day of the wedding. Reportage or Photojournalistic wedding photography is based on editorial reporting styles; focusing more on candid and un-posed images with little photographer interaction with the wedding guests. Though the two styles may be diametric opposites are most bride and grooms will want a photographer that will confidently switch between these two styles capturing both elements of Traditional and Reportage stylistics.
The term 'contemporary wedding photography' is often used to describe wedding photography that is not of a seen to be the usual type of traditional photography. The purpose of contemporary photography is primarily to capture the narrative and ambiance of the day. The reasoning behind this style is twofold; first in order that the bride and groom can relive the experience of the day and secondly that they can enjoy the moments they missed, but that were captured by the camera. Thereby giving a feel for what the wedding was like, rather than a succession of pre-determined poses. This term is often mistaken for meaning any photograph that is not posed or formal. The ubiquity of digital cameras means that many people can offer their services as a photographer, but a cautionary note should be sounded, contemporary photography comprises of more than relaxed snapshots taken at a wedding, it involves composition and lighting to capture aesthetically pleasing photographs. A common practice at wedding receptions (or wedding breakfasts) is the use of disposable cameras on the tables for guests to use. These are an expensive novelty; don't expect to get a set of album quality photographs, you will be disappointed.
The world of Wedding Photography continuously evolves, it is an innovative industry and those at the cutting edge of the industry constantly provide new ideas for the photographic community to follow. As a result trends will continually develop, though some will lack any form of longevity, others will become part of the standard photographic convention.
A wedding is a unique occasion, and as such any photographer should be prepared for the unforeseen eventuality. The photographer is constantly looking for the opportunities for candid shots. It is important when planning the timing of events for a wedding that time is scheduled for the photographs, also plan the formal shots before hand and revisit that list before the wedding to ensure 'great aunt Bessie' has not been forgotten, this will alleviate many of the stresses associated with photographing a wedding, and keep everyone happy. The ability of the photographer to diplomatically take charge also helps - predominantly when photographing groups or families. The photographs with young children should be scheduled first, before the children get tired and dirty.