Summer wedding season is upon us - and with it, new trends and tips in wedding photography that highlight the couple’s individuality.
“The more relaxed, casual style is very popular right now,” says Sharon King, a Pittsburgh-area professional photographer who specializes in portraits. King has noticed that more couples are incorporating professional photography into each step of their wedding journey, from engagement photos to post-wedding “Trash the Dress” or “Cherish the Dress” shoots.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TRENDS FOR 2011
King predicts that detailed shots - of small but meaningful elements of the wedding - will continue to be popular in this year’s wedding photography. Detailed shots include everything from the dress hanging in an artistically lit doorway to the rings nestled in the bride’s bouquet.
“The natural lighting used by the photographer gives these shots a feeling of beauty and elegance,” she says.
She adds that outdoor and destination weddings are also trendy alternatives to more traditional wedding venues, and that some couples even choose to be married in the same spot where the proposal took place.
Britain’s royal wedding extravaganza may also influence weddings across the pond, inspiring a return to a more vintage look - with modern overtones - in wedding pictures, according to King.
“A contemporary look using fine art, vintage tones in the images, or possibly even using vintage cars in the weddings instead of limos” can add whimsy and class, she says, adding that photo booths have also become popular at wedding receptions.
Black and white photography is still a popular choice for artistically minded couples, according to Your Wedding Company, which compiles wedding trend information from professionals in both North America and Europe.
“The photo-journalistic approach to wedding photography is preferred by many brides to the traditional posed shots,” according to Your Wedding Company.
Other trends include incorporating a bit of day-to-day life into the “big day” photos, according to Jacqueline Tobin’s Wedding Photography Unveiled.
“So if you love wine, have your portrait taken with your favorite bottle of wine and two glasses. The possibilities are endless - just remember to communicate what it is you want and most photographers will be more than willing to indulge you,” states Brides Magazine writer Cari Wolfert.
Wolfert adds that “less posed and stiff portraits that are done outside or at a location that has some meaning to the couple” are currently in style, and advocates that couples and photographers “Get outdoors, be creative!”
MUST-HAVE SHOTS IN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
Just as the first kiss during the royal wedding was a highly anticipated and highly photographed moment, wedding photographers know that their subjects’ first kiss is a critical shot.
“Other must-haves would include the look on the groom’s face as he sees his bride coming down the aisle and the look on the father-of-the-bride's face as he dances with his little girl at the reception,” says King, who asserts such shots give true meaning to the special day.
“It is important to the bride and the groom to capture the true essence of their wedding day,” she says.
Photos also add to the story of the wedding - and may include location stops at parks or cityscapes between the church and reception area. There, King typically takes photos that include the bride and groom walking, holding hands, and just enjoying each other’s company.
Mixed in with these casual, candid shots, are traditional style portraits of the bride, the couple, and their family members, King adds.
“The timeless look of the bride standing alone, holding her bouquet and the traditional shot of the hands and the rings are always included in the final wedding album,” she says.
She notes that "selective focus" shots are very popular - examples include an image of the wedding bouquet in focus with the wedding couple standing in the background out of focus.
“Shooting the couple from a low angle with a lot of sky and big fluffy clouds in the frame, or shooting at night with the sunlight coming in from behind, causing a bit of flare in the portrait, are other popular looks,” she says.
TIPS FOR ASPIRING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Students interested in pursuing a career in wedding photography will benefit from internships that can help them to learn the business. Gaining this experience not only builds a portfolio, but helps budding photographers get a feeling for how to work with clients, choose locations, and manage the shoot.
Staying on top of trends is also important - students should read industry publications to see what is hot and what clients are seeking.
“I recommend [the May] issue of PDN [Photo District News] - it was the Wedding Issue,” says Karen Antonelli, Photography Instructor at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
Most importantly, keep it fun. Building a give-and-take relationship with your client helps to ensure that all must-have and trendy photos on the shot list are completed with as little stress as possible.
It can also lead to future jobs, including the “Trash the Dress” or “Cherish the Dress” sessions mentioned by King. These shoots, which King describes as “a lot of fun for the bride” give photographers an opportunity to really shine creatively.
“A ‘Cherish the Dress’ session is a high-fashion shoot inspired by fashion magazines, while a ‘Trash the Dress’ session takes place possibly in an urban location - train tracks, bathing in a creek, in a junk yard,” King explains. The goal is to mix old with new - to challenge the photographer’s vision while capturing a unique moment in time.
In photography, “there is no limit to the imagination,” King concludes.
Written by freelance talent for Ai InSite