Working out and then communicating your preferred photography style can be difficult. For couples it can be tricky - initially, often you'll know what before what you do want.
Photographers describe their work in a number of ways: reportage, documentary, candid - what's the difference? Couples often ask for unposed and natural photography - but should a photographer take that literally? Here's a short guide to figuring out your style as a couple and communicating it with your photographer.
Photographers need to avoid jargon and steer clear of ambiguous terms. We have an approach that sees us catching moments quietly from the sidelines, seeking nature, beauty and natural light for gentle, genuine portraits, to capturing the atmosphere of a riotous dancefloor. When talking to a wedding photographer, I'd describe our stlye as a reportage/ fine art/ hybrid, but to a commercial photographer, even that could have another meaning. A couple asking for totally unposed photography may not really want zero interaction from the photographer (and possibly no couple or family shots - the literal meaning of unposed). They may mean they want a natural look within the pictures - or feel natural whilst they're been taken.
The truth about these descriptions is they've adapted, adopted, twisted and evolved. So what we suggest doing for effective communication about these important photographs is as follows:
1)Describe to us the atmosphere you're looking for the pictures to create - the feeling you want them to evoke
2) Let us know the level of interaction you're most happy with us having
3) Let us know how comfortable you are in front of a camera
4)If you know a genre that you like i.e. documentary, that's great - let us know. But let's put together some photographs, either together or by yourselves - show us a selection of our pictures that you like the most, and what it is about the work that you like (or love!). Pinterest, links or even screengrabs are great, and if you like making mood boards, we love to see them.
5) Please also let us know a bit about yourselves - how you spend your spare time, where you met, and if at all possible, let's meet up or Skype and chat as much as possible ahead of your day.
6)Think about what you want to do with the pictures afterwards. Will they be in a boxed album that's just for you? Or do you imagine them as a box of small prints, a photo book, or framed in your home?
If you feel like you're not quite there yet, it might help to think about why you want your photographs to be a certain way. Rather than what photography trend is in right now, think about your character as a couple and allow your photographer to take that on board. That's something that can never go out of fashion. I'm sure everyone wants to look their best on their wedding day, so flattering photographs are a given! But if you're a couple who always laugh and joke around, perhaps a romantic picture just wouldn't be you. And if you're naturally understated and relaxed, we want to produce pictures that fit. That way, anything you do in your photographs won't feel forced - it will just feel like you.
To us, the most important part of being a great wedding photographer is not to only create a mindblowing 'hero' photograph that gains pats on the back from the photography industry. It's conveying the couple in that shot as who you are, and what makes you, you. Genuine connections between you, your family and friends, and natural
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