One word of caution, the style of photographs do have some technical and procedural differences in how your wedding is shot. For example:
Degree of control – Traditional photographers and fashion style shooters tend to do a fair amount of directing (you & your guests) in order to achieve their results. Photojournalistic guys can be more a fly on the wall, somewhat less obtrusive. If you want the spectacular fashion or grand classic shots, be prepared to take more direction from your photographer and make sure you are comfortable with that.
Quantity versus quality – the documentation guys will shoot lots of pictures (sometimes thousands!) and typically edit down to create a coherent and thoughtful story of your day. Traditional shooters will often spend more time per shot and so are more methodical in their shooting process. Their pace can be very different. In either case, it’s not quantity that matters but the quality of the final few (hundred?) delivered to you.
Your “Must Have” shot list – if you have a super definite list of shots you can’t live without, you are probably don’t want a photojournalistic kind of photographer. Their forte is to capture what’s happening, not a predetermined list you (or they) create. However, the traditionalists can be particularly comfortable with preplanned lists of ‘must have’ shots.
Post processing / manipulation – as I mentioned, to get “fine art” work, your photographer begins with the photo and then heavily & artistically manipulates it in his/her dark room (digital or chemical). That takes time so you need to be prepared for potentially more cost to get what you want. On the other hand, you can end up with something that you can hang on your wall for years, not store in the hall closet. What better art object than yourself?
Reliable results – this is not a style issue, it’s a professionalism issue. Don’t let anyone tell you one approach will yield more reliable (or better for that matter) results. Real pros can be counted on to give you what they advertise, regardless of style. That capability takes lots of time behind a camera and a commitment to the business of pleasing you. Anyone can take one great shot. Few can take hundreds of great shots. Look for a successful track record.
THE BOTTOM LINE REDUX.
Lead with your heart. Look at enough pictures of enough photographers and you’ll find yourself drawn to one approach or another. Ignore the labels and look for what speaks to you in their work, not their sales pitch, their verbiage or even their personalities (well OK, maybe do that last one second).
While there can be a difference in how the photos get taken, first and foremost, it’s the pictures you get that will count. Make sure they will matter to you.
About the Author:
The spirit of a wedding day lives in fleeting events, unfolding without direction. Wedding photojournalism is how the story of a wedding day can be captured artfully. Trained as a designer (BA & MFA) and skilled in visual story telling, Dan Derby works quietly throughout your wedding day making sure this happens. He is based in New England but travels where ever he’s needed.