Wedding Photography.....do you follow fashion? / by Neil Genower

© Neil Genower

© Neil Genower

There are two genres of photography that seem to follow a photo style. Weddings and fashion. It it expected that fashion photography changes it's style, after all it's fashion! Wedding photography however, for many years didn't really change it's style. Right up until the reportage fashion arrived, wedding photography had been pretty much the same, and didn't often include candid pictures but mostly concentrated on set ups and the usual bride and groom, group and cake cutting images. It is quite normal now to start shooting a wedding with the bride and her entourage camped in a hotel bedroom surrounded by the detritus of the forthcoming day, ending up some twelve hours later, on the dance floor. But what about style? One must assume brides and grooms are influenced by what they see in their research for photographers, and in magazines and wedding websites. The last couple of years have seen a move towards more colour and more pictures shot on film or employing film look filters on digital pictures. The black and white, grainy journalistic style pictures are still around but not dominating the scene. Pictures have got more humorous and I have to say, contrived. Wedding photographers are constantly striving to find their look, something that will set them apart from the crowd, but in doing this, they risk losing sight of the point of the pictures. Is it about being a weird and whacky, creative photographer or recording a day in the life? As a photographer you have to balance the feel of the day with original documentation and a style you are comfortable with. One assumes that the wedding couple have already decided you are the one they want from your portfolio, so it's fairly safe to say, carry on and shoot your style. Should wedding photographers follow the fashion? I would say, yes and no. It is inevitable that brides and grooms will want the contemporary look, but in providing pictures that are contemporary, is the photographer being like all the others? On the other hand, if your style is not in vogue, are you out of the loop? We are not all followers of fashion and brides are knowledgable and know what they want. If it really doesn't suit your aesthetic to shoot the fashion of the day... don't. Trust in your pictures and there will be people who will gravitate to what you are doing, after all, you just might be the next new thing!