About My Photography style
I specialize in Kentucky wedding photography around Lexington & Louisville. But what kind of wedding photography?
I like to joke that on a wedding day, as your photographer, I wear many hats like a jack of all trades. From a product photographer while shooting details, to a photojournalist while getting drinks spilled on me in the middle of a dance floor, every part of the day requires something different from me.
But when searching for a wedding photographer, a couple looks to define photographers by specific styles, or boxes they can check off to make it easier to decide or choose a photographer. Just like how I like to say I am a jack of all trades, I like to think my photographer style is a little bit of each of these, and each style influences my work throughout the course of a wedding day. I want to take the best of each style and apply it to my creative vision, so couples can get a well rounded wedding gallery.
Wedding photojournalism is the documentation of the moments without interference by the photographer. A wedding photojournalist will take a step back on the wedding day and let the events unfold around them exactly as they happen to unfold. A strict photojournalist will not intervene at all during the day, like a news journalist. They won't rearrange items in the room, nor will they pose couples for portraits or move couples in more flattering light.
I admire the photojournalist. In fact, I got my story and foundation of photography in photojournalism while attending the University of Kentucky's journalism school. I don't believe, however, that weddings should be shot this way.
For example, imagine a bride is in a hotel room, getting ready for the ceremony. When a wedding photographer walks in to the room to photograph the day, the makeup artist has situated the bride in the bathroom at the sink, with florescent lights overhead. What should the photographer do?
A true wedding photojournalist would simply start documenting the day how it was, even if the lighting was horrible and all the photos have a toilet in the background.
When delivering quality images for my clients, I want to take advantage of my skills and technical ability to adjust the situation the best way I can. That means moving the bride in a different location to near the window while she's getting her makeup done, so she can be bathed in pretty light.
Of course, there are moments during a wedding day where it calls for the wedding photographer to take a step back and document the moment exactly how it is unfolding. For example, I never interrupt a first look, ceremony, or first dance to correct a pose or ask the bride and groom to change something. These are moments during the day when the gravity of the moment should be respected and documented for what it is.
It is during these moments that I use my photography technical skills and lessons learned while practicing photojournalism to use what is given to me in the moment to deliver the best possible images.
Traditional Wedding Photography
Traditional wedding photography is on the other end of the spectrum of wedding photojournalism. While wedding photojournalism is unposed and natural, traditional wedding photography relies on a more hands-on approach.
Traditional wedding photography is about being camera aware, with the people looking at the camera more often that not (aware posing) or looking at other people and things in the frame (unaware posing). A lot of attention is devoted to posing and setting up each shot. Many traditional wedding photographers work from a shot list at a wedding, delivering products that are consistent in quality but also content.
While I understand the place traditional wedding photography has in wedding photography, in fact it is almost entirely what our ancestor's family photos consist of, I do not think such a direct approach results in the natural looking images most couples look for in wedding photography.
Typically on a wedding day, a wedding photography will photograph the couple together for the portrait session. A traditional wedding photography will pose each and every photograph, making sure every pinky is in place and every expression is perfect. Many of these images will involve the subjects smiling at the camera, in what I like to call the "Grandma shot" because older family members like these images. But these images often don't result in candid photographs that truly capture a person's personality and spirit. They have their place during the day, but the don't make up the bulk of your photographs.
While my style isn't very traditional, I admire the technical artistry of the traditional approach. When I am shooting couple's portraits or wedding party and family photos, we do a mix of candid images of the couple walking and interacting naturally, and traditional aware and unaware posed images- including the Vanity Fair styled grouped shots I think add poise to your photos.
While there is a lot to be said about photojournalism and traditional photography, I believe the happy medium, (and where I spend a majority of my time) is lifestyle photography.
The lifestyle photographer will set up shots to "look candid" and set up scenes like they're natural. The posing and placement of events are directed by the photographer to make the most use of light and composition to produce the best results. While a lot of the set ups are stages, the events are not completely manufactured. I will often move a bride to a better location, or tell a groom to whisper something sweet in his bride's ear. But what he chooses to whisper in her ear? Whether she reacts by laughing or crying? Those moments are true.
I find that mixing and matching different styles through the day creates a well rounded wedding gallery for my couples. Most of the moments are photojournalistic in nature and lifestyle in approach. I round all that out with some beautiful traditional portraits to create a deeper collection of images for your wedding day.
Take a look through my galleries and maybe even browse my Instagram account. If you see a laugh or a tear in someone's eye, that's a real moment. If you see an interaction, those are all real.
Wedding Photography Editing Styles
Many clients have looked at a lot of wedding images from a lot of different photographers before choosing a wedding photographer. Part of that is so you, as a wedding client, have to decide what style of photography you are most drawn to. Do you want to be posed during your portraits? Do you want to smile at the camera for a lot of your wedding photos? Do you want a wedding photographer who captures the moments as they happen? Do you want a combination of it all?
Once you've decided on a style, you realize that it is a lot more confusing than that. Even taking in account photojournalistic, lifestyle or traditional wedding photography styles, wedding photographs will still look very different on each photographer's site you visit.
Some might look soft and pastel. Some might be dark and moody. Some have soft edges and dreamy shapes, some will look grainy and like old film.
It is important to understand how wedding photographer's will have unique editing styles just as much as having unique photographing styles. It's easy to assume the two go hand in hand, but often times that don't.
You might have a wedding photographer whose images are edited in a super light and airy way. You might find a wedding photographer whose images are all presented in gritty black and whites. You will probably find a photographer who edits in a dark and moody way with a trend towards warm browns. The last example is the most trendy look right now. Google "PNW wedding photography" for examples, as this trend started in the Pacific North West.
I strive for authenticity and timelessness is my editing. I don't rely on presents and the look of my wedding images are not due to post-processing. My images frequently look very similar in the camera as the do after I deliver them. You will not see me applying a vintage film present to my images. What you will see is the day precisely as it unfolded, with the color and tone true to life. I want you to look back on your wedding photographs in the years to come and have them be timeless.
If you have any questions about my style (or anything else!) please don't hesitate to contact me through email, text, or phone call. I'd love to talk to you about your day and answer any question you have.