Your head spins as you google Hudson Valley Wedding Photographers. Pages upon pages of photographers to choose from in the Hudson Valley, portfolios in black and white, bright and bold, romantic pastels, intricate angles, pinterest inspired, fisheye….oh my!! So many different types of photography styles as you scroll through the many galleries and you haven’t even clicked past the galleries yet….AHHHHHH!!! So many styles, so many decisions…where to start! Well here is a little something I put together to (maybe) help: A simple breakdown of the different styles of photographers out there along with (possible) editing styles!
Let’s talk shooting styles because it makes up half of a photographer’s overall style:
Traditional – Is concentration on the posed and formal. The highlight is on family, poses and formal portraits to hang on your mantle. Traditional photographers usually find a nice ‘backdrop’ and do most of their shooting by that backdrop. Some photographers will set up their professional lights or find an even naturally lit outdoor spot. Just look at pinterest for group formals…even though some are highly ‘stylized’ all of them fall into the traditional category!
Documentary – Also known as photojournalism and/or contemporary. Documentary photographers rely heavily on blending in with their surroundings. A ‘fly on the wall’ where most wedding guests have no idea these photographers are the hired professionals. Most captures are emotionally driven, spontaneous, shot fast and almost always expertly composed to lead the eye to a unique and highly creative exposure. They still capture the events of the day, but without the posed, formal emphasis. Documentary photographers are experts on the use of lighting either artificial or natural, and many will shoot film along with digital! Some photographers to look at for this style are found on the Fearless Photographer website www.fearlessphotographers.com
Lifestyle – Tends to be a mix of traditional and documentary but more laid back. The emphasis is capturing your day by using the elemental styles per the timeline. So, documentary usually happens during the more ceremonial points of the day and traditional used during the family portions. Still a ‘fly on the wall’ but most guests know you are the hired professional especially during family portraits. I would say my personal style is more toward lifestyle although one of my goals is to put more documentary into my work: www.photographybycarlise.com and one of my wedding photography mentors Susan Stripling she has a fine mix of documentary and lifestyle!
Editorial – This shooting style tends to have a magazine goal in mind but with a lifestyle approach. Yes, they are shooting for the couple and capturing their incredible day but wedding details and editorial-like poses are the emphasis. Photographers like Jasmine Star and Jessica Claire are editorial style photographers.
Artistic – Again this style can be a mix of several styles but the main difference in artistic is in the post processing. The photographer aims for a gorgeous scenic backdrop or pose that he/she can then put artistic elements in photoshop or other editing program to finish the masterpiece. The goal is a one of a kind art piece to hang really large in the home. Look to Sal Cincotta for examples of this type of style.
The other element to a photographer’s overall style is post processing, aka Photoshop/Editing practices:
Classic (digital) – This editing style tends to only subtly enhance what the camera actually captured. Colors are naturally bright and vibrant. Contrast is balanced meaning your highlights and shadows are in good harmony with each other and very little change from the image as it was shot in camera. NYC based wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer processes his images in a classic style.
Black and white (digital) – All cameras shoot color but because of the digital advancements we have now, it is easy to ‘desaturate’ the colors in post-processing so you have a black and white image. In the true film days you had to make a conscious choice of either shooting black and white or color during certain times throughout the day since you needed to choose your film to shoot. Now digital cameras give you the flexibility to have both! Not a lot of photographers out there who only shoot in black and white, most will give a mix.
Matte effect (digital) – Because the contrast is so strong in digital the popular trend these days is to make digital look like film. This is where the matte effect comes into play. Matte is a post processing effect that tones down the contrast and blends the highlights and shadows together a bit. The effect is a film-like quality since most films do not give a strong contrast. Many photographers including myself have used matte, and it really gives the right image a pretty affect. If you are looking for a style that is all matte I would look for film documentary photographers.
Soft vintage (digital) – Another trend that tends to give a soft yet bright pastel-like romantic glow to the images is the soft vintage. The emphasis is in romance and over-bright. Skin tones tend to be washed out to bring out the pure soft pastel colors. Simply Bloom Photography is a perfect example of this romantic, vintage style!
Film – Not to be confused with the Matte effect talked about above. Shooting film nowadays requires you to send your rolls to a lab for processing and most of those labs turn those negatives into a digital format so your editing can be done on a computer program rather than a dark room. Film differs in quality from digital: Digital tends to be more 3D, vibrant and sharper while film usually has more grain, muted colors but the handling of some natural lighting situations, film has still been unmatched on performance. Look at Jose Villa for gorgeous film samples; I believe he still shoots 100% film!
My editing style tends to be more classic but I do throw in some black and white, matte and vintage as per my client’s request. However, 90% of my editing style is classic color because it will last the test of time! Some samples of my work – ENJOY and thanks for reading, hope it helped!!