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Shooting styles

Wedding Video Styles:

There are numerous ways to tell a wedding story. Listed here are a few wedding-video styles. This list is not fixed; any piece may be a hybrid of some of these styles, or something completely different. However, as a beginner, this list offers you a useful way to consider your final product. If you know what style wedding video you want to create and deliver, you can be sure to budget for the right gear and market yourself correctly.
  • Documentary: A documentary-style piece provides a straightforward rendition of the wedding event, typically showing the action of the day in chronological order. While any given section, such as the ceremony or the speeches, might be heavily edited, it is unlikely that any section will utilize heavy visual effects or be intercut with other scenes from the day. Even in places where natural audio isn’t used, the music in a journalistic piece will be similar to the music of the actual event.
  • Cinematic: A cinematic-style piece is heavily dramatized to create a certain mood. The dramatization is inherent in the shooting and enhanced through editing, effects, and graphics work. It may include slow, romantic sequences; quick-paced jump cuts to reflect the action and adventure of the day; or a vintage-style section complete with grainy effects and super 8. In any given theme, a cinematic piece will trade some integrity of the actual event storyline for the fun and visual benefit of a carefully compiled, stylized video.
  • Storytelling: Somewhat similar to a documentary-style video, a storytelling video will use a fairly straightforward approach but will incorporate a lot of interviews and dialogue (not necessarily recorded on the wedding day itself) in order to both build and push the events of the storyline.
  • Highlights: A highlights video will be very short and generally contains selections of the best shots from each portion of the day. It can be edited to a song—perhaps the music used for the couple’s first dance—or creatively edited to the audio of the ceremony vows or speeches. Often, a couple will choose to order a highlights video as well as a longer one.
  • Shoot only: Occasionally, a client will request a shoot-only video. In this case, the videographer provides the events captured on video for the bride and groom to either watch unedited or to cut themselves. It that situation, it’s best to get a sense of what the client will be doing with the footage to best determine what types of shots to emphasize: wide angle, close-up details, Dutch angles, pans, and so on. Often, a straightforward, clean approach that encompasses as much of the action as possible is best. Any one video or videographer’s style may encompass several of the categories listed here. For example, a journalistic piece might have a retro stylized opening and a romantic sequence of shots of the couple. A highlights piece might include a fast-paced, high-energy montage or a dreamy, sepia-toned vintage section with lots of the interview audio more frequently found in a storytelling piece.

Wedding Photography Style:

Though there are no standard “dictionary definitions” of photographic styles, it’s still a good idea to have an understanding of the following approaches before you interview photographers:
  • Traditional, Classic: The main idea behind this timeless style is to produce posed photographs for display in a portrait album. The photographer works from a “shot list,” ensuring he or she covers all the elements the bride and groom have requested. To make sure every detail of the shots is perfect, the photographer and her assistants not only adjust their equipment, but also the background, the subject’s body alignment, and even the attire.
  • Photojournalism: Rather than posing your pictures, the photographer follows you and your guests throughout the wedding day, capturing events as they unfold in order to tell the story of your wedding. The photographer has to be able to fade into the background and become “invisible” to the crowd in order to get these candid, or unposed, shots. Since the photojournalist does not give direction, he’ll need a keen eye and a willingness to “do what it takes to get the shot.”
  • Illustrative Photography:This style, which is often used for engagement photos, is a pleasing blend of traditional and photojournalistic, with an emphasis on composition, lighting and background. The photographer places subjects together in an interesting environment, and encourages them to relax and interact. Illustrative captures some of the spontaneity of candids, while offering the technical control of posed shots.
  • Portraiture:Traditional photographers generally excel at the precision required in portraiture—formal, posed pictures that emphasize one or more people. Couples interested in a more edgy result may prefer Fine Art Portraiture, with its dramatic lighting, unique angles and European flavor.
  • High Fashion:Commercial photographers excel at creating striking, simple photographs that dramatize the subject—and of course, her clothes! Though not a style generally included in wedding photography, you may want to choose a photographer with high fashion experience if looking artsy and glamorous while showing off your dress is important to you.
  • Natural Light Rather than making use of a camera flash, photographers use the natural light found in a setting, usually daylight. The look is warm and, well, natural—yet the photographer must be skilled to deal with shadows and other lighting challenges.