A Comprehensive Guide

When you first start researching wedding photography styles, you’ll come across heaps of different terms like documentary, fine art, dark and moody, candid, and modern, to name a few. It might seem like the list of wedding photography styles goes on forever—and it can feel a bit overwhelming. Here is my guide to help you choose what’s right for you.

it’s important to determine what style of wedding photography you gravitate towards before you start reaching out to photographers. Booking a photographer before understanding the different styles could leave you wishing you’d gone in a different direction. While it might seem like just anyone with a camera could do the job, capturing a wedding requires a unique blend of skill, creativity, and experience. It’s not just about snapping photos; it’s about crafting art that tells the story of your love and celebration. Invest in a photographer who not only has the talent but also a style that aligns with the look and feel you want to capture on this momentous occasion.

Fortunately, telling the difference between styles isn’t as daunting as you’d think.

Here’s an easy-to-follow rundown of the various wedding photography styles, so you can confidently book your wedding photographer.

Understanding The Different Wedding Photography Styles

As professional photographers, we understand these terms and there are distinct differences between each style. But for couples who feel in over their head, photography styles fall into 2 different categories: technical and editing.

Technical style refers to how the wedding photographer approaches documenting the day and physically photographs it. It can be broken down into 3 main categories:

  • Traditional/ Classic
  • Documentary/Candid
  • Editorial/Fine Art

Editing style refers to how the photos are edited in post production These styles typically fall into 4 main categories:

  • True to Life
  • Trendy
  • Dark and Moody
  • Light and Airy


Traditional / Classic Photography

The wedding style you may be most familiar with is a traditional look focused on staged portraits with the couple and family, capturing key snaps from the ceremony and reception, and curating a clear picture of the day. Those with a checklist of key shots to be captured may opt for this style and can expect a more structured and guided photo session, ensuring all crucial moments are captured meticulously. Traditional photography offers a classic and timeless approach to wedding photographs where your photos will stand the test of time.

bride and groom pose at Baldivis farm stay. She wears a plunging backline
Bride and groom face one another nose to nose. He wears a navu suit and she wears a white lace gown
bride and groom hold their marriage certificate with their children


If you prefer not to be interrupted through your day for group and more posed photos you may consider photographers who adopt a documentary-style approach to their craft. They excel at capturing the beauty of spontaneous moments, the flow of events, and the genuine emotions that fill your celebration.

if you’ve hired a documentary wedding photographer your photographs should have plenty of natural and candid moments in them. They should  be like a mini movie with every moment, laugh and reaction captured.

You might also see a lot of movement in your images and split second moments.There might also be close ups of interesting details that help support the wider picture. For, example a tender look or a high five to celebrate the day.

Editorial /Fine Art

If you want your wedding photos to have a curated, magazine-spread-like feel, you should look to editorial wedding photographers. They may give more direction to a couple to best capture their day with beautiful light and angles. An editorial photography style encompasses creatively compelling, visually driven, and narrative-rich images, Creating meaningful and beautiful photographs requires time, trust, lighting equipment and preparation and importantly locations that suit the style you are wanting to achieve.

You can think of technical styles as a sliding scale. There isn’t always a clear point where one style ends and the other begins. Some wedding photographers are completely hands-off (candid), others completely hands-on (editorial), but most, including myself will fall somewhere in the middle.


I’d describe my style as candid wedding photography. HOWEVER, I thrive on capturing those spontaneous, in-between moments that showcase your unique personality. But when it comes to traditional family photos and wedding party portraits, I’m always ready to step in with guidance and posing tips to make sure you feel confident and look your best. I’ll wrangle everyone you’ve requested photos with, ticking off all the combinations on your list. Family photos are actually my secret wedding day superpower and I smash these out in 10-20 minutes! (Dependent on the number of groups you need done)


After you’ve figured out what technical style you’re drawn to, it’s time to look at editing styles. That’s the way photographers tweak the colors of an image to bring it to life and give it their personal style.

Again, editing styles can fall anywhere on the spectrum, but there are 5 big categories

True To Life

This kind of editing style tries to avoid any trendy looks—the goal is that the colors and exposure are as accurate as possible to what it looked like in real life. Photos will look lighter or darker depending on the weather and environment. Skin tones will look warm and alive an colours will be vibrant and true to life. These photos will stand the test of time.


This can be whatever is trending at any given time from the old fashioned Sepia look of the 80’s and selective colour of the 90’s, to the washed out look that is currently trending. This style has become extremely prominent in the industry as a whole. And there is a bit of a line in the sand when it comes to identifying an individual photographer’s style. The de-saturated photos that tend to wash out wedding parties is a result of photographers using pre-sets. The problem with these is they sometimes go the opposite way of making parties look under exposed with very orange skin. No doubt in a few years brides will be wondering why they went this route.

Dark and Moody

These are photos that have a darker feel to them. They really play into shadows and can have a sexy kind of romance to them.

dark and moody wedding photography style

Light and Airy

Light and airy photos are bright photos that have more of an ethereal feel to them. Also romantic, but in a pastel kind of way with very little contrast.

How Technical and Editing Styles Work Together

A lot of candid wedding photographers will edit dark and moody to emphasize emotions, whilst traditional photos tend to be edited with true-to-life colors, and editorial photos are usually bold and dramatic.

But wedding photography styles aren’t limited to these combinations.

You’ll find photographers who mix and match technical and editing styles to create a signature look. For instance, I consider myself a candid wedding photographer who edits true to life with a warm and romantic glow.

That’s why it’s important to figure out which technical and editing style you prefer—that’s how you’ll discover your ideal wedding photography style.

What Style of Photography is Best for a Your Wedding?

Your perfect wedding photography style will depend on two key factors: the type of photography that…

  • Draws your attention (so you’ll love looking at your photos)
  • Complements your venue and wedding vibe your flowers, decor and dress and overall theme.

By now you should know which style would perfectly complement your individual wedding and mirror your shared personality as a couple. Keep in mind that your wedding photos will serve as the enduring record of your special day, brimming with personal nuances, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and an unforgettable atmosphere. Selecting the ideal photography style is a pivotal decision to ensure that these cherished memories are preserved exactly as you imagine them.

Searching for your Perfect Perth Wedding Photographer?

If you felt a connection with the candid, true-to-life photography style described in this post, it might be a sign that we are a great match for your wedding. Click HERE to book in a chat about your wedding photography.