Today I want to talk about styles of wedding photography. One the most asked questions I get from couples during their consultation, right after “Are you free?” and “How much do you cost?” is “How would you describe your style of photography?”
But before I give you my answer, let us go over some definitions. I find it extremely helpful to hit the books on this one so that we have a very clear definition of what each of these things are. According to Merriam-Webster,
photojournalism is: the job or activity of using photographs to report news stories in magazines or newspapers.
Now clearly, you aren’t having a reporter at your wedding and having those images sent off to the Sunday Times for publication (or maybe you are), but you get the point. We’re not going to see your wedding on the evening news. We can however take the strongest points of that definition and translate it to wedding photography. To me, this simply means, using photographs to tell a story. This is exactly what a photographer with this type of style is going to do at your wedding. They are going to capture images that are a visual retelling of what took place that day. Crying your eyes out at the alter? A photojournalist will document that. Got a little too much frosting up your nose during the cake cutting? A photojournalist will document that. Sharing a quiet moment with your new spouse away from the hustle and bustle of your reception? Your photographer has been keenly watching you and yes, a photojournalist will document that.
With the exception of your family photos this type of photographer is going to take a very hands off approach to your wedding. They aren’t going to be directing how they want you to stand, they aren’t going to ask you to pose and they certainly are not going to have you look into the camera and say “cheese!” (lord help us!) They also might not be as concerned with taking photos of certain details like your dress or shoes or other things, because again, a photojournalist doesn’t stage props. Now, if those things just happen to be hanging up or sitting on the bed, then sure, they will be at the ready with camera in hand. So for all you Pinterest loving couples out there, this is something to keep in mind when you are seeing all those dreamy images of other peoples weddings (this is a topic for later as well). Your photojournalist photographer might not be very receptive to you handing them a Pinterest board of cute poses and dreamy details. If this is something that you want, a photojournalist might not be the best fit for you.
Let’s move on to the next definition.
Again, using our trusty dictionary resource, MW defines fine art: 1. a type of art (such as painting, sculpture, or music) that is done to create beautiful things. 2. an activity that requires skill and care.
The most important word in that definition is create. And this is the biggest difference between a fine art photographer and a photojournalist. Whereas the photojournalist is going to document for the purposes of retelling, the fine artist is going to do the telling for you. They have an a vision for a photo, they are going to be very hands on in their work to create the look and story that they want to tell. They can achieve this with the actual taking of the photo, maybe using different angles to capture their subject, something that isn’t so straight on or direct. Or, and often times, they achieve their final look in the post processing of the photo. The image is edited to look a certain way. All of these things do require great skill and a keen eye so it is very common for fine art photographers to have a degree in their field of work. It’s not required, but don’t be surprised if your fine art photographer comes with a few extra credentials.
So which one am I?
I am going to say fairly bluntly that in this day and age of the wedding industry, I do not believe you can just be one of the above. Weddings are waaaaaay too complex to just see things through one lens. I’ve seen photojournalists pose shoes and dresses (even if they don’t like to do it) because guess what? It’s what the client wants. And you cannot go through an entire wedding with only your vision in mind because, again, you are shooting for a paying client!! I am pretty sure they have a say in how they want their wedding to look.
With that said, I tell my clients that while my background and my eye tends to lean more toward photojournalism, I am a healthy mix of both. I believe that if you look really closely at all the photographers you are doing research on, you are going to find that the majority of photographers today are doing just that. They are blending a little bit of the two into something that more acurately reflects the personalities and desires of the modern wedding client.
In the end you have to find the photographer that meshes with your personality. I tell couples that my style is “as relaxed and casual as my clients are…no awkward posing, no forcing you to do anything you are uncomfortable with. My images are simply you.” If this is something that is appealing to you, then contact me today! I hope you found this information helpful in your search for the photographer that is going to best express the emotion of your day.
If you recently got engaged (congratulations!) the very first thing to get crossed off your list of to-dos is pick your date. When you get married can also hinge on where as many venues in Maine book up a year in advance. One of those places that has become a hot spot for couples in these past two seasons is Marianmade Farm in Wiscasset. Nestled on the banks of the Sheepscot River, this venue boasts beautiful views of the river and a gorgeous, bright barn that is perfect for relaxed, rustic weddings.
The venue is also a working lavender and flower farm, which owner and floral designer Michelle Peele uses to create some of the most stunning floral arrangements for your wedding. Yes! You can get married there AND have them do your flowers!
So why do I love this venue so much?
Besides its stunning location and ambiance, one of things from a photography perspective that I absolutely love is that you and your wedding party can get ready right on site. The venue offers an adorable side cottage, enjoyed mostly by the bride and her bridesmaids, while right up the hill in the garden is a retro Airstream that groomsmen love to hang out in before the ceremony. Having these getting ready locations directly on the property means that your photographer(s) never have to leave the area, making it a seamless process from beginning to end of your event.
Life at Marianmade farm is a family affair with Michelle’s daughter Mackenzie being the contact person for the venue and setting up tours. Contact her today to set up your tour. I highly recommend seeing the venue in June or July when the lavender is in bloom (but that’s just me). I have it on good authority that they are completely booked for 2015, so if you are looking for a spot for your 2016 nuptials then contact them today! Mackenzie is absolutely lovely and can answer all your questions.
To read more about the venue and to watch a great promo video, check out the farm at www.marianmadefarm.com.
My very last wedding of 2014 took me outside of the state of Maine…way out of the state. When Moraima, Jesse and I met back in 2013 for maternity photos and announced to me that they were also engaged I was ecstatic. When they casually asked me join them in Puerto Rico the following year for their wedding (as their photographer) I was speechless.
But…of course I said yes.
The warm, sunny beaches of San Juan are home to Moraima, so this wasn’t your typical destination wedding; it was a homecoming. Surrounded by so many of her family that still lives on the island, plus the friends and family that flew in from the continental US, the couple threw an intimate gathering with the most stunning ocean views. Jesse and his groomsmen started off the morning with a trip to a hole-in-wall barber shop for a hot towel shave and some pampering, while Moraima and her bridesmaids enjoyed breakfast at the hotel and then got ready overlooking the crystal clear blue waters of Condado beach. The ceremony took place on the oceanside patio of the La Concha Resort Hotel and then it was up to the rooftop for a cocktail hour and reception overlooking the ocean on one side and the city of San Juan on the other. Endless glasses of white and red sangria made their way around to guests while passed hors d’oeuvres of traditional Puerto Rican treats were enjoyed by all. Once it was time for dinner, guests were brought inside a lovely room with windows on all sides that was filled with stunning, white tropical centerpieces and candles galore. They enjoyed a delicious meal (which was also some of the prettiest and tastiest food I’d had all year) and soon people were on the dance floor for what seemed liked an endless night of moving and shaking. And let me tell you this. If there is one thing you need to know about a Puerto Rican wedding, it is that Puerto Ricans can dance…really dance. Moraima and her father tore is up on the dance floor like they had been practicing their whole lives for this…because really…they have been.
Moraima and Jesse, being asked to come on this adventure with you and your family was an absolute treat and I cannot thank you enough for your amazing hospitality during my stay in San Juan. Muchas gracias. Felicitaciones. Te quiero mucho, tanto. xoxo
Buy a wedding album. There…post done. OK, just kidding.
But seriously. Let us have a heart to heart about this topic. In the good ‘ol days of shooting film, wedded couples didn’t have a choice. Photographers shot weddings and then produced a proof book for you with all your printed images in a neatly laid out album. I guarantee your parents have one on their shelf right now. Even some of my friends that got married in the turn of the century have one, before things went all crazy digital. How I long for those days….but I’ll get to that in a bit. We have been riding this digital wave for many years now. When high quality digital SLR cameras started to take over the industry in the early 2000s, photographers ditched the proof books and started offering their clients a CD of images in its place.
Photographers now had cameras that could shoot thousands of images at each wedding instead of a few hundred, they stopped developing film (some did), and low and behold the “shoot and burn” revolution was born. This shoot and burn phase of photography, as its called, started to take off around 2004 (ish) and before we knew it clients were expecting that their wedding package included the high resolution files from their wedding. It is seriously the first question I get from the majority of clients. “Do I get my images?” They expect it now. And we, not them, made this happen.
I write all of that only to provide a historical context to where we are today. So where are we in 2015? Go to any Apple store and try to buy a computer with a CD drive in it. You won’t find one. And if you do have a bunch of photos on discs, you might want to get them off soon because before we know it there won’t be a single computer on the market that will be able to read them. Additionally, the sale of digital cameras hit an all time high in 2005 and has been on a slight decline ever since. Now, I do not think this is because people all of sudden started printing their photos again. It was mostly due to the introduction smartphone with cameras and then the iPhone release in June of 2007 changed the game. I remember that day well. My husband and I were in line that day. So digital hasn’t gone away; it just started to take a new form, a smaller form that could now fit in our back pocket.
But I believe that all of that is changing. I believe that people, in their soul, are looking for something more.
I truly believe that there is a cycle to everything we do in life and that this digital craze may be winding down…just ever so slightly. With the rise of all things artisan, boutique, bespoke, hipster, home grown, whatever you want to call it, I see a sector of society growing very tired of all the digital in their lives and are looking to get back to what it felt like to live a more analogue life. Keeping a journal, writing your daily plan in an actual paper planner (I’ve had one for years and I love them), growing your own food, you name it. We want to feel more connected to our own lives. And I’ll be honest with you, there is absolutely nothing that connects me emotionally to a piece of plastic CD or a tiny flash drive that my sly three year old might get a hold of and potentially throw in the trash (not kidding). And above all, let us remember this: it is not if that disc, thumb drive or hard drives crashes…it’s when. But when I open up a book, a heavy, beautifully bound, warm smelling book (yes, I smell my books), there is a very real connection to what you are seeing on those pages. Don’t you want to have that personal connection with your own wedding? Don’t you want to be able to reach up onto the shelf or on your coffee table, curl up on the couch with your favorite hot beverage and relive that spectacular day any time you want? I know I sure do. I deeply want this for my clients. The photos that I take of my couples are raw, emotional, real authentic imagery from their wedding.
These images are of a family member walking you down the isle, or maybe you walked yourself because your parent or parents aren’t with you anymore and that was something so very important to you.
They are images of your groom crying at the alter and you wiping away his tears of joy.
They are images of pure joy and laughter as you and your new spouse sing to each other and dance to your favorite song in front of all your friends and family.
These are images that are not meant to be enjoyed on a computer screen.
I’ll wrap this up just by saying this: prints matter. All of my 2015 wedding clients will be receiving something printed in any of the packages that they choose because I feel that strongly about this. I encourage everyone to include an album in their package for all of the above reasons and more. And so far…all of them are.
If you would like to learn more about the Anne Schmidt Photography experience and want to hear more about my offerings for this year, do not hesitate to contact me. I can’t wait to hear from you so that we can talk about how we can preserve your family history. For a sampling of the albums I make, click here.
Greetings everyone! Today we’re dropping some truth bombs on all the engaged couples out there (and I’ll be doing this a lot more in the coming months) and I have a special guest writer on the blog today. Meet Amber Small, owner and lead designer at Sweetest Thing Weddings. I asked her to join us in talking about the link between wedding planning and great photography. Amber has been planning and designing spectacular destination weddings in Maine for fabulous clients for over ten years. Five years ago she added a full service floral design component to her business. Her weddings are not only luxurious and stylish, but they are filled with so much heart and soul that this woman puts into everything she does. These two things, amongst others, are why people hire her. Amber wrote five short, concise reasons why hiring a wedding planner is going to yield better photos at your wedding. I’m delighted to share it with you. Take it away Amber!
5. Time Table
Understanding the overall flow of the day is important, not just when ceremony starts or guest and vendors arrive. A planner knows when the room needs to be finished so your photographer can get the details and knows when the guests will be arriving so she can help arrange the portraits. Then the photographer only need to worry about taking photos, not running around trying to do a planners job.
You worked so hard on making those details perfect. A planner makes them happen, knows them, and can make sure they are ready and photographed. A bride needs to be drinking mimosas and spending time with her family, not taking the photographer around the venue and explaining the details… that’s my job ;)
3. Bossy Pants
I love people…. I really do. People at weddings are like cattle, they need to be herded. To the ceremony, to the cocktail hour. It’s ok… really, they are relaxing and enjoying themselves, and we LOVE that but things do need to happen. Portraits need to be taken and the food needs to come out hot. Let your planner be the bossy pants, let her herd your family, make things happen. You won’t be the “bad guy” and you will be smiling and relaxed for your portraits… In fact… people love being herded by a stranger.
Having a planner who knows what your needs are, what your vision is, and knows how to communicate them to all your vendors makes the day run so smooth and you get to get to experience what your guests are experiencing. This creates moments, beautiful moments, captured moments. You are now participating in your wedding instead of directing it.
This sums up all five. You handing over the reins makes you peaceful and helps you enjoy your day. It gives your photographer moments to capture where you were are the happiest, taking in your details, things are running smoothly and YOU are a part of it all… IT makes for great photos.
Want to hear more from Amber?
Pop on over to her site and get to know further. If you are getting married in Maine then she should definitely be on your list of people to contact.