Planning your perfect Wedding? What is your perfect Wedding Photography?

In Blog, Planning your perfect wedding by Helen RushtonLeave a Comment

Welcome to the new blog series on planning your perfect wedding, brought to you by the professionals who are passionate about your Wedding Day. We’ll be hearing about Wedding Photography, amazing UK designed Wedding Dresses, stunning Floral Designs and some of my favourite perfect Wedding Venues in Hampshire and Dorset. Yes this is it, this is where you need to be to find out all the inside knowledge about planning the perfect wedding from professionals who really care!

What is your perfect Wedding Photography?

There’s no doubt at all that finding the perfect Wedding Photographer can be a minefield, all photographer’s seem to have different ideas about what’s important and what’s not so I’m going to tell you about the main styles of wedding photography and what sort of questions you should be asking yourself AND your wedding photographers to find someone that’s perfect for you and delivers EXACTLY what you are dreaming of.

So there are THREE main types of Wedding Photography – Traditional, Reportage and Contemporary / Fine Art Photography, first a little about each.

In my opinion Traditional Wedding Photography is about lots of formally posed photographs, you with mum and dad, you with mum and dad and grandma, you with mum and dad and grandma and grandpa, you with… ok ok you get the message. There’s no doubt that there are a few (eight in my opinion) formal group shots that you’ll want to capture but be aware without the right format and style and a photographer who is empathetic to your needs, these can take a lot of time out of your wedding day. So we know you want a few and most photographers will offer these but what about your bride and groom portraits do you want these in a  traditional style too? Lot’s of cues saying “SMILE” (*urrrgghh shudder* if you’re anything like me you’ll have been brought up by your dad saying this every five minutes as he sticks a camera in your face!) go and stand in front of the church and smile. Hold hands and smile, eek my cheeks are aching just thinking about it! BUT some people love this style of photography and let’s face it there’s a huge market for it otherwise there wouldn’t be so many traditional style Wedding Photographers out there.

How can you tell whether someone is a Traditional Wedding Photographer? Have a good look around their website – are there lots and lots of photos of the Bride and Groom grinning at the camera? Can you see any images of “moments” as they happen? Traditional Wedding Photographers often like to edit their images into black and white with just the flowers or the groom’s cravat in spot colour so if you like this kind of thing look for long standing wedding photographers with these sorts of images in their galleries.

Jemma & James WEDDING © Helen Rushton Photography-144

In complete opposition to this is Reportage Wedding Photography or Documentary Wedding Photography – a great Reportage Photographer will capture real moments as they happen, the little glance the bride makes to her dad as they’re walking up the aisle, the pageboy as he pinches a sweetie from the candy bar, grandma wiping a tear from her eye – oh my goodness great Reportage Wedding Photographers’ images really move me emotionally even though I’ve never met their clients! These awesome photographers enjoy melting into the background and will not take any formal photographs as part of their style. Now as much as I love good (and there are some very bad reportage photographers out there – again look through their portfolios carefully) Documentary photography, I am unfortunately one of those people whose face doesn’t look happy unless I’m actually smiling and as a result my images would be awful as I’d look miserable – I’m not (or at least I hope I wouldn’t be on my wedding day!) but that’s just the way my face is!

Jemma & James WEDDING © Helen Rushton Photography-388

How can you tell whether someone is a Good Reportage Wedding Photographer? Again look around their images, can you see the emotions on show in the images, can you feel the vibe of the day in the images? Reportage Photographers are generally very, very open about what they do and how they photograph as it’s their style and something they are proud of (and rightly so!). They don’t enjoy staging shots and will generally try not to do this where possible.

Jemma & James WEDDING © Helen Rushton Photography-412

So the third type, Contemporary / Fine Art Wedding Photography. Now this is the hardest type of photography to pin down as there are ALOT of photographers saying this is what they do and they don’t, or at least they don’t do it well! Contemporary Wedding Photography is all about posing couples NATURALLY where you see the bride and groom interact with each other, a moment shared between them rather than them and the photographer. There’s lots of natural light involved, usually shot at a specific time of day for the portraits (more of that in a blog coming soon!). Contemporary Wedding Photographers also spend a large part of the day photographing candid (or reportage / documentary) style images, getting the moments as they happen. Again you can tell the difference between a good and not so good contemporary Wedding Photographer by having a good look through their website and albums – do the images speak to you, do they tell you about the emotion involved? More often than not a Contemporary Wedding Photogrpaher will be with you from Bride getting ready through to the speeches / first dance so they can make a story for you of your perfect day.

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I am a Fine Art Wedding Photographer and I take the contemporary one step further – as well as story telling, reportage images I spend a lot of time getting to know my couples before the big day. I build up a detailed picture (excuse the pun!) of what you love – what you love to do AND what you love about each other so your images truly represent YOU. By doing this I can gain people’s confidence and trust which means they can enjoy their perfect day whilst I capture it, stepping in here and there to make those memories even more special. I always include a complimentary Pre Wedding Shoot as part of every collection I do to give you the opportunity to see how I work and so we can decide what works best for you!

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So now you know the different styles of Photography there are what about the sorts of questions you should be asking yourself and your photographer. It’s by no means an exhaustive list but a starter for ten to ensure you get exactly what you are looking for for your Perfect Wedding Photography

Ask Yourself…

What sort of photographs do I want to remember my day with?

How much time am I happy to give my photographer?

Do I want someone with me all day and capturing a story?

Do I want a male or female photographer or does it not matter?

Do I want 2 photographers and why? (Read my post HERE for more info on this)

How important is my photography and what sort of budget am I going to set aside?

Ask Your photographer…

What style of photography do you provide?

Are you a full time, qualified professional?

What is included in the package?

How long do you stay for?

How many times will we meet before the big day?

Why should I choose you?

How long do you need to take our portraits?

Do you help me plan the timings of the day?

Do you keep the copyright to the photographs (if the answer is no, walk away! No professional photographer will give away copyright, our images are our product and allowing you to change them can and will affect our business)

There are of course lots of other questions that the bridal magazines come up with but these are definitely, in my opinion the basics that you need to have covered so you are confident that your wedding photography will be as perfect as you planned. My last piece of advice is please, plan your photographer carefully. I often have people tell me they wish they’d known me when they were getting married because they hate their wedding photographs! This is the ONE DAY you want perfect in your life, don’t be tempted to cut corners with your wedding photography and get it right for what you are looking for so your memories can live on in your gorgeous photographs.

If you have any questions please feel free to post in the comments brow and I’ll answer them for you. If your question is more personal or would like more information on what I offer my clients please call me on 07866 440740 or email


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