Photography / Tips and Solutions

6 Shooting Style Trends for 2015 Weddings

We asked a number of respected wedding photographers, both young and well-established, to give us an idea about what they see as current trends and common requests in wedding shooting styles. We then compiled a short list to get you thinking about whether you’d like to incorporate these ideas into your repertoire in 2015.

1. Landscape Vistas

Several photographers relayed stories of trudging up hillsides or deep into forests to find that perfect spot against which to place their two tiny figures, caught not only in harmony with one another but with the beauty around them. If your work normally involves roughing it or you live near some gorgeous scenery, it may be an easy way to get a wonderful shot, but if you carry lots of lighting gear or are used to working out of the trunk of your car, perhaps it’s best to stick to the local botanic garden.  


Dylan and Sara Photography
 
2. Negative Space
Jesse Chamberlin, of “Our Labor of Love,” mentioned negative space as a still-trending style in wedding shooting, and a quick trip through Google will provide enough evidence to back this up. Many couples apparently do lean up against giant brick walls before they say I do. This style certainly shares aspects with the above-mentioned trend, but does not necessarily have to be out-of-doors; it is an aesthetic choice where the couple is placed perfectly within a larger context, or clinging artistically to the side of a frame. In the hands of a good shooter, this works, but be sure that what is between and around the couple does not distract from them or offer some perceived rift in the blooming love.

Our Labor of Love

3. More Emotion, Fewer Details

Be conservative with the flowers, menus, champagne glasses, and shoes, shoes, shoes. The details of the weddings are nice to document and certainly an easy way to add “meaning,” but noted U.K. wedding shooter Lisa Devlin notes that some photographers have been “prioritizing the details over the emotions of a wedding day in their quest to be featured or pinned.” She continues, “I’ve noticed that people are getting less and less interested in showcasing all the stuff at weddings. There was a big explosion of detail shots, which is a result of wedding blogs and Pinterest playing a big part in the wedding planning process, but I think clients have come to realize that they will not be as bothered about these images in years to come as they will loved ones or the genuine interactions that happen on a wedding day. I am aiming to capture real emotion more than anything else right now, and that can only be a good thing.”

Lisa Devlin

4. Lifestyle Shots

Could your wedding shots double as a magazine spread or your bridal party look like a page from a J. Crew catalog? Why not? You’re beautiful, the day is gorgeous, and the best man looks cool in those suspenders. New York shooter Matthew Ree divides wedding shooters into two camps: “One is more tech- and lighting-savvy, and the other creates a more natural lifestyle look.” He notes, “of course, vintage look was a big hit in the wedding industry and now it's moving toward a more intimate, lifestyle kind of feel.” If handled by the right photographer, the two of you snuggling on an old porch swing or lounging poolside with your besties will create lasting images that truly represent your style and the feel of the big day.

Matthew Ree Photography

5. Tilt-Shift Lenses

A few photographers mentioned that they are looking to incorporate tilt-shift or perspective control lenses into their repertoire. Ranging from wide-angle to portrait length, tilt-shift lenses enable perspective correction, as well as selective focus options that can serve nicely to add meaning and beauty to images, especially portraits and detail shots. Also, playing with the focus plane via tilt control can create “miniature” images that can put some fun into a portfolio.  

Our Labor of Love

6. Film and Large Format

“Film is making a comeback,” posits Los Angeles-based wedding photographer Whitney Chamberlin, who follows up quickly with, “If only someone could grab a hold of an easy 35mm way to shoot, I think a lot more people would offer it.” What is at the heart of this dilemma is that shooting film is expensive and processing takes more time than the pro wedding shooter (or client) may be willing to spend. To veterans, this may be old news and to the experienced, shooting film is still norm, but to those who entered the business within the past ten years, digital may be all they know and film may seem risky. Many shooters will expose one roll of film mixed in with their digital work to offer as a marketing tool or an extra, and some very sophisticated clients may want their wedding photographed entirely with film.

In addition to the standard set of digital images, Boston-area shooter Shane Godfrey shoots one portrait of the happy couple using his large format 8 x 10 Wista view camera and Porta 400 film. He climbs under the cloth in a location special to the bride and groom and includes one color print with the rest of his images. For him, it incorporates his artwork into his money gig and he “loves the idea of having the one wedding photograph to be put on the mantle and immortalize the wedding day for generations to come.”

Shane Godfrey Photography

Discussion 4

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Great article, John, as always.  

One of the hardest things about shooting a wedding, at least for me, is to not get so wrapped up in satisfying the immediate demands of the little rituals that pop up or not missing getting everyone taken, that I remember to stop several times to arrange for a specially composed shot.  You don't have to book another day to do some pictures with something different.  It may not be quite as spectacular as the examples here, but If you just think "Hmmm, landscape vista..." or "Negative space" while looking around, you can grab some images that they'll love when they see them.   It does take a certain mindset, though.  When I first began shooting I wasn't aggressive enough. But the longer I've been at it the more I've been spending less time  with my finger constantly pressing the shutter and more time thinking about what would make a cool shot and suggesting the subjects follow my lead.

Thanks for reminding me  :  )  

Also, some photographers would tell the couple to stand so the car won't be in the shot, but they would have missed getting something as great as the last picture.

Thanks David, good advice for sure. It can be tough finding that balance between getting all the details you think the couple may want and spending the time it takes to organize a really good set-up, let alone pulling the bride, groom and wedding party along with you ... but with some clear communication beforehand and the confidence to follow your instincts (that often comes with experience) it can be done. 

Es bién sabido que los estilos en la fotografia de bodas como en otros campos de la fotografia, siempre han existido, lo que va con cada época, aunque también existen otros  aspectos muy importantes, de los cuales me gustaria resaltar 2 por ser los que más importantes me resultan. 1.- El estilo personal que cada fotógrafo ha desarrollado a travez de su práctica continua, y 2.- El caracter, gustos e ideas que los propios novios tienen y que son independientes de las tendencias o modas, en lo personal, lo esencial es descubrir las caracteristicas de la pareja,¿ son romanticos, expresivos, retraidos, conservadores, deshinibidos, ? y eso me dice que camino tomar en ****** al estilo que a ellos les va a gustar. En mis trabajos,  me inclino más por captar las emociones, gestos, actitudes, abrazos, risas, lágrimas..en resumen..la " esencia de la boda", el aspecto humano..cuando veo una foto de bodas con los novios perdidos en el medio de un hermoso e inmenso paisaje..pienso..¿ es foto de paisaje? o es foto de una pareja..¿ que es lo mas importante?..aunque ahi ya entra como mencioné antes, el estilo y tendencia de cada fotografo, su forma de " sentir y vivir" una boda..su estilo personal..

Felicidades por el articulo, es un tema pocas veces comentado...Gracias .

George: Gracias por tu comentario. Estoy de acuerdo. Estilo personal es importante pero para reflejar la esencia del dia y de la pareja es fundamental.