Wedding photography is a fast-paced and high-stress form of photography that offers very few second chances; if a shot is missed a photographer does not get to rebuild the scene and try again. For this reason, diligence in researching a reputable wedding photographer is an essential part of the wedding planning process.
There are many kinds of photographers: event photographers, wedding photographers, travel photographers, fine art photographers, and the list goes on. Photography within these divisions requires different skill sets, processes, and job details. Most wedding photographers possess a combination of many of these skills and will apply them to your photos, it's important to see examples of your photographers work and style in advance of hiring them. Choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you can make.
Fine Art Photography
Fine Art Photography is aesthetic, and is distinguished from scientific, commercial, or Journalistic Photography because it is aimed at something more than a mere realistic rendering of the subject. Dr S. D. Jouhar, Chairman of the Photographic Fine Art Association, defined "Fine Art" as "creating images that evoke emotion by a photographic process in which one's mind and imagination are freely but competently exercised."
Fine Art Photography attempts to convey a personal impression that stands in contrast to representational photography, such as Photojournalism. Fine Art Photography is done to express and share the photographer's perceptions and emotions. It often represents the subjective intent of the photographer, and is designed to fulfill his or her creative vision.
Photojournalism vs. Documentary
Both Photojournalism and Documentary Photography concern themselves with "who", "where", "when" and occasionally "how". In other words, they bring the separate disciplines of portrait photography and landscape photography together. They ask us to look at place, time and subject; however it is here that they part company.
Photojournalism is distinct from Documentary Photography. Although both styles involve taking photographs which are objective, honest and informative, Photojournalism involves capturing specific events, while Documentary Photography focuses on ongoing situations. Good photojournalists are cognizant that in shooting an event they are upholding a level of public trust that should not be violated. Therefore, images should be accurate, timely and visually stimulating, so that they help viewers identify with the news story being told. Photojournalism is widely considered to be an "immediate" style of photography; designed for quick consumption and short-term audience involvement. For example, images that populate newspapers and celebrity magazines are considered photojournalistic.
Documentary photography identifies place, space, people and time, however unlike Photojournalism it asks us to also consider the relationship between them. This type of photography generally has a longer life, and finds itself in magazines like National Geographic. Documentary Photography asks us to stop and consider what is happening, and therefore demands more of our time and intellectual engagement.
Wedding photographers are hired to document not only the wedding ceremony and reception, but also the many critical moments leading up to the ceremony. No matter what photography style or subject of the photo is, photographers must capture the image clearly, often in a fast-paced or high stress setting that can make obtaining the best image quite difficult. Be sure to research your options carefully by reviewing local portfolios and testimonials. To make your search easier, all of the photographers listed in this publication come highly recommended.