Choosing your wedding photographer can be an overwhelming task, especially with the various photographers offering different styles of photography nowadays. Current trends lean towards the edgy and artsy look of contemporary photography, but the decision to choose one style or the other mainly depends on your own personal style, and the feel you want to evoke in your wedding photos. To help you understand the difference between classic and contemporary styles, we sat down with RedSheep's Guj Tungpalan and asked him to define the basic styles of wedding photography.
According to Guj, wedding photography is primarily divided into two major schools. The first is the traditional (classic) or the "old school" style, and the other is the contemporary or the "new school." To differentiate the two, Guj compared the schools based on general approach, posing, style elements, and treatment of photos.
Traditional photographers generally ask couples to do customary wedding poses, which gives the photos a classic romantic feel. On the other hand, contemporary photographers approach wedding photography in a candid or photojournalistic sense--they capture the events as they happen and they experiment with poses. As a result, these photographers produce edgy, casual, and even high fashion photos.
In terms of style elements, traditional photographers are maximalists. They are particularly concerned with documenting wedding day milestones such as the kiss, the first dance, and cake-cutting. For instance, when a traditional photographer takes a photo of a reception venue, every detail can be clearly seen in the photo. On the other hand, contemporary photographers who are minimalists play with a photo's depth of field. A contemporary photo of a venue might just focus on certain details while the rest is blurred in the background or foreground. A contemporary photographer will also experiment with odd angles or points-of-view for his shots.
When it comes to the final finish of the photos, contemporary photographers have a more distinct trait. The photos are treated with high saturation and contrast that make the photos look as if they are vintage shots or photos taken on film; this is a style that is popular with many brides nowadays. On the other hand, for traditional photographers, the treatment may vary depending on the preferences of the photographer or the couple.
Currently, the local wedding photography industry has a talented pool of both traditional and contemporary photographers. One well-known traditional photographer is Ariel Javelosa. Some contemporary photographers are Metro Photo, Erron Ocampo, MangoRed, and RedSheep. According to Guj, popular photographers Dino Lara and Nelwin Uy fall somewhere between the spectrum.