Wedding Photo Styles

Written by    Last updated: April 9, 2010

Looking for faded edges around a close up of you both linking arms with your champagne glasses? No, we didn’t think so. It’s not 1977 and wedding photos don’t have to be formal or traditional these days.

Douglas Fry wedding photo

Image by Douglas Fry

Your wedding photos are so important. They’re the lasting images of your special day and as such you want to make sure they’re as good as they can be.

There are so many choices to make when it comes to your wedding photos. Choose between colour or black and white – or a mix of both works very well. You could have photos shot on film that your photographer then prints and mounts into an album for you, or digital images loaded onto a disc that you print and mount yourselves.

Reportage vs traditional

Reportage is the style of photography that is not staged or posed, but a more natural process which seeks to catch the subject of the photo in action. Choosing the right photographer is the first step. If you’re more interested in reportage than traditional formal group shots then finding a photographer who specialises in this style of photography is a must.

Traditional style relies on posed photographs, which doesn’t mean they have to look awkward or staged. In this style, you will have a lot of pictures of yourself, the groom, and everyone else looking directly into the camera while you pose in front of the venue, drinking champagne, or cutting the cake. The traditional style is beautiful and will give you lots of great shots to choose from – but perhaps not as many candid moments you may delight in looking at later, remembering your day. However, traditional photographs are usually the ones most brides and grooms choose to frame and proudly display.

A halfway house between reportage and traditional is the kind of staged but natural-looking photography you see in glossy magazines such as Vogue. A great photographer will be able to translate your style and offer a range of images incorporating both styles.

There is still a place for formal group shots even alongside some reportage style photos, and a mix of the two works very well together in an album or photobook. Group shots to consider are:

  • Bride and her father
  • Bride and her bridesmaids
  • Bride with her mother and father
  • Groom with his mother and father
  • Groom and best man
  • Groom, best man and ushers
  • Bride and groom at the ceremony
  • Bride and groom at the reception
  • Bride and groom with mothers and fathers
  • Bride and groom with bride’s family
  • Bride and groom with groom’s family
  • Bride and groom with friends
  • Bride and groom with little flower girls and page boys
  • Little flower girls and page boys
  • Bride with her hen night girls
  • Groom with his stag night boys
  • Whole group shot

You should ask your photographer to see a list of photos he usually takes, and add your own requests if there are any particular photos you wish him to take.


You could have a photobook created by your photographer, or with your digital pics on disc you could do it yourself with online companies such as Blurb or Photobox. Add in some of the unforgettable quips and quotes of the day and you could make it a real labour of love. Small photobooks start from around £10 including postage, and large glossy hardback books are around £50 and usually worth every penny, although be warned – it will take you hours and hours to finish it. If you have the budget then invest in a wedding story book, a photobook where a professional writer interviews you both and then writes the story of your day, including all the speeches, the readings, a full ‘who’s who’ and so on alongside all your beautiful photos. A wedding story book package from Your Wedding Story Book costs £750.

Find more great ideas on our Inspiration pages!

Search our Suppliers Directory for photographers, wedding filming and photographic/video equipment and services.


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