For couples looking for a wedding photographer it’s common for them to be asked questions about what style they prefer. The problem is this is an unfair question. Photographers are asking their customers to speak to them with their industry lingo, but sadly these terms aren’t always well defined. So, in an effort for clearer communication I’m writing my own personal Wedding Photography Dictionary. Mind you, I am leaning heavily on Merriam-Webster’s to keep a shred of credibility, but of course there is also room for interpretation. Also to help illustrate my point I’m including photographic examples of each definition. And because there are a lot of different terms, I’m going to spread this out over a few posts.
Candid: (adjective \ can·did \ˈkan-dəd\)
- Relating to or being photographed while subjects are acting naturally or spontaneously without being posed.
The practical application of this at a wedding generally means the person(s) being photographed is unaware of the camera and expressing emotion. At a wedding this often comes in the form of tears of joy, laughter, or stolen kisses. It does not mean group photos where everyone is looking into the camera and smiling. It also insinuates the possibility of the unexpected moment being captured. Occasionally these moments can be unattractive, but they are wonderful storytelling devices.
Photojournalism: (noun \ pho·to·jour·nal·ism \ˌfō-tō-ˈjər-nə-ˌli-zəm\)
- A style of photography that tells a story without much or no written or verbal explanation.
- News where the written copy is subordinate to the visual imagery.
In wedding photography, photojournalism is always involved. During the ceremony and reception this is the basic style used by most photographers. A photographer who has a photojournalistic style avoids directing action and prefers to capture moments as they happen without interference. Photographers who have mastered this style understand how to create images that need little to no words to explain them, are artistically interesting, tell a story, and hold the viewer’s interest.
First Look: (verb \ first·look \ˈfərstˈlu̇k\)
- The moment when the Groom sees the bride for the first time on their wedding day before the ceremony.
There is a great explanation on another photographer’s website so I’ll link to that as well as add my own two cents. First looks are a great way to plan a wedding day because it allows for all of the portraits to be done with both bride and groom before the ceremony. Couples who opt for this do not feel inclined to keep with the tradition of the Groom not seeing the Bride before the ceremony. Bridal Guide also has a great article about where this superstition came from and why couples choose or choose not to do a first look.