Alison Mae

Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati







Hiring a wedding photographer can be intimidating. With so many beautiful wedding photos flashing across our screens on Tiktok, Instagram and Pinterest, it’s hard to narrow down just what wedding style we’re drawn to. This is especially difficult if you’re not familiar with photography, let alone which styles are which. But don’t worry, I’m here to help!

Below I’ll break down the three most common photography styles as well as the most common editing styles. I feel it’s important to keep these separate because they both play a big role in each photographer’s personal style and the combinations of shooting and editing style can vary from photographer to photographer. Knowing what you are drawn to in each category can help you know exactly what to look for when hiring a wedding photographer.

Photography Styles

Traditional: Most often traditional style photography is very straight forward. Everyone is smiling at the camera and standing up straight. The photographer arranges every pose and makes sure that everything is perfectly lit. Family formals are usually a good example of this style.

Photo Journalistic: This style of wedding photography is by far the most “hands off” of the bunch. A photo journalistic photographer will act like a fly on the wall and capture things as they naturally unfold. Couples who want true candids are likely going to be drawn to this style of images.

Fine Art: Finally, there is fine art wedding photography. Fine art wedding photographers lean into the elements of the day and use them as inspiration behind the lens. They create using a mix of lighting, location and movement. This approach tends to combine the timelessness of traditional photography with the story telling component of photo journalism. This style can often include film photography. This is the style of photography I specialize in and while I cannot speak for every fine art wedding photographer out there, I am personally very inspired by the magic and light of renaissance paintings and aim to recreate that feeling in each portrait I take.

Editing Styles

As far as editing goes, they are endless approaches to how a photographer may edit your images. I’ve always considered editing as 50% of the “painting” that is digital photography. Especially because the way a digital photographer shoots is all in preparation to finish the job with editing. It is commonly a personal choice by the photographer and not something a photographer is often willing to change. It’s just as important to know both your preferred photography style and editing style before booking your wedding photographer.

  • Light and Airy: This style of editing tends to be more on the whimsical side. The photographer will use lots of natural light and edit with low contrast and more muted tones. This style can also be over exposed and “blow out” the detail of wedding dresses so if that is important to you, be sure to pay attention to sample galleries before booking.
  • Dark and Moody: Photographers who edit with a dark and moody style tend to look for dynamic lighting and edit with rich, warm tones. Photos edited in this style tend to have an “earthy” look and are heavily contrasted.
  • True to Color: This style of editing is fairly straight forward. The photographer aims to maintain the true colors of the wedding day and as a result the images will be bold in color and saturation and can have a slight neon effect in harsh light.

My Photography Style

As I mentioned above, each photographer’s choices for shooting and editing are deeply personal, and I am no exception. So what is my photography style? The truth is, I (like many other photographers) combine a few styles together to create my own signature style. That said, I consider myself a fine art photographer. My images that are a blend of light and airy and true to color. It’s vital to me to honor all people and I prioritize skin tone accuracy in my edits. My work is full of ethereal light but maintaining the beautiful details of your wedding dress is just as important to me. My photos are film inspired with soft, creamy colors. I believe there are moments on your wedding day that call for letting the moment unfold naturally. Others require art direction from me. Both are equally important and part of serving you well!

Book Alison Mae

If you feel like my photography style resonates with you, I would love to get to know you further. Click here to learn more about Alison Mae weddings.

What Wedding Photography Style is Right for You?

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