What are they styles of wedding photography ?

What are the styles of Wedding Photography?

As a leader in the wedding photography industry located in Nashville, TN, one of the reasons so many Tennessee couples hire me is for my style of wedding photography.  They may not know what my style is called….they are just drawn to my images because of my approach!  So let’s chat about the different styles of wedding photography approaches,  just so you have a better understanding of the terms that any use.

Different styles of Wedding Photography approaches can be broken down into 3 categories :

1- Traditional

2- Photojournalistic

3- Contemporary

The Traditional Approach – This is also known as camera awareness, meaning the subjects (YOU!) will be looking at the camera for all the pictures taken on your wedding day. Think of your parent’s or grandparents’ wedding albums, very traditional. There is no question that they are having their picture taken, right? In the below images, by taking a traditional approach both couples are looking at the camera (they are aware that I am taking their picture.)



Photo Journalistic approach- This can also be known as candid photography, meaning, the subject (YOU!) are less aware that your picture is being taken. Experienced photographers that approach your wedding day as a photojournalist are waiting and watching, with little or no direction to you. They are capturing your day and events in real-time and giving you a true depiction of what it was like to be at your wedding. Think of this wedding style as a storybook where the characters are interacting, and not looking/interacting with you the viewer.

In the below image, I was taking a photojournalistic approach, meaning I was watching and waiting, and captured the following images. Real moments as they happen.


Ok so now you have a better understanding of Wedding photography styles, and what traditional and photojournalistic approaches mean. Now let me introduce to you MY style!

Contemporary: By encompassing BOTH traditional and journalistic approaches when I am entering a wedding day, I get to use the mixture of both, and my clients love this! It’s the best of both worlds and takes the pressure off YOU to have to decide what style of wedding photographer you want to hire. MY approach has been developing over my 18 years of wedding photography and has been built by many experiences. It was when I figured out that by not fitting in a box of traditional versus journalistic, I am free to create, and you are free to relax, knowing I am a leader in the industry and put simply “ I got you “.

Think of it this way, most of the time a candid photo has been manipulated in some way by the wedding photographer. IN the above image of Kate and Zac’s first look, I directed them where to stand for the best lighting, also creating a good angle for me to get their natural reactions. The tears, all theirs, the wiping of the tears, all theirs, they own the moments, I just directed it.

In the above image of Val and her Dad, I directed the outcome, I told her dad where to stand, when to walk into the room, and told Val when to turn….. The tears… all theirs, the moment … all theirs… but if this moment was left t0o chance, it may NOT have happened at all!

In the next image,  Kate was putting her dress on in a dark dingy corner, and I simply directed her to move towards the window light once her dress was pulled up, I then and directed her mom and sister to finish buttoning her dress. This beautiful image was the result. The moment? Thiers! I just directed it, not leaving it to chance!

During your ceremony I only take a photojournalistic approach, I do however offer advice on where the ceremony should take place, depending on the sun, time of day, and such, but most of the time that is entirely up to the venue, and you as a couple. I don’t manipulate the “scene” per se but I will ask Aunt Mary to remove her tote bag out of the aisle so it’s not in your wedding pictures. This all comes from experience and directing. Why? I believe that If your day is entirely left to chance, meaning no interpretation from me, or any other photographer, the results would be disappointing for both of us, your day will fly by, and as silly as it sounds, I have had couples who actually forget to hold hands when they are walking. These are precious moments, these are moments you want to remember so you WILL hears me say things in order to direct YOUR true emotions like:

“Hold hands when you walk!”

“Smell her and tell her she’s yummy “

“Hug her from behind, now bump and grind (hey! ….  you are married now !! it’s legal)

” Look at her and say OH EM GEE you’re my wife!”

The emotions, reactions, tears, smiles, joy, all yours, I am just the director leading to these moments that may not occur otherwise.



Styles of wedding photography - Charlene Mann Photography

So yes, I will capture your very own unique candid moments, and naturally occurring emotions as they happen, but by giving you slight direction, your images will not only be storybook worthy but magazine cover quality.

If my style speaks to you, let’s chat!!!