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Understanding Wedding Photography Styles

Understanding Wedding Photography Styles

When it comes to wedding photography styles, it is very important to first know your wedding vision. Wedding photography styles can either add to your wedding day aesthetically or take away from it.

What “is” A Wedding Photography Style?

A wedding photography style is a combination of 2 aesthetic preferences that determine the final outcome of a photograph, the image itself, and the editing of the said image. When you combine the image + editing you get a style

The Image

The image refers to the photo that was created within the wedding photographer’s camera, essentially the photo they captured before any editing. A wedding photography style is partially created in-camera with the following


  • A brighter photo
  • A neutral photo
  • A darker photo


  • Natural light
  • Off-camera lighting


  • Candid
  • Stylized


  • Wide
  • Tight

The Editing

The editing refers to how the wedding photographer edited said image within their processing software. Editing either further enhances the image itself or can create an entirely new image that was not possible in-camera.

Image + Editing

To create the final wedding photography style, the photographer will not only capture the image but also apply their stylistic preferences while editing the image. As an example of this combination is a wedding photographer with a bright & airy style, will capture an image that is on the brighter side and while editing, enhance the brightness and airiness of the image.

Popular Wedding Photography Styles

There are many popular wedding photography styles out there, so we narrowed it down to the main contenders for you.

Bright & Airy

Bright & Airy refers to a wedding photography style that is more on the bright side and features plenty of whites and brighter skin tones. This wedding photography style is very popular as it is low maintenance. Think Style Me Pretty.


  • Gorgeous skin tones
  • Low maintenance
  • Whimsical
  • Popular
  • Easy to find this style


  • Requires sunlight
  • Requires natural light
  • Lack of detail in the wedding dress
  • Lack of detail in the sky
  • Receptions are usually dark
  • Photos look like everyone else’s


The timeless wedding photography style stays true to its name. This style aims to best represent the wedding day as it happened and looked, in a way that looks good 50 years from now. With this wedding photography style, you won’t find super bright photos or super dark photos. You will find more candids and even some styled moments that aren’t cliche.


  • True to life
  • Will look good 50 years from now
  • Perfect middle ground


  • Can be very bland

Dark & Moody

This style is the exact opposite of Bright & Airy, featuring darker tones and a more contrasty look and feel.


  • Looks different
  • Can be artistic depending on the scene


  • Lack of detail in the darkest parts of a photo
  • Muddy skin tones


Cinematic is a new and emerging style that incorporates the lighting effects of Hollywood. This style can be a blend of Dark & Moody or Bright & Airy. Our studio focuses on this wedding photography style with a mix of timeless. Think Grace Ormonde.


  • Images stand out
  • Great skin tones
  • Blue skies are visible
  • High-end look & feel


  • Takes time to set up
  • Hard to find this style
  • Requires advanced skills

What Wedding Photography Style Is Right For You?

The truth is that only you can answer this question. We recommend putting together a style board of photos that highlight your aesthetic preference and incorporating this into tour decision when choosing a wedding photographer.

Knoxville Wedding Photographer 8373 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919 (865) 234-2580