Thursday, 17 February 2011

Reportage, Traditional and Contemporary Wedding Photography

One of the queries which repeatedly arises when we are talking to couples is exactly what Contemporary  Photography is, and how it applies not just to the photographs we take, but also to the albums we create with them.

Firstly, consider the two major types of wedding photography commonly described.

Traditional Photography
  1. The photography is often done by a single photographer (since more are not needed).
  2. Images will mostly be posed. Those selected for the album are chosen because they are the 'highlight' of a particular part of the day.
  3. The album needs to be chosen and designed to display individual images very well. Usually, this means an album with real, easily-damaged, photographic prints.
  4. As a consequence of the longer time needed to pose shots, and the practical cost of presenting more individual printed images, there will be fewer shots of your wedding taken overall, or placed in the album.

 Reportage Photography
  1. Often, two or even three photographers may attend to try and capture every nuance of every event, to the point that you can't move without encountering a camera.
  2. The shots will mostly be unposed, often involving movement or activity. Shots are usually taken without the subject being made aware, which can produce either very good or very poor images, depending upon the skill of the photographer, and the point of view of the subject
  3. Images will show all of the events of the day, just as they happened - for better or for worse!
  4. The album needs to be chosen and designed to display lots of images in a way which allows the full story of the day to be told - the so-called 'Storybook' Album.
  5. Because the photographers do little except press the shutter button, there will be a lot of photos



 Contemporary Wedding Photography

By now, the reader of this blog will have started to recognise the pros and cons of the two types of photography. It may be that you really love one or the other, but for most couples good wedding photography is that which takes the strengths from both styles, and eliminates the weaknesses.

Add a healthy dose of Creativity and Imagination and you have a style now called Contemporary Wedding Photography.


This is what we at Autumn House achieve for you. When we go to photograph the Bride's preparations, we try to keep out of the way and just photograph what is going on. We move around our subjects, trying to use natural light to best effect. When someone is ready, we'll whisk them off for a few formal shots, then disappear into the background again. If time and space allow, we'll take some shots which look quite informal, but are actually posed. With two photographers, when one is creating a posed shot, the other will be standing at a discreet distance taking shots of those not involved just when they think they're safe!


Presenting Contemporary Wedding Photographs

Finally, presenting your wedding images requires an album as versatile as the photography it is intended to display.

The philosophy of a Contemporary Wedding Album is that it should be left out for people to look at. It is a work of art that you have paid a lot of money for - not an embarrassments to be hidden away in a cupboard. This is why this style of album is also called a Table Book.

Table books need to be attractive and deceptively robust. Many of the cheaper ones available will not withstand frequent handling, and we have seen some where the pages have actually delaminated around the edges.



We specialise in Table Books by Graphistudio in Italy, which are one of the finest albums available. Each album is a work of art lovingly designed around your images by Autumn House Studios which is quite unique to you and your photographs. You have complete control of the creation process, and can change any picture or design you wish until you're absolutely happy with the end result.

Each page can hold one large image - say yourselves posing with your wedding car - or that same page could hold a dozen or more smaller images - a sequence of your little Bridesmaid running up to you with a trinket and a kiss, or portraits of all the couples who came to the evening party.

Once the designs have been agreed, they are sent to Italy where the pages are printed and laminated to protect them from dirt and damage, before being bound in a choice of Contemporary or Traditional covers. Graphistudio hold the designs indefinately, so as a special bonus, you can have smaller copies made for friends and family to share your pictures, or even a spare album for yourselves!

So in summary, the difference between Reportage, Traditional and Contemporary photography is that they represent a different philosophy in how the story of your wedding day is not only recorded, but also how it is presented afterwards.

Terrace Restaurant Wedding Fair, Brownhills

Last night we popped over to Brownhills to the Terrace Restaurant for an evening Wedding Fayre by A Rosy Marriage. The setting is not inspiring when first seen, since it's right at the side of the A5, but it does have ample car parking and is easy to find and quick to get to.


However, once inside it is quite a pleasant and striking reception venue, with a large, bright, ornate function room full of illuminated flowers and period features.


The event itself was relatively quiet, we suspect because people were tired at the end of a hard day's work! However, our new Micah-Latina traditional album with matt photographs caused some interest, and we took names and numbers for a few follow-up home-demos. As usual, this Fayre was popular with exhibitors.



The centrepiece for us was certainly the illuminated white-chocolate fountain on the way in!


And something else we hadn't come across before, the Pink Bus Company - my daughters would have loved it!