before ever after

3 Wedding Photography Styles (and How to Select One)

posted on March 15, 2023

As one of the most important days in you and your partner’s life, your wedding is all about creating cherished memories you’ll remember for years to come. It really is a big deal – and as such, it deserves to be perfectly captured. Those candid smiles? The unscripted moments? You’ll need a trained eye who’s able to spot them from a mile away – a talented photographer who’s dependable and experienced. So, how do you find a professional like that?

“Making decisions regarding your wedding photography can be a daunting task – and it’s easy to understand why,” says wedding photographer Emily Chappell, who’s been capturing newlyweds’ special moments for over 10 years. As a trusted vendor, Emily’s services are included in Walters Wedding Estates’ customizable wedding packages. “Photography is a super personal decision, and your wedding photos are the single most lasting impression of your wedding day.” Here, Emily shares her expert advice for finding the right photography genre for your big day – and the perfect photographer to bring it to life.


The Signature Edit


Happy Couple: Ally & Nathan
Venue: Ashton Gardens, West Houston
© Emily Chappell Productions

If you’re looking for photography that feels true and authentic to real life, a classic edit might fit the bill. This type of photo editing doesn’t lean heavily on artificial filters or fleeting trends. Instead, it strives to capture the moment as it was; the colors are neutral to warm, the exposure is balanced, and skin tones are even. “We recommend this edit for couples who want photos that stand the test of time and look authentic to their wedding day 50 years from now,” Emily says.

The Cinematic Edit

(Dark and Moody)

Happy Couple: Nia & Isaiah
Venue: Chapel at Ana Villa, The Colony
© Emily Chappell Productions

On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find the cinematic style – a dark-and-moody edit that brings a little more personality to the final photographs. This genre allows the photographer to play around with a richer palette, turning up the drama with heavier contrast and warm colors. As Emily says, “We recommend this edit for our couples who are looking for a dramatic and ‘vintage’ look!”

The Romantic Edit

(Light and Airy)

Happy Couple: Jordan & Juan
Venue: Monroe Pearson, Denton
© Emily Chappell Productions

With a bright and airy aesthetic, the romantic edit is perfect if you’re looking for something a little more whimsical. Perhaps you’re hosting a fairytale-esque al fresco ceremony that’s chock-full of light-coloured wood accents and gorgeous floral arrangements. This genre will lend your photographs a sense of lightness, making good use of the abundant daylight and cool, pastel-like hues. “This style is great for our couples who prefer light and airy images with a film-inspired look,” Emily says.



1. Start Early

If your schedule allows you to get a headstart on photo research, it’s always a good idea to jumpstart the process as soon as possible. Take your time going through your options and perusing multiple portfolios. “This gives you time to discern the style and overall look you most resonate with,” Emily says. Beginning the process early will also help you avoid making hurried decisions you’ll later regret.

2. Look at Reviews

Reviews are a great tool for weeding out unprofessionals and narrowing down your search to a handful of photographers. “It is important to pinpoint photographers and photography companies who are backed with solid reviews, that showcase diverse clientele, and feature photos that you can see yourself and your future spouse in!” Emily says.

3. Draw Inspiration From Friends and Family

Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are rife with images of enviable celebrations, and they’ve quickly become a go-to source for all things wedding-planning. But aside from your swoon-worthy wedding board, there’s another place you can look for inspiration: your friends and family. More specifically, their wedding albums. “I recommend going through the wedding photos of your closest friends and peers to help you find what style of photos you most resonate with,” Emily says. Take note of what you like or dislike, and use those observations to inform your own vision.

4. Consider Your Wedding Aesthetic

Already have a theme in mind for your big day? “I recommend that you try to keep your wedding photography style and overall wedding aesthetic somewhat similar,” Emily says. For example, a dark and moody photography style might not be the best fit if you’ve chosen a vibrant spring-inspired palette and floral decor for the rest of your wedding.

5. Don’t Chase Low Prices

According to Emily, basing your decision purely on price is one of the biggest mistakes you can make during your quest to find your perfect photographer. “The cheapest option is rarely the best option,” she says. Unlike most other photoshoots, big events like weddings don’t afford you the opportunity for a do-over if you’re unhappy with your photos. All to say: Don’t skimp here!

6. Ask to See the Full Gallery

Another big mistake couples make: not asking to see a full wedding gallery from the photographer or photography team they’re looking to hire. “You want to ensure that the team you are hiring is able to showcase their ability to photograph an event consistently from start to finish with multiple lighting situations!” Emily says.

7. Factor in the Future

Most importantly, you want to feel good about your wedding photos when you look back at them in the future. “Don’t forget that your wedding photos are an heirloom that will be passed down and looked upon with love for generations to come!” Emily says. With a clear, focused mind, close your eyes and try to visualize what you want your photos to look like 10 or even 20 years from now. This exercise will help you determine if you’re on the right track!

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