wedding party throwing up confetti

Long Island Wedding Photography: Which Style are You? (Part Two of Two)

Wedding Photojournalism: An Informal View of the Last Formality in America

If you read part one of our article on types of wedding photography, you know that we mentioned that Wedding Photojournalism is quickly becoming one of the newest trends in wedding photography. Here we examine why it’s becoming so popular.

The truth is, there are probably a lot of reasons, from the evolution of the modern family to technological advances finally being recognized, but here’s our take:

Whose family is that? Traditionally, people spent a lot of time with their actual blood relatives – their cousins and aunts often lived nearby and were not just family but true confidantes as well. These days, friends are the new family. People move multiple times throughout childhood. They go away for college. They take a job on the other side of the country. By the time they get married, the people they have met in faraway places might feel closer than the ones they share a last name with. So a family photo can feel like a misrepresentation of who their most intimate relationships are. It seems awkward to have cousins with whom they have casual contact, thrust into the picture, while the girl who fed them chocolate for three days after they got dumped by their college boyfriend is sitting on a bench.

Cameras don’t need you anymore. A lot of posing comes from the fact that it used to take a camera several seconds to complete an exposure, so you had to freeze into position. Fine, that was over a hundred years ago, but maybe old habits are hard to break. We’re so used to getting into a position and staring at a camera because, well, it’s just the way we do it. But it sure isn’t natural.

Formal attire only. The challenge with traditional photography is, none of those shots represent what really happened on the big day. The American wedding is one of the few formal events people in the U.S. regularly attend anymore. And most of the formality is limited to the clothes. The interactions are not nearly as restrained as they were in decades prior. When the photographer blends into the background a bit more and captures people acting naturally, the photos tend to be those of moments that actually occurred – the ones that couples tend to want captured more than group shots that were pre-arranged.

No cheese, please. This informality extends even to that between a couple and the photographer. They prefer that even the couple photos include a great number of couples relaxed and natural together, enjoying their first moments as a married couple. In fact, most modern wedding advice articles recommend that couples get to know the photographer a bit before the wedding; some familiarity before the day helps increase the comfort level. This means if the choice is wedding photojournalism, the couple is less likely to freeze when the photographer appears during an intimate moment, he or she has become someone that they know and trust.

couple smiling after getting married bubbles in background

Grin and bare it. Weddings aren’t serious. They are full of laughter and gaffes. Ring bearers that walk the wrong way. Nervous grooms that mispronounce their own names. In other words, they involve humans. Wedding photojournalism captures the humanity of the event. It reveals the truth of the day, which is perhaps the magic of it. The celebration of the wedding, which is not the just the formality of the ceremony, but the reality of marriage. Which is hardly a series of posed and perfected arrangements, but instead messy moments and sloppy grins, unveiling and baring all of the truths that make the human spirit worth memorializing. So perhaps people like wedding photojournalism because it is real life, and that is what people want to remember – happy moments of real life.