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Gorgeous Cakes wedding detail photography by Lyndsey James

The right kind of photography for wedding blogs?

May I indulge myself today and muse a little? Perhaps you can help answer the questions in my tummy – all about wedding blogs, wedding photography, inspiration and indulgence…

Sometimes an idea just pops in and I run with it. I find myself thinking about different styles of wedding photography and how bloggers feature weddings – ultimately, about how brides- and grooms-to-be read and enjoy wedding blogs.

Details and wedding inspiration

The big wedding blogs – the likes of Style Me Pretty, Ruffled and Love My Dress to name only a few of my favourites – feature weddings full of details: flowers, table decorations, accessories, signs and all those beautiful little ideas we love.

Gorgeous Cakes wedding detail photography by Lyndsey James

Cake: gorgeous-cakes.co.uk Photo: Lyndsey-James.co.uk

We read wedding blogs and swoon at the real wedding photography because it inspires our own wedding plans and helps us find and buy all the lovely little things to make the day look pretty.

Wedding photography and blog features

It follows that the most popular blogs with the biggest readership are those featuring weddings with lots of detail photography. The same applies with wedding magazines (although less so because they tend to feature fewer images per wedding) – it’s all about the detail.

So if brides and grooms are seeing wedding shoots with such a strong focus on details, and as blogs grow in popularity, and if blogs and mags are all about the details, will we see a shift in the images taken at weddings and chosen for wedding albums?

Does this mean photographers should all concentrate on details more? Jasmine Star’s interview with a top wedding magazine editor on how to get a wedding published is really interesting advice.

Fashion wedding photography still fits the blogs

Think of the wedding magazines, the gorgeous bridal shoots you see in Cosmo Bride and You & Your Wedding. Top quality photography like this will always fit with wedding blogs because we can admire the beautifully styled images simply for beauty’s sake. It’s all about design and aesthetics and our admiration for something creative.

What about documentary wedding photography?

Documentary wedding photographer Martin Beddall

Documentary wedding photography. Credit: www.mcbweddings.com

While I love seeing wedding details, I adore the pure reportage style of photography. I’ve featured weddings by Joshua Archer on English Wedding in the past (see A Glastonbury Wedding) and have recently discovered documentary wedding photographer Martin Beddall, both of whose images I find captivating in an entirely different way.

Documentary / reportage / wedding photojournalism is all about storytelling. Wedding photographers are unobtrusive – the line “we didn’t even realise you were there” is always in their glowing testimonials on their websites – and take beautifully simple photographs as the day progresses, telling the story of a wedding with images setting the scene, capturing guests’ emotions, reactions and interactions with grace and a serene kind of style.

Perfect examples are this Kew Gardens wedding by Martin Beddall, and the snowy scenes in this Castle Combe wedding by Joshua Archer – they set the scenes and create an ambience for a wedding day.

The right kind of photography for wedding blogs?

So my musings end with a question for you, lovely wedding blog readers: can documentary wedding photography features be as inspiring as weddings that focus on all those details we love so much?

Many of you will be looking for a wedding photographer to tell the story of your day rather than pick out the details. Are the details still really important for you? Would you like to see real weddings told as stories on wedding blogs too?

Can we still find ourselves captivated and enchanted with beautiful storytelling? I’m an avid reader – I love adventures but any kind of story wraps me up and draws me in, and there’s something magical about being told wonderful stories, isn’t there?

Maybe this will make English Wedding a little different to other wedding blogs. But if it is, then I’m going to relish being the one with the lovely stories!

Claire xx

 

 

 

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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11 COMMENTS
  • Some excellent thoughts Claire! I think that brides (and grooms!) read wedding blogs and mags in general, for ideas and inspiration and occasionally for confirmation that their own ideas are acceptable (that sounds quite a formal way of writing that, but I’m sure you’ll understand what I mean!)

    And I also think that if the only difference between the popular wedding blogs is that they are showcasing different people’s weddings, then brides (and grooms!) are going to get bored pretty quickly. People like a bit of variety. Something a bit different. Something that suits their own personality. And with the way the wedding blogs are presented, between you, RocknRoll Bride, Rock my Wedding, Boho Weddings, Love my Dress, etc. whether they’re detail or story focused, there really is something for everyone.

    Which is exactly the way it should be.

    x

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Thanks Jonny,

      I do get what you mean about confirmation ideas are acceptable – it’s a great point too.

      Thinking about it, it kind of fits with my review of the UK wedding mags… while they’re advertising heavy, the content varies from lots and lots and lots of real weddings to more of a focus on very intelligently written articles and advice. Like you say: something for everyone.

  • Neil Redfern
    8 years ago

    Good post Claire!

    It goes without saying that a wedding photographer has to capture so many things on a wedding (you need eyes in the back of your head!) including all the little details – the bride and groom put a lot of thought and money in to these details so it is vital that they are captured. However, from a personal point of view, I think the top priority always has to be the bride and groom and their guests. I think it would be a real shame for photographers to concentrate so much on the details (perhaps even shooting the wedding with a view to it being published somewhere) that they lose sight of the bigger picture – namely capturing the excitement of the bride and groom on the biggest day of their lives. I have always focussed on this and always will, if my work is published on blogs then that is a big bonus but I wouldn’t go out of my work to change my style so that I may have a better chance.

    A couple of final thoughts, I would much rather see a photograph of people cracking up laughing than a cake, and I have never been booked on a nice photograph of a table plan. Just my thoughts 🙂

  • Claire
    8 years ago
    AUTHOR

    Nice response Neil, thank you. Absolutely on the nail of course – I wonder if the next generation of wedding photographers will be more detail oriented though.

    And a beautiful parting shot! Never say never… 😉

  • Jenny McAvoy
    8 years ago

    I completely agree with everything Neil has said – all photography should be client led-if they ask for lots of detail shots they should get that, if they are having a party wedding-then that is the feel that should be captured in their photos. To me it’s getting the balance -it really is telling the story, capturing those moments that couples miss as their wedding day passes in a blur-that includes the details they have painstakingly chosen and the guests they have taken the trouble to invite, as well as capturing the glamour, love and fun.
    Often blogs feature “gimicky” weddings that most couples can’t relate to just so they can be different-sometimes a classic, timelessly elegant wedding is what a bride and groom want to see-not an orange tinted “vintage” wedding with a bride in wellies 🙂

  • Heline Bekker
    8 years ago

    I recently went to see a potential client and printed a wedding in it full glory with lots and lots of detail shots like the kind a blog would like. She wasn’t really into the photos and wanted to see photos of how I capture the guests and the party atmosphere. I felt a little silly, so I went home and sent her a link to a full wedding with about 70% of photos where people are just chatting and laughing. There was barely any detail at this wedding apart from the cake. But she loved it and booked my 🙂
    My point is that I’ve always thought that brides would like to see the type of photos that wedding blogs feature, but it’s not always the case. Lots of detail shots are great for advertising, but that should not be the only thing that wedding blogs are about 🙂

    I hope you get what I’m trying to say 🙂 H x

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      I’ve got you, Heline! I agree – I think it’s a lot to do with why brides and grooms are looking at blogs. They’re here for ideas as well as to see other weddings for inspiration. But it’s not what they want from their own wedding – that’s usually all about the people. Which is a wonderful thing!

      You’re so right about detail photography being great for advertising – initially. I guess we’re here to generate some interest in photographers, but then it’s down to you guys to show a bride and groom what you’ll do for them… and it’s different. Weirdly! (Complicated discussion isn’t it?!!)

      Claire x

  • kelly @ Boho Weddings
    8 years ago

    Personally as a wedding blogger I think it’s all about variety. I think people come to wedding blogs to 1) get inspiration for their own day 2) get caught up in the romance of weddings.
    I personally look for well put together photography that really tells the story of that wedding from the getting ready shot to the first dance that fits in with the look and feel of my Blog. I always feel short changed if the photos only take you up to the reception, no food, no speeches etc. When I put together a blog post, I feel it is my responsibility to tell the story of that wedding. So those moments’ between father and daughter, the moment the bride sees her husband in the ceremony for the first time, the laughter during the speeches are as important if not more that the detail of the table and the seating plan. But most of all are the portrait shots of the actual couple, the day the wedding is all about. I always like to start my blog post off with a classic picture of the bride and groom that sums up the wedding as a whole.
    Yes each Blog has their own style and some of us are more quirky than others but we post what our readers want. I know what type of weddings my readers like to see, so there is no point me posting something out of character.
    Personally a well-rounded blog post that shows all elements of a wedding and tells the story is what people want….but hey what do I know I may have it completely wrong???

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Oh I love that bit Kelly: ‘getting caught up in the romance of weddings’. Because yes, that’s definitely a huge part of what we do. And that’s nothing to do with the flowers / cake / stationery or – dare I say it – even the photography.

      Maybe as wedding bloggers we have a bit of a moral responsibility to show more of the moments that speak to our hearts – it’s all too tempting to be a bit Laurence Llwellyn-Bowen about wedding blogging. I’m guilty at times – I do love a bit of stationery!

      I think I need to be a bit more “Kelly from Boho” about the way I blog. Because I love what you just said. Here’s to getting more caught up in the romance of it all! xxx

  • As a wedding planner I always ask clients what they are looking for from their photographer and photos and whilst many do want the details of the day, they very much want the story of the day told -the details are the icing on the cake, the little bits that they will have forgotten about in years to come, but what maybe made their wedding unique to them. I think blogs are fantastic for inspiring couples and giving them courage -letting them know that they can break out of the mould and can add quirky touches that really reflect them as people.

    I hope photographers don’t just concentrate on the details as whilst they are important, capturing the atmosphere and emotions during the day at all the key points is what will make the couples hearts skip a beat when they see them.

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      That’s a lovely point too Andrea: for a bride and groom who’ve spent hours decorating, planning those details etc. – it’s of course very important to record them for posterity. I’ve featured more than a few weddings where mothers, bridesmaids, aunties and neighbours have spent months making jam and bunting – and where everyone has spent the small hours of a morning decorating the marquee!

      So there’s a good argument for a beautiful visual record of all the little details there too. But like you say – capturing those emotions will make a couple’s hearts skip a beat when they see the wedding photos after the day.

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