Wedding photographers for a new generation – natural light, fine art & the raw beauty of film

Planning a wedding today, finding amazing suppliers and gathering inspiration and ideas is so much easier than for any generation before. The internet is a world of discovery, filled with blogs and style inspo you can soak up like a sponge.

Gorgeous country wedding styling in Lancashire, images by Rachel Joyce Photography (21)

Image credit Rachel Joyce Photography – see end of post for more info

It only really became a thing with the birth of wedding blogs that you should look for a wedding photographer you’d “click” with. Before 2008 couples had a different choice to make – image quality and the technical side of photography was key. Things changed, and there’s now a wonderful rainbow of wedding photographers to choose from. It means you can shop around for a photographer who

  • ‘gets’ you. They share your style and culture
  • is female. If you’re more comfortable this way, it’s cool
  • has that ‘insta’ look with their editing
  • understands that you love details. And loves them too
  • will recommend other suppliers they know and trust
  • fits your budget and your wedding style

Gorgeous country wedding styling in Lancashire, images by Rachel Joyce Photography (23)

There’s a lot you could try and learn about wedding photographers, the different styles and approaches to shooting a wedding. In my 7 years as a wedding blogger I’ve learned loads but there’s so much I still don’t know.

You could turn your brain inside out researching different styles and weighing up whether you prefer the fine art look or a natural light reportage style. There’s so much out there and as with so many aspects of weddings, there’s overwhelm and then some!

Or you could just shop around and fall in love with the overall look of galleries on one photographer’s website. Don’t let yourself be blinded by science and photography techniques if you’re happy to follow your instincts.

Gorgeous country wedding styling in Lancashire, images by Rachel Joyce Photography (26)

I’m a huge admirer of blogs like Wedding Sparrow where film photography is everything. I adore that look – but as someone who sees a hundred weddings a week even I couldn’t promise you I’d be able to identify a film image from a digital shot every time.

A few things I do know, and I think it’s worth sharing that:

I adore details.

It’s not about remembering favour boxes twenty years after the fact, but a beautiful shot of table linens, flower details or the calligraphy on your invites can set the scene and add tenderness, texture and atmosphere to your wedding album.

Some old school photographers are blinkered to details; personally I think they add depth to your story.

Natural light is sometimes just a buzz word.

Natural light is only one side of photography. I’ve seen galleries with the most beautiful outdoor portraits and dark, overly processed and disappointing indoor shots. Your wedding won’t all be outdoors so see how your ‘natural light photographer’ shoots speeches and evening receptions – especially in winter.

This is where beginner photographers struggle: you can’t work in low light without an expensive camera – fact.

Gorgeous country wedding styling in Lancashire, images by Rachel Joyce Photography (27)

You don’t have to be BFFs with your photographer.

Your wedding photographer can become a great friend – if you want them to. I’m a huge fan of some whose business is based on strong relationships with customers and other wedding suppliers.

I love this – but it’s not for everyone.

Would you rather have a photographer who keeps their distance, has a couple of pre-wedding meetings and then delivers your images, being friendly and professional on the day (and no more)?

Or would you rather hire someone who’ll take a real interest in your day, add you on Facebook, giggle and help you and your girls get ready then stay in touch after your wedding?

Chat about this with your fiancé(e) and see what will work for you both.

Half the country is your oyster.

You’re not limited to local photographers.

Searching only for photographers in your town will limit you massively.

Even by looking for people who’ve shot at your venue before you’re imposing unnecessary restrictions on yourselves.

You could even be limiting yourselves to expensive photographers when more affordable choices are only a few miles away!

Most photographers will travel across a few counties – which expands your choice to hundreds of ‘togs’.

If you were thinking ‘oh, but there’s no one like that near me’, think again. Wherever you are in the country, you can book that fine art / natural light / film photographer you love. They have cars. They drive. They like to explore!

So yeah, there’s a lot to think about when you’re booking a wedding photographer. Don’t rush into anything; follow your hearts and your instincts, and trust your decision even if – like me – you can’t always tell a film image from a digital one.

Gorgeous country wedding styling in Lancashire, images by Rachel Joyce Photography (20)

All images used are from a real wedding submitted by lovely English Wedding Directory member Rachel Joyce Photography, which you can see here: Becky and Rob’s relaxed country chic marquee wedding

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 Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in 2011 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



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Venue - @theholfordestate 
Styled shoot managed by the fabulous @jessicastottphotography Flowers by @flowersbycarys Dress by @wildernessbride Stationery @vanillaretro cheese wedding cake by @the_cheese_yard_
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