The Dos and Don'ts of Wedding Photography Trends

Planning Tips, Wedding Photography

Trends come and go, especially with weddings. So how can you tell which are worth trying when it comes to your big day pics? We chatted with some event photographers and videographers for their take on what fads are worth a shot.

Do ask your photographer about film.
Both newbie photogs and more seasoned ones are starting to bring film cameras back to weddings, according to Karen Wise of Karen Wise Photography. The result is a very "rich and classic look" that's slightly different than digital. "You capture the detail and nuances a bit better," Wise says, adding that a happy accident like double exposure can occur, when two scenes appear over each other. You can ask your photographer to get creative and superimpose a bride and groom image onto a landscape, or flowers imprinted over your gown, for instance. "Multiple exposure takes a bit of time and focus to set up and execute," Wise warns, "but it's very doable."

Don't do canned engagement photos.
Rather than taking very planned and posed engagement shots, Tony Hoffer, lead photographer at Hoffer Photography, is seeing more couples interested in "doing things that feel a little more real to them." So instead of the bride holding a sign that says "He chose me!" and the groom nearby with a smile plastered on his face, engaged couples are doing things that they normally enjoy and simply inviting a photographer along for the ride. Such real-life scenarios include taking a boat for a sail, hanging out at the beach with their dog, going for a drive in their Jeep, and just enjoying life together without trying to look so purposefully "in love."

Do allow selfie sticks.
Sure, selfie sticks can be obnoxious in some instances but they usually get a pass at weddings. Hoffer says that he sees one come out during at least half of the weddings he shoots. "People goof around with it. And we take fun pictures of people shooting themselves with the selfie stick," he says.

Don't resist a hashtag.
Whether or not you're a fan of social media, you have to admit it makes a lot of sense to suggest a wedding hashtag so all your big day pics are easy to find. Friends and family will want to share the photos and it's simple enough to give them a fun phrase to tag so you can spot snaps in the digital deluge. "Having a hashtag is a great way for couples to see moments from the wedding that they might have missed and it makes their guests feel involved," says Kristy Ryan of Blush Wedding Photography.

See More: 7 Rules for Creating Your Wedding Hashtag

Do consider drones.
Aerial cinematography is another new trend at weddings that's been growing for the past two years, says Sigmund Reboquio, creative director and owner of REB6studios. He uses a quadcopter — a type of drone — along with a GoPro camera to capture some stunning footage. Hoffer agrees that drones are one of the biggest fads right now. Usually, the film crew takes an outside shot of a venue at some point during the reception or before the ceremony itself, so the device should be gone by the time guests are mingling. That said, Ryan doesn't encourage using a drone at the average wedding because time is limited and it could take away from shooting other moments. "Not the best bang for your buck, so to speak," she says. What's more, drones aren't legally permitted in all places and they can be dangerous if your videographer isn't experienced with flying them.

Don't allow paparazzi.
At a recent wedding that Ryan photographed, the best man was standing beside the groom and pulled out his cell phone to take a photo during the ceremony. This made for a bad distraction in an otherwise touching image of the groom seeing his bride walk down the aisle. "Instead of seeing the expression of loved ones as they witness the bride and groom saying 'I do,' nowadays we just see iPhones and iPads covering their faces," Ryan admonishes. Thankfully, a growing trend is having an "unplugged" ceremony, where guests are asked to put away their devices and truly witness the event.

Do think about post-event pics.
A post-nuptial portrait session is a good way to get some styled portraits that you may not have had time to get on the wedding day, according to Wise. You can opt to return to your venue or select a fresh outdoor locale, an interesting backdrop, or convenient studio setting. A fashion stylist and makeup or hair stylist can also help enhance the photos. Similarly, Ryan predicts couples will start hiring a photographer to capture part of the honeymoon. "The couple is in a gorgeous location, they are stress free from the wedding, and the bride still has her wedding-workout body!" Ryan says.

Don't use trendy props.
Playing upon a theme or using props for wedding and engagement photos can be a fun way to incorporate some creativity into your images. But making sure it's not too gimmicky, cheesy, or dated can be a challenge. "This is when it is best to hire a professional stylist or keep it simple and classic," Ryan says. She suggests avoiding trendy stuff like vintage suitcases, large balloons, personalized bunting signs, and floral crowns.

Do upgrade your resolution.
If you want highly detailed and crisp video footage, Reboquio says one upcoming trend to look out for is 4K resolution. "As of today, there are cameras that are now capable of 4K resolution captures, so it will only be a matter of time and these will get to the clients hands really soon," he notes. Reboquio will be offering 4K weddings as an upgrade in the near future, especially in anticipation of households acquiring larger televisions to accommodate the impressive resolution

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from