Bride and groom kissing in front of the grand staircase at CaliPaso Winery

Many couples wonder whether traditional or non-traditional wedding photos are best for their own wedding. I like to photograph a mix of both styles, but I really focus on what the couple wants. There’s definitely something to be said for traditional photos, but they can feel a little stiff at times. The new way of approaching couples photos leaves tradition behind while capturing the moments as they happen. Let’s look at what they really are.

bride and groom posing under the wedding arch at sunset at Opolo

Traditional Wedding Photos

Traditional wedding photos are just what they sound like…based on tradition and the age-old poses that have worked for generations. These are the portraits that your parents and grandparents want to proudly display on their walls. Traditional portraits will ensure that you and your spouse will be posed in a flattering way with the two of you dead-center in the photograph. There will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that this is a wedding portrait.

Non-Traditional Wedding Photos

With non-traditional wedding photos, more emotion is captured in the image and the couple is usually photographed mid-action. These are typically not posed images, but the couple is given a prompts such as practicing the first dance or bumping hips as they walk. The prompts are meant to make the couple smile and have fun with each other, which results in a more authentic image than a posed portrait.

Some of my favorite prompts for couples are to have them run toward me (which always gets a great smile, no matter how old you are), almost kiss and hold it there (this also brings giggles because they can’t kiss yet) and to simply hold each other for a moment. I love the way these gentle suggestions can bring out the real emotion that I’m trying to capture.

bride and groom holding hands while looking at each other and walking down a stone path

Which one is best?

When deciding which type of wedding photo is best, there’s really no right or wrong answer. I absolutely love the more emotional non-traditional wedding photos, but I completely understand the reasoning behind the traditional portrait. That’s why I like to incorporate a little of both styles when I photograph weddings.

I grew up with my grandparents, so I have that formal portrait influence from them. But I’m also a photographer in today’s world and I can see the appeal of the non-traditional photos. As a newly married couple, you’ll be the ones trying to please both sides of the family as well as multiple generations who have been married themselves. Everyone has their own idea of what they think is best and family isn’t always the most quiet when it comes to opinions. I get it!

Whatever you decide is most important to you is what I will focus on. If you decide that tradition is best, I’ve got your back. I’ll focus on more posed, traditional portraits that your family will cherish. If you want more emotion filled portraits that show your relationship in a new way, I’ve got you! I’ll have prompts ready to make it fun and you’ll hardly realize that your picture is being taken.

Either way, I’ll be there to support you in your photography goals. What’s important to you becomes my goal for the day. Together, we’ll make your wedding day the most perfect day you could have ever imagined.


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