The 5 Styles of Wedding Photography

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How to Choose Your Wedding Photography Style

Let's talk about wedding photography styles! :) When it comes to choosing your wedding photographer, things can be overwhelming.  There are so many different types of images out there, so many different looks, and how are you even supposed to know what terms like "fine art" and "moody" actually mean?

The good news?  It's not as complicated as you think! :) With a little bit of education, you can go into your search armed with the knowledge that you know EXACTLY what you're looking at and what you really want.  That's why I want to unpack a few of the different styles of photography today!  We're going to bring you into-the-know on some insider terms, and (hopefully) make your decision on how to choose a wedding photographer a little bit easier!

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Most wedding photography will fall into one of these 5 styles: Classic, Artistic, Lifestyle, Dramatic, and Documentary.  Let's take a look at each one!


When you choose a classic style, you can expect images that stand the test of time.  These are often the traditional black and white images, and are carefully posed and meticulously planned out.  Most often the photographer specializes in capturing ordinary moments in a beautiful and elegant way.  This style tends to be a bit more formal but can always be given a modern twist.


If you want something that is more unique and personal, an artistic style may be your ideal choice!  This style of images tends to capture distinct, special moments and tends to use more of the space around the couple instead of just capturing the couple full frame + up close.  If you are open and willing to have a bit of fun with your photographer, you will be amazed by the results!


Lifestyle is a type of photojournalism photography with a bit of a twist.  Most images will appear to be candid, and most often they are!  This style is a mix of candid, natural shots, and images with some direction and staging provided to get the perfect look.

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While all styles will use different types of lighting, dramatic images make lighting a key component.  This style will showcase a variety of different lighting techniques that the photographer has mastered to create truly breathtaking portraits.  The use of contrast and shadows is usually strong with this style!


If you are not into the traditional or posing styling of shots, then a documentary wedding photographer is probably one you will want to consider!  The documentary style focuses on candid and spontaneous images that truly capture the entire essence of your wedding day.  

In general, most photographers will specialize in one of these 5 areas, but are also capable of doing a mixture of different styles.  It is best to let your photographer know which style you prefer, and ask if that is a style they enjoy shooting!

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The Nicki Ahrens Photography Style

My personal style is a blend of Classic and Documentary!  I consider myself primarily a Classic photographer, but also like to bring in techniques of documenting the day to provide an incredible experience for my clients!  I feel that in combining these two styles, my couples will be able to have timeless, and REAL photos that they can cherish for a lifetime.  

Hopefully, this post has better equipped you for the task of choosing your wedding photographer!  When it comes to choosing the right style for your big day, take into account your personality, what you are naturally drawn to, and your vision for your wedding.  Maybe you dream of getting married at the top of a pine-filled mountain, or maybe you plan to tie the knot in the courtyard of an upscale resort.  Whatever you choose, your photos should embody everything you love most about your big day and should be a beautiful reflection of your story.  Just like you! :)

Happy wedding planning! :)