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A Week of Wedding Tips – Timeless Trends in Wedding Photography

IMG_1315tsHappy Friday!

There are lots of trends in wedding photography.  I  think a few we might face-palm at in the near future (or already) such as: selective color, the jumping photo, guys gasping at the ring, and so on.

Every year cameras get better, smaller, lighter, and more accessible.  With that advancement of technology new avenues open up that set new trends in wedding photography.  When digital photography hit a threshold it became a viable option for weddings and suddenly the cost of capturing more wedding moments went down.  As a result photographers began capturing more candid moments of the wedding.  Not only are moments becoming more candid every year but candid moments are being added to the wedding with first looks, daddy-daughter first looks, and so on.

Digital photography has also caused problems with the wedding experience as well in some ways.  Photography etiquette is fairly foreign to guests. with many guests watching their family get married through the LCD screen of their iPad as they film the wedding obstructing the view behind them.  luckily necessity is the mother of invention and because of the openness of information creative ways to avoid the blunders and maximize the wedding experience have come up.


Timeless Trends in Wedding Photography

Unplugged Weddings

Traditionally, guests at your wedding were also witnesses to the vows you made to each other.  If ever you struggled in your marriage they were there to remind you of your promises.  They were fully present and held their peace to signify that they had no objection to the union and were making a promise to the couple to help them and bless their marriage.

While that tradition is sometimes still used today, an LCD screen, and vibrating cell phone in a pocket takes away from the experience regardless of what traditions you hold to.  Photographers often complain about guest flashes and auto-focus beams ruining photos, causing light-sensitive devices to malfunction, or just ruining shots because an LCD screen in a photo is distracting.

Enter the unplugged wedding.

An unplugged wedding is a wedding ceremony that the bride and groom have tactfully requested that guests turn off cell phones and cameras and watch the couple get married while the photographers capture the ceremony.  The  verbiage varies but typically goes something like this:

Dear Friends, Family, & Honored Guests,

The greatest gift our friends and family can give us on our wedding day is to be fully present with us as we make solemn promises of love and devotion toward each other.  We have hired a talented photographer to capture these moments for us.  Please turn off all cellphones and cameras until the recessional.   We promise to share lots of pictures with you after the ceremony!


Bride & Groom


IMG_6697First Looks

Of all the trends first looks are by far my favorite because they easily make your wedding day experience 10 times more amazing!  First looks are a  new tradition where the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony.  It’s now considered bad luck NOT to see the bride before the ceremony and I can speak from experience that a first look takes nothing away from seeing your bride walk down the aisle.

Besides being the only time the couple can see each other and have a private moment on their wedding day, a first look is a game changer photo quality.  First looks dramatically open up the wedding timeline by allowing family and bridal party portraits before the ceremony and by allowing the after ceremony shots to be scheduled for beautiful sunset lighting.  This also means the bride and groom don’t need to have a really long cocktail hour to get all the family photos in after the ceremony while guests wait at the reception getting bored.

Since I’ve started being open about how I feel about first looks over 90% of my couples do a first look.  I will rave about the results till the day I retire.

Elegant Spring Wedding in Lenexa Kansas at the Thompson Barn (36)Details

Every detail of a wedding is planned to give an overall feel and theme.  In the past film made it too expensive to capture the detail photos and even in the infancy of digital photography lenses that captured close up details were lacking.  Today that isn’t the case at all.  Lenses are SHARP and capture much more detail than they did even 3 years ago.  I use a special lens JUST for details it’s one of my favorite times of the day when I get to be creative and take some images to show the bride before we actually start shooting getting ready photos.

Story-telling Wedding AlbumsIMG_2102

Today’s wedding albums aren’t the scrapbook sort that you slide photos into.  There will always be a place for a  scrapbooking bride I don’t think scrapbooks will go out of style but many times scrapbooks do fall apart, those glues don’t always hold well in a book that wasn’t designed to last 40, 50, 100 years.  Today’s quality albums will last over 100 years.  I often remind brides that your wedding album is your first family heirloom.  Something your kids and grand kids can see.  I think we will get a lot more out of an album than ever before because we are capturing  I love albums that lay flat with thick durable matte board mounted pages.  They start at the beginning and tell the wedding day story chronologically.

Day of Image Viewing

Being able to view your images the same day is an advantage of modern wedding photography.  Cameras store the photos on two cards at once.  That means during the reception an assistant can download photos to an iPad while one of the two cards is swapped and then share them to entertain guests and show the bride and groom a preview of a couple dozen images.


A wedding hashtag is a trending way to make all the wedding photos easily accessible and it’s just a fun way to come up with a creative wedding tagline.  Brides and grooms often show a hashtag to use on a card or chalkboard and guests share their photos that way.


Epic Finalé


With cameras being more accessible to consumers professionals have had to step up their service to give something that really requires experience with lighting to carry out.  The Finalé is one last shot to show passion before a grand exit.  This is a trend I love but they are only trending with photographers who really know their lighting and equipment.  They make a great canvas or metal print for your new home.  This is a trend I really hope grows as more photographers learn their equipment because they are fun photos to see.


People have been taping weddings for decades  The decision to get video or not is one that a lot more brides are dealing with.  The con argument is usually that people never watch their wedding video.  The real trend I’ve seen is really interesting.  Most people won’t watch their wedding video but if you share a 4 minute highlight video to music your Facebook timeline goes nuts with comments and great feedback.   As a result this positive experience has led to a rise in the wedding music highlight video.  With newer 4k cameras videographers can even pull frames from the video that are nice enough to print 8×10 at photo lab quality after a little retouching and that technology is only improving.

Drone Photography

This is a very new type of photography and videography that a (hopefully silent) drone flies over the ceremony and captures footage that makes it into the highlight film or to get angles that would otherwise not be possible.  I still think this option is fairly impractical and of all the trends this is one of the most likely to be a passing one.  But it is something a lot of couples are doing and it can give neat results.  I see it as a potential distraction as well so I can understand why this trend isn’t as popular.

I hope some of these wedding trends were interesting to you.  I certainly enjoyed sharing them again.  I’m still publishing my normal bridal guide tip every Wednesday so be sure to check that out!.