MODERN NUPTIALS ARE AN EXCELLENT opportunity for couples to share their personal style with friends and family. In the visual age of Instagram and Pinterest, there's a wide range of photographic trends to consider.
"Couples are definitely becoming more discerning about the style of photography they look for," says photographer Patrick Niddrie. "As someone who is hired to shoot weddings and engagements based on my travel, portrait and commercial photography work, I understand that my clients are looking for the moments of polished spontaneity and emotionally evocative portraits."
More and more couples are planning ahead to prioritize key shots on their "must-have" list. Niddrie suggests a mood board on Pinterest as an example of how couples can guide their photographers to their overall aesthetic and the specific shots they want.
"One type of photo I'm digging in particular is the Reservoir Dogs-type shot of the groom and groomsmen walking down the street," Niddrie says.
Wedding photographer Sandra O'Claire, owner of Eau Claire Photographics, says it is important to capture the details, from the invitations and floral arrangements to the dress and the venue. She says doing the couple's engagement photography as well as their wedding photography is a great way to get familiar with the bride and groom, making the end result more successful. She also advises clients to send her the invitation suite prior to the wedding, which guarantees the details in the save-the-date, invitation and response cards all are captured.
Many other wedding party images are shot before the ceremony. This leaves enough time to photograph everything you want and provides an opportunity for location changes and great natural light. For a more relaxed, fun day, provide ample time for snapping a variety of images of the wedding party.
O'Claire sees a trend in bringing the outdoors indoors. "People don't want [to stand in a] row, they are looking for that Vanity Fair photo look — some people sitting, some people standing," she says. "It appears less contrived.'" O'Claire says the buzzword now is organic: "The day is organic and it is going to happen the way it happens and we are going to be there to capture it in the moment."
Wedding photographer Kerry Maloney of Heirloom Collective says the comeback of natural light dovetails with this trend. "It works hand-in-hand with more natural shots, making a gorgeous, epic scene look casual and uncontrived," Maloney says. She also notes that when you are planning your wedding, don't forget to factor in daylight saving time.
In order to capture each moment, more couples are opting to hire multiple photographers, which allows more coverage and candid shots. One can arrive at the venue before the reception to capture the table settings and decor.
"I am thrilled that most brides are seeing the benefits of two photographers," Maloney says. "There are too many shots that get missed and too many variables to put the whole day on one person. ... The walk down the aisle is a great example. I love the back shot of the bride walking down, but of course we want to see their faces and especially the groom's. One photographer can't get everything."
O'Claire takes shots from multiple angles to capture spontaneous moments. "Eighty to 90 percent of what couples want captured is unposed," she says. "I take wide shots, medium and close-ups. In film, you call it coverage. I remind myself of that when I am shooting a wedding."
Maloney's favorite trend is the "first look."
"A first look is a time before the wedding when [the couple] sees each other privately for the first time with [their] photographer," she says. "The benefits are beautiful reaction shots that you can't always get, especially during church weddings with long dark isles. It also takes away stress. I've seen it 100 times, the sense of relief on couples' faces after they get to have that moment together, take a breath and remember that this is their day, that they are doing this together."
Eau Claire Photographics (641 N. Alexander St., 504-432-7879; www.eauphoto.com)
Heirloom Collective (1000 Bourbon St. Suite 410, 504-484-9033; www.heirloomcollective.com)
Patrick Niddrie (504-206-7111; www.patrickniddrie.com)
Secondline Photography (533 Spain St., Baton Rouge, 225-278-4298; www.secondlinephotography.net)