{Operation 118} Wedding Photography Trends 2012

OK, so it’s time to admit it. Come clean and completely lay things out on the table… 

Aside from being a food and photography fanatic, I, Nadine, am a WEDDING ADDICT. Yup… Anything wedding related, my ears prick up and I start scanning the room for the source. 

“What? Wedding dress? Where? Shoes… with WHAT diamonte’ed on the soles? Oh fabulous, I love peonies too, which other flowers will you have at your wedding? OOOhhhhh red velvet cake.. Yumm… By the way, I have a fabulous friend, ZuZu Cakes, she makes the absolute tastiest cakes known to man/woman! That’s coming from someone with a savoury tooth, mind you….yadda yadda yaddahhh.” 

Oh the irony! Just a few weeks ago I was compared to Muriel from the movie: Muriel’s Wedding. Hmmm.. not sure if that was a compliment or not. (The penny just dropped!)
I digress…

As a Wedding Photographer I get to live vicariously through other couples and find ways to not only create a memorable photographic experience for them, but to also leave them with a set of memories which will make their hearts pump chocolate as much as mine does for photography and all things love and wedding related.


Over the last couple of years we have seen trends turn in to fads and then turn into trends again. Vintage themed weddings have been extremely popular over the last two years. More couples opt for quirky and unique over traditional and classic. Vintage still has a place within the wedding industry however, couples are now opting for something a bit “different”, whilst requesting to keep imagery bright, airy and natural looking.

Black and white photography is definitely making a comeback, replacing it’s cousin Sepia. Gone are the days of the bog standard, stiff and overly posed wedding pictures and hello lifestyle photography!


Often brides and grooms are encouraged to have their wedding photographs submitted to wedding blogs and magazines for publishing. In order to get published, photographs have to be unique, consistent and showcase LOTS AND LOTS of small details dotted around the venue, on the bride and groom etc. Anything that will provide inspiration to other brides should be photographed. Anything you’d like to be posted and shared on Pinterest even! 
Blogs and bridal magazines are all looking for  a something a little different.  Anything to inspire their readers. Of course in an ideal world, photographers would have plenty of time available just before the reception to capture each and every detail at the venue, however the reality is a bit different.


NB*If you would like your wedding to be featured in blogs and magazines around the world, make sure you and your photographer agree and set out enough time in the day to get these shots done. If your wedding is heavy on the decor, your photographer would need at least 30 minutes (before guests arrive) to capture everything they need and then focus on you and your guests for the remainder of the day. Aside from the possibility of having YOUR wedding published, you’ll have the added bonus of getting to appreciate and enjoy all your creative input for years to come, as EVERY detail would be captured.


Over the last couple of years, Rock and Roll Bride‘s popularity has skyrocketed as she tapped into a growing niche market of tattooed brides and grooms opting for non-traditional and edgy weddings. As an example, a more modern bride might be very into burlesque and vintage whilst her hubby to be, might be more influenced and motivated by rock music and motorcycles… As mentioned before, it’s all about the details and now more than ever couples find unique ways to produce weddings that are well thought out, have a consistent theme/story and showcase what’s unique to them as a couple.
Couples work together to find new ways to merge their likes into one day and have a wedding that’s truly reflective of who they are, adding as many layers of their personalities as they please. Anything goes.
You might even find a few couples walking down the isle with their pets this year, or having custom cake toppers made of them with their dog
The most popular approach to wedding photography is a photo journalistic style where photographers document 90% of a wedding day from a comfortable distance and capturing the couple’s story as it unfolds. Wedding photographers have far less time available for formals compared to what was required not so long ago. This allows the bride and groom to get a few formal pictures for their wedding album in the least amount of time possible and then frees them up to rejoin their celebrations and have a memorable time with the rest of their wedding party.

Traditionally couples would hire one photographer per wedding. The photographer might then have brought along an apprentice/assistant. These days, there is more demand for having two main photographers and an apprentice/assistant to help carry bags and hold the reflector. Couples are more educated by their photographers and consequently make educated decisions on all the different options available to them.  One photographer might stay with the bride as she’s getting ready with her bridesmaids and another photographer with the groom and his groomsmen. When a bride walks down the isle, she can expect to see pictures of her reaction as she locks eyes with her groom in the church as well as his reaction as he sees her in a wedding dress for the first time. 

In recent years it has also become more popular to have the actual proposal photographed/filmed from a distance. Photographers are able to capture the proposal and all the natural reactions that go along with such a life changingly beautiful moment.

Another popular option for newly engaged couples is the engagement shoot. Offered as part of the wedding package, in order for the couple and photographer(s) to get to know each other and learn more about what’s envisioned/expected on the actual wedding day.

Professional Wedding photographer in London, Fiona Campbell predicts that  books will be coming into their own this year, proving to be more popular again. “Storybooks will gain more impact because they are more permanent, more tactile, more real” 


Fiona says that for 2012 she’s offering all her clients a personalised website where they can not only view their wedding images but also invite their friends to upload theirs. This means that everyone can share and order the prints that they want, directly from the website.

“It’s an ongoing service, so the couple can keep uploading pictures of holidays or Christmas every year and they don’t have to worry about endlessly collating pictures. If they want to order an album or some prints I can take care of that for them too. All their photo needs are finally taken care of, forever…”

Another Professional Wedding photographer in Scotland, Kristin Mitchell says: 

Since the end of last year, I’ve noticed a real move on some of the better wedding blogs by  some great photographers towards cleaner whites and fresher colours”

Other wedding photography trends we’re seeing so far this year are as follows:
Warming Up

– “Around the corner” rather than “first look”
–  SMILING!
Electronic delivery of images (Cloud hosted)
Engraved iPad wedding albums ^_^
– Panoramic wedding portraits with every guest in the photo
Photo booths
– Details of accessories and decor



Cooling Down

– Groups jumping

– Over processed (over-photoshopped), over softened images
– Torso shots / heads cut off
– Excessive vignette
– Washed out yellowy casts
– Serious faces/ Haute Couture

Frozen Solid

– Perspective images (aka bride holding out hand with groom staring way behind her – looks like bride is carrying groom on one hand)

– Selective/Spot colouring images
– Cheesy poses
– Harsh flash

The most important thing to remember when it comes to Wedding Photography is to KEEP IT AUTHENTIC. Stay true to who you are as a couple and hire a photographer that understands what you are looking for and what you are comfortable with. Trends and fashion come and go, however your memories should last forever, and they should be good memories to boot, so make sure your wedding photography, decor, dress, food, entertainment etc screams YOU and not someone else. 
If you would like to add anything to this post, please leave a comment below.

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