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2018 Wedding Photography Trends

2018 wedding photography trends - exciting or disastrous?

As we rapidly approach the end of another year, we look towards the New Year with refreshed hope and excitement. This is especially true for couples looking to the tie the knot in 2018. For those getting married this upcoming year, have you or are you researching wedding photography trends? Are you considering some trends, but aren't sure whether or not they're right for your wedding?

In this article, we are going to take a look at 8 wedding photography trends we can expect to see in 2018. While some of them are interesting, others raise serious concerns. We are going to take a hard look at these trends - including the pro's and con's - so you can decide what's best for your wedding!

Portsmouth Wedding Photographer - Andy Hornby

1. PRE-WEDDING PHOTO SHOOTS This is one trend I find interesting because it has an array of benefits. However, before we jump into the benefits, what are pre-wedding photo shoots? These sessions generally include the couple getting married and their bridal party, and everyone dresses in their wedding attire. Some brides elect to wear their wedding dress and others purchase a second dress specifically for this session. With that being said, let's take a look at the pro's and con's.


Looking at this from a bride's perspective, your future spouse will, of course, see you in your wedding dress prior to the big day. This may or may not be an issue for you depending on your perspective. As we touched on earlier, you could just buy a second dress specifically for this session, but again, you may not want wedding photos with two different dresses.

Having an additional photo session prior to the wedding day will likely increase the amount you pay for your wedding photography.


Having a pre-wedding photo session will make the wedding day a little easier for you because you won't need to spend as much time away from your guests. If 3 hours is normally needed to capture all of these photos, having a pre-wedding session could easily reduce this to 1 hour. Now you have an additional 2 hours to spend with your guests at your party!

2. UNPLUGGED WEDDING CEREMONY This is actually a trend that has been existence for a couple of years, but it continues to gain traction. Nearly 100% of the couples I work with have an unplugged wedding ceremony. Just in case this phrase is new to you, let's take a second to explain it. An unplugged ceremony prevents your guests from taking pictures or video during the ceremony portion of your day. With the affordability of consumer DSLR's and cell phone cameras over the past several years, ruined ceremony photos has become a big issue!

Your wedding ceremony is what the day is really all about. While your guests don't intend to destroy your ceremony photos, they are. Unfortunately, anyone carrying a device these days with a camera, believes they're a photographer - especially at weddings. Guests need to stop and think for a moment what most important to the couple getting married - a blurry cell phone picture with little detail or the professional photos created by your photographer?

Generally speaking, it's very easy to communicate this "no photo or video" policy to your guests. A few minutes before the start of the ceremony, have your officiant address your guests advising they are unable to take photos or video, and they should sit back, relax, and experience the event. You might get a couple of guests that groan about it for a few seconds, but this moment is about you, not them.

3. DRONE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY Without question, drones are pretty cool. They offer unique perspectives of your wedding that would otherwise be impossible to capture. But, the bigger question is are you willing to take the risks that come with them?

Drone wedding photography is a relatively new service in the wedding industry. Many couples are romanced by the images you can find online, and believe me, I get it. But, whether or not you have a drone at your wedding is not a decision to be taken lightly. On a beautiful summer wedding in 2017, a couple decided to have drone at their wedding. The operator thought it would be cool to use it over the dance floor to capture amazing party shots. In the end, the operator crashed the drone. Two women at the wedding were hit by the out of control drone in the face, sustaining facial lacerations, and fractured orbital bones. The women brought a lawsuit against the bride and groom, the drone operator, and the wedding venue.

While drones can create stunning images, they require proper licensing, insurance, and extensive training. Even with extensive training, there's no guarantee you won't find yourself on the end of a lawsuit. Many couples want amazing aerial images of their ceremony, but it's important to keep in mind drones are very noisy. Do you want your wedding guests focused on your wedding ceremony or the distracting drone flying overhead?

4. SAME DAY EDITS One trend gaining traction in wedding photography are "same day edits." Some couples are asking their wedding photographers to edit photos of getting ready, the ceremony, etc. so they can share them during the reception in a slideshow.

Every wedding photographer understands and appreciates how excited you are to see your wedding photos, but if your photographer is in a backroom editing photos and creating slideshows, they aren't photographing your wedding. Sure, there might be a second shooter continuing to take photos; however, there's still going to be an impact on your overall photos. The idea of same day edits is intriguing, but once couples start to realise the impacts of this option, it's going to lose it's lustre.

5. TEASERS One of the trends we should expect to see in 2018 is "teasers." A lot of photographers post teasers, so what's special about this trend? Couples are now wanting their photographers to post 10-20 fully edited images after the wedding, but before the night is over. Most wedding photographers, post teasers. It varies for every photographer, but generally speaking, 1-3 fully edited images are posted following the wedding or the very next day.

6. PHOTO-JOURNALISTIC COVERAGE Many couples will say, "We don't want posed pictures, we want photo-journalistic pictures that capture the moments."

My first question is - What does a "posed" photograph look like to you?

My second question is - What do photo-journalistic pictures look like to you?

My last question is - Are flattering photos that make you look great important to you?

What is photo-journalism or photo-journalistic photos? By definition, they are photographs with absolutely no direction or interference from the photographer. They simply stand in the shadows and take photos of what's taking place in front of them. I will speak for myself as a wedding photographer, but I'm sure most photographers would agree. The photos I capture of your wedding day will consist of 70-80% photo-journalistic images. The remaining images use "posing" to some degree.

Unfortunately, there are those photographers out there that literally try to pose almost your entire wedding day - even the intimate moments (when your reciting your vows for example). Obviously, this is way over-the-top and any photographer that tells you they pose as much as they can - run! However, 100% of the couples I work with tell me they want flattering photos that make them look great. If you can relate to this feeling - trust me - you'll want some posed photos too. Don't let the word "pose" scare you. We aren't talking about posing that looks fake and awkward - it's subtle, romantic, and beautiful.

7. DRAMATIC IMAGES If you're like most couples getting married today, you're interested in having some of those more dramatic wedding images. It might be the location or the time in which they're captured, but these types of photos are in high-demand - they're original, unique, and they make for great display pieces in your home.

8. NO WEDDING ALBUMS There was once a day when wedding albums were the focus of every wedding collection, but that's just not the case anymore. Most photographers now include a licence with their packages; therefore, couples can print their photos at their leisure. Because they have this flexibility, they often pass on purchasing a wedding album.

If you look online at all for advice on hiring a wedding photographer, I guarantee every piece of information you read will tell you that you need to get the rights to your photos. You may even have a few friends telling you this too. Here's something you might find interesting - while many couples might upload their photos to a computer and share them online, very few actually print their photos. I can't tell you how many times I've heard couples say they placed put their USB/DVD in a junk drawer after looking at them a couple of times (This is why I no longer supply the images on a UBS stick).

This is why wedding albums have always been so beneficial. You can place them on a coffee table and they provide a beautiful, and easy way to enjoy your wedding photos. It's easily transportable, it's an original piece of art, and it's something that can be passed down to future generations.

When copyrights/licences first started to become popular, photographers would give their clients the images on a CD/DVD. Many computers don't even have a CD/DVD drive on them anymore - this technology is dying. Not to mention, CD/DVD's could be damaged very easily. Now we use USB drives. They are much more reliable compared to CD/DVD's, but they are still part of technology. Will they still exist 20 years from now?

While having rights to your wedding photos is great, take some time to think about the big picture before ruling out a wedding album.

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY There you have it. 8 wedding photography trends we can expect to see in 2018. Some are good, some are bad, and some are ugly.

The majority of couples, as they begin their search for a wedding photographer, find themselves surprised by the high prices of wedding photography. I don't want this article to turn into an explanation as to why wedding photography is so expensive. Simply stated, it's expensive being a wedding photographer and on average, it takes about 5 times more work than most people think it takes. While I like many of the trends we just discussed, it's important to understand that many of them are only going to drive the prices of wedding photography higher. Pre-wedding shoots, drones, same day edits, and teasers require additional time and/or staffing. In some cases, some of these will even require additional equipment.

It will be interesting to see what trends gain traction in 2018 and which ones fizzle out, and how wedding photography prices are impacted by them.


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