Traditional wedding photography is the act of taking photographs at a wedding. The term “traditional” can be defined as conforming to established customs, doctrines, or styles, especially concerning art and literature. Wedding photography has evolved into many different styles that are often separated into two basic categories; candid wedding photography and formal wedding photography. Traditional wedding photographers might blend in with other guests (candid), capturing their subjects naturally in an unobtrusive way. In contrast, others may stay away from the dancing crowd (formal where they remain distant).

What makes a wedding traditional?

Traditionally, weddings have elements that can’t be misplaced, or they wouldn’t make the event a real wedding anymore: dresses, cakes, flowers, music, dances. In summation, they are not wrong but maybe too common nowadays. Couples who want something unique choose “traditional” as the opposite of “modern,” especially because those weddings are still considered timeless classics. In reality, brides want that timeless look for their photos as well – otherwise, they’d end up with plain modern ones.

Those expectations range from the style of the photos (classic, elegant, romantic) to their general appearance (posed, not too many details in the background). It’s an artistic style that includes photojournalism but tends towards traditional wedding photography.


The “traditional” look is strongly associated with timelessness, so accessories are an important part of it. That means no selfies with smartphones or DSLRs for this kind of wedding – photographers should use film cameras if they want to go traditional. Traditional couples also consider it very important that their photographer is dressed up for the occasion, just like them. They are looking for someone who knows how to behave at a formal event and will take equally formal-looking pictures without breaking character. That makes wedding planning quite difficult because you cannot know how a photographer will behave until the day of the event.

Traditional wedding photos

Traditionally, couples prefer posed pictures rather than photojournalistic ones. Couples want to see themselves in different poses instead of staying natural and real (although that’s also great when it works for the couple).

The classic approach includes romantic poses like hugging or kissing. However, there are some other common options as well:

  • Walking along with their bodies turned to each other.
  • Sitting on an elegant chair.
  • Standing next to each other.
  • Holding hands.

Those poses give you more opportunities during editing (another important factor) because you can remove or add details like flowers or background objects. You can put them into a more romantic setting and choose the most beautiful pictures, creating a meaningful story for both of them.

Other aspects included in the traditional wedding photography

Traditional photography also includes the option of including the couple’s children in some candid images and having an assistant take care of them. At the same time, their parents are busy or taking photos during certain events. Having an assistant is an option only for traditional photographers who prefer to use assistants.

Traditional wedding photography is still set up much like it would have been in ancient times. In this case, photographers bring a mobile studio (consisting of a range of lighting equipment, backdrops, and props) to the client’s chosen location for the day, which can be anywhere from an intimate ceremony in a church or registry office to the most elaborate fairytale castle. In this way, each shoot becomes distinctive and bespoke, offering clients the chance to express themselves in an unstaged, natural way.

Guests are directed into groups and directed by the photographer, who has often spent months establishing rapport with loved ones before the day itself. As soon as the bride enters, all cameras turn to her. The ceremony, bridal party preparations, and celebrations that follow are captured from various angles by photographers to ensure no detail is missed.

A traditional wedding photography service will typically comprise one or two main photographers supported by additional team members (often other talented individuals) who help produce incredible results for clients through their combined expertise and vision. That approach offers unsurpassed quality at an affordable price compared with modern alternatives, often reducing costs but compromising the quality of imagery produced.

Modern trends in wedding photography have moved towards sun-drenched beach destinations, stylized studio shoots, and fairytale photo manipulation. The traditional approach is still popular, but nowadays, many brides and grooms favor a more documentary style with a strong emphasis on fine art. Whatever your choice, knowing what you’re looking for will help ensure that both you and your photographer are clear from the outset about the look and feel of each other’s work. It will also allow you to make sure your budget matches your expectations when choosing a professional who can deliver the results you envisage for this special day in your life.