What are the wedding photography trends of 2024?
The wedding industry has always been bursting with variety. Every bride and groom has a unique vision for their dream wedding day and, needless to say, when it comes to wedding photography, there is the same boundless mix of styles, options and nuances of services to choose from. There is so much choice however, it may make choosing the photographer that is right for you harder than anticipated. Knowing exactly what to look for can feel daunting as trends change and evolve year to year, so to help here are my musings of the wedding photography trends this year.
- Online galleries - more than a password!
- The (continued) rise of the Content Creator
- Au natural styles
- True to life colour
- Something completely different
- The beauty of imperfection and love for film!
Online galleries - more than a password!
The trend for using online galleries for wedding photography has grown exponentially, which isn't surprising at all given the countless advantages over USBs. More photographers are adopting online galleries over physical drives and couples are loving the timeliness and convenience of receiving their images. It's a win, win! But what next? And what stops online galleries becoming just another dropbox link? Bringing a greater and more personalised experience to online galleries will be key. Curation will separate photographers who are invested in their couples' experience of their work and those who simply want to deliver files. Online gallery hosting providers already offer video hosting and accompanying mobile apps for example. And with the growth in AI the integration of new and engaging formats should only increase for digital wedding photography packages which photographers should closely monitor and couples enjoy the best experience of.
The (continued) rise of the Content Creator
Content Creators may already be a vendor you wish to join your team of suppliers. If you haven't come across them yet, they do not replace your wedding photographer or videographer, but instead offer their own specialised services as your social media storytelling guru. This may seem unnecessary for some couples, whilst covering everything others want. Regardless, Content Creators are here to stay and will become a more engrained consideration as part of wedding planning. Personally, I think there is great flexibility here for couples and interesting opportunities for new content and storytelling to emerge. Currently, some photographers offer video services alongside photography and videographers offer varying packages from highlights videos to full day coverage. Both have come to co-exist and collaborate at weddings, there's a rhythm and understanding of what each expect and how they can mutually achieve it. Alongside this, not all couples feel comfortable at the thought of additional cameras following them on their big day or prefer photo to video or vice versa. Not forgetting, budgets don't always allow for both. Content Creators will mix things up, encourage new optionality, new collaborations, new approaches and new ideas. Which is good for everyone!
Au natural styles
Knowing what style of photography you'd like for your wedding is either an easy call or a challenging process to unpick. There are lots of them! Fine art, classical, editorial, dark and moody, traditional, photojournalistic, reportage, documentary, etc. You will see these terms embedded in photographers' websites as style remains one of the most important factors for couples in choosing their wedding photographer. However, a photographers overall style won't necessarily comprise just one category and will instead be a blend that makes their storytelling vision unique and will enable them to capture all aspects of the day as creatively as possible. My style draws on elements of reportage, fine art and documentary for example.
I think a greater emphasis on candid and journalistic styles will continue throughout the new year and this will be reflected in the way photographers promote themselves. For couples leaning towards unposed and laidback photos, you may see a heavier use of 'natural' and 'relaxed' replace 'reportage' and 'candid' over the coming year as photographers adapt how best to articulate their style and the level of direction in their craft. So, try searching different word combinations when looking for prospective photographers or trying to pin down the style you love most.
True to life colour
Over the last few months I have spent time browsing multiple online groups to keep an eye out for the common wants, needs and concerns of engaged couples. When requesting recommendations there has been a surprising volume of references clearly demanding photographers who's style includes colour that is true to life, not dramatic or heavily stylised - and numerous other variations. Building on Trend 3 (Au Natural Styles), a closer examination of photographers' portfolio may be at play. For photographers this may mean keeping cool with post processing, toning down heavy stylisation and taking a "less is more" approach being favourable for navigating an over saturated market where countless photographers of all experiences are posting stylised images trying to secure bookings.
Something completely different
It may sound obvious but with the abundance of photographers and packages and the common features that are present across many, being able to deliver something different has never been more important to couples - or photographers. This applies to the wedding day and feeling like new photo ideas are being tried and not just the same old routine. There's fun to be had in trying new ideas, regardless of whether they work out, and a few laughs along the way help capture those organic natural moments. It also applies to the final package and the emphasis on designing packages that are less time and itinerary focused and more story and experience focused. A little extra thought goes a long way, whether that's devoting time to a custom design to be engraved on a presentation box, an alternative or personalised way of packaging prints or a sustainability-centric package. The key question here may not be 'does this tick all the boxes?' but rather, 'am I excited by what I will get?'.
The beauty of imperfection and love for film!
With the prominence of digital photography packages, ever-improving camera technology and AI fuelled editing tools, the prospect of perfect wedding photos seems undoubtable. But is perfection really seamless and smudge free? Absolute not! Thinking about the resurgence of polaroids, instant cameras, the rise of AI and more photographers introducing film photography to their packages, will undoubtedly swell the demand for capturing characterful honest moments just as they are, mistakes, blur and all. With that, the demand for film photography at weddings will (slowly but surely) become more popular over the next year. After all, as creatures of habit we love the return of an old fad, so this will be the year more couples shout "we love film!"
There you have it, my thoughts on the photography trends and features that will blossom over the next year. What do you see as the biggest trends? What would you like to see wedding photographers offer more, or less, of?