Snap!

By Sharon Naylor

April 15, 2011 5 min read

The photos from your wedding day are timeless works of art. They capture not only the images of your celebration but also the emotional experience of your big day. Today's brides and grooms often request that their photographers capture the natural interactions between them and their loved ones, as well as the expressions on the couple's faces as they first see each other, take their vows, share their first dance and mingle with their friends. A good photographer ensures that those priceless moments will become immortalized in the couple's wedding album rather than be just in their memories.

This concentration on the candid is a big turn from wedding photography of years past. A number of years ago, photographers simply worked through a checklist of stiffly posed lineup photos and clich?d couple's poses. Now the candid style of photography is "in," with professional photographers using their trained eyes and honed instincts to catch those golden moments that occur naturally.

"Current trends in wedding photography that I have seen include 'getting back to the basics,' simple, clean, elegant, timeless wedding images that won't date themselves in five years," says professional wedding photographer Tanja Lippert. Surveys run by the top bridal sites, such as Brides.com and The Knot, and those run by top bridal blogs concur; natural simplicity is in.

Here are some additional wedding photo trends:

--No lineups. Couples are skipping the post-ceremony marathon of lineup poses -- the bride and groom with the bride's parents, with the groom's parents, with the bridesmaids and so on -- and choosing group photos, for example, ones in which everyone is clinking Champagne glasses or dancing together. The natural smiles in an experiential shot create a more valuable keepsake for the couple.

--No more clich?d shots. On its popular blog, KLinh Evelyn Grace Photography has a post that says: "Frankly, I am getting tired of certain trends that have been around for a while. There is that shot of the wedding party jumping in the air. ... You also have the 'shoe shot.' ... Here is one I'm gonna leave in 2010: focus on bride and leave the groom blurry and in the background. He seems so lonely."

To pre-empt clich?d poses, look through your photographer's sample albums or slideshows and point out the shots you don't want. Many brides veto that photo of the groomsmen picking her up and holding her sideways, because that shot almost always looks awkward. The groom might wish to skip the photo of his men lifting him up. It's important to feel confident in saying "no, I don't like that idea" to your photographer in the moment. This will save valuable time and get you out of picture mode and into your cocktail party as soon as possible.

--Food photographs. Many brides and grooms consider themselves "foodies," experienced and educated in fine cuisine and culinary presentation. They adore cooking reality shows and subscribe to culinary magazines, and they specifically choose delectable, artistic food elements for every course of their reception meals and every display of their cocktail parties. Their chefs have been hand-selected for their artistry, so wedding couples now request greater numbers of magazine-worthy close-up photos of the food presented at their weddings. Engaged couples even make food photography -- a specialized art within the photography community -- a high priority when searching for the perfect photographer to hire. Gorgeous photos of their hors d'oeuvres now find a place in their wedding albums and as their screen savers.

--Colorful albums. Wedding albums now come in every color of the rainbow, and couples are choosing albums in hues that match their home d?cor, allowing for their wedding albums to be put on display. There also is a definite nod to organic lifestyles, and more couples are skipping leather-bound albums -- a step that might also save them money.

The layout of album photos has moved from one shot per page to a scrapbook-inspired design of multiple images per page, allowing a couple to feature a greater number of wedding photos in their professional album.

Couples also are creating albums featuring the photos their friends and family members took. Kodak's Professional Collections design service allows a couple to upload photos they own the rights to, and Kodak's album designers create a layout the couple can review and approve online before ordering. The result is an expert-quality album made of archival materials, suitable for gifts and keepsakes.

Sharon Naylor has written more than three dozen wedding books.

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