GSS Guest Blogger :: Evan Baines Photography :: Understanding Wedding Photography

We have the utmost privilage of having Nashville Wedding Photographer, Evan Baines, as a guest blogger for Groom Sold Separately today!  We are so excited and beyond thrilled to have Evan lend his expertise and experience with us!

A little bit about Evan Baines and his photography:

Evan Baines Photography is based in Nashville, Tennessee.  Evan started his business in 2007, after finishing a successful enlistment as a Green Beret in the the Army’s 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). They are a veteran-owned business, and he maintains a thriving commercial practice in addition to shooting weddings.  He is truly a phenomenal talent who spends much of his spare time studying the classics of documentary photojournalism, fashion photography, and portraiture. He believes in drawing influence from work that already has an established track record for timelessness. His favorite photographers include Richard Avedon, David Seidner, Edward Steichen, André Kertesz, Rene Burri, and Robert Frank among others.

One of our favorite things about Evan:  “When you’re sitting together in 30 years looking at your wedding album, you won’t be thinking about how cool or stylish your wedding photographer was. The first thing that comes to your mind won’t be his dynamic lighting style or fancy Photoshop effects. Your photos are going to be treasured documents of family history, revitalizing memory in some and illustrating the past for others. I believe in using style to facilitate the content of the photos: my art serves your moments.”  …WOW!  How perfectly stated!

So, without further ado… Ladies and Gentlemen, here is Evan:

“Over the past few years, wedding photography has significantly evolved from a very limited and static style, towards a dynamic blend of various photographic disciplines. In my consultations, I frequently find that couples are confused by the diversity of styles and options offered to create images from their wedding. To this end, I’ve decided that it might be helpful to create a guide that advises brides and grooms on some of the terminology that is common to the industry, and some of the options that different vendors may offer.

First and foremost, its important to recognize that a wedding photographer is typically called upon to work within a variety of disciplines throughout a wedding day. Almost all wedding photographers these days offer a blend of photojournalism, contemporary portraiture, traditional portraiture, and detail shots. However, photographers may diverge wildly regarding the actual composition of this blend, and the priority they place on each component. You may find that one or two of these disciplines are much more important to you than the others, and it is important to find a photographer who shares your priorities.

This may also be referred to as “candid” or “documentary” photography, and it describes wedding photos that have not been set up in any way by the photographer. Photojournalism seeks to document the day as it happens with minimal interference. Almost all wedding photographers these days *claim* to offer some sort of photojournalistic component to their coverage. However, many will present candid-looking contemporary portraiture as their “photojournalism.” Quality photojournalism is not merely snapshots of events as they unfold, but carefully considered storytelling that typically incorporates multiple content elements into a cohesive narrative.


Contemporary Portraiture:
Contemporary Portraiture may be described as “fashion-inspired,” “editorial,” or even “rock-star.” Contemporary wedding portraiture is NOT photojournalistic in nature, but it may appear to be so. Modern wedding photographers are skilled at either posing subjects, or placing subjects in situations/interactions that will yield dramatic portraits that do not appear “posed” as with traditional portraiture. Some shots may feature extremely stylized posing, either for group or individual portraits. Contemporary portraiture frequently incorporates dramatic lighting, photoshop effects, special lens effects, and a variety of other techniques. The vast majority of top-tier wedding photographers emphasize contemporary portraiture in their advertising, because it is usually the most eye-catching and dramatic style of wedding photography.

Traditional Portraiture:
Traditional portraiture has been, and will continue to be, and important part of what most wedding photographers offer. Traditional portraiture may be referred to by some as “formals,” or “the group photos,” but it may also include traditionally posed individual portraits. Most professional photographers these days minimize this part of their coverage in their portfolios and as they make sales presentations, however it is rare for a client to choose coverage completely devoid of this style. When executed well, traditional portraits serve as a document of family and friends’ presence, and make all of the subjects look good. A photographer skilled in traditional portraiture will ensure that all subjects are posed and lit in a flattering, if usually somewhat static manner.

Detail Shots:
Detail shots are the primary focus of most bridal blogs and magazines, and are an extremely important element to many couples. Couples will spend countless hours selecting specific colors, centerpieces, cakes, flowers, and other details. Skilled wedding photographers apply many techniques from commercial product photography to document each of these details in an exciting fashion. Some photographers become well-known for their ring shots, flower shots, or other detail-focused images.

Please stop by Evan Baines Photography’s website and show them some love!

All photography credits courtesy of Evan Baines Photography.


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  1. […] recognize his name… Evan  is a past Guest Blogger for GSS and wrote an awesome article on understanding wedding photography.  One of our favorite things about Evan:  “When you’re sitting together in 30 years looking […]

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