Understanding Natural Wedding Photography
Phototerra Studio

Understanding Natural Wedding Photography

There is a new popular style in wedding photography. Everyone wants to look and feel natural, and photographers are advertising themselves as lovers of everything natural. But more often than not this term is misinterpreted not only by the brides but interestingly enough by the photographers themselves.

With this little article, we want to set things straight, at least for our clients and peers. In professional photography, to shoot something naturally, means to use available light instead of flash or any other staged source of lighting. That’s it. Seriously, there is nothing more to add.

However, brides shopping for natural wedding photography want their photos to look like the ones they find online; masked in the latest popular filters that make the images look washed out, overexposed or simply orange (we are not entirely sure why people love orange filters, but they are better than the previous green trend). For some reason, pale colors like white, blush, off-white and light grey look and feel more natural to people than the real colors of their surroundings. Perhaps this distorted reality is perceived cleaner and therefore more appealing and fitting for weddings.

If you are a bride reading this, please know that this type of photo-masking will be replaced with another fashionable filter soon. In the meantime, you will forget what your wedding day really looked like.

Some photographers, on the other hand, confuse the term natural with photojournalism when they claim that they don’t pose their couples or subjects. Not posing is documenting. There is nothing wrong with documenting a wedding although some family formal photos and bride and groom portraits would be nice to have. Let’s not mistake the latest trends with the laws and styles of photographic art. And let’s learn everything we can about flash and experiment with endless lighting possibilities!

In this natural portrait of a Sikh bride, we captured a very subtle light coming through the window, highlighting only some parts of the bride’s facial features, attire, and jewelry. It is a tight crop where the colors of her dress fill the frame. Those are real colors but we received the Honors of Excellence for the sepia version of this shot.


Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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