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16 Wedding Photography Ideas, Trends & Statistics for 2024

You’re the wedding photographer seeking new ways to wow your clients or the aspiring photographer needing that extra push to make your debut in the nuptial snapshot market. But where do you begin? 

We cover the best 2024 wedding photography ideas, statistics, and trends below. From must-have photos every wedding collection needs to, blurred action and documentary photo styles, tackling virtual weddings, using disposable cameras, and more! 

Must-Have Photography Ideas for a Perfect Wedding Album

Below, we’ve listed the most crucial photos you must include so that the happy couple has every shot they want in their album. Not including these photos will lack depth and could make your wedding photography skills seem amateurish to your current and future clients.  

1. Separate Bride/Groom Portraits

Capturing the “I dos,” first kiss, and toasts are essential wedding moments, but it’s also critical to get separate photos of brides and grooms before the ceremony. 

When you shoot separate shots, you capture a sense of the couple’s final moments of individuality before tying the knot and becoming whole. You also have an opportunity to shoot the bride with her bridesmaids and the groom with his best man and groomsmen for comradery. 

bride standing looking off smiling, holding bouquet
Hunter O’Brien | Instagram: @hunterobrienphoto

2. Wedding Rings

The wedding rings symbolize unity, love, and commitment, making for essential shots. Capture the couple exchanging and placing rings on each other’s fingers. If a child ring bearer is involved, you can also capture them walking down the aisle. 

3. The Wedding Cake Before and During First Bites

The wedding cake, whether extravagant or simple, is worth capturing. When you take photos of the whole thing before the cutting, people see its magnificence and showcase the baker’s creativity. 

It’s a tradition for the newly married couple to cut the cake and feed each other. Some take it seriously while other couples can get playful and rub frosting on each other’s noses. Get these moments for the tradition and the silliness.

4. Candid Moments

Sometimes, the best photos happen naturally. If you have photojournalism skills, getting candid moments should be a piece of cake. 

If you’re new to the candid concept, you get unposed moments by following (not stalking) the bride and groom around the ceremony. The couple could be laughing at a joke from the best man or sharing a tender moment with the new in-laws. 

5. First Dance

Sharing a first dance as a married couple is another common wedding tradition. The first dance shows another tender moment in the glorious tapestry of their wedding ceremony and photo album. 

The couple could be grooving to their favorite song or a wedding DJ’s set. Either way, it’s best to get some dancing photos to capture the most elegant or funny dance moves. 

There’s also the opportunity for a bride and her father or the groom and his mother to get a separate dance, which can also tug the heartstrings in your wedding portfolio.  

6. Day-After Photos

A popular wedding photography trend right now is about photographing newlyweds after the wedding. Couples can wear their wedding dress and tuxedo and go to another location for a private photo session.

This photo set offers room for better pictures because there’s less stress on the bride and groom than during the actual ceremony. Day-after photo shoots balance posed and candid shots. 

Wedding Photography Trends on Styles and Tech

Adding different photography styles and technology to your portfolio shows your creativity and versatility. Let’s explore techniques like direct flash, film, documentary, and others in more detail. 

cute couple dancing at their wedding under disco balls
Mackenzi Knight | Instagram: @mackenziknightphoto

7. Direct Flash Photography

if done correctly, pointing the flash directly at your subject gives the hues and colors a sensational glow. Flashes also make the couple feel like they’re A-list celebrities, and you’re the paparazzi ready to capture all the right moments on their big day. 

8. Documentary and Photojournalism Photography

The documentary and photojournalism technique removes the idea of having “perfect” wedding moments. Instead, this wedding photography trend involves a more organic, non-posed approach to capturing video or photos from the big day.  

Nevertheless, this style doesn’t allow you to skip portraits, cake cutting, first dances, or other vital wedding moments. Photojournalism gives you more wiggle room to capture everything as it happens instead of only staging them.  

9. Blurred Action Photos

Forget everything you’ve heard about blurry photographs being a bad thing.

Blurry-motion photos can give your photos an artistic and dreamlike quality that other photos can’t accomplish. This style is best for the newlyweds’ first dance and works best with a slow shutter speed. Lenses with larger apertures can work too.

Focus on your subject’s face to keep it clear. Otherwise, you will just have a distorted, blurry photo that others may think is a mistake or poor photographer judgment. 

10. Film Photography

In the battle of digital and film photography, film outdoes digital in a few ways. When you use a film camera, you won’t immediately know what the photo will look like. 

In this case, film photography disciplines you into skillfully taking the right photos because you only have so much film at your disposal (unless you have extra rolls). 

Film photography also offers a nostalgic, artistic look that digital photography can’t duplicate. You can search for and play with different film rolls for the proper effects to make stunning wedding photos.

11. Black and White Photo Styles

While some may think this photo style is irrelevant or outdated, others find black-and-white photos timeless, and thus, always on-trend. 

There are several ways to make black-and-white photos: lens filters, choosing a black-and-white filter in virtually any photo editing software, or using black-and-white film rolls. 

You can make more money with your photos by offering a separate or combined package of color and black-and-white photo sets. This option enables clients to choose the right package based on their preferences.   

12. Disposable Cameras

Can’t be everywhere at once during the wedding reception? No sweat. Giving guests or specific tables a disposable camera can help. You could even make it a game where you write instructions for different tables.

For example, one table could be in charge of getting photos of people giving toasts. Another table could photograph a kiss between the bride and groom. After the party, you can collect the cameras and pull the best ones into your wedding album. 

bride and groom in black and white photograph under veil
Hunter O’Brien | Instagram: @hunterobrienphoto

13. Wedding Photography Statistics By State, Salary, and Scope

As a wedding photographer, you capture all the beautiful moments at a couple’s wedding that they’ll want to share with others and cherish forever. 

We discovered some wedding photography statistics that’ll improve your focus on the industry. Let’s take a look:

  • Zippia data stated that California has the most photographer jobs (51). Runner-ups include:
    • Florida (50 jobs)
    • Illinois (44 jobs)
    • Texas (41 jobs)
    • Pennsylvania (34 jobs)
  • Zippia also added that 44% of wedding photographers are 40+ years old, 33% are 30-40 years old, and 23% are 20-30 years old 
  • ZipRecruiter said Alaska has the highest annual wedding photography salary at $108,292
  • ZipRecruiter also said Florida was the state with the lowest wedding photography salary at $67,648
  • Fortune Business Insights stated that the global wedding photography market could reach $36.80 billion in 2030

Wedding Photography Stats in a Post-COVID World

The COVID-19 global pandemic changed everything. People canceled, postponed, or live-streamed weddings, concerts, and other events by necessity. Wearing face masks in public was the norm. 

The CDC reported that 2020 was the year with the lowest wedding record since 1963, with 1,676,911 ceremonies, while 2021 rebounded with a value of 1,985,072.  

Although the global pandemic is no longer an issue, COVID-19 is still a threat. Consider adopting trends like downsized crowds, virtual weddings, and reemphasizing safety measures during your photo sessions. 

14. Downsized Crowds

Instead of having large, extravagant weddings, some couples only want to invite their closest friends and family members for downsized crowds. Downsized crowds offer a more intimate setting, and you can get better pictures because people act more lively around close friends and relatives.

While the trend of weddings coming in with smaller crowds is true, the cost of weddings is at an all time high. According to the Wedding Report, the average wedding costs $30,119 in 2023, up a thousand dollars over 2022 and $10k more than 2020. Fees included attire and accessories, live entertainment, photography, videography, flowers and decorations, venues, food and beverages, invitations, rehearsal dinners, and more. 

Some weddings cost more in different states. According to Bankrate, New Jersey was the most expensive state to hold a wedding, with an average cost of $51,000 in 2022. Utah was the least pricey state, with an average cost of $16,000.

15. Virtual Weddings

Some couples chose the virtual wedding option, only inviting a few people to the celebration and live-streaming it for others to watch online. 

The Knot wedding planning services said 12% of couples had entirely virtual weddings in 2020. This trend can help couples with scattered family members, friends, or people who just can’t attend the ceremony.  

Plus, you can take more intimate photos of the newlyweds without worrying about stepping over people to get the perfect shot. 

16. Emphasizing Safety

When shooting large, downsized, or virtual weddings, it’s best to sharpen your safety values and discuss them with couples beforehand. Some safety requirements include:

  • Getting COVID-19 vaccinations and how often you should get them
  • If wearing masks is still a big deal for them
  • Social distancing and how that affects your work
  • Sanitizing your equipment as needed
  • And other options to avoid getting or spreading the disease to others
Tracy Pacana | Instagram: @tracypacana

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Has Wedding Photography Changed Since the Pandemic?

The COVID-19 Pandemic has helped wedding photographers enhance their safety practices. Photographers also met their client’s needs by working with downsized crowds in smaller settings, social distancing, wearing masks, sanitizing their equipment, and more. 

Can I Use My Smartphone for Wedding Photography?

Of course, you can use your smartphone for wedding photography. However, professional wedding photographers prefer advanced DSLR models with changeable lenses for better effects and versatility that a smartphone cannot provide. Disposable cameras also take better photos.

Are Black and White Wedding Photos Still Popular?

Absolutely! Black-and-white filters add a timeless, classic look to your wedding photos. You can ask your wedding photographer about their black-and-white photo packages. 

What Insurance Does a Wedding Photographer Need?

As a wedding photographer, you should consider getting insurance coverage for: 

  • General liability 
  • Damage to rented premises to you
  • Professional liability (aka failure to deliver and errors and omissions)
  • Cyber liability 
  • And more  

Do I Need Photography Insurance to Shoot a Virtual Wedding?

Yes—whether you’re a wedding photographer capturing the big day at a large venue with hundreds of guests or you’re covering a virtual wedding with only a few in-person attendees, you still need wedding photographer insurance. You’re still at risk of causing third-party damages to the venue or equipment, or even injuries, like the bride tripping over your tripod and breaking her wrist. Plus, you’ll want professional liability insurance to protect you in case you fail to deliver (like if your memory card fails) or the wedding party isn’t satisfied with your work, and sues you. 

FFI Has Your Wedding Photographer Insurance Needs in Focus

If you’re a wedding photographer, you should buy photography insurance from Full Frame Insurance. You can choose:

  • Annual+ policy for $184 per year (most popular) 
  • Annual policy for $129 per year 
  • Event policy for $59 per event

FFI offers in-depth coverage details to protect your gear and your business from damages or third-party claims. Get equipment coverage for one of your annual policies, saving you from damages like a dropped and broken hard drive (~$500), a dropped telephoto lens (~$7,000), a spilled drink on a laptop during a photoshoot (~$2,800), and more. 

Our insurance coverage is a deal you don’t want to sleep on. Get coverage today to have peace of mind during your next wedding shoots. 

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