What is illustrative Photography (and why it might be perfect for your wedding)

As we learned  about traditional photography   and photojournalistic photography, let’s put a name on a style that is becoming more and more popular; illustrative photography.

Illustrative photography

Illustrative photography is a slightly newer style designation, but it has been around for a while. It contains elements of both photojournalism and traditional photography. An illustrative photographer will try to shoot a wedding in a more candid style, but will improve the circumstances when possible. This may include selecting the perfect outdoor background to shoot the couple in front of, or changing the lighting indoors to improve the end result. The photographer may ask the bride to get dressed close to an open window with natural light available, but then photograph her in a candid style with no posing.


This is why illustrative photography is one of my favourite styles

As a creative, I find myself bombarded with ideas and visuals all the time.  Images in my mind are going in over drive when provided with a couple in love, looking gorgeous (as you all do) and celebrating their love on their special day.  So imagine the freedom I feel when my couple shares their wish with me for some strong visuals, artistic flair and real, raw emotions to be captured.  I automatically know they are seeking what I call illustrative photography.

It has been my experience that all couples feel a little lost at some point when it is time to have their “couple photos” captured on their wedding day.  They certainly don’t want staged, cheesy and stiff. Quite the opposite actually. And they feel a little lost on how to go about it which by the way is completely normal.  That is the perfect setting for me to gently help them by seeking out some elements that will be visually stunning and simply providing them comfort with words and direction to have them be in the right place at the right time.

Most of the time, my couples are fully aware of what we’re trying to achieve. It may simply be taking them on a quiet walk where they can just be themselves and relish in the intensity of the moment by focusing on each other.  The perfect light, the magic view point and the technique is where I get to have my fun. By setting the tone to help them relax, I can capture it when the candid moment happens.  Boom!  It’s what I call going from a good image to a great image. The magic formula of the ultimate, gorgeous artistic background capturing  your couple in a candid moment … it doesn’t get any better than that. And it’s why I love doing what I do.

Once more, I do feel illustrative photography needs to be blended with other styles as well to truly capture a well rounded wedding story.

On Monday we take a break from the lingo to enjoy a gorgeous mountain top wedding you won’t want to miss.  We come back later in the week to take a closer look at Portraiture and High Fashion Photography.

Do you have any questions about illustrative photography or anything else wedding photography related? Leave it in the comments section below and we’ll answer you in a blog post!

Pascale oxo


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