December 16, 2020

What is an Alternative Wedding Photographer?

Exmouth market wedding photography

The final piece in my puzzle of helpful blog posts. As photographers, we often feel we have to label ourselves – partly this is for SEO reasons, trying to pre-empt the kinds of things that the couples we might want to work with could be searching for. We use terms like ‘London wedding photographer’, or ‘destination wedding photographer’ with abandon.

But today I want to shine a little bit of light on the term ‘alternative wedding photographer’ – what it means and how it relates to some of the values I have as a business, and hopefully share with you too.

So, what does it mean?

I wonder if the term has less and less relevance as more photographers adopt a modern, story telling approach? What exactly are we the alternative to?



Learn to pronounce


1. 1.
(of one or more things) available as another possibility or choice. “the various alternative methods for resolving disputes”

2. relating to activities that depart from or challenge traditional norms.“an alternative lifestyle”

So, if we take that definition as a starting point; I see alternative wedding photography as providing an alternative to boring, stuffy, traditional photos. An alternative to the kind of kind of dated views that still pervade huge parts of the wedding industry, and to saying no to tradition for it’s own sake.

It’s a style of photography that embraces all cultures, races, traditions and styles, as well as all sexualities. its encompassing and open minded.

So how does that fit in with how I label myself? For SEO purposes, I still often call myself an alternative wedding photographer – though my website tagline is ‘Creative Modern Wedding Photography’.

To me, alternative photography, as well as rejecting tradition, embraces some of the same spirit as alternative music – its a bit edgy, it makes you feel something that perhaps the mainstream does not; and it has a cool haircut (maybe not that).

vegan wedding photography


It celebrates fun, laughter, doing things and celebrating your own way.

This feeds in to the way I love to photograph a wedding day – I’m always looking for certain things that feel right for my work – human emotion, story, clashing or surprising colour, unusual contexts and environments (gotta love a couple framed against a filthy London street, literally one of my favourite things ever), eye catching composition, warmth. Using my own vision to tell the story of the day rather than working to a prescriptive list of shots.


If you thought this was interesting, and you want some more advice on how to choose your wedding photographer – check out this blog post.

I also have a completely FREE download – with 10 Top Tips for Awesome Photos.