2023 Wedding Photography Trend: Direct Flash Photography

direct flash wedding photography

Much like fashion, wedding trends come and go. I’ve been a wedding photographer in Cheshire and North Wales for 24 years now, and in that time have seen a lot of different wedding trends. I always like to keep up to date with the latest trends in wedding photography, and lately I’ve noticed a shift toward direct flash (or high-flash) wedding photography. The trend started gaining traction last year, and it’s looking like it will become even more popular in 2023.

What is direct flash wedding photography?

Previously, the trend in wedding photography was to use flash in a way that made all images look like they were shot in natural light. In contrast, direct flash wedding photography involves using direct, on-camera flash that illuminates the subject and brings a feeling of closeness. Direct flash photography gives images a bright, dramatic look.

It’s interesting that for so long, the trend in weddings for so long was to make images seem natural, but now we’re leaning into the fact that artificial light doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Why has this style of wedding photography become a trend?

As with all trends, direct flash photography isn’t new. It last had a major moment in the 90s when fashion photographers such as Juergen Teller and Corinne Day used this style of photography and it became a signature aesthetic of this period. For anyone who was a child of the 90s, this style of photography probably appeals; perhaps we’re currently experiencing a surge in 90s babies getting married and that has helped to elevate this trend!

We’ve had decades now where wedding photography has been largely about evenly lit scenarios and highly produced imagery. On top of that, everyone has got so used to adding filters to every photo they take and post on social media, giving everything a warm, soft glow. But trends always come and go, and it seems that people have now started to crave something different. Direct flash photography – with the drama and contrast it creates- is ticking that box.

On a more practical level, this style of shooting can also be especially useful in dimly lit indoor settings or during nighttime ceremonies.

How to incorporate this trend into your wedding photography

If you like the look of direct flash photography, have a chat with your wedding photographer to see how you could incorporate it into your day. As a wedding photographer, I love to get creative with the images I produce, and using direct flash is something I’ve been doing for a while now: I love the dramatic results that can be achieved.

However, it’s probable that you won’t want all your images to be captured this way, and my suggestion would be that it’s nice to mix up a couple of styles when it comes to your wedding photography. I’m loving adding direct flash photography in as a way to diversify the overall set of images, without completely relying on it for the whole wedding.

If you’d like to have a chat about any style of wedding photography, I would be more than happy to help. I’m a professional wedding photographer based in Cheshire, Chester, and North Wales and am experienced in different types of wedding photography. Please feel free to get in touch for a chat.