bride and bridesmaids pose in front of blue door
February 14, 2013

Formal Wedding Portraiture and Photojournalism


One thing we get asked a lot is, “do you shoot formal photos.” The answer is: “Of course!” As photojournalists we love the spontaneous moments that happen right in front of us as people live out their lives. But even during the fast and ever-changing landscape that we inhabited in the newspaper world, we relished the slower moments of the job where we were able to step into the studio to photograph a model or set up lights for a location shoot.

Many couples choose us for our ability to get those candid moments. But the question of formals always comes up. Some family members of the bride or groom might expect more traditional photography of the bridal party and Grandma will likely want photos with the couple. We love to take formals and it gives us and the happy couple the opportunity to step out of the chaos for a moment. This is really the only time that we get to dictate what happens.

Della Terra Wedding in Estes Park, Colorado.Usually before the ceremony each of us will take our half of the bridal party out to the location. We’ve either shot in the location or scouted it in advance so we already know best spots for shooting these formals. It might be the beautiful mountain setting at Della Terra in Estes Park or a beautiful church wedding in the Highland neighborhood of Denver. Either way we’ll put you in the scene and let you and the bridal party interact as we make beautiful photos. We sometimes pose a group, especially a large one. But we like to see what happens organically. Even in portraiture there is a Decisive Moment. We may choose a location for the shoot and compose the scene a bit, but we still look for those magic moments that happen when people are allowed to be themselves in front of the camera.

Whether you want just our beautiful moment-filled photojournalism or would like to add formals to the mix, feel free to drop us a line to discuss our style or the details of your big day.



Chris Stark
Wedding Photojournalist at Stark Bellamy Photography
Chris Stark is an award-winning photojournalist and former news photographer who honed his craft at several Colorado newspapers. Documentary wedding photography translates perfectly into Chris' fly-on-the-wall style. Chris lives in Longmont, Colorado with his wife and daughter and spends his free time on the bike or hiking with his family.