Wedding Photography can be summed up by the act of photographing a wedding. This, I know sounds way to simple, but in actuality it is much more complex than most people realize.
First there are a wide variety of styles involved in capturing a wedding.
– The old school posed or traditional photography
Photography has evolved and seen so many changes in a little over a hundred years especially as it is applied to weddings. In the beginning, it was more of a way to document for posterity a major event. Due to the type of cameras and slower shutter speeds posing in a very comfortable to limit the movement of the subject. This was a major reason death portraits became popular in the early stages of photography.
As technology advanced so did the way quality photographers worked. Posing became king. Angles, symmetry and lighting became paramount for the well schooled photographer. As it applied to weddings most couples in the 20’s through 50’s would head off to the photographer’s studio to have their formal portraits captured. Typically only a handful of images were captured.
Further advances in technology made it possible for the photographer to go on location at the wedding ceremony. Formal portraits were then typically captured following the wedding ceremony. As the advent of 35 mm photography advanced so to the photographers involvement in the wedding day often extending their time with the couple to pre ceremony coverage. But most images captured were still overly posed.
The 70’s brought double exposures – photographs where two separate images were captured – typically in camera but could also be done in the dark room. Images were the couple would be seen overlooking their ceremony at the alter or an image of their hands in the champagne flutes.
It wasn’t until the 80’s and early 90’s that wedding photography began adding some photojournalism to the mix, capturing images to tell the story. However posed photos were really still king in the wedding photography arena.
Digital cameras brought an onslaught of photojournalism explosion. Storytelling of the day became powerful for those of us that realized where to look and how to bring it out. The hinderance of film and the cost associated with it was now out of the mix. Digital capture made it possible to capture the moments between the moments. Candid images revealing true moments of emotion and posed romantic more natural images became more important to the wedding couple than the posed photos. The main reason being these are the images that reflect the true story behind their feelings. In this vein the camera has become an incredibly powerful tool in capturing a story, a life moment.
Craig David Butler