Your wedding is a special moment you want to remember for years to come. You want to be able to look back and clearly remember every detail, both big and small. This is why having a wedding photographer capture your special day is important and planned for well in advance. However, the modern concept of wedding photography is a fairly recent practice. The evolution of wedding photography has been long and gradual.
The History and Evolution of Wedding Photography
Wedding photography dates back to the early 1800s. It is said that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were the first couple to have a wedding picture taken. This precedent aided in the tradition to follow.
Photography began to take off at the end of the 1800s. At the time, photos were printed on small, metal sheets, known as a daguerrotype. Continued inventions and processes changed and built upon this style. However, technology still remained bulky, slow, and expensive. Because of the price, wedding pictures were limited to the wealthy.
Early wedding photography was restricted to a studio. Couples would dress in nice clothes and go in before or after their wedding. Toward the end of the 19th Century, the bride and groom began wearing their wedding attire for their picture. Once camera technology became more portable, photographers could finally capture the wedding on site.
For a long time, pictures were taken in black and white. Color wasn’t reliable until about the mid-1900s. Early color photography faded and shifted, resulting in poor picture quality. Agfa, a German firm, developed a new model of color film in 1936. All films to follow built upon this model.
WWII saw the advent of portable camera technology. Cameras now had film and included a flash. All of a sudden, it became much easier to take pictures outside the studio. Additionally, the end of the war kickstarted the wedding photography industry due to an increase of weddings. Smaller and portable cameras even made it possible to take multiple pictures and capture more details. Years later, digital photography would arrive on the scene and make even more changes.
All of these advances paved the way for a new era of photography and styles.
As photography evolved and grew over the years, so did the styles that followed. Three styles in particular emerged over time: traditional, photojournalism, mixed.
Traditional. Posed shots are the primary focus of this approach. Photographers take extra time to capture specific moments in just the right way. They also take a more prominent role throughout the day. The photographer directs the couple on what to do to achieve certain shots. This style works well if you have a list of particular shots you want taken during your wedding day.
Photojournalism. This style takes a documentary approach to capture the details, candid shots, and everything in between. With a wide variety of images, the pictures tell the story of the day. As the day passes, the photographer works in the background to take pictures of the ceremony and reception. If you don’t want to think about photography very much throughout your day, this style may be a great choice for you.
Mixed or Blended. As the name implies, this approach is a blend of the two styles above. Combining elements of both styles allows for creativity without missing the classic, iconic shots of your big day. This approach provides many of the typical posed shots while also preserving the details. Additionally, with the use of digital photography and editing software, wedding photographers can add an extra creative flair to their pictures.
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