A few things you must know about the Wedding Photography
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
~ Karl Lagerfeld
From re-arranging the seating chart to fit your third cousin (twice removed) to finding something new, old and blue — you’re busier than a weatherman in a tornado. No worries, we’ve got your back; it’s kind of our thing.
Below you’ll find a treasure trove of wedding wisdom — all of which spilled out of the mind of Business Weddings.
Photographic Memory: The History of Wedding Photography
Berenice Abbott once said that “photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.” But photography has grown up — and just like the couples who grew up and developed generations of progeny alongside it, wedding photography has matured.
When we fell in love with wedding photography we fell in love with everything about it — including its rich history and the traditions that evolved over centuries…
The photographic art form was not invented until the mid-1820s, and it was extremely expensive for most couples to hire a photographer during an actual wedding. Instead, most couples would dress in their best, non-wedding clothes later on for a formal portrait.
It wasn’t until the 1860s that posing for a portrait in wedding attire became popular, and with it came the trend of bringing a photographer to the actual wedding (which by this point had become more convenient). Despite the growing trend, however, the photography equipment of the time was anything but portable, so studio photography was still the norm.
Wedding albums began to emerge in the late 1800s, with posed photos of the couple, the wedding party and all of the gifts arranged on a table being amongst the most common photos.
GEORGE & BARBARA SCHEVEL
In the right side you can see a perfect example of how a 19-century wedding picture looks like:
“My grandparents, George Schevel and Barbara Goehringer, on their wedding day in the late 1800s. Brides, at that time, wore dark gowns and grooms wore wedding rings on their right hand.”
The early 1900s to WWII
While color photography was available during this era, it was far too expensive for the average couple to afford. The majority of the photos available before WWII were always black and white, and few and far between.
The war itself, however (WWII) is credited with revolutionizing modern, portable cameras — thanks to the evolving need for war-based photo documentation. The invention and availability of the 35mm camera during this time made it possible for military-trained photographers to capture images of the war, which evolved into photojournalism as we know it today.
Once the war was over many of these military-trained photographers, who were no longer employed by the army, instead found work by snapping photos at weddings and selling them to the couples. It was these wartime photographers that began the practice of documenting weddings and taking more candid-style photos.
The 1950s and 1960s
During the 1950s and 1960s, our celebrity-obsessed culture became fascinated with all things weddings — and celebrity and royal wedding spreads began covering the glossy pages of high-end magazines. Candid photos of these weddings were in high demand, driving the art form further into the mainstream.
The 1970s and onward
Throughout the 1970s and beyond, the photojournalistic and candid approach to wedding photos began to become more commonplace. And as equipment evolved, and became less bulky, so did the photos and the ability of the photographer to capture the emotion of the day.
The image in the left side represent the marriage of Tricia Nixon and Edward Finch Cox. Read more about it here: Richard Nixon Foundation
Photojournalistic Wedding Photos
Photojournalistic style is the difference between Ansel Adams and uncle Jim (with his 80s Polaroid). Images were taken with photojournalistic styling compose a narrative for your entire event. They’ll focus on the beautiful lighting, candid moments and angles that make all the difference.
A photojournalistic style means a fly-on-the-wall approach from your photographer. No herding your family together for awkwardly-posed shots (unless asked!). There’s no “move your head this way” or “Auntie Jeannie — look at the camera.” Instead, they understand how to work the moment to create heart-stirring shots with what’s available – and it works.
You should seek a wedding photographer with a photojournalistic approach. An approach that means…
- They aren’t standing around waiting for the required cake cutting or bouquet-toss shots than taking off. They are capturing moments you didn’t know were there.
- They catch little things, like the bride texting in one hand and applying a final and perfect coat of lipstick, or the bride making that last-minute, tear-filled adjustment to her mom’s jewelry before heading down the aisle.
- The guests turning to catch the first glimpse of the bride
- The look on the groom’s face as he sees his bride — again — for the first time.
- The family bonding of far-flung relatives.
- The ring box, casually in hand behind the ring bearer’s back.
- The groomsmen gathering for their first drink at the bar.
- The laughter and hope on the couple’s faces during the speeches.
Photojournalists not only catch the important moments — they are also in the right places at the right times and are accommodating to a fault because after all, but it’s also your wedding. They will also make the kind of suggestions that only years as a professional photojournalist can bring — like to whisk the bride and groom away to a quiet garden outside for a stunning photo (and for a much-needed break for the harried couple).
A photojournalistic photographer will tell a story and pack it with warmth and emotion — without skipping a beat.
How to Look Your Best in Your Wedding Photos
If there’s a common question I get from most brides, it’s how they can look their best in wedding photos. This is a natural question because every bride-to-be wants to look stunning in each — and every — photo. They also want to know what we can magically ‘fix’ after-the-fact with our super-powered, blemish-removing, color-correcting editing skills.
To help you know how to look your best — and what we can do to help — here is a list of wedding photography best practices:
The best focal point of any wedding picture is your eyes, and glasses hide your eyes completely when they pick up glare or reflections.
If you are unable to wear contacts on your wedding day, you can use an inexpensive jewelry screwdriver to angle your eyeglass lenses downward–this will significantly reduce the chance of glare on your glasses. If you like your glasses — heck, it’s the daily you right? — but aren’t able to angle your lenses, consider quickly popping them out for your photo session. It will cut the glare and allow your eyes to really ‘pop’.
Many brides are concerned whether the colors or textures of the bridesmaid dresses they chose will photograph well.
But have no fear, they all photograph just fine — with the right expertise of course. If you’re looking for something to be concerned with we recommend it is the overall comfort of you and your bridesmaids — after all, it’s hard to get stunning candid pics when they are constantly adjusting their strapless dresses.
Can the Photographer Make Me Prettier?
From expensive lenses to external lighting sources you will look utterly breathtaking in your photos. Of course on the back end, your wedding photographer can remove any small imperfections that don’t contribute to ‘you’, like blemishes, unruly hair (even a ton of hairspray can only do so much!) or what have you.
In short, Yes! Your wedding photographer will make you look beautiful.
This question however is the perfect excuse to schedule an engagement session before the big day — to give you a chance to work with your photographer and let them know what your best side is, what (if any) features you’d like kept out of photos and of course to see their shots of you before the wedding.
With a ‘test’ shoot for engagement photos they will be able to pinpoint what photographs well and what doesn’t — while also giving you a few tips for your big day.
The Best Way To Display Your Wedding Memories
The enthusiasm — and outright soul-eating impatience — of waiting for your wedding photos is enough to bring a couple to their knees. But what happens after the initial rush?
Generally, once a couple has viewed their photos in an online gallery — just as they would their nephew’s little league pictures on Facebook — the excitement and the reminiscing is over. Then what?
While Facebook is a great medium to share photos online for distant ‘friends’ — what will you show your children, grandchildren, close friends and each other on your 37th anniversary?
Wedding Frames, Canvas and Prints
Prints and frames are a classic way to display your wedded bliss. Printing photographs is an art and a science, just like photography itself. And how you display your images will define your relationship with your memories. Our best tip for choosing your wedding print is to looking for archival photographic paper. That prevents fading and loss of quality, right up to your 53rd anniversary.
Professional coffee table-style albums become a piece of memory-based decor in your home. Guests, family and yourselves can peruse it at your leisure — a streamlined album with the photos that tell the story of you as a couple.
Wedding albums also make a great thank-you gift memento for the wedding party, and they make a beautiful gesture as gifts for family and friends who could not make the wedding due to geography or illness.
A wedding album is a decorative focal point in your home that tells the story of you — something a bowl of fruit or potted plant doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of doing.
Why You’ll Never Regret Buying a Wedding Album
If you’re like me then you remember walking by your parents’ wedding picture in the hallway, and flipping through their hand-stitched album was a formative part of your childhood. Those pictures helped form your idea of what marriage means. There was a sense of comfort and permanency in those photos — something that clicking a mouse or inkjet printers just can’t do.
Of course the beautiful redundancy of digital images — saved to DropBox, your email, Facebook and 97 other places — is important, as a backup, but can never and will never replace the nostalgia of photos. Photos — and their encasements are irreplaceable, but not in the ‘digital’ sense. Vivid photos are what make the visual memories special and drug-store photos simply put, won’t be vivid for decades to come, nor will they give your photos have the depth that professional photography gives your day. They won’t be fifty-year-old photos that freeze your love in time for future generations.
The question becomes, what are your memories worth?
Photo albums are expensive. We know… But that’s because custom-designed and hand-stitched, memory-filled keepsakes created just for you usually are. And they’re worth every penny. Not one of our brides has ever said she regrets forgoing a fancy centerpiece, an all-too-short limo ride or inviting that 9th cousin twice removed in exchange for a personalized wedding album full of depth-filled photographs.
Also, keep in mind that the bride and groom aren’t the only ones to not regret the forgone butterfly release in exchange for memories — your future generations will appreciate the sacrifice, because they won’t be in attendance, they may not know what Facebook is and likely won’t be sorting through your DropBox after you’re gone.
Finally, if you cared enough to read through this post AND enough to hire a professional photographer then you care deeply about cherishing these moments forever. To pay a pro photographer, then print them on cheap drug-store paper with low-quality ink is like taking a private jet to a two-star resort. Invest — it will be the best decision you’ll make since he proposed and you said yes.