History of Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is very much part and parcel of the modern couple’s couple big day. Soon-to-be-married couples are willing to spend small fortunes in order to have a beautiful wedding album. But wedding photography is not a new phenomenon as even the Victorians also liked having pictures taken of their wedding days.

Wedding photography dates back to the 1840s. Because photography was only in its infancy there were serious technical limitations on the kind of pictures that could be taken. There were none of the pictures taken outside that are popular today. The photos were not even taken at the church or in the reception. The happy couple had to pose, before or after the event, in the photographers studio. They wore their best clothes for the shoot, which meant no pictures of the bridal gown. Also, the idea of a wedding photograph was only the preserve of the better off during this period.

Some twenty years later, during the 1860s, couples had started posing in their actual wedding clothes, which meant there would be a record of the bride in her beautiful white wedding gown. Also during this period some couples were hiring a photographer to actually come to the church to take a formal photo. But because cameras and photography equipment at this time was very bulky, and not easily portable, most wedding photography remained the preserve of the photographer’s studio.

By the early years of the twentieth century colour photography was available, but for at least the next 50 years it was far too expensive and unreliable to be used for all but the most exclusive wedding photography. The development of the film roll, better lighting and the introduction of flash photography led to a change in the whole concept of wedding photography. Instead of the standard picture of the bride and groom, the scope was extended to include photographs from the wedding service and the reception. This meant that the traditional wedding photographer could no longer rely on couples coming to him to have their wedding photos taken, he had to be prepared to give up a few hours and go to the wedding itself.

Photographic equipment remained bulky, with off the cuff, candid photographs impossible to take. Even photos from the period which appear to be candid had, in reality, being posed. But, by the 1970s we saw wedding photography becoming more like it is today, with pictures taken throughout the happy couple’s big day.

The advance of technology, with the advent of the digital camera, has seen wedding photograph develop further and couples can bring the whole day even more alive with a DVD movie of the event.

Money Mistakes in Wedding Photography and Arranging for a Wedding Photographer

I’ll begin here by stressing that your plan is to only get married once. You have only this once chance to get the wedding photography done right and if you end up with serious regrets over your choice of wedding photographers, the hard feelings will go on for a very long time. Don’t make the usual wedding photography mistakes.

What are those common wedding photography mistakes? Well, the first one is trying to save money on your wedding photography in the first place. There is an apt old adage that says ‘you get what you pay for’. If you’re not paying anyone for the candid shots of your wedding because you have your cousin Bob doing it for free, then you can expect many shots of your one aunt and her three homely daughters. The rest of the people at your wedding might make it into the odd snapshot. You won’t have a good mix of candid photos unless you have a neutral photographer taking those pictures.

The first mistake is looking for wedding photography bargains and so is the second. You might be getting an exceptional deal for the posed photography because a guy you work with it trying to get started as a wedding photographer. You’re paying for his inexperience and risking a photographic opportunity that is once in a lifetime to a raw novice. Maybe you should be paying him to be your second photographer instead. He could be that neutral photographer doing a great job for you at the candid photography and learning from the seasoned pro photographer doing the posed shots.

The third critical wedding photography error is also caused by trying to get wedding photographers on the cheap. This one involves weddings that take place at an exotic destination. The couple getting married need to pay to bring some important guests along and they often balk at the extra expenses of more but a good photographer is best to bring from home. Hiring a local could involve language issues, some cultural differences, and there may be even competency factors. You can’t interview ahead of time and there’s not really an avenue for you to complain or get corrections from after either. Don’t make that common destination wedding photography mistake.

I’ve outlined the three most common wedding photography mistakes and I’ve said that these three are all rooted on trying to save money on wedding photographers. Money is meaningless. The few bucks you might save on your wedding photography is nothing when compared to your wedding event or the memories your photographs will trigger for your lifetime. Spend what you need to get great wedding pictures and don’t cut corners just to skimp on expenses.

Hire the best for your posed wedding photos. Hire someone reliable for candid shots and pay that photographer to ensure you have bought dedication to the task. Bring along a good wedding photographer to your destination wedding too. A good marriage is supposed to last your whole lifetime and the wonderful memories from that one great wedding will grow from those superb wedding photographs. Get the wedding photography job done right the first time because hopefully, there won’t be another opportunity.

A Unique Style of Wedding Photography

When you consider engaging a wedding photographer to photograph at your wedding it is important to remember that every photographer has a different ability. With the advent of sophisticated digital slr cameras at affordable prices there has been an explosion of individuals who have purchased a medium range or even a fully professional digital slr camera and set up shop as a wedding photographer. Some of these photographers are actually extremely good at what they do, even to the point of being able to make it as a professional photographer. However the vast majority do not have the technical expertise or understanding that will enable them to capture the perfect wedding picture time and time again. Wedding photography is actually one of the most difficult areas of photography because there is so much that is out of control of the photographer. From poor lighting to crowded venues, from a tired bride to a screaming child, inclement weather to guests who refuse to have their photograph taken there are literally hundreds of things that can cause a problem for the average amateur. Everyone needs to gain experience but do you really want them gaining the experience at your wedding?

Every wedding is unique and your wedding is no exception. You can find a really cheap photographer who may well have an expensive digital slr camera but unless the photographer actually understands how to use and control the camera then there can be a real problem that will affect the results of your wedding photographs. Most of these amateur photographers use the camera in either full automatic mode or programme mode. For taking snapshots when you are on holiday the his options are fantastic for the amateur, letting the amateur photographer create decent images just like using any other point and shoot digital camera. A little anecdote at this point may help to illustrate an extreme of this happy amateur photography. I was taking photographs of a newborn baby when the mother said that her oldest daughter was at college studying photography. She asked if her daughter could take some photographs two, of course I said yes, I’ve always try to accommodate the requests of my clients as long as it does not affect my work. I asked her daughter what camera she was using for her photography course. Her reply was something of a surprise, “I use an iPhone” she remarked. I’m not too sure I was able to hide my amusement, but you could just imagine the reaction I would have got turning out to photograph this new baby if I then pulled out my smart phone and started taking photographs. There is far more to photography can simply pressing a button and this is especially true when it comes to events that can never be repeated such as weddings.

Every bride and groom has an idea, or should I say usually has an idea of what they expect from the photography that their wedding photographer will give them. Unfortunately there are so many bride and groom’s who have been so disappointed with the results of the photography they have received from a so called professional photographer who actually was an amateur who set up his own or her own website after purchasing a digital slr camera. Some brides want the photographer to capture the whole day from having their make-up and hair done right through till the first dance. For others they are only looking for the wedding ceremony to be photographed. Occasionally the bride or wants photographs of the groom getting ready rather than herself; as I said earlier I’d try to accommodate the wishes of the client and when it comes to the photography that they require. I have been known to arrive in order to photograph the groom and best man getting ready for the wedding only to be turned away due to the fact that they were still in bed and an asked to return in a couple of hours when they have finally sorted themselves out.

Sometimes the bride and groom are happy to be led by the photographer and when this is the case there is a real opportunity for the photographer to really show why it is of such value to book an experienced wedding photographer. There are of course some cheesy photographs that some brides asked for, the one that is often requested is where the bride is lifted horizontally by all of the groom’s man. I’m perfectly happy to take said photographs but for myself I never suggest it. Now there are some images that I have taken that I get requested by a other bride and groom’s to take because they think the images are perfect or standing or original. The problem with anything that is original is that the venture he is copied. So I’d try to take some images at each wedding where the bride and groom are happy to let me have a little free rein, that are as unique to that wedding as the bride and groom our unique. Sometimes of course when you client sees a particular image they can’t understand why such a photograph would be taken or indeed why somebody would want to have a particular image. This is perfectly understandable, but because I spent a time getting to know each client I have never taken and image where the client has said why have you taken that. This again is something that comes with experience as a wedding photographer. I once had a couple of clients who were getting married near Leicester who only wanted what they termed ‘traditional wedding photographs’. The groom commented that one of my images from a previous wedding was a “waste of a photograph.” So what was this disaster of a photograph? It was a picture of four Bride’s Maids all of whom were under 12 years of age. Needless to say they had no children at their wedding; they were not an old couple but were in their twenties.

So having established with the client exactly the style and result that they are expecting from their wedding photos I then set about trying to be as creative as possible within the boundaries and constraints that are set by the bride and groom’s expectations. The purpose of wedding photography is to capture the story, joy and the uniqueness of the wedding day. There is nothing better than bringing a sense of delight to the bride and groom when they recall the events of the day while looking through the wedding photographs I have taken for them. By understanding how to control the camera in order to get the very best results possible by using the Manual settings and customising the results for each photograph of a professional wedding photographer is able to produce a record of your wedding that can far exceed your expectations. You may have ‘uncle Bob’ with his new super duper digital camera standing over the shoulder of a professional photographer taking almost exactly the same photograph from the same place in the same light, yet each with totally different results due to the fact that the professional wedding photographer understands how to control the camera to create the result that is designed, while uncle bob simply takes a snapshot with inexpensive camera.

Any real professional photographer will have developed a particular style of photography, but with an understanding of the client he or she also has an expectation that may require that style to be subtly altered in order to create the effect and results that are expected by the photographer and exceeding expectations of clients. There is a lot of advice on the Internet regarding finding the cheapest possible wedding photographer, but I would recommend that you consider the fact that this is one day there will not be repeated and therefore you need to make sure that you have booked a photographer that has the technical ability and artistic creativity to capture your wedding or other event in such a way that will give you the very best memories.

Please ensure that your photographer is a member of a professional photography body.