Wedding photography, history and evolution

Wedding photography, history and evolution

Wedding photography has moved on leaps and bounds in just the last few years, its humble beginnings stated in 1824 with queen Victoria and prince albert 14 years after their wedding date. This inspired wealthy newlyweds to pose for the camera after the wedding, usually not even in their wedding outfits.

Back then the portable cameras of today were not available, big bulky hardware was used and was restricted to a studio environment. This did not take off until the late 19th century.

In 1880 George Eastman (the founder of Eastman Kodak) patented roll film and the camera designed to use, no more heavy equipment making photography much more accessible

As exposure times reduced in creating images it became much easier to take photographs, instead of one image created in a studio wedding couple could have photos posed with family members. Film was still expensive, so you did not get 100’s of images that you get at a modern wedding. But with having multiple images’ the wedding album was born. A series of photographs mounted in an album.

Traditiional wedding photography

With technology advancing and colour photography becoming more accessible the 1960’s we started to see the rise of weddings photographed in colour. Still most wedding images you see from the period where staged. I still have my parent’s album from the 1960’s (a series of black and white photos not colour!).

When I look at a lot of wedding albums from that period most seem to trend the same set of pictures. Some still seem to the ‘standard’ of today. Bride in the car, best man and groom shaking hands, bride with father, mock cake cutting and so on.

Wedding photography of bride and groom in North Yorkshire

Journalistic wedding photography

Moving forward to the 1980’s it still seemed to be the standard poses, sometimes with a few candid shots thrown in.

The late 1990’s saw the introduction of the professional digital SRL camera. The freedom to take multiple photographs without the expense of film. Still, it took a while to evolve to the type of journalistic wedding photography that we see today.

With technology moving on it now is much more accessible and cost effective. Photographers can take advantage of the freedom to take as many pictures as they wish capturing the journalistic shots as well as the posed portraits.

Many wedding photographers will shoot everything from the bridal party getting ready right into the reception in full swing, giving the happy couple images documenting their entire day.

Most of us all now have a camera in our pockets, mobile (smart) phones can take excellent photos giving even more scope for wedding photos. I notice a lot of candid photos taken at weddings by guests. I see hashtags created by the wedding couple so that guests can upload to social media and be easily found after the event.

what's next?

So, what is next for wedding photography? Trends will change and technology will advance. But the skill of the photographer will remain, it is after all, not just the equipment you shoot with it’s also a creative thing, finding the light, adding it when you need too and knowing where to be at the correct time.

If you are looking for a North Yorkshire wedding photographer please get in touch