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History of Wedding Photography

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 8:42 AM
The 1840s was the beginning of wedding photography. There was little commercial photography at the time for the wedding day itself. Instead, it was all about creating memories of the wedding day. As the photographic equipment was limited (i.e bulky and heavy), wedding photography remained in the studio for more than a century. In the 1800s, the only kind of wedding photography there was was a daguerreotype portrait on a tiny copper sheet.


With limited resources, photographers used glass plates, tin sheets, and copper sheets for their photographs. One of the very first couples were Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840. Couples who were poorer did not hire a photographer to record the actual wedding, or to capture them in pose for formal wedding photos. Instead, photographers captured them before or after their wedding, out of formal wedding dress and into their best formal dress. These were always taken in a controlled environment, like a studio, and the photographer would position the couple to achieve the most complementary and favourable poses so that the images were the best they could be. Lighting, dress, shadow and mood were all created by the work of the studio.


Towards the late 1800s and early 1900s, photographers began to take more photographs as exposure times and general difficulty were reduced. More poses could be attempted, and images of the entire wedding party could be taken too. This enabled the wedding album to be born.

At the beginning of the 1900s, production of colour photography was made possible, but the process was still unreliable and expensive until the 1950s for professional photography. Colours would shift, and fade in time, so photographers continued to work with black and white film. This remained the same until the end of WWII.

The idea of capturing the wedding event itself took place after WWII, during the 'wedding boom' when soldiers would return home to their loved ones. There were new, portable, roll film based cameras, 'film-reel technology’, and compact flashbulb lighting to allow the photographer to show up at a wedding, shoot many photographs with improved lighting, and then sell the photos to the happy married couple afterwards.


This new technique created competition for those working in the studio, and forced those photographers to start working on location. Photographers would try to imitate the studio settings by bringing heavy equipment and bulky lighting to wedding locations. Film was expensive, so there was only a limited amount that could be used for the wedding, but candid shots after the ceremony were still taken nevertheless.

The traditional wedding photography style would capture people in the studio, and this was the only style of wedding photography until the 1970s. However, as photographic equipment improved and things started to pick up with the new social revolution, a new style called wedding photojournalism was developed – a more informal style which captures the wedding as it unfolds.


The process of taking photographs became easier, allowing wedding photography to turn into a full-blown industry. Through the influence of press photographers who took less formal photos of celebrities and politicians, wedding photography was on a similar path itself as more candid moments were taken during wedding events. Moreover, digital photography presented new creative opportunities as they allow deeper coverage of the event with a virtually unlimited amount of photographs taken.






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:icontanya3286:
tanya3286 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Professional Writer
aww... that's a nice read.
I'm grateful for digital photography and its perks. It'd been such a shame to get married and have just a couple of pics or none at all taken... like it was waaay back in the day. How time flies and how fast technology progresses... :nod:
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Photography has come a long way. It's quite amazing. :nod:

Oh, definitely! It really makes you appreciative of things, I think. :D
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:icontanya3286:
tanya3286 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Professional Writer
Sure is astounding, especially at how fast it has progressed in just 100 years or less, perhaps. :)
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, definitely! Then again, 100 years sounds quite a long time sometimes. :hmm:
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:icontanya3286:
tanya3286 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Professional Writer
It is, but if you look at the pace of progress before and then in the last century, it almost seems like - we had progress on steroids. :P
It had noticeably shot up, like a growth acceleration. :)
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a fair point. :O

Indeed! I think there are a lot of reasons for that.. I'm not sure if we'll come across something similar again in our lifetime?
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:icontanya3286:
tanya3286 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Professional Writer
Another industrial revolution...? Most probably not.

We may see a nuclear or renewable energy revolution though, which is much needed. :nod:
Cooler stuff awaits, my friend. :P
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm..

That's a fair point. I do want us to move into the future, though.. you know, what is depicted on sci-fi shows and whatnot?
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(1 Reply)
:iconiandras:
iandras Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
A useful and interesting article, thank you!
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad you think so!
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:iconjce-artworx:
JCE-Artworx Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice article! Well done :-)
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
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:iconjce-artworx:
JCE-Artworx Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!
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:iconloriele:
Loriele Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Awesome article :D
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
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:icondistortedsmile:
DistortedSmile Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Lovely feature :aww:
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
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:iconchezzy-am:
Chezzy-Am Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
educational article. Well done :)

Keep posting such things - they're very good; and fun to read too lol.
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Really? :O

I fear this is the last one. ^^;

But that's quite interesting to know. :nod:
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:iconchezzy-am:
Chezzy-Am Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
... :( You hurt me... *teary eyed look*
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aww.. :hug:

It's not something I have much interest in.. I mean, the occasional one is ok, but I don't think I can do it on a regular basis. ^^;
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:iconchezzy-am:
Chezzy-Am Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
fair enough :)
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug:
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:iconchezzy-am:
Chezzy-Am Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:) :hug:
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:icontvlookplay:
tvlookplay Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
why do you fear its the last? :O
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Because it is Photography month at #ArtHistoryProject and this may be the last one I write!
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:iconvanmall:
vanmall Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome article! :happybounce:
Reply
:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
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