To start talking about wedding photography, I propose to make a short digression into the meaning and history of wedding photography and find out how it all began.
What is meant by wedding photography?
Photographing wedding-related events and activities is the main emphasis of the photography speciality known as wedding photography. Before the wedding day itself, it might also feature several kinds of portrait photography of the couple, such as a pre-wedding engagement shoot (photographs are later used for the couple’s wedding invitations). The photographer(s) will make an effort to capture portraits as well as documentary photography on the wedding day to record the various rituals and activities that take place during the wedding (s).
In the 40s of the 19th century, when photography became a form of fine art, the English photographer Roger Fenton took the first wedding photograph in history. And since at that time not everyone could have such a luxury as photography, naturally, its first owners were representatives of royal blood – Princess Victoria and Prince Albert. The princess appeared before the camera in a luxurious white dress, and from that moment it became an essential attribute of the wedding day.
The photographer’s equipment was so bulky and heavy that the first stage in the development of wedding photography was limited to ceremonial portraits within the walls of the studio. The next step in the development of wedding photography came in the 80s of the last century. A report appeared in the wedding albums of our parents! From that moment it was possible to observe the chronicle of the entire wedding day. I believe this was a watershed moment in the history of wedding photography. Photography has become very accessible to society and, as a result, very popular!
What one needs to be a wedding photographer:
Before you start shooting at weddings, you will need to get training! Learn to work in manual mode and try shooting portraits in difficult lighting conditions: a portrait with a point light source (sunbeam), a portrait in backlight (the sun is behind the model), a portrait with direct sunlight (analysis of black and white pattern on the face). Learn how to shoot a reportage with a change in light conditions (shooting outdoors with a transition to a closed room). Learn to capture details by putting them together in a composition. Learn how to use flash in dimly lit rooms. Learn how to work with models and master the skills of staged shooting. And of course, do not forget about the observance of planning in shooting (general, medium, close-ups) and composition in frames.
Working in this segment, most people do not enjoy, it since working with a less solvent public has its own specifics. Apart from newcomers, this segment is mainly dominated by the so-called “bombs” – people who have put the shooting process on stream: it is not so important for them who and how to shoot, their goal is as many cherished pieces of paper as possible. In the work of these people, there are templates according to which they work for years, and there is absolutely no creative growth and self-realization.
After all, shooting a wedding is an extremely responsible job, especially when the newlyweds have spent a lot of time, paid a lot of money and put their soul into organizing one of the best days of their lives. As soon as you can promise clients that you will shoot their event exactly as presented in your portfolio, in any conditions (and unforeseen situations can be oh so many: from bad weather and lighting conditions to emotional breakdowns of the newlyweds), only then you can call yourself a pro! Not only do you have to be able to shoot in any weather and light conditions, but you must also be sure that the equipment will not let you down! And here professional cameras come to the rescue, which will allow you to shoot in low light, which will not get wet in the rain, whose autofocus will not miss a single important moment,
The bottom line:
This is where I want to finish the first article, which opens a whole cycle of materials on wedding photography. After studying them, you can not only improve your photography but also organize your own successful photography business. Therefore, our articles will be useful not only for a beginner but also for people already working in this industry.