A quick history of wedding photography

June 29, 2015

Wedding photography has come a long way.

Dating back as far as the 1840s, couples hired photographers to commemorate their special day through pictures. Back then, wedding photography had to be done in a professional studio by specialists and photos were chemically imprinted on polished silver-plated copper instead of paper. The images took great effort to produce and the finished product was black and white, grainy, and vulnerable to image corruption.

Photo: Daguerreotyp on Copper Plating | Credit Smithsonian American Art Museum.

It wasn’t until nearly a century later that technology evolved to a point photographers could create a reliable means of taking pictures. Still, even up through the 1940s, photos were largely black and white and mostly done in a studio instead of during the actual wedding ceremony itself.

With the end of the Second World War, the “wedding boom” created opportunities for wartime photographers to earn a living taking a different type of pictures. With the advent of compact flashbulb lighting and portable roll film, photographers were now able to show up on location. Already familiar with taking photos on-site instead of within a studio, these photographers arrived at weddings (sometimes without an invitation!) in order to photograph the event and sell the pictures to the bride and groom.

Since then, the relationship between wedding planners and photographers has improved–not to mention the quality of the photos themselves! With cameras that were more portable and film that was easier to develop, photographers began taking “documentary-style” photos instead of static “posed” shots of the wedding party like what had been done in decades past. Photographers were able to capture the event as it unfolded, moment-by-moment.

Even still, prior to the use of digital photography, these photos would need to be developed after┬áthe wedding–usually resulting in a nice chronologically-ordered wedding-album that would be supplied to the couple weeks after the honeymoon.

Digital photography has only sped up this delivery time though. In modern weddings, photographers can snap a few photos and have them instantly “developed” in the form of a digital file. The only hold-up has become the time it takes for the photographer to pick out the best photos from their set, do some touch ups, and post them online.

Modern Wedding Photography | Credit: http://mikemahnich.com


However, with the ease of use in digital photography and the rise of smart phones, classic wedding photographers have found some competition from their amatuer counterparts. Wedding guests are complementing the formal photos taken by the wedding photographer with their own un-touched images which are often immediately shared to social media sites like facebook or instagram. Even still, these photos aren’t often reviewed until the guest goes home and flips through their fellow guest’s albums online.

PartyHasher is among the new-wave of technology that allows people to instantly share photos with each other. The technology driving PartyHasher allows users to not only take the photos at the event, but share them in real time through projectors and other display devices during the course of the wedding itself! Now wedding attendees can not only share their experience through photos, but instantly see the event through the eyes of each of their fellow party-goers.

It’s clear that photography and weddings have formed their own close marriage over the years. From copper plates to near-instant digital photosharing, technology has sped up how quickly a guest can both experience a moment in real-time as well as share the experience of that same moment with others.

Credit to http://www.iqphoto.com/history.htm

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