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The history of wedding photography

Wedding photography has been around since the early days of photography itself, starting in the first half of the 19th century. Back then, it was a new concept, and it took a while to develop into what we’re familiar with today. But the basic idea has always been the same: capturing the special moments of love and celebration during a wedding.

firs ever wedding photo

The very first wedding photo we know of was taken in 1840, featuring Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.

History of Wedding Photography

In the 1800s, wedding photography wasn’t all that common. This was partly because the equipment was bulky and the process of taking a photo was time-consuming. When couples did decide to have their wedding captured on film, they usually did it in a studio. If you look at those old photos, you’ll notice that the poses were pretty standard – usually just one or two formal poses. Sometimes, the pictures were taken the day before or after the wedding, and the couples might not even wear their actual wedding clothes, opting for simpler attire instead.

first wedding photos history
wedding photography historical images

In the early 1900s, color photography became available, and some photographers tried using it for weddings. However, because color film was unstable and expensive, most wedding photographers stuck with black and white photos.

After World War II, things changed. A new idea emerged – capturing the entire wedding day. This became possible with better camera gear and the invention of portable flash. Photographers started showing up at weddings, taking pictures, and trying to sell them afterward. Even though the quality wasn’t always great, this created competition for traditional photo studios. So, photographers had to leave their studios and take photos during the actual celebration.

wedding photography history
history of wedding photos

Since around 1970, a more modern style of wedding photography has become popular – called photojournalism. This, along with staged photography, are the two main styles you’ll see today.

Nowadays, with digital photography, it’s hard to imagine a wedding without a photographer, albums, and prints. Digital photography has really boosted the wedding photography industry, allowing photographers to focus on perfecting their style without worrying about heavy equipment.

Progress keeps moving forward, and we’re excited to see what new developments and products come next!

Stay inspired,

Elena Sullivan 

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