Wedding Photography Trends through History
Weddings have transformed over the last century from being a small-scale intimate celebration shared by family to a multi-billion dollar industry.
According to a WeddingBells.ca survey of 2,309 Canadians in 2014, couples nearing or just coming away from the big day indicated they believed the average expected cost of a Canadian wedding is about $22,429 or $27,899 with a honeymoon. [Source: Slice]
It's hard to pin down exact numbers. They vary a lot between socio-economic groups. However, the most consistent stat I have read is that even since the 1930s couples have been shelling-out about 25% of their annual income for their celebrations.
As the wedding itself has evolved, photography styles and expectations have also see a tremendous shift.
Check our a few of my favourite trends over the decades...
Let me manipulate your mind....This creepy analog editing trend has to be one of my all time favourites!
We've all seen these on awkwardfamilyphotos.com or some similar posting. They are amazing in the awfulness!
This has to have been the best and worst trend in photography ever.
And, the birth of Photoshop!
Apparently, photographers did not learn how jarring playing god was with old-school editing. I think I'm glad though because the results are hilarious!
It was also in the early 2005s continuing to present, that we see (what I think is
one of the best photography styles—and the style I was trained in) is photojournalistic wedding photography.
Some photographers take it to the extreme with shots of the bride relieving herself in her gown etc. (which I actually love).
I think that what this philosophy of photography allows for is the telling of a couples story and a chance to really show of their personalities, creating a real feel for what the day was—for better or for worse. That said, there are downsides and this is that a true photojournalist does not edit their images. I happened to have a large pimple on my lip the day of my wedding which I now get to remember for all of time... lucky me ha!
It's the photos that I look back on over and over again and am so glad I have every single one of them.
I had a videographer at my wedding, but hardly ever look at the video unless I want to remember specific things that people said in their speeches.
As we head into the 2020s we are seeing an increasing trend in stylized photos of the bride and groom. These are sort of a mix between lifestyles photography that you see on the wall and glamour shots you'd find in a magazine. They're designed to look like not a lot of effort was put into them but are elegant often with moody editing.
I like looking at these and when you score a couple who look like they belong on in a glossy magazine.... but we're not all glamorous looking and these can sometimes fall a bit sideways.
Another recent trend I'm seeing is prompt-based or "un-posed" photography. This involves asking people a series of questions or directing them to say certain things to each other like—"whisper the names of breakfast cereals in a sexy voice into their partner's ear"—and then capturing their reactions. If done well the shots end up looking a lot more natural then repeatedly telling a group to "relax" and "look natural",
Somewhere in the mix of all this there is a balance that each photographer finds for themselves. Their own unique style.
People are consuming more photography than ever before in history. How many hours does the average millennial spend looking at photos on social media each day?
A recent report from Nielsen found that Generation X, or people between the ages of 35 to 49, spend almost seven hours a week on social media. Millennials, aged between 18 and 34, spend a little more than 6 hours per week, the study found. By contrast, people over 50 spend about 4 hours a week on social media. [Source]
This has afforded us an enormous influx of beauty in our lives. We are bombarded by talented artists everyday.
People have more of an understanding of photography as a medium, of their preferences and style. And people want more professional level images of themselves and their events than ever before.
It's a great time to be a photographer!
Michelle J. Falk
Shares stories from behind the scenes and tips to improve your photo sessions.