Welcome to AVS360 Albums
In the earliest days of photography, weddings were photographed in styles that captured the bride and groom in very formal poses. Even with the emergence of the contemporary wedding album, which included group portraits of statuesque groomsmen and bridesmaids and the bride and groom with family members, posing remained stiff and lifeless. As wedding photography progressed, posing techniques still closely mirrored the posing techniques of the great 18th century.
It is against this backdrop or formality that wedding photography evolved—or rather, rebelled. In this early style, each individual photo was a check mark on a long list of posed and often pre-arranged images from a “shot list” stuffed in the vest pocket of the wedding photographer’s tuxedo. Even spontaneous events like the bouquet toss and cake cutting were orchestrated to reflect the classical posing techniques. Spontaneity had all but disappeared from this most joyous of ceremonies.
Amidst such a regimented creative environment, it is not at all difficult to see why there was an active rebellion among brides and wedding photographers. In short, this rebellion turned the world of wedding photography upside down.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY EVOLUTION
Since the late 1980s, when wedding photography really took hold, the trend away from traditional wedding photography has continued unabated, but with some surprising twists. The new breed of wedding photographer has no problem directing or choreographing an image, as long as the results are spontaneous and emotion-filled. They don’t particularly care if they are purists, in the photo-journalistic sense.
The “hot” wedding photographers now are those who favor a fine-art approach to wedding photography.
Each image is carefully crafted by the photographer (not the lab) in Photoshop and the effects they produce are just what the contemporary bride has always dreamed of—a unique and one-of-a-kind wedding album. The modern-day wedding photographer is among the upper echelon of the photographic elite, both in terms of professional status and financial rewards.
The move away from film and towards 100-percent digital capture also continues unabated. Today, digital and wedding photojournalism go hand in hand with the speed and flexibility of digital capture supports this on-the-fly, unobserved shooting style. While today’s digital photographers are aware of the increased time and effort involved in being purely digital, new methods of workflow and image editing continue to evolve, and new software is helping to aid in the transition.
Digital technology is virtually exploding. New digital camera systems are appearing overnight, as are peripheral products that support digital imaging.
Almost without exception, manufacturers’ entire research-and-development budgets are going into new digital products. New cameras with higher resolution, improved imaging chips with added functionality, and better software for handling RAW files are being introduced with ever-greater frequency. In addition, whether a photographer shoots weddings digitally or with film, the impact of Adobe Photoshop has permanently changed the style and scope of wedding imagery. In the comfort of their home or studio, photographers can now routinely accomplish creative effects that previously could only be achieved by an expert darkroom technician or retoucher. Photoshop has made wedding photography the most creative venue in all of the photography—and brides love it.
Digital albums, assembled in Photoshop, have become the preferred album type, and the style and uniqueness these albums bring to the wedding experience make every bride and groom a celebrity.
Digital capture also provides the ability to instantly preview images, meaning that we missed the shot for whatever reason, we can redo it right then and there. That kind of insurance is priceless. The ability to review an image on the camera’s LCD monitor is one of the tremendous benefits of digital capture. Sometimes, it may take a few test shots to adjust the camera perfectly, but that’s infinitely better than shooting several rolls and then waiting until after the wedding to see what happened.
Also, the flexibility of digital capture is unsurpassed. You can change film speeds from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 or higher from frame to frame. We alter the white balance at any time to correct the color balance of the lighting. With certain cameras, we can even change from color to black & white at the touch of a button. The creative freedom afforded by digital capture is unprecedented.
However, one of the biggest complaints of wedding photographers who have gone digital is the tedious post-shoot workflow. Some wedding photographers find that they are paying the same amount for prints from digital labs, yet they have to take on many of the tasks that were previously done by the lab. So more personnel are needed to “work” the files and the money saved in film and processing charges goes right back into expensive digital equipment, more computers, and ever-changing technology.
Many brides want spontaneity and real moments recorded at their wedding; the kind only a gifted wedding photographer like us, skilled at observation and with fast reflexes, could provide. We, at AVS360, have a team of wedding photographers who have great respect for and knowledge of the posing and lighting principles of the traditional wedding photography, yet combine our traditional skills with a healthy knowledge of digital and Photoshop skills to consistently produce the “idealized” wedding image.
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