The History of Natural Wedding Photography

Natural Wedding Photography is viewed by many as a recent trend in the world of photography.

natural wedding photographyThis however is not the case as it has been a long standing style which finds itself also in candid photography in the context of weddings. This style of photography is viewed by extreme traditionalists who are fond of the medium format camera and staged shots accompanied by posed set ups as a threat to its continuity.

In the past, photographers would make use of large cameras which are set atop tripods with a hood over the photographer’s head.

This method of photography requiring formal and posed art was derived as a result of the limitations of technology back then but luckily, the digital age has taken over making it easier for natural wedding photography to take place. In the old style, the photographic technology called for still poses, film changes, exposure times and long winded plates. The breakthrough of fast 35mm solved part of the problems mentioned but it still had certain limitations to it. Now the light weight of the cameras allow for the natural techniques to be applied to wedding photography.

The breakthrough in photography technology brought about a game changer which no longer required wedding photographs to be posed for. Wedding photography could now become more natural. The precious moments of the wedding are those that underscore raw emotions that cannot be repeated in a still pose. Those moments are also best captured when the subjects are totally unaware of the camera’s presence. Here, the natural setting of the location is utilized to the advantage of the pictures as the photographer tried to minimize the use of artificial lighting such as flash in favour of the more natural sunlight.

Fast film was a means used in the past to produce candid pictures but their outcome was grainy images.

As a matter of fact, the fast film (allowed action freezing natural photography in low light) grain became an iconic look for popular magazines like The Times and other iconic journals od the time. Wedding photography of the time borrowed the look found in the magazines and journals with the final photos having a grainy black and white look that appeared more natural. The grain on the images is actually a visual artefact form (a distortion of the true reality). The present day technology now takes this a few steps further with the presence of ISO which affords incredible natural wedding photography options to the photographer with the absence of grain.

Part of the allure of natural wedding photography can be found in the aesthetics that create a timeless and real look as opposed to the other styles. A good way to confirm this is by checking out the natural wedding photography by Simon Grossett. The maturation of natural wedding photography is in the evolution of the wedding album as wedding couples need not apportion time for staged shots on their wedding day to fill the album when the photographer can go about his business as naturally as possible and still provide stunning images.