Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Evolution of Wedding Photography - In The Fifties

Well, prior to 1950, most wedding photography meant the bride and groom and sometimes the wedding party headed over to a photographer's studio for a series of formal bridal portraits. That's how it was done in my mom and dad's day. They were married in 1947.

Candid wedding photography began soon after WWII when the discharged army trained photographers were looking for work and began showing up on church door steps looking for the weekend weddings taking place. In fact more than one photographer may have showed up. It literally became - let the best photographer win -or the best photograph be purchased. More than one photog may show up, shoot the couple and wedding party, track down their names and addresses from the church, and then set out to sell those images after the couple returned from their honeymoon.

That was truly the beginning of on location wedding photography in the late 40's and early 50's. Most cameras were 4x5 Speed graphics and flash bulbs were the lighting equipment of choice. And old friend on mind, Paul Kirst, who started shooting about that time used to tell me stories about how photogs would buy a business suit with over size pockets just so they could carry more flash bulbs in them. But, photog beware, on a dry summer day, the static electricity building up as he ran from one location to the next would sometimes fire off a flash bulb or two. Man, do we digital guys and girls really have it easy these days. Turn in next week to hear about the person who had the first major impact on wedding photography.

Hey gang, that's about it for today. I've got to rest these tired little fingers and get ready for my wedding this weekend. So until tomorrow, Keep Smiling, --David

1 comment:

  1. I used a Graflex back in the 60's. I always had to lick the flashbulbs as this would ensure they would fire when the shutter was clicked! I used a Graflex for sports photography back then whilst I was still in Undergraduate College! Sometimes I woiuld get really excited, caught up in the moment, at a sporting event that, every once in a while, I'd pull the film holder out and forget to first put in the dark slide!

    Fond memories.

    Thanks for re-kindling the times!