As I was doing research online for this blog, I realized that all the 80s bridal portraits I could find were either in front of a photographer’s backdrop, or at the alter inside a church. I recall attending a wedding as a child in the 80s and seeing the photographer’s mini studio set up in the garage of the house where the wedding was held. Apparently, in the 80s, that’s what was in style.
Also, all the brides, gigantic hair and all, are smiling their big cheesy, strained smiles.
There’s nothing natural about it. Wedding photography was still in the land of Posey-Posey.
Clearly, as time has gone by, bridal portraits have evolved into more creative, natural photos.
Personally, my style is very candid and my portraits are either romantic or relaxed.
Below, you can see a clear difference. On the left, you see a bride standing in front of a backdrop. This appears to be in an actual studio on a different day than her wedding. So basically, it’s a bridal portrait designed for the purpose of getting a good shot of the bride. I decided to contrast it with a shot from Jessica’s bridal couture shoot – also a shot designed to get a good shot (many in this case) of the bride.
This is such an obvious example of the evolution of bridal photography that you’re probably laughing. Just remember, future generations will look at our wedding photos and laugh. “Mom, how could you have worn THAT?! It’s hideous!”
Anyway, the idea of Bridal Couture photography is really just a modern twist on what wedding photographers have always done – taken photos of the bride alone, in a controlled setting.
When I do a Bridal Couture shoot, I like to have a theme, some color, and natural light, making it more modern by getting out of a studio. This shot of Jessica (above) is a great example of my relaxed style of bridal portraiture.
Below, on the left, we have a hum-dinger of an “over-the-shoulder” pose. That is a pose that has been done since the 1940s. On the right, we have a portrait of Cortney in her dress, posing for the Doubletree by Hilton Modesto.
There are several aspects that make Cortney’s portrait more modern. Posing her in front of the window, backlighting her, not only gives the portrait more interest, but it shows off the bride so much because her face is surrounded by glowing light. (For this shot, I used available light, plus slave flash with Gary Fong lightspheres to get soft, even lighting.)
Oh boy, oh boy! Where do I begin with this one below!? It’s 80s personified. It’s not from the movie ‘The Wedding Singer,’ I promise.
I chose this photo (below, left) because it has a lovely photographer’s backdrop, and the lighting is fairly harsh. And, let’s face it… the hair is FABULOUS! I just couldn’t pass it up.
Don’t laugh! People actually did this back then! My parents had a photo of them juxtaposed over a photo of a brandy snifter. I would scan it, but, unfortunately, I don’t have it.
This type of photo was actually in style in the late 70s and early 80s.
Below are some examples of modern bridal photography – various photos and different types of lighting that I’ve done. Aren’t you glad things have evolved? I certainly am!
If you haven’t read part one of this series, please do so here (very entertaining): The Evolution of Bridal Photography, Part 1 ~ Say Goodbye to the 70s
To see other photos, click here!