09 May 2008

Changes in wedding photography

If we are to flip through our parents or grandparents wedding album, we would be most surprised by how much different their album look. Not only is the album made of entirely different material, the design and layout are completely of a different era. So don't be surprised when our parents look at the wedding photo album of today, it is completely unrecognisable to them as wedding albums.

The new album material is much lighter, the cover are softer, the prints are now mostly in color although some have gone back to Black and White. And the album gets a new name too ....photobook or coffee table album.

Most importantly the shooting or photography style has completely changed. While in the past, its posed shots and group pictures with little to no pictures of what happened before the ceremony starts, the preparations etc as well as the after-party fun that goes on.....and on.....

Now its candid and more " of-the-moment " shots. Some have use the label " wedding photojournalism" which means " telling a story through photo". This entails more than just random candid but actually a string of images that tells a story.

Others have evolved a "fashion-style" to mean poses that are like a high fashion commercial shoot. Those who combined everything into an artistic expression of the photographer has coined a new term "free-style" shooting. Meaning the photographer shoots with his artistic instinct and does not depend on a fixed way. Its more dynamic and takes a lot from the photographer. Its a bit like fusion jazz.

Here in Singapore, there is still a large segment of customers who like the traditional posed and group pictures but increasingly, those who opt for photojournalism are becoming the norm.

As a wedding photographer in Singapore, I noticed there are also changes in the way people are conducting the wedding.
The old days, there used to be a popular civil wedding ceremony which is called Registration of Marriage ( ROM ) to be held by itself. Its typically half a day affair. This is on a different day from the traditional rites and banquet day.

However, recent changes in rules means very few are doing the civil wedding ( ROM ) by itself any more. Its now done on the wedding day together with the banquet dinner, either a few hours before banquet or just before banquet starts.

Hence the term "actual day" which is the date most couple will commemorate as the day they actually got married. The photographer who does the wedding is called " actual day photographer". This is amusing but true. To any foreigner, this is just confusing.
This term is only used in Singapore and no where else.

This state of affairs give rise to another term called "pre-wedding photographer". Instead of engagement shoot, wedding couples in Singapore and maybe Malaysia seldom do engagement. What they have is Pre-wedding shoot where the couple dress up in wedding gowns and pose for pictures in a studio or at an outdoor location.
Pre-weddding shoot are done months before the wedding.

Increasingly trend now is that studio pre-wedding is considered too contrived and stiff. More are opting for outdoor natural light and energy filled shoot. Thus " outdoor pre-wedding photographer" is born.

Not contended with merely going outdoor, some couples want exotic destination for the background. Popular locations are Bali, Phuket,Perth, Brisbane, Paris, Rome and some even going to Santorini. And so we have " destination wedding photographer"

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