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Formal Portraits




For more than a century, wedding photography consisted almost exclusively of formal portraiture: solemn, posed images of couples and their relatives. Cameras required lots of light in long exposures during which people had to remain stock still, but the results were large, crisp images full of beautiful detail. Although modern technology allows photographers and subjects to be fleet of foot, creating the more documentary style of wedding photography now popular, this casual photography cannot replace formal portraiture in a collection of memories of the big day. Indeed, the portrait of the bride and groom almost ranks alongside the license and the ring as an official testament to a couple's union. Formal portraiture can also recall beautiful images of past family weddings, evoking tradition much the way other heirlooms (your mother's gown or his grandmother's ring) do.

Choosing a Photographer
Coordinating With Your Photographer
When and Where
A Well-Organized Shoot
The Final Cut

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2000




Reviews (3)

  • kmh12345 28 Nov, 2010

    Something helpful I learned it to map out the formal portraits before the ceremony. My <a href="">Indianapolis photographer</a> took me around the city before the ceremony. This made things less stressful for me.

  • mkingphoto 11 Mar, 2009

    As a photographer, I have to agree that when guests suddenly jump out into the aisle or block the aisle by holding up cell phones for pictures, it is hurting the quality of the couple's photographs that they have paid to have taken.

  • Linda151 11 Mar, 2009

    I think you ought to do a huge story about wedding manners for guests. Here are things I see all the time at weddings which are RUDE and I am not sure if the guests think about it at all. 1. People not showing up after confirming they are coming. SOme weddings I see a dozen or so guest cards not picked up and empty seats. That costs the bride and groom hundreds of dollars. 2. Guests who use their cameras during the ceremony and while the photographer is shooting.