The wedding portraits seemed to follow a traditional method of strict control over the poses of the people throughout 19th century unlike the other dynamic genres like war photography depicted the life of people after the war which paved way to photojournalism and marked its place in the publishing industry. Photojournalism is the art of telling stories, news, through pictures captured on live location, which is then edited and printed on newspapers. An effective photojournalistic story provokes your curiosity about the scene and emotional content represented in the photograph. It creates a wonder that particular time, moment, emotions, places and people. The mystery is both fascinating and rewarding; and sometimes, the series of images provide clues to help illuminate the understanding.
In India, for a long time period of time traditional photography was a dominant approach that was practised. The other conventional styles and approaches for wedding photos reach India only after 30 years as Indians were busy fighting for their independence. Post Independence and Partition war displayed importance towards photojournalists like Homai Vyarawalla who was the first Indian women who captured the most celebrated her photographs of the departure Lord Mountbatten, India’s last British viceroy; the first raising of independent India’s flag; preparations for Mohandas K. Gandhi’s funeral cremation; Dalai Lama XIV’s arrival into exile in India; visiting dignitaries; and, especially, her many images of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. She defined photography as – a language, a medium of communication, a method of recording events and conveying messages, a system of making known viewpoints, and opinions about reality. Every photograph taken gives a report on something. It is designed to serve a practical purpose or serve an inspirational purpose or combination of both. Today photographs of such calibre are rare. Inspired from the celebrated photographers like Homai and Lala, the 20th century brought in the booming technical advancement and many Indian professionals as well as budding photographers started pursuing photojournalism in new avenues one such example is the wedding photography or wedding photojournalism.
Inspired from photojournalism, making the photograph tell a story as well as shifting the photographer from his/her studio to live location, the development of the wedding photojournalism began when the photographers captured the wedding event promptly and created a meaning in context to the event. The photos became a fair representation of the events in both content and time, and combine with other elements made it relatable to the families and the couples themselves. At any given moment, the photographs acted like a time machine that brought back the memories of the event and conveys the story of the time, place, people, society, nature, objects, emotions, style, social beliefs, cultural changes.
The developments in the portable roll film based cameras and compact flashbulb lighting, created profitable opportunities for photographers to show up at the venue of the wedding, capture the ceremonies and then try to sell the photos to the bride and groom. Most of the amateurs who took advantage of the portability of small, newly designed cameras and despite of low quality results, the photographers created competition and made the studio photographers to start working on location. It was difficult to imitate the studio settings and photographers would have to bring heavy photography equipment and bulky lighting to wedding locations. The photographers found it almost impossible to document a full wedding using limited amount of expensive film and the possibilities of color photographs during then was still unreliable as the colors shifted and faded after a short period of time. So photographers continued to work with black and white film. With the invention of digital color photography, new creative opportunities and requirements emerged. Digital cameras allowed deeper coverage of the event with a virtually unlimited amount of photographs. The digital color photography changed the Indian wedding photo dramatically.
In recent times, photographers are using weightless, mirrorless compact cameras with low light sensor technology as the requirements in a wedding is that the photographers have to carry their cameras for more than eight to nine hours and they have to swiftly move along in small spaces. The invention of low light sensor technology transformed the cameras to be self sufficient, now photographers don’t require to hire an assistant for every event to carry lighting equipment. The technical development needs to keep growing in this field and the reason behind it is that the event happen only once and every moment is precious for the client. This becomes a challenge for all the photographers and for the cameras to perform its best at every moment. Because this is the only profession that deals with real people, real stories on a every basis and the so the photographer become more empathetic and more reflective towards their work and the requirements. At the end of the day, these photos are meant for the bride and groom’s grandkids and not just for them today.