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Past 50 years of wedding photography | New York Wedding Photographer | New Jersey Wedding Photographer

December 29, 2012 /

As 2012 draws to an end, I am reposting my most talked about and shared post of the year… with a couple of edits/additions from the great Denis Reggie:

Here’s Denis Reggie’s look at the past 50 years of wedding photography

1962: Newlyweds somehow appear inside a brandy snifter

1969: In simultaneous stroke of magic and questionable taste, father-daughter dance presented with subjects actually superimposed atop the sheet of music from that very tune.

1972: Faces of couple (him with ruffled tuxedo shirt and powder blue tux, her with Texas-sized curly hair) appear in church ceiling gazing downward upon their guests

1977: Entire wedding apparently occurs in front of a painted blue canvas backdrop as seen through a softening filter

1978: Wood replaces leather as wedding album cover of choice just as avocado becomes best selling color for kitchen appliances

1979: Bride stares at bouquet in profile as parents look on from a distance, gently out-of-focus. Groom stares at ring – also in profile – likely wondering “should I or shouldn’t I…?”

1982: Wedding albums begin featuring toddler book-like “popups” of the wedding party standing at full attention whenever album is opened wide

1986: To stay current, longtime photographers begin tilting images by 32 degrees to make it “photojournalistic” and ride the wave

1992: Aussie photographers, refusing to attend the reception, instead head to the streets to stage wedding parties walking in line then jumping simultaneously… some wearing comedic glasses and noses

1996: Grooms inexplicably begin reaching for – and passionately kissing – the hands of their new brides just as they exit their ceremonies

1998: Not wanting all the attention to end quite yet, brides return from honeymoon to take their gown out for one last swim just for the camera

2002: Digital goes full steam ahead and waves of minivan driving female photographers arrive to overtake the industry (with special thanks to Best Buy®). Headless images of bouquets, perfectly positioned rings and close-ups of flower-laden tuxedo lapels all go mainstream. Cute little convertibles or old-time cars, and high heeled shoes (with special bonus for namedropping Jimmy Choo® or MB labels) become the ultimate adorable props. Use of plastic lensed toy cameras, and use of infrared and black-and-white films elevated to chic, hipster art form

2003: Camera manufacturers consider removing all lens aperture openings smaller than f/2.8 as new wave photographers adopt ultra-shallow depth with background details reduced to blurry bliss in most every shot

2003: Need to ever show couple’s faces in wedding photography ends… wholly headless imagery proliferates wedding scene

2004: Photographers begin tossing time-released cameras with fisheye lenses high into the air on crapshoot with hopes of capturing what they are apparently unable to get with their feet on the ground

2004: Under the guise of creating art, countless wedding scenes somehow return mostly to black-and-white… except for that colorful bouquet or maybe the bride’s vivid red lips

2005: Use of phrase and promise of “wedding photojournalism” on photographers’ websites reaches all-time high. Actual practice of true documentary wedding photography of authentic moments reaches all-time low.

2005: Subject posed in field of backlit wheat (or weeds) with shallow depth-of-field rivals the family on a beach (all dressed in white and barefoot) as the most clichéd photography set-up of all time.

2006: Death of “capturing the moment” with birth of the digital illusion. Need to become a real photographer seemingly ends with continued explosion of Photoshop® disguising techniques: merged images/moments, Liquify tool body changes, grass turning electric green, skies profoundly blue… and, of course, with each corner and edge of images growing very, dark. With special thanks to widespread excess use of Photoshop®, wedding photography industry transformed from PHOTOgraphic to photoGRAPHIC art.

2007: Railroad yards and graffiti clad urban environments replace studios as we know them. Sun flare replaces skies in nearly all of outdoor wedding photography.

{Although many trends have come and gone, we strive to photograph our brides and grooms in our own timeless way}

2008: Number of Twitter® followers becomes the currency of popularity and assumed success and excellence in wedding photography. Frequent tweeting of “I am blessed” and other religious code words somehow signal massive flock (the God squad) in search of their shepherd to be elevated to rockstar status.

2008: Grooms throughout the world suddenly compelled to dip their brides nearly to the ground just as the camera captures their moment of “spontaneity” usually at sunset atop some hill in a field near a tree.

{Dipping your bride is not as easy as it looks -trust me or ask Sal and Alissa pictured above}

2009: Guided by popular websites Pinterest and Style Me Pretty and the desire to be pinned and published, photographer mission seemingly reduced to a concentration on details. Take that 5D Mark II out of your Shootsac® and point it at anything printed… from chalkboards to place cards, on buffet tables to those clichéd banners held by the newlyweds… and don’t forget the requisite headless, f/2.8 shots of the bride’s and groom’s flowers… the time honored portraits of the hanging dress… and, of course, those perfectly posed Jimmy Choo® shoes.

{Ow how I adore these gorgeous shoes}

{Our brides are elegant and we strive to capture their day, just as it unfolds…}

2010: Popularity of Instagram® for iPhone® photography leads to pseudo-old time “professional” wedding images with homage to Instamatic® and Polaroid SX-70®… likely to be as timeless as MySpace®.

2011: Photographing newlyweds as they walk down the aisle transformed to paparazzi-style photo-fest as countless wedding guests jockey for their own vantage point among a sea of iPhones held high. Before the happy couple even makes it to the reception, countless photos of the happy couple already adorn Instagram® and Facebook®.

2012: Wall Street analysts blame quiet popularity of Adobe Photoshop® Liquify tool in professional photography community for bankruptcies of both Jenny Craig® and Weight Watchers®.

2012: Wedding photography replaced by fashion photography of the couple in places – and in poses – that have absolutely nothing to do with their real personalities or their wedding.

{Many of you may recognize or know Christine & James pictures above.  Their high fashion sensibility is in fact accurate above.}


Reviewing the last 50 years of photography it’s important to understand that Denis is widely regarded as the top wedding photographer in the world. Lexar noted that he “single handedly transformed the look of bridal portraits.  His images have been featured on the cover of LIFE magazine, and named in “Photographs of the Year” by People, LIFE, Time, and Newsweek among other publications. He has been interviewed by NBC’s Today show and has appeared as a guest on Oprah! His photograph of Oprah Winfrey with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was highlighted on an episode of Oprah’s Favorite Things. He has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, VH-1, E! Entertainment Television, CNN and Fox in national and international broadcasts.”  To read more about Denis Reggie here: or see his work here:  Some of Denis Reggie’s awe inspiring assignments here:

The photography industry was reshaped and Denis Reggie’s influence is legendary.


The holidays are  time for love and romance.  If you or a loved one got engaged recently, we will tell your story, find your life’s art in the simplest of moments. Big moments. Small moments. The in-between moments of connection when presumed beauty often reveals itself. Your emotions will be preserved and expressed through art that will sustain throughout your life and beyond.

Your day is a sacred, profound experience. Your wedding day photography by Natalie and Cate will reflect nothing less.

Looking forward to hearing more about your wedding day!  Give us a call anytime at (732) 964-3773 or email me

Wishing you many blessings in 2013.


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