Awkward wedding photos
"I just really hope my kids one day think my photos will look just as honest and candid as the ones my mum had." Photo: Getty Images
It was supposed to be a regular, low-key Mother’s Day.
But after we had our traditional chicken-and-salad lunch, my Nan, mum and I couldn’t be bothered with the footy and ended up in the kitchen. Wedding chat turned into mum pulling out her photos from 1975, the year she married my dad.
I don’t know what I loved more, the gorgeous golden hue of those old photos or the stories that came along with them. No. It was definitely seeing a pic of my Nan smoking a ciggie at the bridal table. It was a shock as she gave them up 30 years ago. Spurred on by the groovy snapshots, I downloaded yet another photography app on my smartphone.
That makes seven.
While I am not a photographer by any stretch (I don't think that one unit in first year uni really counts), I am guilty of taking a photo of myself (not looking directly at the camera) and running it through an Instagram hipster 1970′s yellow-saturated filter.
Oh, and giving said photo a vignette or Polaroid-style frame.
I remember getting a clunky (by today’s standards) point-and-shoot camera for a birthday – I may have been around 14.
Although I had no sense of composition, light or even subject, I tried to take the best snaps I knew how, mainly as the batteries, film and processing costs were pretty steep for a pre-part-time work teenager.
Back then, if you took a shitty photo, you didn’t delete it. You either ripped it up, or wore it. Or your parents kept it for your 21st birthday party.
However in every Nan’s house across the country is one photo that had to be done well. By ‘done well’, it was stiff and serious. And not always smiley.
The Wedding Portrait.
I could stare at these photos for a good percentage of an afternoon - mainly because you realise that all that stiff seriousness was usually for one treasured photograph.
They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.
These days, you call *cough* a photojournalist.
The photographer photojournalist captures a raw moment, as it happened, without orchestration.
But really, I think that in 20, 30 or 85 years’ time, someone will notice how wedding photo fashions have changed again and again, and our whimsical ‘photojournalistical’ block-mounted or Harvey Norman canvas printed pictures will probably find themselves as dated as the stiff, traditional photos that are stuck behind sticky cellophane in your folks’ wedding album in the linen cupboard.
The new stock-standard wedding photo poses are the following…
- Bride and groom holding bunting
- Wooden letters on the bridal table that say ‘Mr and Mrs’ or ‘L-O-V-E’
- Wedding gown hung up in front of a window, backlit with natural light.
- People holding paper moustaches on sticks up to their faces
- The bride and groom, standing straight, sans smiles, in front of a building (holding hands optional)
- Wooden signs that say ‘wedding this way’
- Wedding bands. Styled on a pillow, in a bowl, tied to a tree or to a dog.
- The couple kissing while holding up a wooden frame or a chalkboard that says 'just married'.
- The bride and groom in a field.
- Bride and groom with a bicycle. In a field.
- Pictures of the bridal shoes.
- Bride cupping a piece of fruit. Usually a pear.
There's nothing wrong with this trend. But that's just it. It's a trend. I'll probably print off this article and hand it to my photographer as a wishlist.
I just really hope my kids one day think my photos will look just as honest and candid as the ones my mum had.
In fact, I hope there will never be an app for that.
Pippa Doyle blogs at The Wry Bride.