As far as wedding photography goes, a picture is not just a picture. The professional behind the lens captures memories and puts them in a form that can be shared in print photos or through cyberspace. Maine wedding photographers specialize in immortalizing your special day, whether you are before an altar in century old church or standing barefoot on a Maine beach at sunset. This is your day, your moment in time. Preserve it for eternity.
History of Wedding Photography
One of the earliest wedding photos on record is of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, taken in 1840. They were actually married 14 years before that, but the technology had yet to be perfected. The idea of taking photos at a wedding was not even considered. In the early days wealthy couples would pose for formal shots, either days before or after the wedding. Since the equipment was bulky and early lighting techniques were sometimes iffy, these photos were usually done in a studio setting. That lasted through most of the 19th century.
It wasn’t until after World War II that the idea of having a photographer come to a wedding to capture the actual event caught on. The new flash bulbs and film rolls made photography equipment more portable and the service less expensive, creating an entirely new industry.
Types of Wedding Photography
Today there are three different approaches to wedding photography, traditional, photojournalistic and artistic. The traditional approach stems from the early days of wedding photography. It is also called portraiture or formal photography, and creates posed photos of the wedding couple, wedding party and family members. Wedding photo albums usually contain a mixture of the traditional along with more candid shots taken during the ceremony and/or the reception.
The photojournalistic approach tells the story of the wedding from beginning to end. It captures moments as they happen, rather that in posed settings. Weddings are entertaining and the photographer keeps his eye, and his lens, tuned to everything going on. Depending on your preference, the photographer will begin shooting with the couple, separately of course, getting ready for the event, the arrival, the ceremony and the reception. The photographer can present the photos in a variety of fashions such as in a beautiful album or an awesome slideshow made by a program such as Animoto for photographers, or a magnificent video presentation.
Artistic wedding photography includes the use of special lenses or filters, or perhaps the hand tinting of the finished images. It could also involve creative camera angles, perhaps to take advantage of a spectacular sunset or a panoramic ocean view. The use of black and white film with or without a sepia tint gives photos a vintage look. This artistic approach is usually used sparingly in conjunction with at least one of the other photography styles. Just how much, and what type of artistic leeway the photographer has is up to the wedding couple.
Finding Your Maine Wedding Photographer
Maine has no shortage of award winning wedding photographers, many of which have been published in national magazines and also belong to the Wedding Photojournalist Association. Michele Stapleton, in Brunswick, has images published in National Geographic Traveler, the Oprah magazine, and People, to name a few. Craig Dilger, in Portland, contributes to The New York Times. Carl Walsh, in Dayton, has traveled the world since 1984 and has photos in National Geographic Traveler, Time and the Smithsonian. This is just a sample of the best of the best.
The cost of a wedding photography package depends on the inclusions and, for most photographers, if there is travel time and/or cost. Some photographers limit their service area to Maine or New England, while some will travel almost anywhere, with the cost being added to the package price.
As an example, one photographer’s basic package is $2,350 for five hours of coverage during your wedding day. This includes one photographer and assistant, with the option of a second photographer for an additional $600. Photos are delivered on a CD and on a downloadable website, printed copies are extra. Prices increase depending on the number of hours covered, whether you want a wedding album, larger images and if you have special requests. This is just one company, the service combinations and prices are endless.
The sooner your book your photographer the better, particularly during the busy spring/summer season or if planning a Saturday wedding. Referring to this same company, they require a third down at time of booking, with the balance due ten days prior to the event. Again, these policies vary between firms. Do your homework, study the styles and compare prices until you find your perfect wedding photographer.