You might have noticed that in wedding photography, there is a new trend almost every year. But why are those trends so tempting, how long do they last, and should we try to follow them?
First let’s take a look at how those trends emerge. A few years ago in Turkey, when wedding photography started to come out of the studios to claim their freedom, some habits started to be abandoned. But still, the number of outdoor locations for wedding photography were limited, at least until the photographers realized that good portraits could be produced almost anywhere, as long as there is good available light. For this reason, for a few years, all the couples who got married in Istanbul had a photograph in one of the few parks or museums.
After a while, photographers who wanted to make a difference introduced some fun accessories to the game of wedding photography. Among these accessories were balloons, umbrellas, and even boxing gloves.
After seeing these fun photographs, the new couples wanted the same photographs for their weddings. Yes, they were fun to look at, but this time, either a red umbrella, huge heart-shaped sunglasses, or large metal frames started to show up in every couples’ wedding photographs. The trend in those days were accessories, whether they had any meaningful relation to the wedding day or not.
I guess you realized by now how I feel about the trends in wedding photography. I think they begin to look the same, maybe even a little boring after a while. Why do I think this way? Because I believe that the wedding photography has a higher purpose than to entertain the couples for a while. That purpose is to remind the couples how they felt on that special day. I believe, 20 years after their marriage when the couples open up their albums, they will not want to remember how they posed to a stranger. Instead, they will want to remember how they lived that day. Their wedding is not about the time spent with their photographer, it is about love and emotion.
Trends in other aspects of weddings make a lot of sense, because they are all consumable. This year it can be letting white balloons in the air, next year it could be smaller wedding cakes, or red wedding shoes. But wedding photographs are not a product to be consumed in a day, or even in a few months. They are to be cherished for many years.
Of course creative ideas in wedding photography are valuable. But if they start to repeat themselves, won’t they start to feel a bit like the “bride-and-groom poses taken in a studio”, which nobody ever wants anymore? Except, in the age of internet and social networking, it will take much less time until people find those trends “boring” and abandon them.