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Formal Portraits

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2000

For more than a century, wedding photography consisted almost exclusively of formal portraiture: solemn, posed images of couples and their relatives. Cameras required lots of light in long exposures during which people had to remain stock still, but the results were large, crisp images full of beautiful detail. Although modern technology allows photographers and subjects to be fleet of foot, creating the more documentary style of wedding photography now popular, this casual photography cannot replace formal portraiture in a collection of memories of the big day. Indeed, the portrait of the bride and groom almost ranks alongside the license and the ring as an official testament to a couple's union. Formal portraiture can also recall beautiful images of past family weddings, evoking tradition much the way other heirlooms (your mother's gown or his grandmother's ring) do.

Choosing a Photographer
Coordinating With Your Photographer
When and Where
A Well-Organized Shoot
The Final Cut

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