Retro is in. Just browse the pages of fashion magazines or look at the high street chains to see how much vintage 70s fashion is back in. Bands like Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons have also had a big influence on vintage mix and match fashion so it’s now cool to wear a 70s patterned dress again or your grandad’s flat cap. And although it not might be an obvious connection, this has also made it’s way into the way people are planning their weddings.
Some couples are now opting to dress in a vintage style with a DIY feel which is a far cry from the traditional meringue wedding dress and top and tails! Anything goes, from brides in vintage lace wedding dresses and flower head garlands to grooms in tweed and bow ties.
The retro theme doesn’t stop at fashion either. Couples spend time meticulously planning the details of their wedding and will often choose an unconventional location and decorate it in funky home made details and favours. The quirkier the better! I’ve seen outdoor shoots which have used props like Victorian bird cages, retro cameras, sheets strung between trees and balloons in pastel shades to complement the vintage feel. Using props in photography is nothing new and is actually a great tip if you want to make your couple feel at ease in front of the camera as it gives them something to focus on and worry less about the photographer in front of them!
From a photographic point of view, a wedding with carefully thought out details and outfits is gift from above! Not only does it mean that the couple and their chosen location look great, it also provides the photographer with great creative freedom when processing the pictures. Vintage processing is very popular at the moment, where the photographer emulates the look of print films and techniques from the 70s. One of the best known is cross processing, which although discovered by mistake, has been used to great effect for decades. Its style is easily recognised as there is a colour shift in the shadows and highlights which gives the photo its trade mark retro look. Other popular techniques at the moment include giving the pictures a polaroid look which is typified by creamy tones in the highlights and blues in the shadows. Who would have thought cheap 70s technology would now be emulated by photographers with expensive modern DSLRs? There are many photographers out there who think modern digital images are too clean and lack the character of old film.
It’s an exciting time to be a wedding photographer as current trends and the demands of modern couples is making it more of an artform than it’s ever been. The days of uncreative, staid wedding photography are numbered.