Weddings — Atlanta Fall/Winter 2011
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Wed Dosier Photos
Danny Bonvissuto

A New Focus

Something old and something new collide in today’s vintageinspired wedding photography.

In every aspect of weddings, old is the new new. Brides are borrowing elements from bygone eras for everything from fashion (tea-length dresses!) To detail and décor (love those Mason jars!). And when it comes to engagement and wedding photography, couples are clamoring for that vintage vibe, proving nothing is more now than then.

“In an odd way, digital photography has made it possible to go back and imitate film,” says Atlanta-based photographer Angela Morris (404. 314.4789, angelaphotography.com). “There are so many things you can do with Photoshop and vintage filters that give images that throwback look while still being cutting-edge.” For one engagement session, Morris loaded up an old Polaroid and had the couple take pictures of one another while she took pictures of them with her camera. Then she took a picture of them together with the Polaroid, and the couple blew up the photos and displayed them on the wall at their reception as a series. Another couple asked for the “Old Hollywood-Vaudeville vibe,” so Morris stocked a photo booth with fake paper mustaches, a top hat, wigs and other finds from a costume shop. “People are being so artistic with their weddings now, and as a photographer it makes them more fun to shoot.”

Photographer Jeff Gaines (jeffgainesphotography.com) has also seen the past come back in a big way. “I think we borrow from the past and incorporate it into what is relevant now—all art does, really,” he says. Like Morris, Gaines is getting lots of requests for old-school props like parasols and retro backdrops in the photo booth, and he loves working signage into his shoots. “Last summer one of my brides wanted to do something different with sparklers, so we went out in a field at night with her husband and maid of honor,” he says. Waving the sparklers in the darkness, the bride drew an “H” for her name, the maid of honor drew a heart, and the groom drew a “D” for his name while Gaines held the camera’s shutter open for an extended period. “It’s a very strong, very clean image,” Gaines says. “Props help people loosen up, have fun and make some memorable shots.”

Now that we all have an iPhone, Flipcam and credit card-sized digital camera in our pockets, Jesse Chamberlin from Our Labor of Love (ourlaboroflove.com) has a lot of couples asking how they can set themselves apart. “We gravitate toward the look of film with its depth and grain,” she says, adding that overexposing some images gives a faded, antique feel that’s flattering on faces because it takes away shadows and lines. “There aren’t many old photos I don’t fall in love with,” Chamberlin says. “When you go through your grandparents’ photographs, they’re so old and held in time and have that warm and fuzzy feeling. Your brain fires off that same feeling when looking at new images in that vein—they’re so much more interesting than any new photograph could be.”
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