I was taking a trip through my wedding photography photographic archive and stumbled across this wedding in Cornwall. What strikes me about this is not the Dali-esque inspired edit that I gave it, or that it picked me up nominations and awards about being an avant-garde wedding photographer, is that fact that using textures or layers as an editing tool in wedding photography, at the time (and possibly still is) was considered out there in terms of wedding styles. I was rebelling against the demand and wedding photography trend at the time that called for the use of vintage-inspired wedding photography lightroom and darkroom presets. These eventually gave way to the VSCO filmesque inspired editing of recent times which has moved on yet again to the demand of shooting with actual film analogue cameras. It's hard to break away from visual cliches and expectations when it comes to wedding photography.
Wedding photography scripts are so ingrained in our cultural psyche, embedded into the rituals of grand ceremonies of our lives and the social importance of these ceremonies is reflected in the need to photograph them. Despite moving on from a post-world war two world when wedding photography really came to be, we need to ask ourselves have we moved beyond what Bourdieu describes wedding photography as being as an important area of collective life? Are we still in the 1960s when wedding photography was popular because of the social conditions of its existence? Obligation, an hommage to the married couple and wedding photography was capturing human behaviour that was socially approved.
Despite our claims about equality, our apparent changing attitudes to marriage, weddings, capitalism, consumption and patriarchy, make no mistake about it, wedding photography remains a sociogram and it's hard to shoot around that especially when you are desperately trying to find a voice of your own a photographic voice of your own.