I go through lot of photographs everyday, most of them are unbelievably bad, but in past one year most of them have been wedding photographs. Which made me question lot of things. I personally haven’t ventured much into the genre of wedding photography but would like to understand the concept or thought process which photographer has while taking these photographs.
If you spend 15 minutes on any photography website/ on Facebook, you will see considerable amount of photographs related to wedding and some thousand people liking them, and not always they are good images. Hence I always feel that there is nothing new in it, all weddings have same old story. then what do you like so much about it? I am not against wedding photographer or photography but i would like to understand the photographer’s reason to be so passionate about it. Yes there is lot of money in it, and i can understand photographers who do wedding photography to earn money and also simultaneously invest their time in experimenting with the medium or exploring other genres. But at the same time there is this huge community of wedding photographers who are dedicatedly documenting weddings and nothing else, and this concept confuses me, and makes me wonder whether it is that important!?
As a photographer I have always thrived for new subjects, new stories and new conflicts. But according to me in weddings there is only one story, one subject, those same monotonous emotions, so what is that new thing which you explore each time, as a wedding photographer? May be I have very limited understanding of the topic itself, but i would really like to understand the passion and that drive to document wedding and how does it occur?
I am myself against the whole contemporary wedding scenario, which we have now a days and the way wedding has become a medium to show off how wealthy, happy and well cultured we are. It is a completely illogical concept for me to understand and hence when some one tell me he/she is a wedding photographer, i just feel very sad. There are so many stories out there, and so many ways of telling stories, hardly anyone is trying to explore that, there are not many well designed photo books that i have seen from India, the whole documentary photography is practiced by very few people and so on…..
Somehow this also indicates that there is complete ignorance towards other practices of photography and absolute lack of conceptualisation. It feels as if “photographers” do not want to think anymore and just want to take the easiest way possible.
so don’t you guys think that in this race of documenting weddings, we are loosing on lot more that is happening around us, and through these repetitive images our understanding of images is becoming even more shallower?
Coincidentally, I stumbled upon a copy of Sally mann’s book at my friends place. I have been huge fan of her work, her subject has always been her children. And you can see the intimacy that the images have, she has spend enough time with her them and hence her way of seeing is truly amazing and that shows in her photographs. With most of the wedding photography work, I feel exactly opposite , we are trying to document the life of a stranger and their families, we hardly have interacted with them or have spent time with them. at the same time we are trying very hard to make it intimate and emotional But frankly speaking these images are absolutely hollow, there is complete lack of intimacy and emotional connect. Neither do they allow us to explore them nor do they pears through us. I don’t remember in long while, pausing on a wedding photograph and just getting lost into it.
I hope soon I will be able to see some unique work which will break my conceptions related to the wedding photography and I look forward to get answers of my questions as I go along practising and exploring new ways of seeing.