In this chapter, I would like to initiate an in-depth discussion on therelationship between the literature reviews with the trend of pre-weddingphoto shoot events in Indonesia. The connection between semiotics,mythologies, and habitus to the Indonesian world of photography will becontemplated throughout this chapter and the contradicting issues betweenconstructed pre-wedding photo concept and the reality will be clearlyillustrated. Despite the fact that there are inadequate studies and/or inexact syllabusesfor the photographer in Indonesia, technological advances seem to enablemany photographers to acquire remarkable photographs. The advancementof technology especially in the world of photography has encouraged peopleto be innovative and creative. It also allows many photographers to createsomething unique and be prominent amongst their competitors. On top of asolid pre-wedding photo concept, all they need is the right tools to bring theproduct into reality.
In the studied case, the development of affordablecameras with varying capabilities and features has brought a unique trend intoIndonesian society today; that is the emergence of pre-weddingphotographers. Numerous photographers have offered varying types of pre-wedding photo concepts and styles that are followed by a range of attractivecosts. I attempted to observe how this trend could enchant the masses so deeplythat they are willing to spend large sums of money for it. In terms of financialissues, I have seen many wedding couples hire an amateur photographer thatis not yet famous. Even though amateur photographers may not be as skilledas the professional, their fee is definitely more reasonable and affordable.This works well for both parties as the photographer can improve their skillsthrough the experience, and couples with budget limitations can have the pre-wedding photographs they desire.
Photographers can readily make use of theavailable hardware technologies and photo editing software in order to be creative and yield a magnificent product. After all, people’s taste vary and aredifficult to quantify. Everything will lead back to the photographers’ skill insuiting the needs of the clients and making their products more appealingthan that of their competitors.
It is essential for them to network broadly withinphotographers’ circles so that they may understand the latest trend amongthis very specific society and therefore secure more clients in the future. I alsoassume that financial issues and client’s tastes can create varying trendswithin different levels of the established social hierarchy in Indonesian society. It seems that the practice of pre-wedding photo shoots circulating withinIndonesian society is not merely a tradition or an activity without meaning, buthas messages attached to it. Here, semiotics plays its role in unveiling thelanguage of pre-wedding photographs. In accordance with the theory of signs,semiotics has been a useful tool to analyse the visual language of thispractice.
In my opinion, Barthes’s approach towards the theory of signs canbe used to trace the background that constructs the trend of pre-weddingphoto shoots in Indonesia. If we analyse the practice of pre-wedding photoshoots through the way in Mythologies work, we can perceive this practice asa positive cultural trend which generates meaningful experiences andmementos for the audience. Moreover, this event is so popular to the extentthat this is as a must-do activity prior to every wedding. Semiotics, or the theory of signs, claims that objects and events alwayssignify more than themselves that they are caught up in systems ofperceptions that add meaning to them. In this context, we can see that animage is substituting the signifier and the concept it articulates is substitutingthe signified; altogether they form a sign or symbol of love and intimacybetween wedding couples. As argued in the Literature Review, the sign showsthat what appears to be natural is, in fact, determined by history.
The signdevelops the ‘myth’ of the romantic love story for many couples. Although itmay sound nai?ve, it seems that the images have not only been depictingsomething intangible in our daily life – such as romantic love and theattachment of any wedding couple – but also distinguish the taste of a socialgroup and show their place within the society. Great pre-wedding photography doesn’t just happen; it has to be plannedmeticulously and lovingly captured by a wedding photographer who can sharethe vision with the couple.
It is a day to be remembered and cherished for alifetime hence many couples may think that every romantic, tearful, happymoment should be preserved forever. The love and romance captured in pre-wedding photographs can keep memories fresh and romance alive. Weddingcouples can obtain a magnificent pre-wedding photograph with the assistanceof professional photographers to make their dreams come true. Of course it isnot easy to choose a pre-wedding photo concept as many ideas, choices andhabits may generate conflicts. Some of these conflicting situations are easy tooverlook while others may be more complicated for the couple.
Somepersonal preferences of one of the couple may never suit those of the other,and compromise cannot always be reached. Nevertheless, it is the job of thephotographer to make things work and get the job done. A photographers’skill in making their models comfortable is also a part the key to a great result.In this sense, I conclude that a photographers’ work becomes the myth thatcirculates in our everyday life; and this ideal becomes the intelligible part ofthe history of pre-wedding photo events in Indonesia. The trend of pre-wedding photography in Indonesia appears to be created byanonymous photographers who desire to generate profit; in a way, they areusing and manipulating human sentiments in the process. No matter whatpeople like it as the event can signify their precious moments which is aprecise and clever marketing strategy.
In relation to this issue, I would like toraise the concern that the language of photographs may sometimes beunreal. Some photographers can lie and produce something that is notequivalent to reality. An example can be taken from the image below (SeeImage.12). Here my intention is to introduce a discussion of some of thetheories pertaining more specifically to the nature of the photographic sign.There are many conflicting relations between the sign and its meaning.
Thephotograph shows that the sky is cloudy and there is a big pond in front of thebuilding whereas the reality is that there is no cloud and pond instead of asandy courtyard and a pale grey sky. Hence, if the relation between signifierand signified is only defined by convention, then meaning or signification is socially and historically constructed. By referring to the literature reviews, I amquite sure that this event is a constructed cultural ‘good’ that has beencirculating in Indonesia for a long time. Image 12. Photographs versus Reality (Source: http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic94144.
files/Barthes.pdf) After further investigation, I believe that Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of ‘Habitus’ isalso closely related to Barthes’s ideology in ‘Mythologies’. The role ofMythologies within this essay is to reveal the signs that construct pre-weddingphoto tradition in Indonesia. Subsequently this issue is also affected by thehabitus whereas cultural practices are developed and affected by theeducational level and/or the social origin of an individual within society. Inhabitus lenses, photographers become the providers who have the capacity toproduce classifiable practices or works. Conversely, wedding couples becomethe group who consumes and poses the capability to appraise the practices orproducts of the photographers. On the one hand, photographers will be the ones to offer the service, and onthe other side of the coins, the wedding couple will be the ones who judge thework in relation to their personal tastes. I believe that this phenomenadeveloped over time and it has become a habit and/or cultural practice amongIndonesian couples who wish to get married.
Many social groups in Indonesiamay have been charmed by their habitus and choose to believe that the pre- wedding photo shoot is a requisite symbol of love and intimacy. However,they have to be reminded that a mass culture was seen to have an altogetherharmful effect on French political and cultural life. This does not deny thepossibility of potential harm to Indonesian society in other forms of cultural life.Mass culture was said to have the tendency of homogenizing people in asociety and encouraging uniformity to a social norm. From this understanding,there might also be a tendency to homogenizing the opinion of the people inthe Indonesian communities. This subtly indicates that if a couple does notcarry out pre-wedding photo shoot then they will regret it in the future. Thispre-wedding event has become an ideology within Indonesian society inpromoting the belief that this event is a requirement for every wedding couple.
This event is purported to be natural and inevitable for those who are about toget married.