A selection from Ian Weldon’s series “I Am Not a Wedding Photographer” is on exhibit at the Martin Parr Foundation. The show accompanies the publication of a book of the same name, co-published by RRB PhotoBooks and the Martin Parr Foundation.
Wedding photography is often highly staged and formulaic, resulting in a clichéd documentation of a unique and emotionally charged event. Weldon’s unorthodox approach to the genre cuts through fairy-tale representations of the big day and captures the real character of weddings with humor, warmth and affection.
“As much as I’d love to stand around for hours lining people up, ordering them around and taking photographs of every combination of family member & guest, I’ve more important things to be doing. And quite frankly, so have you,” explains Ian Weldon in the press release.
Rather than arranged photos, Weldon looks for what the couple and most others will miss: last minute ironing, expensive flowers transported in cardboard boxes, split trousers, beer cans, forced smiles, unsightly eating, and dad dancing like no one else is there.
Until now, Weldon’s work –– just wedding photography –– by the estimation of galleries and magazine he’s approached, hasn’t been taken seriously. Yet Martin Parr and Rudi Thoemmes, the publisher of RRB PhotoBooks, saw the value in Weldon’s “real” wedding photography and offered him an exhibition and book of his work.
“Here is a photographer who shoots weddings as they really are: comical family occasions, with too much drink and wild things happening,” writes Martin Parr in the press release. “You may think well of course he would, but if you look at the award-winning wedding photographers they nearly all pander to normal schmaltz that is so dominant in the industry. We believe this is the first time a ‘wedding photographer’ has been exhibited in a ‘proper gallery.’”
“I Am Not a Wedding Photographer”
By Ian Weldon
Martin Parr Foundation
Through August 10, 2019
Artist talk and book signing July 23
Book published by RRB PhotoBooks, available now
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