The study of semiotics in attempting to observe how things mean has beenuseful to identify the language behind pre-wedding photo activities inIndonesia. The application of this knowledge to analyse the signifier andsignified of pre-wedding photo activity generates interesting findings aboutIndonesian communities. Pre-wedding photo shoots in Indonesia havepresumably been performed for so many years that it has become the ideal ofevery couple that wants to tie the knot.
The ideology of having pre-weddingpictures captured far before the wedding day has created a myth within thediscussed society about the importance of perpetuating a couple’s romanticlove story, which draws on a ‘collective’ imagery of romantic cliche?s. Theexistence of numerous photographers that provide a range of pre-weddingphoto shoot selections have made every couples’ dreams come true. Inaddition, the advancement of technology has never failed to assist bothprofessional and amateur photographers to realize a remarkable conceptualpre-wedding photograph.
Furthermore, this situation has even encouragedphotographers to be more creative and to stand out in the wedding market inIndonesia. As discussed previously, Barthes’ work on mythologies claims that the worldis full of meanings and that it is possible to read the trivia of everyday life inany given society. The ideology to complete this moment-capturing eventthrough the use of digital photography seems to generate a mass culturaltradition that is inevitable for the Indonesian people. Even though this event isa common activity, it has been proven that there are meanings behindpractices in our everyday life. Not to forget that mass culture is also affectedby its habitus whereas people have the capacity to produce classifiablepractices and differentiate the appropriateness of the practice or the productitself.
Bourdieu’s analysis of the creation of social distinction through taste hasfinally made more sense to me. Social status in society and the financial background of every wedding couple would distinguish the choice of their pre-wedding photo options. People in a higher social standing may choose a well-known photographer and a more glamorous and expensive concept for theirpre-wedding photographs to show their position in society. This drive to showsocial standing can also be seen in the extent that some people are willing tospend a lot of time, money and effort Just to travel abroad to get their pre-wedding photographs captured. In addition to their own expenses, they alsohave to pay for the cost of the photographers and their team that would cost asignificant amount of money that most people would not find readily availableto them in the contrary. People in middle and lower social classes can onlychoose the more affordable options available to them in the market. However,’more’ does not necessarily mean ‘better’.
Many lower and mid-range pricedphotographers have been able to compete and provide similar breath-takingphotographs to those of a high-end photographer at a lower cost that would fiteveryone’s wallet.