Wedding portraits

"In some way, people always seek to record the important moments in life. (...) Photography, since its inception, and even further, since its popularization, has become the main middle to record the important moments in life. With photography, the memories of meaningful dates – christenings, weddings, birthdays, parties, voyages, vacations – acquired new meaning. Besides remembering, it became possible to share the experienced. Even if some token object from said moment was kept, the photographic register became necessary to engrave it in time. Memory started to divide with photography the burden of the responsibility to keep those memories"
“At first, photography, closer to the religious rituals (christenings, first Communion, weddings), was taken at the own photographer’s studium. With the technological upgrades, photographers started to witness the ceremony, crafting a digest of the ritual, especially that of the wedding. It was no longer one or two studio-made photos, but rather several in order to tell the history of the happened in its run. With the wedding photography album, a new look is taken upon ritual and memory”. This exposition aims to give an outline of the transformation on the elaboration process of the wedding portrait, permeated by the desire to remember the important moments in life through photography.
A portrait of Mrs. Olga Coutinho, raised in Rio de Janeiro until the beginning of the 20th century. Due to her father’s disease, Olga returned to the Bacuri Farm, in the state of Sao Paulo. His treatement involved injections administered by the pharmacist José Dogello Braga. From these visits sprung the involvement between Olga and José, which resulted in their wedding, which took place just after her father’s passing, with no party. That’s why the bride is in mourning dress in the official photo, used to give the relatives notice of the union.

The bride’s bouquet symbolizes life, joy and fertility. Since remote times it has been present in this celebration, as brides used to carry branches of herbs and garlic to fend evil spirits off and bring luck and joy to the newlyweds. Throwing the bouquet represents the bride’s farewell; she throws it in order to share her happiness with the guests.

Credits: Story

Olga Rodrigues de Moraes von Simson

Research and images selection:
Marli Marcondes
Cássia Denise Gonçalves

Luiz Antônio Feliciano (Álbuns de casamento em dois movimentos: fragmentos visuais de um ritual. Campinas: Departamento de Multimeios, IA, UNICAMP, 200)

Cássia Denise Gonçalves, Emanuela Rosai Mendes, Evandro Marques Luís, Mariana Castrillon, Marli Marcondes, Melina Custódio

Ema Elizabeth Rodrigues Camillo, Melina Custódio, Olga Rodrigues de Moraes von Simson, Roberto de Biase,

Lude Gomes Cardoso Nunes

Arquivo Fotográfico / Centro de Memória-UNICAMP


Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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