A little wedding photo gender role reversal

October 6 2008 | arielmstallings
Photos by Jessica Lewish Photo
Photos by Jessica Lewish Photo

Some of you may remember me griping about how wedding photographers love to shoot women sitting at their partners' feet. Even my beloved Leah Muse has used the "groveling bride/headless groom" pose!

So it's nice to see that Jessica Lewis Photo is flipping the script a bit with her shot of Brandon and Karen here. Bonus: look at how Brandon's hair matches Karen's bouquet!

Brandon is definitely a super stylish rock 'n' roll groom. How much do you love his ruffled tux shirt western string tie? Really, we must check out more of these photos together, because the bride is gorgeous and the whole wedding party is smokin' hot.

(PS: thanks to Serena for pointing this wedding out to me, and Jessica Lewis for taking the shots.)

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  1. Rock it out!! What a fun couple! His hair totally makes the shot.. even though it took a few glances to realize it was it was actually his hair. BTW Ariel- that ONE old photo HAUNTS me like a Salem witch trial.

  2. Personally, I don't mind the bride sitting at the groom's feet type pictures, but then again, I'm into that kinky BDSM stuff. =P I don't see why it would be okay for a man to sit at the woman's feet, but not the other way around. I understand it's nice for a change, but if one isn't cool, why should the other be?

  3. Totally there with you, Bunny. My issue is that prior to this I've only seen the bride at groom's feet — which doesn't feel like kinky fun, but just run o' the mill gender roles. If the shots were equally common, it'd be a non-issue for me.

  4. I don't think photographers see it as playing into antiquated gender roles, but it doesn't hurt to ask ourselves if we're playing into these stereotypes. A lot of it comes down to the couple and what the photographer is seeking to highlight. In this case- the photographer was obviously playing into his red hair against the red bouquet and the short length of her dress- so it totally works and the photog rocked it out. It's often easier to pose a groom at a bride's feet when the bride doesn't want to get dirty in her dress. Likewise, it can come down to who is more flexible during the photoshoot – as some people feel and LOOK more comfortable taking risks or trying different things than others do- regardless of gender. Or perhaps one person isn't really connecting with the camera but the other person is- so a posing decision will be made based on their connection rather than on their gender. Ultimately, it's an interesting debate, but on a creative level I don't think we can let gender stereotypes get in the way of trying different things.

    • People who play into antiquated gender roles almost never "see it" as doing so. I'm not necessarily saying the photographers are doing one or the other – but them not "seeing it" seems irrelevant to either judgment.

      If the reasons you posit were the driving force – creativity, who is more comfortable etc. – what could explain that we never see photos like the above? Is it likely/possible than women are always more comfortable in front of a camera? And like you say considering concerns about getting the dress dirty – one would expect to see more pictures with the groom at her feet instead of 95% the bride at his feet.

      No one is proposing that we let gender stereotypes get in the way of doing creative things. We are proposing that we don't let gender stereotypes prevent us from doing interesting things i.e. never let it occur to us to put the groom at the bride's feet. Going with "same old same old" is not very creative.

  5. Ariel, I totally hear you, and I agree. I can't wait to get my wedding shots done. Kinky fun will be had!

    And Anne, great point. 🙂

  6. I think the photographer did a great job. The chairs in the middle of a field were cool, but too posey for me personally. I wish there was a facial shot of the bride with the groom at her feet. I have a thing for near groveling photos.

  7. In all my weddings I've never shot a bride at the grooms feet… It always felt too weird… but I do like this role reversal though! Maybe I'll try it next time I get a bride with pink hair? I won't chop her head off though?

  8. You know, I really don't mind who is at whose feet but to me it feels very wrong to cut off peoples heads (read faces there). It may make for a clever or arty shot but it seems to deny the humanity of the subjects. We are known by our faces not our knees and it is in the subtle expressions on our faces that we communicate to others

  9. I've never quite gotten the bride at the groom's feet business.

    The groom's hair goes so smashingly with her bouquet in this one that it's hard to imagine not taking this shot! And I like his sunglasses.

  10. Got to confess I'd never seen the bride-at-the-groom's-feet pose before, but then I don't have a lot of married friends. Wow, is that creepy. The kneeling bride is creepy and the headless groom is creepy, both–dehumanizing x 2, anybody? I think if a photographer asked me to pose like that, I'd tell him to take a hike.

  11. Lovely! I am trying to track down some photos online, but two friends of mine married six years ago or so and the groom also dyed his hair red to match her roses.

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