The Thinking 

The Postmodern Wedding Artiste

September 18, 2011


JOHN MICHAEL COOPER is the wedding photographer who coined the term “trash the dress” and set off a “new creative, artistic, movement in the world of wedding photography” with his portraits of a bride in a flaming wedding gown. Instead of “trash the dress,” I suggest “trash the photographer” – and every other purveyor of the modern, highly-stylized, narcissistic, mind-blowingly expensive wedding, which turns couples into mock celebrities or even porn stars for a day. Wedding photographers, with some notable exceptions, are the used car salesmen of modern romance.

Here is Cooper responding to remarks that his work is perverse and sickening. This vulgar philistine is actually considered a bright light in the world of commercial photography:

“This isn’t creative or artistic, it is vile. These photographs perpetuate the notion that violence against women is neither prevalent nor problematic. This blatant display of ignorance makes me sick”

Wow, if a conceptual bridal portrait makes one feel so strongly, I’m afraid what a trip to the movies or even a single episode of CSI might do to you..

Anyway, much thought was put into whether I should respond to the negative comments or should I just sit back and enjoy them for what they are, because silence would have been a much harder critique for me..

But once going to and looking up misogynistic I thought I should at least explain a little about the shot so that people don’t think I have a mistrust or a hatred of women.

The trunk and shovel shot. well I’m known for anti-bridals and always looking for ideas and inspiration for portraits that are outside (well outside anyway) the box. the original idea was from my wife (who by the way watches a lot of csi and coldcase files) .. she thought that a bridal portrait in a trunk would be cool, CSI style. I agreed and we backburnered the idea for some time when we saw a Jimmy Choo ad with Quincy Jones and a model (gasp..) in a trunk. seeing that, we thought dang that’s our idea (‘cept for the shovel) anyway we ended up using the original idea with some inspiration from the ad and then married it with an “american gothic” theme, which by the way we shot in front of about 400 photographers because we were teaching at the digital wedding forum’s convention. and by the way the shovel now has its own site,

So I’m not misogynistic, I nether hate women or mistrust them, rather I just like to make cool photos and happen to have a little dark side along with being influenced by fashion, art, and tragic romance (ala Shakespeare) ..


— Comments —

Jane writes:

This description of Cooper and his wife conjures up thoughts about men and the women behind them.

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