Pictures I like: “Bratsk Wedding”, 1967 by Elliot Erwitt

Bratsk wedding, 1967 by Elliott Erwitt

My Story: Okay, you know what this is about, you’ve been there, that’s you in the photo. Maybe it wasn’t a wedding, maybe it was that time at Aunt Sadie’s funeral or when the preacher tripped and knocked over the pulpit or when the important guest was a little too noisy in the upstairs bathroom… You remember. You were supposed to be serious and solemn on this serious, solemn occasion and instead you feel this strange grin taking over your face as the great absurdity seeps into your consciousness, the absurdity of pretending that life is at all serious and solemn. Then you look around and everyone is staring at you.

The Facts: The photo was taken by Elliott Erwitt in Bratsk, Siberia in 1967. I don’t know what the guy is grinning about. Maybe he remembers the bride when she used to rock and roll. Maybe he’s wondering if the groom’s father will fall into the punchbowl he’s draining. Maybe it just struck him what a funny name Bratsk is.

Here’s a little on Elliott Erwin, Magnum photographer, and some of his pictures. Here’s his official website. Here’s Google image search.


4 comments on “Pictures I like: “Bratsk Wedding”, 1967 by Elliot Erwitt

  1. hellenjc says:

    It’s a wonderful photograph…all the more powerful when it’s B&W.. We all desperately want to know what he is smirking about !

  2. and what about the groom’s hair?! Woah! Very fun photo though.

    • mikulpepper says:

      Great hair! And I like the expression on the bride’s face. Most weddings (and not afew funerals) that I’ve attended had some kind of scandal or disaster or public embarassment. I have an idea that our hero is the best man and that he’s grinning at something that the bride’s family has done or said. In the years following, the relations between these two men will become rather strained.

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