Marriage is a subject for long negotiation and contracts are formally agreed at the festival. Either one of the couple has the right to refuse the marriage arranged by the parents. Once the couple agrees, a legal contract is signed and the couple is considered married. An all-night party follows lasting until sunrise but a honeymoon is beyond the means of most farmers.
Morocco – Photo Tip

Understand that sometimes you are not wanted

Photo by William Stevens

Morocco – Photo Tip Understand that sometimes you are not wanted

The women of Imilchil do not like to be photographed, especially by a foreign photographer.

William Stevens
William Stevens Travel Photographer

In a village deep in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, where visitors are uncommon, this gesture of self-protection is easy to understand but a problem if you want to make a connection.

The local government, keen to offer a spectacle for the tourists visiting this central part of Morocco, only makes wedding certificates available at this time of year and the awkward body language of this group of brides and grooms contrasts with the happiness you might expect them to be showing on their wedding day.

As a photographer, there are times when you realize you are not welcome, but have to decide if the resulting image is worth it. Rather than focus on an individual, adding to their discomfort, I decided the interaction within the group would be more interesting. The contrast between the men staring at the camera, and the women who are avoiding it, makes a very clear statement about the dynamics within this setting and the impact of tourists on the events they come to see.

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At a Berber group wedding, arranged by the tourism authorities, the brides cover their faces and look as if they are not really enjoying themselves. While the couples might choose each other, it is the parents who will have the final say in any marriage of families. Photo by William Stevens

William Stevens

William Stevens

NIKON D1X

Aperture
ƒ/5/1
Exposure
1/125
Focal
190/10 mm

At a Berber group wedding, arranged by the tourism authorities, the brides cover their faces and look as if they are not really enjoying themselves. While the couples might choose each other, it is the parents who will have the final say in any marriage of families.

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