Even as a documentary "observer", I notice that gender roles often "come up" in my work...
To me, this photograph speaks to gender: notice how this flowergirl, and indeed the whole concept of flowergirls in general, functions as a analog for the Bride; a "mini - bride" if you will.
The flowergirl wears a white flowing dress, and here she rushes to the ceremony space with an urgency humorously beyond her years; she evokes the trope of a bride rushing to the altar, or even rushing away from the altar and into the arms of her TRUE love (in films, this is the guy that she secretly loves but her family can't stand; they'd rather she marry the safe guy with the good job).
this theme is further supported by the protective figure of her father as he follows closely behind;. perhaps the next time he walks with his daughter in this way again will be decades later when he "gives her away" at her own wedding.
Notice how her father looms large in the frame; there is humor in their size difference, and in the way *she as a young child* seems to be in charge of her own parent.
As a documentary photographer, I don't just capture the events of the wedding day in a neutral, dull, mechanical way: hell, if that's what you're looking for, a security surveillance stuck to the side of a building can record events accurately and consistently.
To me, that's not true photography.
Documentary photography is more than just recording events, it's about noticing patterns, hidden meanings, humor, metaphor...when I photograph a wedding, I tell the story of the day through MY eyes, and often my values, beliefs, and even worldview come through in the work.
I happen to think this a good thing; and the couples who choose to work with me do too.