A new trend is emerging in wedding photography and wedding videos, with more and more happy couples opting to capture a “trash the dress” session on film after their big day.
A waif-like beauty in a flowing white dress steps delicately into the still waters of a lake lit only by the moonlight. The photographer carefully adjusts his camera focus and begins to snap away.
What results are striking and evocative portraits that are a world away from the conventional wedding photographs that have been turned out for newly-weds for decades.
Such shoots are part of a growing trend in wedding photography known as “Trash the Dress” photography. These shoots adopt the lighting and other stylistic elements of fashion and art photography and often use unconventional locations such as rambling Victorian-era mansions, lakes, forests and amusement parks.
The photo sessions traditionally take place a couple of days after the wedding although in many cases women who have been married for years are dusting off their wedding dresses and giving it a go.
Whereas in previous eras, a photographer needed to provide pleasing, conventional photographs, now they are increasingly being asked to push their creative boundaries.
Unlike the wedding itself, where the photographer needed to work to a strict time-frame and organise a large number of people into pleasing compositions, in “trash the dress” shoots, photographers are less constrained.
They have a lot more creative freedom and the results are more like what you see in glossy magazines than they are like the usual wedding snaps hidden away in dusty albums.
It is this use of elements from the world of fashion and art photography that has generated such interest in the young newly-wed demographic.
The “trash the dress” shoot originated in America and it is quickly gaining interest in Australia. Many photographers advertise it already alongside traditional forms of wedding photography and those that don’t, usually jump at the opportunity to do something different.
Overwhelmingly the feedback from photographers is really positive; often we hear that the wedding photographer needed to flex their creative muscles and this gave them a great opportunity to do this.
If you do decide to go for this edgy new form photography, there are several important things to focus on when talking to a photographer about what kind of shoot you want.
Firstly, you must figure out just how trashed you want your dress to be. This can range from getting it a little wet or dusty through to sending it up in flames.
Many women are very protective of their dresses and photographers are usually sensitive to this. Secondly, it is important to give your photographer a good idea of your personality as this will be central to determining the character of the shoot that suits you.
In some situations newly-weds choose to use the same photographer for their “trash the dress” shoot as they did for their traditional wedding photographs or wedding videos and at other times they decide to go with a separate photographer.
Author: Tom McKeith