August 20, 2013

You may have heard in the past of a term in wedding photography called a Trash The Dress.  If not, this is when a bride puts her dress back on after the wedding has taken place and models for some “non-traditional” pictures. These images are usually intended to evoke some  sense of shock, a lot of the time involving a bride in water, getting her dress dirty, or destroying the wedding gown in some capacity. This trend still has some popularity today, although it was more trashnable in the early 2000s.


As this trashy trend fades away, re-fashioning the dress seems to be taking over.  This is not actually destroying the dress but putting it back on and doing more of a fashion or styled shoot, keeping the integrity of the gown.  This photo session is done, however, without the overwhelming concern for cleanliness like takes place on the wedding day.  Let your hair down, throw caution to the wind, and get creative.


There are a myriad of ways one might conjure up ideas for a second showing in the gown.  Collaboration with your photographer is definitely the first, and probably most productive thing to do.  (This photographer may or not be the person that photographed the wedding.  It certainly doesn’t have to be.)


Regardless of the bride’s choice for the shoot, the goal is to create something different and fun.  A bride may now let her personality shine, really having fun and not worrying about having an audience or guests to attend to. The idea is for her to get outside of her comfort zone and become the fashion model she may have always wanted to be.  If there is no other time in her life it happens, post-wedding is the time to pull the trigger.  Most brides are in some of the best shapes of their lives at wedding time.  She should do it now!  Do it for her kids!  Whatever her reason, she should just do it.  She will never regret it.  No pressure – just time to play in front of a camera.


A few summers back I cautiously and optimistically took this concept and pushed it to a new limit by attempting to photograph a bride and groom in front of a tornado.  My crew and I headed to the mid-west to Tornado Alley in mid-May, the beginning of tornado season.  We enlisted the help of a professional storm chaser, and I ran a contest to find a bride and groom who were crazy enough to embark on this adventure with us.  Our adventure took us through Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska.  Along the way we encountered all different sorts of weather.  We ran into rain, wind, snow, hail, thunder, lightning and even stumbled upon an incredible rainbow.  Some of our fun roadside locations included an oasis, abandoned houses, ditches, snowdrifts, and even sand dunes. (see slide show below)  Did we accomplish our goal?  Let’s just say this, we didn’t go home disappointed.  I will say, I would love to do it again on an even bigger scale.


(We filmed the whole adventure, so if you are curious and want to catch a few glimpses our fun, check out the trailer.  http://www.romancingthestorm.com/)


My point in sharing my story is to convey that the sky is the limit with these shoots.  We photographers love to take pictures and love to be creative, so brides, put your head together with your favorite photographer and get out there and create some art!  You don’t have to go to great lengths to refashion your dress you just need the desire to create something great. And don’t forget the groom!  He is welcome too and opens the door to even greater possibilities.


You will create and capture some really great memories that you will have to enjoy for the rest of your lives together.  To maximize your enjoyment select your favorite image from the your shoot, enlarge it, frame it, and hang it on a wall in your home.  Too many of our pictures today never leave our cold, sterile hard drives.  When a great photograph hangs on the wall we can enjoy it every day.  A great photograph, just like a great painting, will warm your house and make it a home, not to mention your “Refashion The Dress” image will be a great conversation piece.  How fun it could be to share the stories of your adventure with all those who will walk through your door in the years to come.