Monday, July 30, 2007

Bridal Fashion Shoot!

Or, "What To Do With The Dress Besides Zip It Up In A Bag And Forget About It For Twenty Five Years Or More?"

I've been talking to brides, prospective brides and former brides about a Post Wedding Bridal Portrait Session. Basically, it's a portrait session where a bride gets to put on the dress and go play for a day. You don't have to worry about keeping the dress clean for the wedding and that opens up all kinds of possibilities for creative shots and venues. In some cases the photo shoot takes the bride in all her finery into grungy locales and the dress gets a bit...... ummmm...... dusty....... or even muddy. They may climb a tree, drag the dress through dirt or even go swimming in it. This has led some folks to call these shoots a "Trash The Dress" session and there are even web sites devoted strictly to "Trashing" wedding dresses......


Well, before you get into a big panic, unless you specifically set out to shred the fabric the dress is no worse for the wear after a trip to the local cleaners. That red filling from the wedding cake stands a greater chance of ruining it than a dip in the river. But you should see the images! They look like the bride stepped into a magazine ad. More importantly, they also look like a whole lot of fun.

At any rate, I was batting well below 1,000 in my attempts to find someone willing to take the plunge..... literally..... into a post wedding bridal session. Here are the basic reactions:

  • I want my daughter to wear it when she gets married.
Um, yeah. Just like you wore your mother's dress.... Let's face it, by the time your daughter gets married fashion will have moved on. While many people hold on to their wedding dresses for just this reason, how many brides do you know who actually wore their mom's gown? I mean this century.... Besides, I've already mentioned that a trip to the cleaners (which you need to do anyway so that they can apply all the chemicals needed to keep it white until your daughter is grown) will take care of the soiled appearance.
  • The dress is..... well, it's almost sacred!
More sacred than your vows? Think of it as a way to say, "I'm madly in love with the man I married and I'll never need to wear this again." Although you could since it will likely be as good as new after a trip to the cleaners, but we're talking about a symbolic statement here.
  • It cost too much to ruin.
It cost too much to store in a bag.

It cost too much to only wear once.

At least this way you get a set of photos or even a magazine style book full of stylish images of the session that you'll put on display or keep out on the coffee table for enjoyment that goes beyond the single day spent in the dress for your wedding.

Oh, and did I mention that it'll probably look just fine after a trip to the cleaners?

I did? Oh, Okay.

My clever rebuttals notwithstanding I wasn't getting any takers. That is until I spoke with Aubrey who was having me shoot her adorable son Joel's six month portraits (That's him on the right). Aubs is a lot of fun as you can tell from the shots from her wedding a year and a half ago (she's the bride featured on the home page of (......did I mention that my new website is up?)).

Aubrey's face immediately brightened when I explained what a session might entail. Then she jumped through the above arguments (It was at this point that Joel yelled, "I'm not wearin' anybody's dress at my wedding!" and I snapped the photo at right). Once I explained that a trip to the cleaners...... (are you detecting a pattern here yet?)..... would restore it to a condition that any self respecting daughter with 20 year old fashion sense would be happy to wear...... well, she brightened again and said, "Let's do it!"

That's the girl!

I'm all pumped to do the shoot, but we'll all have to wait for cooler weather. Arizona in summer is hot enough that the lakes and rivers might scald anyone foolish enough to jump in. Alright, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I want to do some shots around town before going to the lake and clambering around on the rocks near the spot I have in mind would be pretty hot too. I don't want her looking like she needs to jump in the water. So, we're waiting for September...... sigh.......

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