Some people think “trash the dress” wedding photography is something of a fad. Whether or not they’re right, I’m here to tell you that it’s a total blast and one of my favourite things to shoot. As a surfer, freediver and all around waterman, I spend most of my free time in the water and it’s where I feel most at home. That being said, there are a few things to think about before you get soaked in your lovely wedding gown.
#01 Are you comfortable in the water?
This is where the conversation always starts when you book me for a “trash the dress” shoot. I want to know how confident you are in the water so I can determine the type of shoot that will make you the happiest. If you’re are a surfer or diver, then I know that you’ll be comfortable, which means we can be more adventurous with our shots. On the other hand, if you’re not a strong swimmer, then we’ll stick to areas where you can stand or take it easy. Safety comes first! Knowing your limits and communicating them early on will give us a chance to capture awesome material that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
#02 Your dress gets heavy once it is wet!
A lot of people don’t realise how heavy a wedding gown will get when all that material is soaking wet. Even the best of swimmers may have a hard time with all that added weight. Often, if a shoot takes place in the open ocean, I will have one or two safety divers on standby with flotation devices as an added precaution.
#03 You don’t have to trash your actual dress
This is one of the questions that I get asked the most, and my answer is always: we’ll do what makes you happy. You can always get a dress just for the shoot and keep your actual gown as a keepsake for future generations. I am also a fan of buying secondhand dresses because I believe it to be less wasteful. And you should remember that with the quality of dry cleaning these days, they can do a pretty good job of making everything look new again.
#04 Trashing the dress doesn’t mean we have to get wet!
Because of my background in water photography, most of my clients ask me to get in the water. But in no way does that mean that you need to get wet. I would be more than happy to put the underwater camera away and get out on the paintball field to have some fun with you and your wedding party.
#05 Location, location, location
Specialising in destination weddings has taught me the immense value of choosing the right place. Ideally we want the most beautiful landscape and best water clarity possible! Some of my best work has come out of long boat trips or was shot on remote islands. They may take a little bit of adventuring to get to, but the results are worth it.
#06 Does it have to be “trash the dress”? What about “trash the suit”?
I am an equal opportunity wedding photographer that celebrates and welcomes diversity. “Trash the dress” is simply a coined term in the industry. Whoever you are, whatever you wear, I am there to document you having a blast!
#07 We really love to surf and dive, can that be in the shoot?
What I love most about wedding shoots is that the possibilities are limitless. Whatever hobby defines your love is okay with me! I’m just excited to capture the connection that happens when people are having fun together. If that means after we trash the dress we throw our wetsuits on and grab some great surf images of you and your loved one, I am all for it.
#08 I don’t feel comfortable with how I look in a bathing suit
We all have our battles with body image! I know I have mine. All my shoots are catered to you and what makes you feel comfortable. Some people want to get sexy and take their clothes off while others keep it more casual. Whatever makes you happy is what’s best for the shoot. These are moments that will last a lifetime so it’s my goal to make images that you can brag about for generations to come.