Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trash the Dress

80's Style Wedding Dress in the Ocean - Click to enlarge

Trash the dress, also known as fearless bridal or rock the frock, is a style of wedding portrait photography that contrasts elegant clothing with an environment in which it is out of place. It is generally shot in the style of fashion and glamour photography . This is the wikipedia definition.

It is most common with modrn brides who do this rather than preserving and storing away this garment that will for the most part be worn only once. They do not expect their children or sisters to wear them and wish to get more than a single use from this dress they have spent a lot of time choosing. For former brides it tends to be cathartic, a removing of the vestiges of a marriage that did not work. It is becoming popular to do sessions with High School or College formal dresses as well.

The preferred style tends to involve water in some fashion so as to be creative but not to truly damage the dress beyond repair. Some more adventurous brides decide to have pictures taken on rooftops, garbage dumps, fields, and abandoned buildings getting the dress dirty and really emphasizing the contrast between elegance and grit. In more extreme measures the dress is completely destroyed with fire, paint or by ripping and tearing.

While we were in Destin, Florida for Mary Helen and Jason's beach wedding we decided to play with a trash the dress session at the beach. The setting by the old pier pilings was too stunning not to explore with some fun photography. While our Bride wasnt about to take her watered silk gown into the water (I dont blame her) we did find a gown at the local resale shop and a volunteer to be our "model". Kristina was willing to go out on the beach for a late afternoon photo shoot and to play in the water. After setting a day/time for the shoot we went to pick up the dress and also picked up another non-wedding gown we had seen. This second dress (probably a prom dress) had sparked ideas of a "Neptune's Daughter" look so off we went to the local beach shops for accessories....shells,a net and some beach jewelry.

We had beautiful skies for our setting and very curious onlookers as we set our spot at the beach. We had Kristina go with more dramatic makeup than she usually wears and zipped her into the 80s style wedding gown. We had toyed with the idea of having her actually tear the dress and brought along scissors to help as the seams in this dress were very strong. As soon as we zipped her up and she said she felt like the Bride of Dracula we knew we had the right idea....she'd have no problem wanting to rip this thing up. Sure enough as soon as we had her leaning on the piling she went to work...we then had her move into the water and continue ripping. A last step for this dress was to get out of the water and step out of the trashed dress leaving it behind for a swim in the ocean.

Then we moved to our Neptune's daughter plan by getting some shells strewn on the beach and tangled into our net. We slipped Kristina into the dress and placed strands of faux pearls in her hair. What luck, this second dress fit her perfectly. By now Kristina was all relaxed and our audience had dispersed so off she went into the water.... First at the edge just dragging the net behind her and then deeper letting the low waves buffet her a bit and roll behind. After our shoot off we all went to clean up and then to dinner. We ended up with some amazing photos and some new friends.

OK Barbara, we're ready for your session now..... Green Neptune's Daughter Idea - Click to enlarge

Monday, August 17, 2009

Moving Panoramic

Three Images stitched together -- click for larger view

Often at wedding Debra and I shoot 3 to 5 images and stitch them together with Photoshop or Canon's PhotoStitch - but this one was a bit different as the subject was moving. We have been to many weddings where during the reception college alumni band together around their college "fight song" - This photo is from Texas A&M University - "Aggie War Hymn" - What made this photo unique was that everyone was moving and swaying, left, right, left, right. I have seen this at other Texas A&M weddings and while I could have stood back and shot the entire scene with wide angle lens - then cropped for a strong horizontal effect, I wanted to try for a larger, more detailed file size. This image is 3x the size of a single photograph. I timed each photo as a 3 part panoramic on the right sway, each time the crowd would sway to the right, I would snap the left, center, then right. The final image was stitched together with Photoshop CS4 - then tinted to sepia to reduce the many distracting colors from uneven lighting in the room. Click on the single Panoramic above for a larger 1104px X 400px view. Enjoy!

Left Panoramic Image
Center Panormaic Image

Right Panoramic Image

Monday, August 10, 2009

New York Wedding

View from above
Our associate photographer Linda Lucas met Jenna & Chris on Mother's Day of 2008. Debra and I had photographed Chris and Jenna's engagement photos a few months before and were all ready obligated to another wedding by the time a date had been set for their wedding. The happy couple were to be wed in Long Island, New York the following summer and wanted Everafter Images to photograph their big day. Of course, after meeting everyone was thrilled and so the planning began! Linda and Brian, the photographers assigned to this wedding, arrived in Long Island Friday, July 10th and settled in. Saturday afternoon they attended and photographed the rehearsal. Gathered for the wedding were Jenna and Chris' closest family and friends at the most quaint little Italian restaurant. Linda reports that "there was so much love in the air". Everyone was so extremely happy for them and they both were just glowing. The next morning Linda went to Jenna's mothers house where the girls were getting their hair & make up done. With bagels and cream cheese in hand, everyone began their day. One by one, each of them grew to be more and more beautiful. Finally, it was Jenna's turn. All dressed and made up she was absolutely stunning and Linda knew Chris would cry when he saw her for the first time. The ceremony and reception were both held at a venue called FlowerfieldNight time at the pond. With ponds, fountains, bridges and swans the setting was surreal. The staff there made sure that every one of the Bride & Groom's needs were met. Every detail breath-taking. From the food to the cake to the individual spot lights that shone on each one of the center pieces at every single table. No detail was too small, no detail forgotten. Chris & Jenna chose to see each other in a private setting just before the wedding. There were hugs, tears of joy and much laughter. Filled with the purest of excitement they were ready to get the days events underway. We heard people say that this was a traditional New York wedding, but for us, it was the most emotional, energetic and vivacious wedding we had ever attended. Everyone danced the night away and truly celebrated this perfect union.

Congratulations, Chris & Jenna.

Linda Lucas has been an associate photographer for EverafterImages for more than 6 years. She has started her own photography company DreamImagesAustin.Com. We encourage you to take a look at her work.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Beach Wedding - Destin Florida

We arrived yesterday in Destin FL to prepare for Jason & Mary Helen's beach wedding this Saturday at Beasley Park on Okaloosa Island, FL. Before we had even checked into the hotel we popped by the public beach location of the wedding and took a look around. Our early arrival was planned as open time to strategize where we want to have our cameras, and what selection of lens we will use- and, of course, how to keep the white beach sand of Destin off our equipment. We've decided on tripods, fanny packs and pillow cases to store equipment between locations and keep the sand to a minimum. Welcome PackageWhen we arrived to our motel - we were greeted by a "Welcome to our Wedding Package" from Mary Helen and Jason. Tonight before our casual beach cottage get together with wedding party and families we will do a wedding trial run around 6:00 (close to the same time as the wedding the next day) to fine tune lighting, where we will stand, etc... One unique angle we will shoot for is to mount our 11-16mm wide angle lens and camera on a 12-20 foot pole, then trip the shutter with a hand held remote for Mary Helen's entrance to the beach. After our bride passes Raymond, he will then follow sightly from behind and to the side to photograph the arrival from a high unique advantage point - walking with the bride. This should lead to some nice birds eye, ocean background images as the bride approaches the groom and wedding party. Debra plans to capture the moment from the beach level. After our trial run we will meet with the Wedding Party for light cocktails and updates.... and of course a few photos. In the morning, Ray starts out with the guys at the golf course while Debra will be with the ladies for nails and hair starting the preparation. A short break around noon - then off we go to the actual wedding. Beach Sand Heart