Years ago a wedding photographer would arrive about half an hour before the wedding ceremony, photograph through the ceremony and perhaps the first part of the wedding reception and then head off home after a ?ockcake cutting picture half way through the afternoon. It was quite common for photographers to be booked to photograph more than one wedding in a day and the photographic  coverage package was usually restricted by time and also often by the number of photographs that would be taken. Many of the photographs were rather starchy standard posed shots and typically the photographer would take a large number of family group photographs.



Then, about twenty years ago wedding photography started a slow renaissance. Photographers started to use a much more photojournalistic wedding photography style, there was much less emphasis on set up posed shots and telling the story of the day in pictures became very fashionable. Inevitably, as this story telling idea got hold photographers began to cover more and more of the day. Bridal preparation coverage became the norm and photographers often photographed right through the day up until the dancing or beyond at the reception in the evening.

In an ever increasing market where photography was starting to become much more fashionable, competitive and lucrative photographers began to look for ways of extending the wedding coverage beyond the wedding day itself. Engagement shoots are very popular today, boudoir photo shoots are also increasingly being used by brides to present their husbands with rather unique and personal wedding day gifts and, what’s become known as the ?rash the dressshoot has become the big thing to do after the wedding!

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Often, on the actual wedding day itself, there is precious little time, particularly in UK weddings, for the bride and groom to spend ages with the photographer doing photographs. Most couples would rather spend time celebrating with their friends and families on the day rather than posing around having their picture taken! The trash the dress shoot happens after the wedding day and is the perfect opportunity to have a huge amount of fun in the dress after all the time pressures and stresses of the wedding day itself are over.

Originally these types of shoots really were all about going in a wedding dress where no bride had ever dared to go before! Beaches, woodlands, oily garages and muddy fields were all used as dramatic backdrops for brides in wedding dresses with wellies, smeared in mud, soaked with water, paint or oil! These made dramatic and shocking pictures but actually, in reality, not many brides want to truly trash the beautiful dress they got married in.

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These days this type of shoot is much more about a celebration of the dress and is a bit more like a fun fashion shoot. You really don’t have to ruin your dress to get great pictures and the shoot can even include the groom as well! The whole point is to get some great images of you without the constraints of time, location and keeping clean and tidy that you are under on your wedding day.

So, if you are considering having a trash/love the dress shoot after your wedding, here are five important points to consider.

How far are you really prepared to go?

What type of images are you hoping to achieve and to what extent are you really prepared to risk damaging your dress? It is one thing being happy to get it dirty with a view to getting it dry cleaned but quite another to contemplate ruining it beyond repair! The most important element of this type of shoot is fun and you must feel comfortable with whatever decision you make.

Think about the best photographer for the job

Your wedding photographer on your wedding day may have been fantastic but, if they were for example, a photo journalist specialist they may not offer, or be really comfortable doing a trash the dress shoot. Look around at other photographers and see if they offer the service. Check their portfolios and see if their images match your expectations and also match the type of images you have in mind.

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Talk to your photographer and discuss ideas for locations, poses and props

Remember this is your shoot and your photographer will be glad of your creative input. It’s a great opportunity to express your creativity so let your imagination go wild. It can be a good idea to collect images that might give you ideas and inspiration for your own shoot try creating a Pinterest board for example.

During the shoot be prepared to be a little out of your comfort zone!

Challenge yourself to push your limits a little and enjoy the whole process. Take time on the day to mentally prepare yourself and try to allow plenty of time in your schedule. Remember that your husband may well want to be involved either as a spectator or be in the photographs as well.

Plan what you are going to do with the photographs

The worse place to keep them is electronically on a computer hard drive. Budget to at least get them printed, perhaps have an album made or what about aiming to have a really striking frame or canvas of one of the images on your wall at home?

Any post wedding photo-shoot can be a great opportunity to get some really personal and memorable images without the time pressure of the wedding day itself. Plan carefully and think about exactly what you want from the shoot and you should be rewarded with photographs that you will look back on and treasure for many years to come.

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