Mid-week, mid-June I attended the seminar Almost Alone with David Williams, hosted by Mel Englander in Fort Lauderdale (if you need an experienced, talented, and fun photographer in the East Coast area — contact Mel).  I had a blast and learned a LOT.  David Williams hails from Australia and has that wonderful Australian accent we all enjoy. He is very passionate about his work – he shoots weddings and portraits. And he had many ways to inspire us photographers to think differently (outside the box) about our photography.  I find myself today thinking about finding the clean light and adding depth to my photos, and changing the typical group setup.  On the final day of the seminar we went to Hollywood beach to shoot a “Trash The Dress” session with one of Mel’s former brides.  “Trash The Dress” is the term photographers use for an after-wedding shoot.  Many times brides have no use for their dresses, so they decide to literally trash their dress for the shoot. 

Note that most dresses can actually be dry cleaned after a Trash The Dress session, so you aren’t actually trashing the dress.  Many brides are nervous about these sessions because they don’t want to ruin their dresses, so photographers are now calling them “Rock The Dress” sessions — implying that the shots are fun, sexy, and exciting, but not necessarily endangering the dress. 

If you decide to do a post-wedding shoot with a photographer (either with or without your spouse — sometimes it makes a great anniversary surprise!), go with someone who will be empathetic to your comfort level.  Some brides want the edgy shots that may ruin their dresses.  Others just want to take some more pictures in their wedding dresses at a more relaxed pace.  Your photographer should be willing to do either.

Mel’s bride wanted to trash her dress in the traditional way, as you’ll see in pictures below.  And you don’t need to be a model to get some great shots.  This bride wasn’t a model, and the shoot only took 20 minutes (even in Florida, the ocean water is cold).  For some edgier trash the dress ideas, check out John Michael Cooper’s work here

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