Trash-the-dress shoots are becoming more popular. I have seen images of the bride and groom playing in the sea, the couple having a paint-ball fight and some others… But, one of the newest lovilee photographers listed under Wedding Vendors intrigued me with her underwater photography. She recently did a styled shoot with a model in a wedding gown and I was very interested in the logistics of it all, so asked Ilse Moore from GingerAle Photography more.

About the shoot?
For this particular set we decided on something very ethereal, in fact it was dreamed up by the model herself (Elsa Bleda). The light wooden frames were weighted by small weights so that it could float gently around her. We found a gorgeous vintage wedding dress for Elsa. The dress was already torn and had some moth damage, so it worked perfectly for our idea. We also used a shallow black pool so no backdrop was needed.

I was very happy with the results. We played around with the concept of uncertainty, hope and sentimentality and I think it translated well. While this series was in fact a conceptual shoot, the simple image of submerged bride will always contain meaning in itself and will become so much more meaningful if the bride feels a personal connection with it. I wouldn’t want to create something that the client cannot relate to.

If a couple organises a trash the dress shoot underwater, what do they need to consider?
They will need to be very comfortable in the water. The model needs to be able to control her outfit and hair as well as be aware of her breathing, her body movements and facial expression. It’s not easy, but incredibly rewarding.
The other thing to consider is the dress. Unless highly chlorinated, the water is actually very gentle on the dress and brides don’t have to feel that their dress will be ruined. If the dress contains delicate pieces, like boning or other damagable parts, it will obviously be more risky.

All ideas and concepts are discussed with the model/bride before the time.

Who organises the pool or dam? And where is the best to have it?
I normally organise the pool or dam, but if the model knows someone with a unique and appropriate pool, we might use that instead. The look of the shoot will determine the body of water we use. We unfortunately don’t have many options for clear water inland besides swimming pools, but luckily we can get very creative!

Can you take the images at any time of day or is there lighting equipment involved?
Absolutely, but I still make use of lighting equipment at times. I’ve done day shoots with and without lighting as well as full night shoots. The outcome is greatly affected by the type of lighting we use, natural or otherwise, so we use whatever will suit the look and feel we want.

To view more of Ilse’s work visit or ‘like’ her on Facebook.

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Karen Kelly is the founder and editor of KaRi is also owner and creative director of Learn more about her here and connect with her on social media on the links below.

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