The perfect dress can make the perfect wedding but one Australian photographer is advising brides to capture their big day in a different way — take a photo in a mud soaked or paint splattered gown.
Seeking to stand out from the hundreds of studios vying for a slice of the lucrative wedding business, Sydney-based Adam Cavanagh snaps stylish, fashion-magazine-like shots of brides in dresses that have been soaked, splattered with paint or muddied.
While several studios in the United States and other parts of the world offer “trash-the-dress” photographs, Cavanagh says the popularity of the service is just gaining ground in Australia.
“In the U.S., there's a photo of a bride on fire, well not really on fire, but it looked a bit Joan of Arc, it was the shock value,” Cavanagh told Reuters.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 100,000 marriages take place each year.
Cavanagh said he wanted to give Australian brides an opportunity to be creative and daring in what many couples consider to be the most lasting, and often expensive, memento of their wedding.
Packages, ranging in price from A$2,950 to A$5,500 (around $2,800 to $5,300), include pictures shot in scenic locations such as waterfalls, windswept beaches at sunset, building facades and wooden boardwalks.
But to ensure brides look beautiful on the big day, with their dress intact, the “trashing” photographs are taken after the couple have returned from their honeymoon.
“The extreme trashers are very rare,” Cavanagh said. “Usually it's just getting wet, where you can still recover the dress, or getting in the sand or mud, making it look more like a model shoot than a bridal photo.”
Loren Vincent from Sydney and her husband took the plunge, literally, and had pictures taken in their full wedding finery under a waterfall in the Blue Mountains resort area.
“I initially thought, 'oh my God why would anyone want to trash their wedding dress?' But it was heaps of fun,” she said.
“I got better photos in the trash-the-dress photos than I did on my actual wedding day because we were just smiling at cameras all day. And my dress came out of it all fine.”