So much fun can be had when the bride and groom commission a Day After photo shoot, popularly known as a ‘Trash the Dress’ session. They get dressed up (often in the wedding dress and tux again), so they look beautiful together, but they do not have the pressures of the wedding day.
There are no time constraints, reception details or guests to worry about. The day has come and gone, and they are completely relaxed. And, by this time, they are completely comfortable with you, and they aren’t afraid to be openly affectionate with one another. The bride is also not afraid of getting the dress a little dirty—if she wants to keep it as an heirloom, though, do recommend that she do a Day After location shoot or that she buy a different white dress to wear that might be a bit more disposable. The same goes for the groom.
For the Day After shoot, you might want to try to find different, interesting locations for the session or use locations from the day before that you didn’t have time to get to. If the bride and groom are having their wedding in a coastal town, but not right on the beach, there just might not be enough time to get there and get back to the reception in the time available. If this is the case, recommend a Day After session. You then have the time to drive to several different, interesting locations.
Day After sessions can allow you to step outside of the box: there’s a lack of time pressure and ‘stay clean’ pressure on both you and the bride and groom.
Although you might find that the beach is the most common request for a Day After session, don’t shy away from urban sessions as well. Look out for back alleys and forgotten side streets, broken-down vehicles, and deserted factories that make for amazing backdrops.
If the bride and groom want to get wet, then think about taking them to a beach, lake, or a river (or even a pool), and they will often end up completely immersed in the water. With the right couple this can be a tremendously fun experience and it will allow you to get some incredible shots of the two of them together. To get the bride and groom into the water during a Trash the Dress, try breaking down the shoot into three sets of shots.
First, start them off easy—perhaps by having them go for a walk on the beach. Encourage them to get closer and closer to the waves until they are walking in the water—this part of the shoot will give some of the fun expressions— especially if the water is cold.
For the second shot, have the bride and groom sit on the water’s edge, and where the waves will get them wet if you’re by the sea. For days at a river or lake, have them sit partially immersed in the water. You might want to have the bride sit in between the groom’s legs and lean into him with her back against his chest. Don’t be afraid the give the couple the same cuddling instructions that you gave them on their wedding day.
For the third shot, have the bride and groom lie on the beach, kissing. Try to set it up so that most of the waves will come up to the waist of the bride and groom—be prepared for the great expressions you will get if a bigger wave comes! When you are at a river or a lake, have them wade out into the water and kiss and cuddle in the water as the wedding dress swirls around the bride.
Whatever you do, however, be careful. Wet wedding dresses are heavy, currents can be unpredictable, and shorelines tricky. Stay safe!
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