Saturday was an interesting day. I drove from Porirua to Greytown in the Wairarapa for a rendezvous with a number of other photographers and seven lovely ladies. The plan was to spend the day taking photos of the woman who would be dressed in wedding gowns and as the day progressed most of the gowns would be trashed in one way or another. Trash the dress or drown the gown photography sessions have been around for a while now, often giving the bride a chance to have a bit of fun after the wedding day. In our case most (if not all) of the dresses had been sourced cheaply off trademe, and some of the woman were not yet married. It was basically a change for the photographers to get some shots for their respective portfolios and the models for the day to get some nice and interesting photos.
The whole thing came about through a Facebook group created to get like minded photographers together in different places around New Zealand for the purpose of Drown the Gown photo shoots. Liz organised the Wairarapa shoot and has set a very high standard for others to follow. The day went very smoothly, if not exactly to schedule, and it certainly seems that everyone enjoyed themselves.
From Greytown we headed into the countryside, eventually arriving at a rural property about 5 minutes out of town. There was a bite to eat and a few drinks for the nervous and then we were out on the farm to take the first sets of photographs. Trying not to get too messy we started with some nice and simple locations where the ladies could get used to the photographers and get some nice photos of them in their dresses while everything was still clean. Some of the more experienced photographers helped things along by setting up scenes and directing the models (who were all pretty much doing the modelling thing for the first time), with tips on how to stand and help us all get the best out of the photos.
After these few couple of locations is was back to the house and then on to a nearby old shearing shed which had been out of use for a number of years and was quite dilapidated. We spent time moving around the building taking photos with different ladies, I was learning a lot just by watching some of the more established photographers. Everyone was very helpful and relaxed.
This session over we headed back for a wonderful lunch, everyone recharging before the afternoon trashing began. The fun began with a gown being well and truly drowned in the pond, then another being trashed in a mud pool and then a third being walked and then drowned in a stream. It was all good fun, and we were generally careful keeping safety in mind (never going too deep, being aware that a wedding dress gets even more awkward and heavy when wet).
After each dress had been trashed a towel was provided to help provide some warmth and each lady was then transported (in a trailer attached to a quad bike) back to the house where a warm shower and then spa pool awaited. The final few trashings involved lying in an old iron bathtub outside, a mock killing scene that revolved around Jessica using a chainsaw to inflict pretend bodily harm on a prone Lisa (with liberal application of red paint) and then finally Karra being splattered with paint by her gleeful younger brother and sister.
The photos have turned out wonderful, with photographers and models happy with the results. Liz did a great job bringing everything together and everyone helped out to make the day a fantastic success, even the forecast rain and high winds stayed away. The whole day was a great experience, and hopefully I’ll get to take part in similar events in the future.