Trash the Dress Photography: Tips and Ideas

In the many different types of wedding photography that have evolved over the times, there is the concept of Trash the Dress photography. This style of photography is also sometimes known as Rock the Frock or the Fearless Bridal form of wedding photography. Simply put, it consists of a bride in her bridal finery against unusual backdrops.

The idea is to contrast glamorous clothing against contrasting backgrounds such as garbage dumps, abandoned buildings, and deserted beaches, etc. The outfit may be made wet, dirty or be torn or distressed to create this ‘trash’ look. This look can be created even if there is no destination wedding as such. The setting for the trash shoot can be anywhere; subsequent to the wedding venue. Here are some tips to help create this ‘trash the dress’ look:


You don’t have to ruin the dress

It is a bit of a myth that the dress will be ruined in that quest for the perfect ‘trash the dress’ look. You could of course get the dress wet and get dirt or paint on it or let it even become ripped and torn, but this is not necessary. You can get great results while leaving the dress intact. A good pro will be able to pick out and create a de-glam setting without having to destroy or damage the dress irreparably.

The setting is all

An unusual setting may be all that is required: pick a desolate, windswept beach, or an abandoned warehouse, a back alley with interesting graffiti or even a water park. Consider other unusual backdrops and setting such as a prosaic railway track or level crossing. Even something as unattractive as a garbage dump may help create that look desired. Something as grim and forbidding as barbed wire or a chain link fence could help create that look. Simply natural settings such as a stormy brewing with the sky a tumultuous gray can be good ideas as well.

Glam Up

The idea is to create a contrast, so create a contrast between the subject and her backdrop. The background can be as desolate, deserted and dismal, while the woman has perfect hair and makeup.

Use props and accessories

Think drift wood or dead tree branches, think trailing scarves, think spooky mirrors – think dramatic props to create an impact. The whole idea is to create dramatic impact and contrast using anything unusual.