I became a photographer because I love taking photographs. Being around people having fun and capturing these happy memories forever is such an amazing thing.
However as a wedding photographer I am often working in stressful situations. Weddings are fast moving, emotional events and you get only one chance to get the photographs right. My clients laugh at me as I have a recurring nightmare that I will be locked in a loo before the ceremony and so I avoid drinking on the morning of a wedding. It seems extreme but I would hate to let anyone down and miss any important photographs.
When I get the chance, I like to let my hair down and do a shoot just for fun and this year I knew I had the perfect couple to do a shoot I have wanted to do for a very long time.
In December 2011 I was looking at a photography journal and the cover image was from an engagement shoot where the couple had enjoyed throwing paint over each other, instantly I knew I wanted to try that.
The couple in the magazine had used wet paint and ran around a studio throwing it everywhere, creating magical images and a huge mess. As a wedding photographer I work on location and only hire a studio when I need to use one so this wasn’t really an option for me but the idea of paint throwing kept nagging away at the back of my mind.
It’s funny where ideas can come from and how sometimes many ideas merge to form one. I love to travel and have been lucky enough to take part in a Holi festival in India – where people take to the streets and throw powdered paint over each other. On another holiday in Thailand I took part in Songkran –getting soaked in icy water and having water fights with smiling locals from sunrise to sunset. An idea was forming but wasn’t quite there yet.
When I met Kim & Paul Kim was quick to say she really fancied a “trash the dress” shoot. To be honest, Kim wanted this more than a wedding photographer. Like many people Kim & Paul had the idea in their mind that wedding photographers are bossy and take over the wedding day. They really didn’t want this as they had a fun wedding planned and wanted to be able to enjoy it and spend as much time as possible time with their friends and family. Kim’s dad persuaded her to at least talk to a photographer and I am so glad that she spoke to me.
We hit it off instantly when we met – any couple who offer me tea and welsh cakes when we first meet are always going to be my kind of couple! The prewedding shoot was so much fun, we met on a rainy day for a walk around Stanton Fitzwarren, splashed through puddles and came home covered in mud – good practice for what was to follow.
Fast forward a few months and the wonderful wedding is over, the dress has been cleaned but the idea is still there and the summer is now warmer…..
These photographs are the result of a lot of planning, a fair amount of craziness and a touch of luck. I drove miles looking for a beach that was safe, dog friendly and not too busy. I was so lucky to have a couple that wanted to do something different and were prepared to travel so far to indulge my crazy ideas. We were all lucky that the evening we chose was bright and warm.
This has been one of my favourite shoots of all time and these images remind me that I really do have the best job in the world. Thank you so much Kim & Paul for being totally wonderful and such good sports.
If you like these images and have a crazy idea of your own please tell me about it in the comments below. If you would like to book a “trash the dress”, “rock the frock” or even a clean and stylish “cherish the dress” shoot please get in touch.