Trash the Dress: Why?

Jennifer in a wedding dress

A while ago I saw a notice from one of our local photography meet-up groups (I’ll leave them nameless for now) had a session for their members to participate in a “Trash the Dress” photo shoot (one since the said “Rock the dress”, I guess even they are starting to see the concept as dated). A couple of days later I saw this posting about that same topic. It got me to thinking, why do it?  What is in it for the bride? Many wedding dress may be passed down from mother to daughter.  Others cost thousands of dollars.  

I mean, I get why a photographer would want to. It is something that at one point was novel.  Something that is unique.  But now it has been done to death. Every photographer is getting brides to destroy their dress for a photo that isn’t really unique.  doesn’t seem to be worth it to me.

Now if you can come up with a good idea, something that hasn’t been done before, then sure. I could see that.  But how likely is that? Are we so out of ideas for creating art that we are reduced to destroying things?

And I am not saying that you should do interesting shots that may leave the dress messed up.  Sure, that happens on a shoot.  But why do it if you are not really doing something different?  

Here is a thought, go to Goodwill. Find a dress. Hire a model, and really trash it, if that is what you want on your portfolio.  Then if a bride approaches you, then you can show it to her. Let her decide from your work. Otherwise, let her have the dress. Make good photos. Strive to Create, not just Copy.

Update: Apparently there are risks involved too.  A bride drowned recently during a "trash the dress" shoot. So please keep safety in mind when shooting.