by Sofie Louca Published 01/02/2008
Sofie Louca and Paul Karaolides tread into dangerous territory
If you've never heard of Trash the Dress, don't be fooled by the name. It's a clever tag that has generated an enormous amount of publicity and is more a representation of the concept than a hard and fast reality. In fact, Trash the Dress (TTD) sessions are not about the lengths a bride or a photographer will go to to ruin a wedding dress but more importantly they are about the resulting photographs which involve creating unique images without having to worry about the dress getting dirty or damaged. These sessions have included photographing brides in unusual locations such as abandoned warehouses, rivers, railway yards, beaches, skate parks and even muddy swamps. And the truth is that most of the dresses don't actually get trashed literally, they may get dirty and wet, but in most cases dry cleaning will get the dress looking great again.
Trash The Dress has been hugely popular in the US, inspiring photographers and brides, as well as grabbing the media spotlight around the globe. The UK, along with Europe, is fast catching on to the idea. Many photographers are now offering these sessions to their clients and making them aware that this concept exists. You'll find that bridesto- be on wedding forums are regularly talking about having a session after their wedding, or that they've already had a session.
The trend began in America, when a photographer named Mark Eric (www.markeric.net) shot his first Trash the Dress session in New York and soon after registered the domain name www.trashthedress.com Thus began the very successful website. Mark was originally inspired by another wedding photographer, John Michael Cooper (www.altf.com) , who shoots his own style of inimitable 'anti-bridal' images, many of which have become iconic, eg the burning bride image. Despite running his own business and juggling family life, Mark, along with his administration team, has created a huge buzz around Trash the Dress. In less than one year from the launch of the website, the statistics had hit over 1,000,000, with almost 4,000 hits daily. The site currently boasts a massive following ranging from brides, vendors and photographers and it has been featured in the media worldwide, and especially throughout America, for example in the New York Times, on Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight, as well as a host of worldwide bridal and digital photo magazines.
Needless to say the publicity has been both positive and negative.
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