Don’t Hang That Dress From a Tree

So this may come as a shock, but I’m just gonna go ahead and say it… A wedding dress looks better on a bride than hanging from a tree. Whew! I’m glad to get that out. Now I know that may ruffle some feathers, but it’s the truth.

Now I’m as guilty as anyone here. We’ve all done it. Most wedding photographers at some point have taken the dress and gone out to photograph it hanging from a tree, the side of a barn, a chandelier, or some other dramatic picturesque scene. The thing is I’m not even sure why.

I’ve never had a bride specifically ask for her dress to be photographed that way. It’s just one of those things that we as photographers started doing. Heck, most of the time the dress doesn’t even look that great on the hanger. So we’re actually taking time away that we could be using to document human moments, just to set up an unrealistic photo of the dress.

Over the past couple of years we’ve all but eliminated the grand dress hanging from a palm tree photo and just stuck to documenting it in the room. We always get the dress by itself, but my favorite way to photograph it is with the bride in the photo as well. Either the dress in the background as hair and makeup is finished or the bride holding it just before getting dressed.

It’s a small difference, but it cuts down on the chances that the dress will get dirty or seen. It also allows me to spend more time focusing on the bride and her ladies as they get ready.

I love details. They’re an important part of the story, but for me it’s the real life human moments that I love to capture.