On today’s Image of the Day, I’m taking a look at the one thing which the bride probably spends more time thinking about than anything else on the run up to her wedding day – apart from the groom, that is! Yes, it’s the wedding dress. Not only is every bride likely to spend a lot of time and effort choosing the perfect wedding dress, she’ll be thinking about being photographed in it… and often, also thinking about how it will be photographed by itself on the morning of the wedding, before she steps into it.

We’ve probably all seen lovely images of wedding dresses hung on trees, or suspended from four poster bed rails… that kind of thing. However, on the morning of a wedding, it’s not always practical to set up shots like that – particularly if you don’t happen to have a four poster bed to hang your dress from, and let’s face it, most of us don’t!

At this beautiful wedding day in Dorset, the guests were gathering outside the bride’s family house as she got ready, in preparation for the ceremony which was going to take place in the woodland on the grounds of the home. In instances like this, taking the dress outside for the ubiquitous ‘tree shot’ would have been impossible, due to the amount of people already in situ.

To tell the truth, though, the bride hadn’t asked for a setup shot of her dress hanging off a tree or anywhere else, for that matter. As a documentary wedding photographer, that’s not what I do. It’s all about photographing beautiful moments as they unfold, not engineering moments to suit my own will. Added to that, the idea of tramping around outside with a client’s precious dress and running the risk of getting it dirty or even worse fills me with horror! There’s enough emotion and stress for a bridal party on a wedding morning without me adding to it. No, I prefer to take lovely shots which are also real and natural, whilst ensuring I don’t interfere with the running of the day in any way.

This gorgeous wedding dress was hanging in a quiet room away from the hubbub of where the bridal party were having their hair and makeup done, so I crept away to photograph it as I found it. The wardrobe it hung in happened to have an interior light which beautifully illuminated the dress, so photographing it where I found it was always going to be the ideal choice.

Not only that…. when the bride looks at this photograph, she’ll see not just the dress she wore on her wedding day, but the exact spot where she put it on for the final time before coming a wife, a spot which will absolutely hold truly special memories for her. Now THAT’S special.