How much we’re ready to set the limits for a perfect shot is a topic worth discussing. Some people would risk more, some less, and it’s all perfectly okay. But sometimes, there are photo shoot ideas that just seem so wrong that I can’t find the excuse for the person who thought of them. This photographer who set the bridal dress on fire with the bride wearing it is definitely one of such cases.
It was just five days before the wedding when Shelby Swink’s fiancé decided to call it off and crush her plans and dreams.
“The next couple days were a blur of calling guests, canceling services, and figuring out our living arrangements“, say Swink, but that did not prevent the 23 year old from Memphis from making lemonade out of the lemons she was given.
Photographer Elizabeth Hoard suggested that they have a trash the dress shoot on the scheduled wedding day, and as the other options were to sit alone at home or have a pity party, Swink agreed to go along with the idea.
With the support of her friends and family, who trashed their outfits as well, Swink and Hoard went ahead with the new plan. But what was not planned was the enormous hype this photo shoot generated.
I saw this photo on Tal Zigdon‘s facebook page and at first I was wondering if it was an April 1st photo. The first thing I was looking for when seeing this shot was the fire squad and a bunch of support crew. Titled trash the dress, the context seemed obvious, but I wanted to know more.
Not really understanding what I was seeing, I contacted Tal and asked him about the photo. Tal told me that he has worked on the concept for months and had many, many tests before bringing a live person to the shoot. On the shoot day there were 2 pre-tested fire extinguishers and two ready-to-jump assistants (Daniel & Shiran Zigdon), and the location was near the sea and there was lots of sand.
Of course not every couple will be willing to assume the risk, and there were a lot of ‘dry rehearsals’ done before the first match was lit.
Still, from my point of view, the bride being an untrained stunt lady, there is so much that could have gone wrong, and even for the epic shot that this stunt produced, I still think it is not worth risking your skin or your life. As the bride / groom / photographer, how would you tackle the situation?