Rock the dress

During booking sessions with my couples, particularly when they are local, I frequently get asked about the value of a rock the dress session.

What is it?

In essence it’s a care-free, post-wedding, artistic portraits session. Historically we’ve been calling it a Trash the Dress session. Typically wedding dresses were wet, painted, muddied and even set on fire, all in the name of creating bold and innovative photography. As amazing as the results can be though, not every bride is willing to destroy their dress. So with that in mind, many photographers (myself included) these days prefer to talk about rock the dress sessions. They’re still about the dress and having fun, however they tend to be a little lighter on the torturing of the dress.

Why do it?

At the time of writing this I have plenty of time in my packages to include a portrait session of the couple on the day of the wedding, so why should you have a rock the dress session?

It’s actually pretty simple.

Grooms are generally more relaxed about these things but for the bride-to-be it’s usually a different story. As a bride-to-be just think about the timing of the couple’s session on the day of the wedding:

  1. you got up early to have your hair and make up done;
  2. you’ve hardly had anything to eat all day;
  3. you’re likely worrying about how the reception’s decoration turned out;
  4. you’re worrying that you have 200+ guests waiting for you at the reception;
  5. and chances are, your feet are killing you!

Of course you want artistic couple’s portraits on the day of the wedding and you’re surely going to have some gorgeous photos as a result of that session, however by that stage, as a bride you’re already pretty emotionally and physically exhausted.

Now imagine if you had all the time in the world (so to speak) to the session; Imagine being able to choose practically any time and place you like for it; Just imagine that all you have to worry about is having fun and being yourself.

That’s as simple as it is really. Essentially the point is for you to have fun. For you to have fun, show off your dress and get some awesome photos!

What should you expect?

When you decide to go for a rock the dress session, you should definitely expect to have the time of your life. You’ll have an awesome time and you’ll have amazing photos as result! Photos that convey they real you, for yourself and for generations to come! So is it worth doing? Definitely!

Mother of the Bride helping Bride with dress

Mother of the Bride

Being the mother of the bride is definitely one of the most important roles in a wedding. The mother of the bride will not only be providing the all-important support, but also be helping with the decision-making process by bringing valuable knowledge and experience to the table.

Every wedding will be unique, but over the next few paragraphs let me take you over a few of the aspects where the mother of the bride can make all the difference!



Who better than the mother of the bride to bring up the religious or cultural traditions to bring into your ceremony? How many “back in the day” stories might actually bring valuable ideas for your special day?



Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that Bridesmaids aren’t important when it comes to the decision-making process. Just think about it though… Times do change but in all likely-hood, the mother of the bride will have gone through the same challenges at some point.

She’ll know what to look out for in vendors and she’ll anticipate issues before they arise.

Also she’ll be great to bounce ideas off of. The dress, the decoration, the invitations, the catering, the venue, the groom… no, just kidding about the groom, but they can definitely help trim the guest-list! The point is you should always expect honest feedback from the mother of the bride.

Not to mention that when the need arises, the mother of the bride can be the perfect tiebreaker!


Keeping order

Speaking of tiebreakers, there will be occasions where a tiny bit of interference is required. I’m talking about disagreements. I’m talking about not letting things get out of hand and saying what has to be said.

It’s certainly true that most disagreements do resolve themselves but the self-sacrificing mother of the bride will usually be the one willing to have those awkward and difficult conversations should the need arise.


Point of Contact

For my weddings I know that I always request that there be someone designated to help with coordinating but so will other vendors. Wedding planners, florists, caterers, the venue will often have questions throughout the day and require a second point of contact.


The hostess

Naturally every wedding is different, but often the mother of the bride is the official hostess seeing to the guests. She’ll be the one greeting and making sure everything’s alright.


Dressing the Bride

Most of the points above will be completely invisible when it comes to the photos of the big day. This one however is the big exception. It’s such a special moment watching the mother of the bride helping her daughter into the dress and placing the veil.

I often see brides considering whether or not whether they should have the wedding preparation captured. The idea is to free up budget for the honeymoon, however is it not priceless to have these moments documented? These moments are all-important in telling the story of the day.

Exchanging rings

Exchanging Rings

If there was ever an all-important photo moment in a wedding, where the nervousness tends to kick in, it would have to be the ring exchange.

It’s a beautiful and emotionally-charged moment that all brides want in their photobook. The emotion and nervousness is perfectly normal. Exchanging rings is definitely one of the most important moments of the ceremony and more often than not it’ll also be the first time the bride and groom are exchanging rings. Because of this – and yes, this is for the guys! – the following tends to happen:

  1. the ring goes on way too quickly and
  2. often one hand ends up covering the ring altogether

Of course any professional photographer will be anticipating this. We’ll always get the shot of you exchanging rings by moving to the side or getting a higher angle but guys, just relax and be gentle. It’s a moment you should savor and rushing is not allowed! … of course if you remember, it can’t hurt to show off that gorgeous ring to the camera. You know it’s going to end up in your photobook!


Exquisite craftsmanship

Wedding photobooks

Continuing on the topic of wedding photobooks, I find that the details that make all the difference. The images themselves are hugely important however that’s not quite where it ends.

All of our photobooks are made using archival printing processes and only the finest materials. The materials and craftsmanship play a crucial role in the end product.

Each one of my packages includes a unique wedding photobook where my brides may chose from a range of different materials. From the types of paper used, through to the materials and colors used for the photobook’s cover.

Please allow me to share below a video and some photos with you showcasing one of our genuine leather sample photobooks.




Thanks to their layflat design, seamless printing of spreads is possible

Should you get a wedding photobook?

Definitely. You should definitely get a wedding photobook!

All my wedding photography packages include a wedding photobook because of how important it will become both to you and to future generations.

Let’s imagine that you burn all your photos on a DVD. Firstly you’re going to need a device that can read that DVD at hand whenever you want to view your photos. Also, depending on your handling of the DVD and the quality of the physical DVD itself, you may return it many years down the track (maybe it’s your daughter’s) to find that:

  1. the disk may have become corrupted – losing some or all of your data – or,
  2. you may no longer own a device capable of reading the media or even file formats.

Relying on digital media to store your memories over the long term is risky business…

“But what about printed photos? These too can get damaged and their colors fade!”, you say. Well, you’re absolutely right however most professional print services do provide “archival prints”. These prints are museum quality prints made using special inks and papers designed to resist fading and rated to last over 100 years without fading.

… but what if instead of printing half a dozen of your favorite photos, you had a gorgeous genuine leather, archival-quality wedding photobook (if you’re not crazy about leather, other materials are available depending on your package)? What if your photobook was one-of-a-kind? A timeless heirloom made from only the finest materials…

You see, as much as we love and embrace technology, in the end of the day we’re still tactile creatures. Humans like to touch and feel things because I guess it’s in our DNA. Just imagine how your grandchildren – and their children – , will feel as they flip through your heirloom photobook for the first time to watch your wedding-story unfold…