Friday, September 28, 2007

Meeghan's Trash the Dress Session, Crissy Field, San Francisco

Right after Meeghan and Colin returned from their warm, lovely honeymoon up and down the Baja peninsula, Meeghan was kind enough to model for me in a "Trash the Dress" photo shoot on the freezing SF Bay!

Isn't she gorgeous?!

Meeghan, Colin, and Meeghan's sister Caitlin all live in a rad apartment in the North Beach area of SF - hey, I bet you guys could be a hilarious, wacky sitcom, no? Anyway, we first had some fun playing in rush hour traffic in their neighborhood:

Then drove in horrible traffic down to Crissy Field in the Marina, at the mouth of the SF Bay. Not only was it one of the absolute windiest days I've ever seen, but there were hundreds of runners going in a circle around the field itself... we have no idea why. Luckily, they weren't interfering with us on the beach, and luckily for me, Meeghan was a total champ and trooper as far as getting into the shoot. I could barely feel my fingers and face after a few minutes, and I was fully clothed with a jacket! Meeghan didn't mind getting down on the sand, and even a bit in the bay! This isn't like Southern California (much less Baja!)... the water is not only very cold, but dangerous, so I wasn't going to push Meeghan to get in if she wasn't comfortable, and she was totally brave and amazing! Thank you!!!

Here's when I asked Meeghan to give me her best "innocent" look - like, "oh, who, little old Victorian me??". I love it!

I had a lot of fun playing with some of these shots digitally - you can see where I've messed with the contrast, saturation, converted to black and white, etc; you can't see where I've occasionally taken out a kiteboarder or kayaker. I love how glowy the sunset makes everything, and how the GG Bridge is just about washed out, but not quite. I love San Francisco!

Edited: Slideshow has been removed, 10/16/2008.

Okay, so I know I have a lot of quiet readers on here, cause you guys email me and tell me in person that you've been keeping up with the blog. Here's where I need your help! I am wondering if this type of shoot has a place in my packages - I loved doing it (although that could be partly because Meeghan and Caitlin are such fun sweethearts), and would definitely do it upon request. Your feedback can help me decide if there's a demand for this kind of thing in my world.

So here is your quiz - I'd love as much response as I can get on here.
Does this kind of photo shoot float your boat?
Meeghan felt a little nervous beforehand but totally worked it and (with Tyra in mind) let me gently coax her into having photos taken of her looking fabulous. Most of us have boring yearbook photos taken throughout school, but then rarely make a point of having portraits done later in life.
Many of my clients are untraditional, but I know they have lots of "bridal sessions" in the South and Midwest - would this interest you?
Also, do you like the use of digital actions and post processing? Or do you prefer a more natural look? For example, how does the difference here strike you?:

I've been operating on the theory of "all things in moderation", and working with just a few favorite shots from each wedding in black and white and high contrast / low saturation, etc. Is that something you'd like to see more of in all of my work?

-Where would you "trash" the dress? I was thinking of the top of Mount Tam (rolling around on the dry grasses), walking around SF (or even on the bus), outside the De Young, stomping grapes (! who wants to do this with me?!), or taking a dip in a pool or in the Tomales lagoon. I also love the idea of going to Stinson Beach, maybe digging sand castles... What comes to mind for you?

And, finally,
-What would entice YOU to get into the freezing SF Bay?! Money, fame, hot chocolate... or a really nice photographer asking please?

Luckily, both Meeghan and myself used to be lifeguards!

P.S. This mirror lives in Meeghan's apartment, and apparently is cracked and distorts just enough to make women who come over look at themselves in despair... so here's their correction for it. I love it!

The lovely bride getting ready to face the elements - pink flip flops, a wedding gown, and a down jacket. Sounds like San Francisco to me!


Richard Lee said...

I think this response is as long as the blog post...

I've only seen this set, but i think that i'd find the set more interesting if tried to push the envelope of dress destruction. bviously, you are limited by what your subject is willing to tolerate, but consider the characteristics of wedding photography. The style and subject matter are timeless and focuses on dreamy perfection.

The shots in this set fall, not neatly, but within the "fair hit" line of that theme.

I say turn it on its head and concentrate on very time-period, very non-dreamy mud-between-the-toes reality. People looking at the photos 50 years from now would need to be told that green slime was from 80s show called "You can't do that on television" on Nikelodeon. Make the tone more juvenile and colorful. One thing about weddings... colors are very deliberate. Do the opposite. Have the bride go crazy with some finger paint. Ask the bride what the messiest thing she liked doing as a little girl... and ask her to do that in her wedding dress.

As far as photo shoots in general... I think that the most interesting ones happen spontaneously. If you think of a photo shoot like a conversation, you have some standard ice-breaker poses, but then the rest sort of just evolves.. I guess this isn't a more concrete, helpful answer... but i think that the personality in the picture is the difference between a portrait and a still life.

Finally... well, you know that I'm a fan of little/no post production. Yeah, sometimes you have to monkey with the contrast and saturation a little bit... but unless you're purposely going for a photo manipulation feel, leave it alone.

mmnpr said...

I like it!
How about my almost~70~year~old, much used, shrinking, stains, tears and all wedding dress,
worth all of $15 on Ebay...

I can picture it now.