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Feature Image by: Jenna Young

The Dress

5th July 2017

What happens when you send one wedding dress, to four photographers, across two countries, with an open brief to create one shot?

We sent four wedding photographers the same Daisy Brides wedding dress and gave them the complete freedom to bring to life their creative vision in one shot.

With an open brief, and the dress in hand, they each had the challenge to create a single image using the dress. The images were then unveiled at an event in Wellington NZ, during NZIPP InFocus conference 2017

All four photographers hadn’t seen each other’s image until the big reveal, here was their experience:

Danelle Bohane

Danelle is a wedding photographer based in Auckland. She is one of New Zealand’s best known wedding photographers and consistently produces beautiful world class images.

Taking inspiration from artists such as Julia Hetta, Irving Penn, she wanted to create an image that was quite different from how she would photograph a real bride.

Danelle found the process of working with a model who knows how to move and is confident in front of the camera a collaborative process which worked well with her time constraints.

What was your biggest challenge?

Time limitations, winter only allows for very short sunset to capture just the right amount of light, however being a wedding photographer I am quite used to working with time constraints. 

I also wanted to challenge myself to shoot an image that’s a contrast to how I would usually shoot.

What is one thing you enjoyed?

Having time to plan, usually with weddings I am working to a reactive process, rather than thinking of something that is a concept first. 

Dan o day
Dan O’Day is a Wedding Photographer based in Canberra Australia, with a history in fine art & painting. Here is what he had to say about the experience.
This was probably the first time in a long time, that someone came to me and said “hey dude, here’s a little thing, a little piece of information. Can you just go and create something and send us a file?" It was nice to have free reign again. 
There were no rules, I’m so used to delivering to a client, magazine, competition, and they all have constraints, So, when Canon said, just do your own thing and we’ll be happy, I was like, thanks guys!

I wanted to create something that I would display in a gallery, because I haven’t done that in a couple of years. I shot some of my old paintings, and used that as a texture over the image, combining the two.

I’m in the middle of a sabbatical, I’ve almost had 10 years of wedding photography, so thought I would give myself 4 ½ months off this year. Then Canon got in touch. In the lead up to this, I was a bit dirty at myself for taking it on, I said yes to something again... When we started shooting it, I was thinking, gotta get this done, we’re short on time. I surprised myself when I started exploring the files and shooting my paintings and textures, I got this injection of creative adrenaline again, it was something I’d been missing for so long. This challenge was a godsend, it forced me into post production, and shooting completely differently.

When I finished the image, I walked away with so many ideas, and thought I’m going to shoot so many things. I was seriously inspired, it got me hungry to shoot more personal stuff.

It shows you when you’re forced to break away from what you do day to day, you have to remember why you started taking photos. When you do it as a business, you often forget about that amazing feeling of when you first worked out how to take a macro shot of that flower.
Jenna Young

Jenna Young is a portrait artist based in Christchurch who has a love for the colour green along with tree tunnels, and whilst driving is always on the lookout for the for the perfect driveway lined with trees.

What was your inspiration for the shoot?

Even before I had seen the dress I knew what I wanted to do. I had so many ideas, it was difficult to narrow it down to just one.

On the day of the shoot we had fantails flying around, diving in and out of the shot, so I decided they should be part of my image. I went to a location before the day the image was due, and tried to photograph some fantails, they’re much harder to photograph than you think!

What was your biggest challenge?

The hardest thing, was keeping it a secret! I really didn’t realise how much I’m inspired by other people, it was tough not being able to bounce ideas off people.

This challenge allowed me to create anything, it’s not a normal scenario, so I wanted someone to check in with, bounce ideas off, to make sure they were actually good ideas.
It came at a really good time, the challenge taught me it’s so easy to forget about doing things for yourself. The concept seemed really big at the time, but it actually wasn’t. I am always adding things in front of my subject, so I thought this was the opportunity to do something a bit more innovative, and for me to create something different to shoot through. It’s something I've wanted to for a long time, and it really only took me an hour and a half to make the circle with leaves (we named the circle a front drop).

Candy Capco
Candy is a Wedding Photographer based in Wellington, with a love of all things fashion.
As a wedding photographer, my season had just finished, I hadn’t had time to do anything but shoot and edit, so this was a really refreshing experience for me.
What was your favourite part of this experience?
Having the freedom to be able to play and choose the location. As soon as I saw this rock, I knew this was the image.
With weddings you are often limited on locations as you have to stay close to the venue.

When I saw a photo of the dress with the beautiful lace, I knew I wanted to choose somewhere that was in contrast, something darker. I knew exactly what I wanted to shoot, at what time and what location, this challenge made it possible.

Where did you draw your inspiration from?
I'm inspired by fashion and it plays a big part in my images as I am a bit of a girly girl. When briefing the makeup artist, i knew what I wanted, dark lips as it would contrast well with with the lace dress and the rockface.

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