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Trash the dress Underwater

Why you should trash your dress in a cenote

Last Sunday was World Environment Day. To celebrate our environment, we looked back to some of the amazing photoshoots we have held in our treasured cenotes (natural fresh water sinkholes). One stood out in particular, and that was one of a ‘Trash the Dress’. 

The images were ethereal and spectacular, and have made us fall in love with the this wedding photography trend all over again. We can’t wait to create more astounding photo albums in the many cenotes around the Yucatan Peninsula, gifted to us by our Environment.

What Is Trash the Dress?

Clemence and Damian in a session trash the dress in a cenote

A ‘Trash the Dress’ photoshoot is one where the bride, essentially, ‘trashes’ her dress by getting it wet, sandy or even by dirtying it a little. The photos are taken in the most stunning of locations. A beach would be the usual setting for a Trash the Dress photoshoot, but cenotes and lakes are also commonly used. The most daring couples opt in for underwater shoots resulting in extraordinary memories of their bond. This trend can appear to be a stand against tradition, instead of only wearing it once for it to be locked away in a closet forever.

How Did the Movement Start?

Clemence and Damian in a session trash the dress in a cenote

The movement was started in 2001, by a photographer named John Michael Cooper from Las Vegas. He found himself to be consistently ‘restrained from his art’, due to the limitations of traditional wedding photography.

Frustrated by the inability of brides to walk along grass or dirt, in fear of their dresses being ruined, he sought out models and clients who were ‘willing to put art first, even if that means that their dress might get dirty’.

His belief is that a non-traditional ‘Trash the Dress’ photo album speaks more to the personality of the bride or couple, and that the resulting photos can be considered to be true art pieces. For John Michael Cooper, the photoshoots are not about the dress, but they represent true freedom of expression.

In many of his photoshoots, his freedom in artistic direction is transferred incredibly to the couples or brides in the photoshoots. Liberated by not having to conform to traditional wedding photography, the photos are often wildly expressive.

Why We Love Trash the Dress

Romantic photo of a couple inside the cenote

We are huge fans of ‘Trash the Dress’ photoshoots. We love that the whole session can feel like a fun, rebellious act of freedom and we love seeing our clients’ reactions to being taken out of their comfort zone slightly.

We also believe that Trash the Dress is a fascinating combination of Luxury and Art, intertwining glamourous bridal imagery with real artistic expression. DreamArt Photography is a team of artists and so a Trash the Dress session provides the perfect scenario to manifest our passions.

A Trash the Dress photoshoot can happen at any time. It does not have to be straight after the wedding by any means. For this reason, we love that it makes for a great reason to don the painstakingly chosen wedding dress once again, especially in a light-hearted environment with no pressure.

Why a Cenote?

Beauty bride portrait in the jungle

Cenotes are the mystical natural sinkholes that dot the Yucatan Peninsula. We believe that they are the perfect places for Trash the Dress photoshoots. The scenery and water quality are guaranteed: the water is always sparkly clear so perfect underwater visibility is a given. Some cenotes also go quite deep, so the full couple would be able to be in the frame underwater, creating potential for truly impactful photos.

Even if the couple prefer not to go underwater during the photoshoot, the jungle and strong-shaped rocks add dramatic backgrounds to the photos. A photo of a lone bride standing in front of an overgrowing jungle would create an exceptional image, with a clear contrast between nature and fashion, that invites us to learn more about her.

Beauty bride in a cave next to  the cenote

Holding a Trash the Dress photoshoot in a cenote also fixes one large problem: trashing the dress. While these photo sessions may ruin the dress, this is not usually the case of cenote photoshoots. If anything, the cleansing cenote water may end up leaving the dress in a better condition than before the session!

Why You Should Choose DreamArt

 woman floating in the cenote with the leg outside

We believe that we, DreamArt Photography, are the perfect candidates for a once-in-a-lifetime ‘Trash the Dress’ photoshoot. Thanks to our in-depth knowledge of the Riviera Maya, we are able to locate and hold sessions in many private cenotes where we might have the whole cenote to ourselves.

We have a huge fascination with the water, especially the healing water of Yucatan’s ancient cenotes, and love taking photos below the surface. These kinds of photographs always end up being some of the most memorable shots.

Our photographer Josefina ready to takin a underwater session

On top of this, DreamArt’s core value, the ‘Art of Emotion’ means that we will always put the customer experience first, as this not only enriches the session for the customers, but allows genuine emotion to shine through in the photos. This is perfect for an expressive ‘Trash the Dress’ photoshoot, as it should be one of laughter and joy.


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