Trash the Dress Director's Cut (commentary added)

Ok, I promised a behind the scenes story of Lindsey's TTD session last week. Welp, here it is. First of all, this was all her idea (other than the location at Moss Park, which I suggested), from the original "I want to trash a dress" to getting her fiance Branden to bring the boat. I was along for the ride, figuratively and literally. Actually, truth be told, it was a total collaboration between myself, Lindsey and Branden (and the animals of Moss Park).

It started out as one of those Florida days, mostly cloudy with an extreme chance of rain, especially when you really want to be outside doing something. With the shoot scheduled for around 6:00, and Lindsey starting hair and makeup at 3:00-ish, we did a check-in call slightly before 3:00. I was sure Lindsey would want to call it off since there was red and green all over the radar but she said rain or shine, she wanted to give it a go. So I packed some rain gear (ok, some Publix bags and gaffer's tape if you must know) and headed out to Moss Park. On the way I saw a lost looking guy pulling a boat and knew I had found "B". I got him to follow me, with Lindsey right behind and we got to the park to find overcast skies but no rain. So far, so good!

After Lindsey got into her "stunt" dress she bought just for our occasion (it's really hard to do a shoot like this in the actual dress before the wedding you know), we started light, shooting a few safe-ish shots to get warmed up. We didn't want to trash the dress TOO soon.

While shooting these shots, we saw (and felt) many an animal.

After that, we felt the sprinkles of rain and after clearing it with Captain "B", who said it was still ok to go out on the water, we jumped into the boat. Oh, and did I mention that by this time I was already complaining a LOT about the bugs eating me? I think that made Lindsey smile as much as anything. Anyway, the idea of going out on the boat was to get to a place that not many other people, especially wedding dress wearing, expensive camera gear toting people had gone. That was harder than we expected to do since every piece of solid ground we thought would be cool to shoot on turned out to be squishy, mostly water marsh land. That didn't daunt our fearless Captain "B" who guided us gently  (er... really he ran us aground but who's counting) into some decent looking marsh in the middle of the lake and proceeded to jump out of the boat, gallantly testing the "ground" before we threw, er, encouraged Lindsey to jump in :) Since he only went thigh deep in muck, we figured it would be perfectly fine to have Lindsey go in next :) :) :) To be fair, I did follow her in, if only to prove I would. She was brave as can be and after a bit of a misstep, she managed to get out away from the boat and pose for a few shots before literally sinking through what must have been a thin layer of muck and weeds into the water below.

We rescued her and it was only then that the animals attacked. Well, ok, the animals were fire ants but it still really sucked, especially for Lindsey. Hey, you try having fire ants in your wedding dress! Thankfully "B" and I were unharmed and fully able to help rid Lindsey of the creatures before proceeding to our last location, which was to be somewhere close to shore where Lindsey could get submerged in the water. We decided on the boat ramp since it seemed to be solid and free from critters... er... more on that later.

We (by that I mean Lindsey and "B") loaded up the boat and then it was Lindsey's turn to get in the water. This was sure to be the prime shots of the day. She let her hair down, "B" helped me get my lights into position, flowers were scattered in the water to give a more "wedding" feel to the brackish water and we were off and shooting!

Everything was going fantastic. We kept getting deeper and deeper, the shots kept getting better and better, eventually getting to the point where Lindsey could do the floating shots she really wanted to do. I was psyched to do them too. Aparently so was someone else...

It was at that point that the last animal of the day showed up.

Ok, so he doesn't look all that fearsome. Ok, so you may not even see what I'm talking about. Look carefully at the middle left and you'll see our friend the fearless baby alligator. This little guy decided that a floating Lindsey looked tasty and started swimming toward us. We started swimming the other way. He swam faster, stopping to eat a flower and then swam closer to shore. We tried everything to get him to go (yelling, pretend food being tossed behind him, sticks, splashing, you name it) since Lindsey had her heart set on doing a shot of her and "B" jumping off the dock. Eventually, after much coaxing, he went under the dock, still keeping an eye on us but far enough away for crazy people in wedding dresses and dress shirts/pants to jump into the water and get out before getting nibbled on. Before you ask, yes, we checked for mommy gator. She didn't show up until about 2 minutes later. Um... yea. Lindsey and Branden win the "huge things of steel" award for their litteral leap of faith. What we do for love, eh :)

Oh, and one last bit of drama, as if the gator wrestling wasn't enough... Before taking the flying leap into gator infested muck water, "B" asked Lindsey if the water was deep where they were going to land. She said yes... She was wrong. Ouch. Knees and feet tops don't necessarily get along well with boat ramp. You see that look of gleeful excitement on "B"s face? Let's just say that it took a masterful bit of acting for him to keep smiling after crash landing on the bottom of a concrete boat ramp on his knees, but smile he did. If that didn't impress Lindsey, I don't know what will :)

All-in-all, we had a blast. Now the FULL quote from Lindsey that wasn't in the original post...

"Robert!  These are awesome...better then I even imagined.  I can't thank you enough for taking this one with us!  I notice that all the "painful" shots  are there except when you got attacked by some creature on the trail, ha!  I woke up itching this morning and B had to wear loose shoes when he left for work but other than that I think we will all survive."