What happens if a bunch of photographers capture the same dress independently from one another? How different or similar will the images be?
A few years ago I stumbled across a project called The Traveling Dress Collective that asked these exact questions. I loved the idea, but I must admit that at the time I didn’t have a lot of photographer friends yet and didn’t even know where to begin with getting a group together, so I eventually forgot about it. However, when a friend of mine mentioned she would love to do a Travelling Dress Project last summer, I jumped on the occasion.
We vowed to keep these images to ourselves until our whole group was published – but trust me, it wasn’t easy! We were dying to share these with the world. You can now view our official submission with everyone’s individual series of three images on the Traveling Dress Collective’s blog. I may be biased, but I’m absolutely amazed at the variety of photos and so proud to be part of such a creative and talented group of women!
Of course, I took more than three images, so I will be sharing my full collection in a series of blogs. There were sixteen of us in our project group and I was drawn towards the end, so I had plenty of time to plan. By the time the dress arrived in the post, my head was bursting with ideas. As the task was to shoot a series of three, I decided to use the dress for three very different shoots and select one photo from each.
I couldn’t wait to get started, so the day after the dress arrived in Loughborough, I decided to put it on myself and take a few photos with my horse Vanity. These images were taken on top of a hill in the field where Vanity lives. Our horses permanently live in a small herd and can choose to be outside 24/7 or seek shelter in the barn. Although the field is not far from Nottingham, we are surrounded by nature as you can see. Looking back at the photos, I’m actually amazed how many leaves were still on the trees as this was in the first week of December!
My mare is still young and I knew I would struggle to set up the camera on a tripod, set the focus and get her to stand still the whole time, so I’m very grateful that my boyfriend – and ever so willing photography pupil – agreed to focus and press the shutter. I think Vanity found the whole endeavour rather curious as I had him pose with her, while I decided the position from where he should shoot, the settings and the rough framing, and then we’d swap places. She was ever so patient though and not fazed by the huge rainbow umbrella that I had brought as a prop.
If you are interested how the dress continued its journey, have a look at Part 2: Breastfeeding Portraits and Part 3: Fine Art Equine Portraits with Charley and Sparks.