Rock the dress: having a photo shoot after the wedding

A photo shoot after the wedding opens a whole new world of options ­- and locations – that you'd never dare try in your gown before the big day.Splashing in waves, leaping off docks and scaling rocks are not your usual wedding photo scenes. Due to time constraints and the danger of ripping, staining or otherwise damaging the gown, wedding day photography can be somewhat limited.You may have heard the term "trash the dress," a trend where brides spend a photo session painting, ripping, igniting or just generally wrecking the gown for pure destruction's sake.Some photographers, though, have moved beyond the trash-the-dress phenomenon into something a little more tame and much more meaningful. Some call it "rock the dress," some simply call it what it is – a day-after bridal session."What appeals to most people is that you've spent all this money and time on a wedding, and you have about 15 minutes with the photographer," says Nashua-based photographer Kevin Jacobus. "This way you have much more time to spend with a photographer without the tight schedule and the stress."In trash-the-dress sessions, adds Jacobus, the focus is on the dress and the shock value. With day-after shoots the focus is on the couple having fun and interacting with one another – if the dress is harmed during the shoot that's just a part of the photo, not the main point.Photographer Stephanie Wales, who's based in Amherst, agrees. "I don't want to rub mud on a dress or walk through a swamp just to say I did," says Wales, who offers sessions she's named BrideScapes.For Wales, it's about finding beautiful locations that mean something to the bride and groom, and taking professional, artistic photos that will create lasting memories for the couple.Normally, says Wales, nothing happens to the gown that a good professional cleaning can't remedy. Like many photographers who offer these types of sessions, Wales has dresses on standby that she'll loan to the bride. The majority, she adds, use their own gown.For New Hampshire photographer (and climber, hiker, skier and former mountain/climbing guide) Jay Philbrick, these types of sessions can leave room for a little adventure."Whenever I'm out in the mountains poking around, if I see something good, I keep it in mind," says Philbrick. Like a spot "very inaccessible to climbers" on Cathedral Ledge.Philbrick has now done two Cathedral Ledge shoots – sessions that require hiring a guide, rigging ropes and harnesses and all sorts of feats performed at a dizzying 400 feet above the ground. This, says Philbrick, was a shoot where the bride borrowed one of his dresses. Philbrick's tamer shoots (the ones on solid ground) – like a favorite spot of his, an abandoned logging town in Crawford Notch – offer opportunities for brides to use their own dresses, and many do.Whether you're looking to roam in a field, walk along the beach, leap into the water or dangle off a cliff, day-after wedding shoots offer you a chance to let loose, have fun and capture some truly unique moments worth cherishing for years to come.Meet our photographers:Jay Philbrick philbrickphoto.comKevin Jacobus kevinjacobusphoto.comSerg Mayevsky sergmayphotography.comStephanie Wales stephaniewalesphotography.comAuthentic Eye