Our session Trash the Dress in the Atacama Desert has been an adventure since we start thinking about it. We must confess that we find it incredible and you can’t miss it. As this journey is as much ours as yours, now it’s the time for us to share all the adventures.
So, imagine how is to plan a photographic session in the highest, and driest desert, totally unknown, without even knowing someone who knew the place and without a professional photographer! When we first made this decision, we knew it was a risk. For several different reasons. Because of our adventurous suits, as we like to call them, are not the most appropriate clothing to know a desert; because it’s different to have someone giving us indications about the best places to shoot or the best photographic composition from being us having to idealize, to plan, and to execute everything. However, the higher the challenge, the better the result.
As far as I was concerned, it was not even worth trying to go with heels and I’ve changed my princess shoes for a New Balance snickers, so I could live up to what was coming. André didn’t have many alternatives, he took the complete look. We dressed in the tent where we were staying, at the Atacama Loft, and that's where we started our adventure number 536697465.
We organized our photographic material and went out there, dressed as bride and groom, with a backpack with the tripod (our best friend on this trip), camera and camera lenses. We ended up realizing that we would have to have someone who knew the desert very well and at least lead us to the sites we had already selected. That was the moment we asked the owner of the Loft where we were staying to enter this adventure.
We were at the end of a spring afternoon in the middle of the desert and it was time to start. Everything seemed so incredible. The colors change every half hour, the clear blue sky gives place to orange tones that enhance the colors of the landscape. We wanted to capture everything.
As soon as we stop at the first shooting location, we idealized the perfect picture but then realized that we had to climb some rocks. It was there, at that exact moment, that the challenge started to have a more adventurous outline. I positioned myself in the right place and as soon as André put the timer in the camera and began to run, in the silence of the desert, we only heard echoing the following sound: "traaaaa"… André's trousers, that were not training pants, but his Groom's clothing, ripped from side to another in the zip zone.
We can’t say that we didn’t get a little worried, it was just the first photo and we knew what was ahead of us, but we have our own theory: do not make drama! In that late afternoon, we added another goal to our list: not to show anything more than was supposed in the pictures.
We went through some of the planned sites and, when the moon began to appear on the horizon, we arrived at the Moon Valley and got delighted by the incredible landscapes, which are considered as the most similar to the soil on Mars. At this point, walking was difficult, the wind was strong and pushed us in the opposite direction to where we wanted to go. With so much fabric to grab from my dress, it wasn’t easy.
The next day we figure a strategy for André's pants. We decided to use a few pins to try to fix, at least for the moment, the issue. Between so many races, climbs and steep descents, pins would obviously open. And they did. The pins opened when André was going to sit next to me in one of the photos we planned. While he was telling me how much was suffering, and trying to untangle himself, I couldn’t hold the desire to laugh about it. As the tripod was already set and shooting, it captured the moment and the result is one of our favorite pictures.
In this day, we went to the Geysers early in the morning where we felt a tremendous chill. The days in the desert are hot, but the sunrise and the nights… We went for a walk on a hillside of centenary cacti, and we saw a beautiful landscape where donkeys were in grazing. We wanted to stop by, but you can’t imagine walking with the dress without getting stuck in all plants, I even had to ask a little help.
The desert has so many strands to be explored, and we loved every part of it. Throughout the session, André must have run quite a few kilometers, normally I would position myself, sometimes at a considerable distance from him, and he had 9 or 20 seconds to get to me.
With the time, of course, it got harder and tiring for us. I lost my helper and I had to walk in my beautiful and huge dress, with an unmeasurable quantity of fabric, in a land where I could bury myself anytime or where rocks would hold me everywhere, without any help. The wind was very strong, and I had the task of saving my dress as much as possible. Sometimes, I bet that people could only see my head, like a cauliflower or a popcorn. My partner and assistant was also our marathonist photographer, equipped with an alternative version of a groom suit (yes, he did have a rip in his trousers from his belly to his back).
For a day and a half, these were our conditioning factors and the decisive points that led us to a genuine, authentic, and very personal session, in which we perfectly print our perspective of that incredible place.
honeymooners, Atacama Desert, 11/2017
PS: Have you seen our interview with the most popular TV channel in Chile? Don’t miss it and see everything in this link: MUCHO GUSTO HONEYMOONERS !!