At the risk of getting herself badly burned before her wedding day, a bride-to-be in China posed during her wedding photo shoot while her wedding dress was set on fire.
Taking a cue from a trend set by wedding photographer John Michael Cooper in 2001, a Chinese photographer identified only as Mr. Cheng set fire to a woman’s wedding dress in Fujian Province, Daily Mail reports.
The stylish but risky photoshoot, dubbed by Cooper as “Trash the Dress”, involves the actual destruction of wedding dresses in the name of art. The idea is to let the train of the gown to burn up and create an artistic effect while photos are taken. The trend eventually caught on with many photographers doing their own take on #trashthedress.
Chen’s photos and the shoot’s behind-the-scenes footage were posted online on May 16 and became widely shared on Chinese social media. Many netizens, however, did not find the stunt safe at all, with many expressing their concerns on the safety of the bride.
In the clip posted by People’s Daily, the photographer’s assistant can be seen lighting up the dress on fire while the woman stood near a lake in Fuzhou. Zheng then uses his camera to capture the moment the gown gets engulfed in flames. The video appears to show the fire reaching the woman’s back.
The photographer, however, stated in an interview with Pear that they were ready to put out the fire at any time with a fire extinguisher on hand.
“We did research beforehand, from the choice of oil, wedding dress testing and the time required to put out the fire, to ensure that everything was under control,” he was quoted as saying.
In the interview, Zheng also said his client thought that taking inspiration from Cooper’s style was “a cool idea” so she agreed to try it.
“The photoshoot follows a theme of classical elements. These beautiful photos are not being photo-shopped as it’s important to enjoy the process in the making.”
While the woman seemed to be left unscathed after the shoot, many netizens found the photoshoot style unnecessarily dangerous.
“Who thinks the photos are pretty?” a netizen remarked.
“Such an ignorant woman who is putting her life at risk,” another one said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Firefighter Department, which was notified of the now viral photo, posted a warning on their Weibo account, informing the public that wedding dress materials are highly flammable and any delay in putting out the fire may lead to serious harm.