Underwater Bride – A Trash the Dress – Images by Jay Mountford Photography

Thrilled to be able to share this Trash the Dress session, and a wonderful collaboration today between two of my twitter friends, Jay Mountford and Michelle Shulman.

I love it when chance conversations via social media evolve into something really fun, and jumping in a swimming pool, in your Wedding Dress certainly counts as pretty zany.

Jay Mountford is a fabulous Birmingham based photographer, but works all throughout the UK.
Specialising in Wedding Photography, she thoroughly believes in capturing memories, knowing that those precious moments rarely make a reappearance. She carefully balances this alongside her portraiture service.

Jay says of her part in the shoot,

“I had been invited down to Worton Park in Oxford as a Photographer for part of a massed multiple styled shoot with 5 other photographers.”

“Upon organising my part of the day, I was told there would be a pool in my area, and happened to mention in conversation that I’d love to do an underwater shoot one day.”

“I love “Trash The Dress” and “Rock the Frock” shoots, and in a shoot just before Christmas 2011 had seen a lady go into the sea in her wedding dress, but only up to her knees (it was so cold!).”

“Soon after, and about 2 weeks before the Oxford shoot, the organiser came and told me that, not only was someone coming along to the shoot who was happy to Trash the Dress, but that we would also be allowed to use the outdoor pool.”

“Cue much frantic running around trying to find the right underwater equipment for my very expensive dSLR camera, and also learn how to focus, shoot and breathe underwater – there was a lot of searching on YouTube and Pinterest at this point!”

“The day came, we did the originally planned styled shoot, and then Shelly got into her dress while I got into my wetsuit, and slowly but surely, we shot the images given as best as we could in the setting sun.”

“We had no additional lighting (time and funds just didn’t allow for it) and was very much playing it all by ear. Needless to say, I’m very happy and am very keen to do another one as soon as possible!”

Cakes by Shelly is a small yet well established cake company based in Eaton Bray, Dunstable. Formed by Michelle Shulman in April 2006, Cakes by Shelly specialises in bespoke couture cakes for all occasions. Her love for baking and sugar craft skills has ensured her place as Bedfordshire’s leading cake designer. Renowned for her designs throughout Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and London (and beyond) she has created cakes for private, corporate and celebrity clients and events including Take That, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Heart FM and the Make a Wish Foundation

Michelle says of her part in the shoot,

“I have wanted to do a trash the dress shoot for a while, and the idea of this style came up whilst at another photo shoot.”

“I was discussing a forthcoming shoot with Sue Page of Ice the Cake when she mentioned that there was a pool at the photo shoot location. I joked about wanting to be the model for the pool shots and I mentioned that I would even be prepared to jump in fully clothed.”

“That was when the cogs starting wiring in my mind and I knew there was only one photographer as mad as me for the job – Jay Mountford! As soon as I mentioned the idea the squeals of excitement could be heard for miles around.”

“Now I feel it only fair to mention that my mouth does have a tendency of getting me into trouble – I say things without thinking so suggesting a shoot involving water whilst having a fear drowning probably wasn’t one of my better moments. However  I am also extremely stubborn so as time went on and plans were made there was no chance of me backing out – especially seeing the trouble Jay had gone to.”

“On the big day, Jay couldn’t have done more to put me at ease and as scared as I was as soon as I saw her toss her (extremely expensive!) camera into the pool I knew I had to do her proud.”

“Under the watchful eye of a gathered audience slowly and tentatively I took my first few steps into the water – in my wedding dress!”

“From that moment on I was in my element. Swimming up and down the pool in my wedding gown like it was an everyday occurrence.  I could have stayed in there for the rest of the day. I couldn’t be more proud of the images Jay achieved that day and I can’t wait to get together with her again to create more madness.”

Thanks to the girls for allowing me to share. It was definetely a brave thing to do and most probably technically difficult for Jay, but what beautiful results.

To Contact Jay Mountford Photography

Phone: 07904 031953

To Contact Cakes By Shelly

Phone: 01525 221 427


UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow


  1. Reply

    So excited to see these pics! Well done to Jay for the awesome shots and to Shelly for being brave enough to do it! Amazing job ladies!

  2. Reply

    Great to see the pictures we’ve been waiting a while to see and definately worth it!! Fab photos ladies!!

    1. Reply

      I think they are most definetely worth waiting for. I couldn’t wait to get them up after I recieved them x

  3. Reply

    Beautiful shots, the brides red hair looks amazing against the dress and the water. I have to say, I don’t think extra lighting would have enhanced the shots at all, they look incredible as they are, very ethereal, some of them almost look like oil paintings, almost a bit ‘The Lady of Shalott’. Well done, Jay!

    1. Reply

      Thanks for your comment. I think that you are right. Lighting was pretty perfect and some of the images do have that painted quality. The shoot was pretty incredible and I hope both girls are very proud of themeselves x

  4. Reply

    Gorgeous! I love the mermaid feel to them….

    1. Reply

      Thanks for your comment hon. I like the mermaid idea, it is very ethereal and magical x

  5. Reply

    wow that’s amazing. I love those pictures. It looks like she’s flying underwater. Love love love them.

    1. Reply

      Thanks for the lovely comment. Thats quite true , she does look like she is flying or floating on air x

  6. Reply

    So graceful! A pleasure to view, well done to all of those involved. So original!

    1. Reply

      Thanks for your comment. It was a very special shoot and jay and shelly did themselves proud x

  7. Reply

    Great shoot Jay and Shelly. I especially love the ones where the dress is billowing in the water. Absolute favourite is the last one where Shelly is sitting on the bottom of the pool. Amazing – well done!

    1. Reply

      Thanks for your comment, the billowing dress is incredible, isn’t it and Shelly did so well to manage all that time under water x

  8. Reply

    wowzers Jay – awesomenes!

    1. Reply

      Could not have said that better myself….awesomeness xxx

  9. Reply

    What a daring project! I love it and i love the different blues of the water in each shot they look amazing. Well done Jay xx

    1. Reply

      It was very daring and how brave was Shelly. Jay is such a great photographer too capturing beautiful images like these x

  10. Reply

    Wow Jay what an amazing piece of work….never seen anything like it. You should be very proud. Well done Shelly too for being so brave and elegant at the same time underwater !!! xxxx

    1. Reply

      Jay and Shelley should be very proud, they created magic x

  11. Reply

    Absolutely fantastic. It was a pleasure to be able to watch this shoot taking place. It was a shame I had to leave before it finished. Amazing pictures both Shelly & Jay. Congrats. xxx

    1. Reply

      What an experience to watch this taking place, such skill involved x

  12. Reply

    Wow thank you all so much for the lovely comments – so brilliant! It was BRILLIANT doing the shoot, and I’m so glad Shelly was as daring as she turned out to be. Am really hoping she’s willing to work with me underwater again soon…!

    Thank you again to Mrs P and P for blogging the images – if you look out on my own blog tomorrow morning (June 10th), you’ll see what happened AFTER Shelly got out and some more models got in the pool! 😀


  13. Reply

    […] photography thing. But can you blame me? I mean, did you SEE the fantastic blog post over on Plans and Presents the other day??!? You can read the full story on what happened, from both my point of view, and […]

  14. Reply

    […] on from a fabulous Underwater Bride feature a few weeks ago, today we take a look at another amazing shoot that was shot on the same day […]

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