Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Laura Brace in Suzanne Neville Harmony Part Two. Google Images, SEO and the modern bride.

This has very little to do with Laura and everything to do with modern social media. I had a distressed call from one of my future brides that has ordered this dress, Suzanne Neville's Harmony, for her wedding next year. Bride X was almost inconsolable as she had Google Image searched a picture of this dress as there is no official Suzanne Neville photo of it. The search resulted in a disturbing image of a bride in the same dress but it didn't suit her and was ill fitting. The bride in question had also accessorised it badly and Bride X was panicking in case that was what she would look like. To me this is a cautionary tale from the age of SEO and why I try to protect image distribution.

Tips, snaps, strops and props...

1.Buy a dress from a shop that will be frank and will let you know if a dress suits you or not
2.Make sure that the shop you are buying from has excellent technical knowedge and a back up fitting service
3. Dresses from the most famous designers will be a costly fail if they don't fit correctly
4. Bad pictures are just that - endless searching the internet for images will throw out images of brides whose styling you don't love in a dress you do
5. Trust your own eyes and your own judgement
6. Don't take bad camera phone pictures of yourself in a dress - if you can't remember it clearly go back to the shop and try it on again
7. If you can't remember a dress - is it memorable enough?
8.Don't judge a dress by it's marketing - the better the pictures the bigger the marketing budget the more expensive the dress(Pronovias/Rosa Clara)
9. Don't let grumpy skinny models put you off a dress you love (Jenny Packham)
10. Dress images are targeted at their biggest regional market (Maggie Sottero for the US)

It is for a combination of these reasons I prefer customers not to take pictures in the shop. I am met very often with outright rudeness and hostility when I ask people to refrain from taking photos. I am not trying to hide anything, conceal a dress's name or designer or lock you into buying a frock from Miss Bush. I am simply trying to preserve the bride's mental image and feelings that she had for a dress and to prevent her from taking away a poor quality image of a possibly incorrectly fitting shop sample. It will not comfort the bride, it does nothing for the brands that I stock and the possibility of bad images being shared on Google Images to deter brides from brilliant gowns I find disturbing.

I would be thrilled to welcome any brides with their 'proper' photographer at Miss Bush to conduct a 'Pretty Woman' style photo shoot! Amazingly cool images could be captured, kept for posterity or sent to absent family members! It would be fun to do a pre wedding shoot with your best friends and your chosen photographer - like an engagement shoot just for girls. The pictures would be amazing - and that, at the end of the day, is the lasting reminder of your day. Choose your dress with love and your photographer likewise.

Laura chose www.markhoadley.co.uk for her photos and Miss Bush for her dress xxx

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