PetaPixel

Couple Travels 135,000 Miles Over 5 Years for Wedding Dress Portraits

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Photographer Jeff Salvage and his wife Jennifer got married back in 2008 near a volcano crater on Easter Island. While they were there, Salvage had his new wife wear her wedding dress for three photo shoots in various locations and at various times. Those shoots sparked a photo project idea that would take the two on an adventure around the world.

Since 2008, the Salvages have traveled over 135,000 miles to countries all over the world. At each location, Jeff shoots a portrait of Jennifer wearing her dress.

Jennifer says that she originally selected the dress for its simplicity and durability. After all, they needed to fly the dress 7,000 miles to Easter Island, drive it across that island, and carry the dress to the volcano crater by hand. It’s no wonder, then, that the white dress still looks very acceptable after over a hundred photo shoots — some of which are very adventurous.

The couple has visited countries such as China, France, New Zealand, and Vatican City. Jennifer has posed while paragliding, sitting on cliffs, riding dog sleds, and even shooting a basketball on an NBA court.

So how do the Salvages fund their wanderlust? Contrary to what you might think, they are not the 1%. They both worth full time in academia, and use clever tricks and budgeting to pay for their travels. Jeff tells us that they rarely have to pay for flights, that they stay at hostels and with friends as much as possible, and that any money made from book sales goes directly toward funding future trips.

Here are some of the photographs in the series so far:

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Vatican City

Vatican City

Routeburn Trek, New Zealand

Routeburn Trek, New Zealand

Redwood National Forest, California

Redwood National Forest, California

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers

Paris, France

Paris, France

Ombo, Egypt

Ombo, Egypt

Medford, New Jersey

Medford, New Jersey

Matterhorn, Switzerland

Matterhorn, Switzerland

Lijiang, China

Lijiang, China

Iceland

Iceland

Cusco, Peru

Cusco, Peru

Norway

Norway

The resulting project is titled, “One Dress, One Woman, One World.” The photographs can be viewed over on the project website’s gallery and have also been published as a book.


Image credits: Photographs by Jeff Salvage and used with permission


 
  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    We’ve added some extra info about how they fund their travels :)

  • http://twitter.com/JacksonCheese Jackson Cheese

    There’s doing a lot of travel, which I have actually done, and then there’s traveling over 135,000 miles to places like Rome, Norway, Peru, Iceland, China, Switzerland, France, New Zealand, Easter Island, etc…all in a relatively short amount of time for a photo project while still pretty young.

    This sort of thing is not something most people can manage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.salvage.3 Jeff Salvage

    lol, I love how people assume we are rich. We are both academics. We have time off and often are working when we travel. Some trips were for the Arthritis Societies, Joints in Motion, others were for my part tie professional photography work. If you stay in youth hostels, eat from supermarkets, camp, etc. It’s amazing how far you can make your dime stretch. We also have a coffee table book that we sell and advertisements on the site that help fund out travel.
    Sincerely
    Jeff Salvage

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.salvage.3 Jeff Salvage

    Thanks Michael, I just did the same :0

  • http://twitter.com/jesscapps Jessica C

    That dress has got to be getting pretty stained up at this point. :) What a cool project.

  • xensin

    Thanks for sharing this :)

  • Zed

    By the way, photo from Ombo, Egypt, tell me it’s not a giant wart on her foot :O

  • http://www.facebook.com/zbigniew.piatek.7 Zbigniew PiÄ…tek

    Should have had children. Better effort ;)

  • Zed

    Meaning, lots of walking/trekking. Don’t mean to be nasty. Worked one up myself last time in the Middle east.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.salvage.3 Jeff Salvage

    lol, bunion!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.salvage.3 Jeff Salvage

    $1.99 dry cleaner does wonders

  • Zed

    Thanks, learned a new word. Not a native speaker :)

  • The all mighty one

    If this is what the photoshoot was like, I can only imagine how the actual wedding went down :D

  • Matt

    ^ Love that comment Nikki
    Also love all the cig butts in Norway…

  • Mansgame

    Well let’s be honest, you guys aren’t starving and are probably more wealthy than many other working stiffs. The part that strikes me about this whole piece however is that I have known a few people who seem to love attention about their life choices whether it’s posting 20,000 pictures of their baby that nobody really cares about or in your case, thinking anybody really cares all that much about your wife in a wedding dress or your travels.

    You had a wedding, people showed up, they ate, they drank, they danced and that should have been the end of it until the next friend had a wedding and let them have their spot light but you can’t do that due to your narcissistic personality. I know you think your work has value because of the scenery but when you make it a family album, it loses all other value. Maybe you should check out the work of Bob Krist and see how it’s done.

  • rymndhng

    that’s the impression i got! @facebook-100000518760053:disqus I hope you were in a couple of theses shots ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.drier Peter Drier

    This is something that many young people do every year.. google “RTW” or “year abroad”..

  • http://twitter.com/cuibonophoto Robert

    I’m shocked at the level of vitriol directed at these two because they traveled so much in order to undertake their project. Who cares if they have money. Judge their work, not how they made it.

    In other words, stop being jealous. If you don’t like the photographs, fine. Say it and move on.

    Lastly, glass houses – lot’s of folks posting here are better off than someone else in the world, it’s all relative. So stop with the hypocrisy.

  • http://www.picturesbymom.com/ Dawn Danko

    Awesome project – my husband and I recently did our own trash the dress session while we were on vacation for our 10 year anniversary. It was a lot of fun!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.salvage.3 Jeff Salvage

    Actually, really quiet and with 6 guests. My friend got ordained to do the service. We found a very local low key restaurant and celebrated.

  • mary

    I love Easter Island. Can u post those pics? :)

  • jon

    Great project. I applaud your creativity and resourcefulness in your travels. I love how you how have prioritized love, travel, and photography, What a wonderful enriching experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Unixfairy Linda Fisher Ypulong

    This may be one of my favorite projects of all time – what a fabulous set of memories – funny thing is that we are doing an anniversary shoot in San Fran this weekend in our wedding finery – I swore this would be the last time – hmmmmmm

  • Mansgame

    I’m shocked that people post family vacation pictures and comments get censored.

  • Moo79

    I did not read this in 2013…

  • Gail

    People and their catty remarks never fail to disappoint. Either look and like, politely ignore or do something yourselves. Social media is such an arse sometimes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.salvage.3 Jeff Salvage

    I am the one behind the camera, but every now and then I set up a timer. We have a plan for a shot with me in the tux and Jennifer in a Frunk if you know what that is. Stay tuned.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.salvage.3 Jeff Salvage

    The cigs killed me. I didn’t see them when we took the shot. I actually photoshopped them out on the image on my site, but didn’t get a chance to do it for this one. :(

  • Arakris

    That last pic is amazing!! Very well done overall, beautiful series! Especially love the NZ pics :)

  • mohawk

    Excellent. Great project. Keep it going.

  • cb1913

    Awesome project! I love the creativity…what a gift!
    And pay no attention to naysayers…negative people always want to bring down others…but never dim your light for others. God bless us all :-)

  • Abang Ijam

    Hello jeff salvage,
    You have made a great job because you inspire average people like me to have a great life even thou we don’t have much money. I can see now that life is what we do for it.

  • Dih-loan Wong

    Being young doesn’t mean being dumb with money. What type of environment are they living in when they aren’t traveling? They might not spend much money on their home, or a car, or a family. Starting that part of their life later means they can do this now.

    A correction on what you said: this sort of thing is not something most people choose to manage. It takes a lot of financial planning to do this, as well as sacrifice.

    Live your life however you want, but don’t ever be bitter about how someone else lives theirs.

  • Randy Lemoine

    Glad you worked it out Jeff. Nice pictures.

  • nomad

    You would easily be able to fund such travels by putting aside less than five bucks each per day. That’s a modest amount compared to a smoking or $tarbucks habit in the uk. No need to be “filthy rich”, choose your priorities in life and be true to them.

  • Bagged

    A lot of women are to porky to get back in their wedding dress soon after getting a ring on their finger, this kind of project wouldn’t work for most couples!

  • Hythem

    That was really inspiring

  • Caenwyr

    Shouldn’t “Cuzco” be written with a z?

    Apart from that: great project, and another great post, Petapixelians!

  • Roy

    That likely says more about the comments than it does about the pictures.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312995208 Christian DeBaun

    Loved this series. Amazing the dress still looks so great after 5 years!

  • Mansgame

    Now it says some people who post on here are tough enough to dish it but not take it.

  • Roy

    And there are those who do nothing but dish out and as such are most likely to be moderated. And rightfully so IMO, considering that this is a source of infotainment, not the outlet for bile and vitriol that said people mistake it for.

  • http://www.commatose.ca/ Nikki Comma

    I don’t know that we’re judging as much as envious. I’m envious and I upvoted the “Wish I was rich” comment originally posted. Even if they were rich, I can’t really justify judging anyone for their fortune, unless they made their money as hitmen or something, haha.

  • ddkkd

    She seems to have gone through a lot for these photos!

  • DocMo

    Great pics, Jeff! Nice composition skills! You hit a great point – time is often the most scarce resource. If you have flexibility with time, you can budget the rest of the pieces in place. I’m in academia as well, and wouldn’t trade it for any amount of money!!!

  • http://twitter.com/cuibonophoto Robert

    Nothing wrong with being envious. Some posts, now moderated, berated the couple for their project. IMHO, those comments were completely inappropriate and unjustified.

  • http://www.commatose.ca/ Nikki Comma

    Fair enough.

  • http://twitter.com/wegortw EmilySue & Dustin

    What an awesome idea!! She is getting more use out her wedding dress than any woman I know!
    My husband and I are finishing up the RTW trip we have been on for the past 10 months. We didn’t have anything nearly as creative but I have been “Yoga posing ’round the world” at special places we have visited.

  • DD

    This project really show your love. THAT is inspirational.

  • Damion Blackthorne

    Jeff and Jennifer fantastic job. Belated congrats on the nuptials. Why can’t people just take the merits of the photos. It just “is” like a beautiful sunny morning in the woods that divulges the nuances of a day as it progresses. No wherefores or underlying statements. It’s reality enveloped in pure escapism and fantasy.