Some tips on Copenhagen's most romantic wedding album spots.Read More
Planning a wedding is not an easy task, there’s many important decisions to be made, like the venue, the dress, the flowers. The wedding photographer is one of your most crucial choices: your wedding photographs will last a lifetime, they are the images that you will show to your children, grandchildren, to your friends and relatives.
Your first instinct is to start a google search with the words “wedding photographer + city-you-live-in”, and that gives you an endless list of very talented people. There are so many wedding photographers out there, and they each have a different vision of how to capture your wedding day.
Now you feel overwhelmed, I know, but that’s why I want to share this article with you: how can you choose the wedding photographer that fits your wishes and your needs?
First of all, ask around
Even in the age of internet and social media, personal referrals are still the best way to find a wedding photographer. Ask your family and friends: they probably share the same taste and have a similar budget to you; and if they were happy with their photographs, there’s a good chance you will be too. They will tell you about their experience with that particular photographer, from the first meeting to the photo delivery.
Once you have some names in mind, have a look at their portfolio, website, instagram feed. Ask yourself if you like the images you see, and what you like about them: whether is the classic posed portraits or spontaneous candid images, or whether is the strong contrast and colours or the natural feel; try to narrow down what draws your attention.
But be realistic: if you’ve chosen a small and intimate venue downtown for your wedding, look for inspiration within that concept, rather than falling in love with open, airy outdoor wedding photos.
What about their personality?
It might sound unnecessary, but their personality will affect the way they work with you. Remember that passion is the key, and if they’re passionate about their work not only will they give you their best, but they will walk the extra mile to meet your needs.
Honesty is also another quality to look for: ask them what are their weaknesses. A professional photographer will definitely tell you.
Tell them what you want
They might have extensive experience in shooting weddings, but wedding photographers can’t read your mind. Talk to them in detail about what you wish for.
Don’t take for granted that they will take a photo of every person attending the wedding: they don’t know your guests, and have no idea whether someone is your best friend or a distant relative. In this regard, I’ve found very useful to make a list of people that bride and groom want to be photographed with: for example their grandma, siblings, childhood friends.
Agree on the details
Think carefully about the price. If you are spending a lot of money on your wedding day and you want to save on the photographer, you might regret it later. Remember that with time your own memory will fade, and the only thing that will stand the test of time is your wedding photographs. How much are you willing to pay for magical memories?
Talk to your wedding photographer and ask about the price in details, in order to avoid surprises: is the transport included? And what happens if you ask them to stay for one more hour?
Also, ask them how many wedding photographs you will receive, when you will receive them, and how (digital file? prints?).
If you have chosen a professional photographer, you can now relax, as they will take care of everything for you. You can enjoy your wedding day with your family and friends, and trust the photographer to create the memories you desire.
Sadly, the wedding album is the first expense couples decide to cut when planning their wedding. It’s fairly understandable, since they already have to put so much money into everything else. Besides, modern society has shown us that we can do everything without paper.
So is it really important to print our wedding photos and create an album?
Yes, it is.
Nowadays we believe that what really matters is the present: we post a photo on Instagram but after 3 days nobody remembers it. Have you ever been in that situation where you had to scroll your Facebook page for entire minutes before finding the photo you where looking for? And what about that folder of photos in that hard disk without a label, forgotten in your desk?
Is this what you wish for your wedding photos?
Sometimes, when I visit my parents and feel nostalgic I take out the box of family photographs and spend hours looking at them, sitting on the floor with chocolate and coffee: look how handsome my grandpa was, how much I look like my grandma, my parents as babies, me as a baby. My mom smiling at the photo of my dad when he was the young man she met. My brother asking if he really had that stupid teddy bear with one missing eye.
That’s why is important to print our images, because memories tend to fade over time, and in 10, 20, 30 years we will have nothing of our digital legacy. We need to remember the key moments of our life, and have it in our hands, instead that on the screen of our laptop.
A wedding album is the book you will show to relatives and friends, is the book you will look at anniversaries, the book your children and grandchildren will see.
You have already spent so much money for your wedding, don’t let it disappear.
As a wedding photographer, there’s one thing that I notice every time I step into a church: tones and colours.
Here in Denmark there’s a lot of white and grey, sometimes blue tiles, sometimes red bricks, and a lot of dark wood: usually, the atmosphere is quite cold.
In the warm south of Europe the dominant colour is yellow. The colour of sun and wheat.
Where I am from, it’s very common to find old buildings made of tuff: palaces and churches with big, rough, porous bricks. It looks like a soft sponge that you can squeeze.
In some other areas, like in Sicily, the most common rock is yellow marble.
These rocks contribute to give your photos a sense of warmth that you couldn’t achieve otherwise.
And as a wedding photographer, that’s very important.
When we think about wedding photographs our mind goes to the main events of the day: the ceremony, the cake, the portraits.
Between these big moments though, there are small elements that are as relevant, and there is one thing that a good wedding photographer should never overlook: the details.
Shooting weddings is stressful, there is so much going on in one day. But months and months of planning go into that single day, and capturing all the aspects of it becomes crucial. It’s our job as wedding photographers to freeze in time something that took so much time and effort: couples may have dreamt about this day for a long time, thinking about every single detail, pondering over every aspect of their wedding day. Yes, even the place cards at the table.
It’s something they want to remember, and it's our responsibility to create their memories.
Many wedding photographers for example take lots of photos of the bride's dress, and then they neglect the shoes. If we try so see things from the bride's point of view, we'll soon understand the importance of details: she has carefully chosen her shoes among many, because of their fabric, colour, whatever. She wants to remember them. And yes of course she will have hundreds of photos with her shoes on, but a photo of the shoes before she even wears them will preserve their memory forever: it will be like the first time she saw them.
Yesterday I met a couple getting married next year, to talk about their wedding photos. It was our first meeting, so we talked a bit of what we do and what we like, and I explained them why I love shooting weddings: because it’s very challenging.
During a wedding you have no control over the location, the weather, the light, the rain, the mood, the development of the event. You can’t decide where and when to take photos: if it’s outdoor and in bright sun, you’ll just have to adjust to that. You can’t waste time deciding what to do, or you’ll miss the moment, and the “moment” is the very core of wedding photography.
It’s a matter of making decisions as fast as possible.
This picture I’m showing you was taken in very poor light conditions: there was no direct light on the couple and - stupid me - I didn’t have the time to go get my flash and put it on my camera. It was so dark that my camera had issues with the focus. Luckily for me, my camera can deal pretty well with high ISO, so the only option was: high ISO, combined with the largest aperture possible.
In Italy, especially in the south, if you plan your wedding between May and September you have almost no chances of rain. But now I live in Denmark and it rains A LOT in the nordic countries.
It took me a while to get used to shoot under the rain, but as a wedding photographer you have to work with what you get. When I finally stopped complaining about the rain, I noticed the endless possibilities that the “bad” weather gives you: the light is simply amazing, the rain makes all the colors pop, photos with umbrellas are nice and cute, people are more spontaneous and they tend to completely forget about the photographer. Besides, imagine the awesome story you will tell about how you nailed a big storm on your wedding day.
Like they say: wet bride, lucky bride.
“In the land that created fairy tales, we just started our own”
Cit. Rufus Gifford
We all know it: Denmark was the first country in the world to allow gay couples to formalise their unions, in 1989. Today, most of the battles have been won here, and LGBT couples can have equal rights. They even have the blessing of the Danish Church.
I was born in a small catholic town in south of Italy, and after 4 years in Copenhagen it still feels amazing to have this freedom and acceptance. Working as a wedding photographer in Scandinavia I have seen that people look at gay weddings for what they really are: celebrating couples committed to one another. That’s it.
I must say, never in my life in Italy I would have imagined to experience this sense of inclusion, and also to be the one documenting it with my camera.
It really feels amazing to be part of it.
Pompeii was a small Roman town buried under meters of volcanic ash in AD 79.
It was rediscovered in the 18th century.
The lack of air and moisture partly preserved the town.
Today I went to visit some venues for a wedding I’m going to shoot at the end of the month in Copenhagen.
The restaurant where the party will be held is a cosy place on the ramparts of the canals in Christianshavn.
As I was about to walk in, I stepped on the perfect copy of an ancient mosaic found in a house in Pompeii.
I looked at it for a very long moment, and suddenly all the years spent studying Latin hit my mind: I could hear the sound of the chalk on the blackboard and smell the old books, and I could remember all the hours walking in my room, saying the Latin verbs out loud, to remember them better.
I thought about Rome. About its everlasting culture and its legacy. I thought about the timeless myths, as ancient as history. About the story of an empire that lasted a thousand years.
But also the time spent to pass that Latin exam felt like forever.
When thinking about wedding photography, people usually believe that it’s always the same routine, the same things, the same poses, the same photos.
Truth is, you’ll never get bored at weddings. There’s always something going on and every time you get to meet new people. Moments of joy and happiness are so natural that you don’t need to create the event, things are happening on their own. And everybody is part of the story: there’s so much more than the bride and the groom, and as a photographer you see everything, whereas the guests have eyes only for the newlyweds.
The emotions you get to photograph are not fake, people are truly happy and their smiles sincere.
And it’s a pleasure to take these photos.
The tradition of the wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where guests used to break a loaf of bread over the bride’s head for fertility’s sake.
I am not really a cake person, I’d rather have a sandwich.
Every time I shoot a wedding though, I eat a slice of the wedding cake: its flavour has been chosen among many, its design meticulously selected, and the pastry chef carefully picked.
It’s not just a cake, it’s a wedding cake. It's a ritual itself. It’s a piece of art.
Therefore it is a very important detail of the whole wedding day, as much as the bride’s dress.
So next time you see a wedding cake, think of how much thought and work were put into it.
And then, only then, taste it.
According to the ancient myths, Ambrosia is the food of Greek gods, said to bestow immortality.
I haven't got tired yet of telling anyone the story of that magnificent wedding I shot in Sicily a few weeks ago, probably because it was the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen. Every thing was just perfect, not too much and not too little: the venue, the food, the atmosphere, the bride’s anxiety, my camera’s batteries.
And it was so easy to fall in love with Sicily, again.
Imagine flying from Copenhagen to Catania, to find a wonderful sun and the volcano in eruption, the taste of the sea and the smell of the fruit.
Imagine the market stalls in the streets, plenty of fresh tuna.
Imagine a timeless land, where you can breathe ancient Greece, Islamic culture and the ruins of the Spanish Empire at once.
You wouldn't get tired of that, would you?