From day to night

I took this photo when I was in south of Italy, some weeks ago.
I was at the daily market, taking some pictures, and went for a walk along the beach, to have a look at the fishing boats. Facing the sea there is a beautiful medieval castle, built by the Hohenstaufen during the 13th century. It’s surprisingly well preserved, and despite the fact that this has always been a land of battles and occupations, time has only scratched its walls.
Anyway, when I went home and looked at this photo I saw nothing.

Was about to bin it, but then at a second look I saw some potential. 
What if I change something?
What if it was taken at night? 
But I can’t go back at night.
Then what if I make it look like it was taken at night?
So I turned my laptop on, opened my notebook, grabbed my graphic tablet and started playing around: I darkened it, I added some blue, desaturated a bit, painted the lights, the flares, the rain. Different kinds of rain, ‘cause otherwise it would look too fake. A bit of fog here and there.
I had to stop myself after a while, ‘cause the possibilities were unlimited.
It doesn't look great, it was just a fun thing to do, I didn’t even put that much effort in making it look like a very realistic scene, but it opened a whole new world of opportunities: editing photos is an art itself, and your only limit is your imagination.

A day at the market

 

Since I left my hometown I have naturally absorbed the big city’s habits and made the urban routine mine. Even more so when I moved to Copenhagen: the cold modern hub in the north. One of these habits is buying food at the supermarket where everything is selected, packed and wrapped; you don’t even need to have any interaction with other people.
So when I had a walk at the daily market during my Christmas holidays in south of Italy, I felt a bit like a tourist. I had forgotten about all the different colours, noises and perfumes. The genuine feeling of buying fresh fish, still alive. The farmers offering you a taste of fruit. The smell of the cheese stalls. The sacks of local almonds. The boys yelling. How much per kilo. Counting your coins.
I returned back home with plenty of photos and a bag full of mussels and clams.
What a great meal we had.

January

These days everyone is talking about the cold, the snow, the storm and blablabla.
So I want to give my contribution with this photo taken a year ago, January 2016.
I had just started working with Nixonbui, a Copenhagen based menswear brand.
We were planning some fashion photographs for their website. So to reflect the brand’s philosophy, made of tribal traditions and urban attitude, we decided to simply take some clothes and go shoot outside.
In the nature. 
In the coldest days of the year.
We went to a park in Copenhagen, near Vestamager. The weather was perfect for the kind of vibe we were looking for: misty and foggy. The water was a sheet of ice and the colours were enhanced by the clouds. It was so cold though that after a while I couldn’t feel my fingers.
And yeah I got mocked all day ‘cause I was wearing sneakers in the frozen mud (I’m a city girl).
But the outcome was spectacular.

Photo reportage: abandoned airport

Yesterday I joined François, the ultimate Copenhagen Urban Explorer, in one of his tours: we biked to the abandoned military airport near Værløse, 20 km northwest of Copenhagen. 
We had a stroll among the remains of the glorious Danish air force, stepping cautiously on broken glasses and rotten beams.
I took some photos to show you how time has turned the site into a powerful image of vandalism.

The colour of sun and wheat

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.

The importance of details in wedding photography

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.

Inspirational toilets

"Don't think you have arrived, when your journey has only just begun"
(common expression in Italy)

I’ve met too many photographers that consider themselves “arrived”, as they don’t need to improve their skills. There’s so much more in visual arts than the few rules of composition we read about in photography books. And you don’t need lamps and a studio to take cool photos.
Inspiration is everywhere.
The picture below was taken at Arken Museum, near Copenhagen. But that’s not a cool corner of the building or an interesting piece of art: that’s the toilet. Me and my (weird) friend were just in line, when we saw the light wall and started being silly.
I love the outcome.

Why weddings?

When you start in photography they all tell you the same thing: you have to find your sub-category, since you can’t do everything in the huge photography world. 
For me it was imperative to take pictures of people, somehow: no matter whether it was fashion, weddings or corporate photography, I need to interact with people, or I would get immediately bored.
There is only one sub-category in the immense photography field where you can experience so many different kinds of emotion: weddings. 
Because it’s your stories.

CPH Fashion Week

"Fashion is one of the most beautiful forms of art we have. It’s a form of art that every person gets to possess and create for themselves” Jim James

Twice a year Copenhagen hosts the Copenhagen Fashion Week, the largest fashion event in the nordic countries. The city gets crowded with designers, models, buyers, press, and it turns into a runway. You can feel the excitement, the hectic energy, and the glamorous beauty.
I had never been an active part of the Copenhagen Fashion Week, but this year Nixonbui and I worked together on the catalogue of his Spring/Summer 17 collection.
Stay tuned if you wanna see more photos ;)

What if it rains?

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.

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Come home soon, love

“I do love secondhand books that open to the page some previous owner read oftenest” Helene Hanff

In photography like in every other field there’s always something new to learn, and if you want to be a skilled photographer you’ll have to study and read and keep yourself updated.
I read lots of magazines and books about photography or about art in general.
I buy books in secondhand stores, not just because it’s cheaper and good for the environment, but also because I love to find signs of other human beings: reading pages someone else has turned, finding notes in the margins and flyleaves forgotten inside the book, reading passages someone else has underlined.
So the other day I was walking in Copenhagen and found a bookstall. Saw a book called “Criticizing photographs”, by Terry Barrett, and brought it home, left it on a shelf and forgot about it. This morning, I saw it and started turning its pages when I found this lovely note: “Come home soon, love”

Dust, mud and concrete

Safety helmets, boots and high visibility vests must be worn at all times.

I have always wondered about the mechanism behind things. You know that kid that always dissembles toys and objects to find out about the inner working? That was me.
So when one of the companies responsible for the new metro in Copenhagen asked me to go and take some pictures of the work in progress I couldn’t help it and said yes immediately. 
So I got some safety shoes, a high visibility jacket, a huge helmet and a course about safety. I had the chance to visit the site of Marmokirken, the deepest of the whole metro system with its 40m below sea level, and the most challenging one with its tracks one above each other, and not on each side of the platform, like all the other stations.
It was a very nice experience: after all, it doesn’t happen every day to go underground and see tunnels, platforms and tracks in the making. 
Despite the dust, the mud and the concrete all over me.

Fairy tales

“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.

I've become a foodie

“Don’t marry someone who doesn’t love food, they won’t understand the pleasures of life”
Cit. my grandma

I love good food.
Let me say that again: I love good food.
I really believe that a great meal is an absolute pleasure, as much as sex.
That’s why restaurant photography and food related events are a big part of my portfolio.
Going to restaurants as a photographer, I noticed that I was getting to know new people, and that I had the chance to taste new things and new flavours, from all over the world. Quite easy in a cosmopolitan city like Copenhagen.
But food is not just about food. 
We often forget that the food culture is such a big part of our daily life: without food we can’t survive, and we’ve managed to make it a true pleasure. Not only that: food involves traditions, habits, values; it can be a symbol of social status and religious belief, and it can tell a lot about a community.
It’s so interesting that I’m getting hungry again.

Oh, by the way, I had the best ramen soup ever last weekend, you can check it out here.

Your stories

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.

Radio Pizza

Some weeks ago I took some photos for a radio run by volunteer, Radio Pizza.
Yes, they’re Italians: Radio Pizza is an association of volunteers that, from several cities in Europe, tell stories about the Italian community living there. There is one here in Copenhagen, another one in London, then Spain, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland.
So that day I went to the studio they use every Tuesday evening, on the top floor of an old building in Christianshavn, and took some shots of them on the spot.
They are not professional radio speakers and sound mixers, but the passion they put in what they do is admirable. I really have to say it was a nice experience, among fries, beer cans and smokey ashtrays. 
And if you by accident hear any camera click during a podcast, that’s me working!

Ritual

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.