Last September a nice just-married Russian couple hired me as a honeymoon photographerto shoot them on the background of Garda Lake in Desenzano. Since the wedding had already taken place in Russia, they just wore their wedding dresses again in their hotel room, walked along the lake and posed for some shots in some romantic spots.
In order to make the photo session more dynamic and funny, I suggested the bride to play with her veil and let it dance in the air: she was glad to do it and her husband contributed to the dance. The dance began at the hotel and went on during the whole session: at the lakeside, at the lighthouse, in the gardens, etc.
This is a nice example of how a little detail and a creative idea can turn a common couple photo session into some really pleasant hours and unique shots.
I was lately hired as honeymoon photographer by a just-married Russian couple. The couple was spending a few days in Venice before leaving the city for a honeymoon cruise and wanted to have high-quality pictures of their stay.
We started our informal photo walk in the city, stopping in some romantic spots to shoot the couple and, in some cases, letting the bride posing alone.
We arrived at the Chiesa della Salute and had some shots thereas well, with the couple sitting on the stairs or standing with the Canal Grande on the background.
Then, while I was not looking at her, the bride approached the statue of a young boy holding a frog which was standing there and touched the frog. Was she posing as Cinderella and trying to kiss and turn it into Prince Charming?
In any case, she was immediately reproached by the statue’s watchmen.
As we later learnt, the statue is an important piece of art by the American artist Charles Ray sponsored by the tycoon François Pinault. Some critics find it a very creative piece of modern art, other consider it too provocative; some argue that the statue symbolize a look at the future, others argue that the frog hints to water, a key element in Venice … well, in my client’s eyes, it was just something like a toy to play with!
The bride touching the statue before being seen by the watchmen
Lately I had the chance to shoot a young Russian couple that, after getting married in Russia, enjoyed a honeymoon trip to Venice and hired me for aninformal photo walk.
Well, it happened that the city had just been deeply soaked by the previous day’s rain and there were many large paddles in the squares and alleys as we walked by. It suddenly came to my mind that I could make the most of this unique situation, so typical of Venice: I asked the bride if she felt like taking her shoes off and walk barefoot along the road which she did quite gladly…I assume she did not want the water damage her nice shoes!
Later, when we reached Piazza San Marco I suggested the couple to dance in the paddles that covered large sections of the square so that I could portray them with this famous background in a very special condition!
Luckily enough, and as it often happens in Venice, in many other areas of the city there was no sign of high water at all which allowed us to take more “classic” and “dry” shot in the rest of the honeymoon photo shooting.
One of the most common situation during a couple photo service is that the couple do not feel at ease posing in front of the camera. This is mostly due to the fact that they decided to have a photo portrait for their wedding, honeymoon, or holiday in Venice and this is perhaps their first photo shooting (or one of the first) in their life.
Beside, in most cases, they are not familiar with the photographer whom they just met that day and feel a bit uncomfortable about his presence, glances and work.
My own strategy to overcome this problem is to spend as much time as possible with the couple and let them relax and get used to my presence. First of all, I propose to meet well before the photo session for an informal interview: while chatting in a café, we can get a bit more acquainted with each other and I can get important pieces of information about the couple’s wishes and personality.
I used this method with a young couple who lately hired me for a honeymoon photo service: Irina and Simon felt a bit uncomfortable, even nervous, in the beginning, which explains the lightly “stiff”, almost awkward look of the first shots.
However, the photo walk had a very relaxing effect on them: they enjoyed Venice’s markets and small alleys where I even asked them to dance and jump and, eventually, the last shots managed to catch very intense, spontaneous glances and feelings.
When I am hired as a professional photographer for couple portraits in Venice, I usually propose my clients an informal photo walking tour in Venice. This gives them the chance to explore the city’s thousands alleys along small channels, its numerous bridges and hidden arcades, getting to know Venetian people’s daily life.
Olga and Dimitry, a young Russian couple, accepted the challenge and enjoyed their photo walking session in Venice very much: while heading for Ponte di Rialto and San Marco Square, we stopped in many less famous areas, exploring fruit and vegetables markets, visiting shops of postcards and Venetian traditional masks, and posing for a romantic kiss on a hidden bridge.
In order to get more dynamic and original shots of this young and nice couple I even had them jump or play-act a bit. Indeed, it was a very pleasant and exciting photo walking session for the couple and the photographer as well!