Accomodation in Venice: luxury hotel, hostel or apartment?

Russian girl standing in front of a hotel during a honeymoon photo shooting in Venice
There are many high-level hotels in Venice which are chosen by most of the couples hiring me as a wedding, engagement or honeymoon photographer.

As you might well imagine, Venice is no ideal city for cheap accommodation. If you want to enjoy the privilege of being awaken by the typical Venetian morning noises (made up of gondolieri’s voices, boats’ and ferries’ motors, people’s shouts, and so on) and with a nice view on the Canal Grande from your bedroom’s window you must be ready to pay for it.

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Gondola tours in Venice: when, where, how, why and…how much?

gondola shot at dawn by a professional photographer in Venice

If you ever spent a few days in Venice, either for your wedding, honeymoon or holiday, you might choose to treat yourself with something very typical of this magic city: a gondolatour on the channels.

In this article you find a historical introduction and some practical advice for couples wanting to enjoy this kind of experience.

The “gondola” is a traditional Venetian boat which has been used at least from the 15th century for private transportation, mostly by  rich people. Common people, instead, could only afford using the “gondolino” (a kind of public transportation service) to cross the Canal Grande from one bank to the other, as most Venetians still do nowadays.

Asian couple shot during a pre-wedding photo service in Venice
Gondola tours are mostly appreciated by foreign tourists visiting Venice and might be a nice part of a couple photo session

Noble families and courtesans used gondolas to move around Venice, enjoy fresh air at night during summer, parading along the channels,  and  even as garconnière or gambling areas. In order to limit these “dissolute” habits, at the beginning of the 17th century the Venetian authorities decided to forbid colorful coatings and sumptuous decorations and gondolas turned black, a color which was only used for the lower section’s waterproofing layer until that time.

couple shot on a gondola during a honeyoon photo session in Venice
Gondola tours offer a photographer the chance to get colorful and intense shots which are usually much appreciated by couples.

Gondolas are built-in traditional shipyards called “squeri” which (although in limited amount) can be still seen in Venice. The building process requires special craftmanship and 280 different pieces made of 8 kinds of wood.

Russian couple kissing on a gondola during a honeymoon photo service in Venice
Gondola tours give the photographer the chance to catch romantic and intense moments during a photo session in Venice

There are several gondola docks all over Venice where you can hire a gondola for a tour. You find one near Santa Lucia railway station, one near San Marco Square, one near Rialto bridge, one along Strada Nuova road, and many others along the small channels all over the city. You can easily recognize the “gondoliere” (the gondola sailor) by his black-and-white striped shirt and straw hat and by his shouting “gondoooooola, gondooooooola!” to catch your attention.

Russian couple shot in Venice during an informal photo walk
Gondolas are well equipped to make the tour as comfortable as possible, hosting up to 6 people…which makes things easier for a photographer shooting a couple during a gondola tour in Venice.

Any time of the day and night is fine to enjoy a gondola tour, just be aware that prices are higher at nighttime. Needless to say, the most romantic time is the sunset when gondola renters have the chance to admire Venetian channels and palaces from a different perspective and imbued in a soft light and tender atmosphere. Beside, gondolas are provided with many accessories (carpets, soft chairs, cushions, colorful and carved decorations, etc.) making the journey as pleasant as possible.

Take care of choosing the tour route which is most suitable to you, since different itineraries are available. Consider the idea of bargain a bit over the price, which is officially 80 Euros (110 Euros at nighttime) for 40 minutes for up to 6 people but might be cheaper during low season times. If you get more expensive offers, be careful: they might be either proposing extra services or else trying to cheat you:-)

Gondola tours are especially popular among foreign couples visiting Venice since they offer a very unique experience. That is why I managed to shoot several gondola tours during my couple photo portraits in Venice, as well as during my engagement, honeymoon and wedding photo services. At sunset, night or daytime, gondola tours always offer the chance to get beautiful photographs which will be much appreciated by couples as special souvenirs of intense moments.

Russian couple kissing during an engagement photo service in Venice.
There are several gondola docks in Venice where you can hire a boat: one of them is near San Marco Square

On my website you find more examples of couple photo sessions in Venice.

A Colorful Photo Portray in Venice: Shooting a Jewish Couple in Traditional Attire

One of the most exciting thing about working as a photographer for couple photo portraits, honeymoon, wedding and engagement services in Venice is that it gives me the chance to work for different kinds of clients, coming from different countries and sharing different cultures.

couple hugging on Ponte di Rialto during an informal photo walk in Venice
The first phase of Irina’s and Simon’s couple photo service in Venice enclosed shots in some romantic spots.

It was a real pleasure to hired by Irina and Simon, a young Jewish couple, for shooting a photo portrait during their honeymoon in Venice.  While we were walking along alleys and squares to get romantic as well as informal shots, I enjoyed their sensitivity and refined taste, as well as the chance to learn a bit ore about their culture.

young couple posing in a café during a honeymoon photo shooting in Venice
I had the couple relax during some breaks in our informal photo walk in Venice to get them at ease with my presence and work.

In the first phase of our informal photo walk in Venice, they just behaved as most young couples in love: I had them hug, kiss, and dance in many nice Venetian spots, giving them the possibility to get familiar with my presence and work.

In the second phase of the couple photo shooting, they changed their attire and wore traditional Jewish suites which added a touch of color and a special exotic flavor to my shots.

Jewish couple in traditional attire posing during their honeymoon photo service in Venice
Irina and Simon changed their attire and wore tarditional Jewish dresses for the last part of our informal photo walk in Venice

In the meanwhile they had relaxed and were eventually feeling at ease in front of my camera and even felt confident enough to start dancing in a square. That’s why the shots of this phase look so intense and even a bit “exotic”…don’t you think?

Jewish couple in traditional attire dancing during a honemoon photo shooting in Venice
At the end of the couple photo shooting, Irina and Simon eventually felt at ease with my camera and even enjoyed dancing in a square.

For further examples of couple photo portraits in Venice see my website.

Post by Metella Iaconello.

Amazing Couple Portrait In Venice: How To Get The Most Intense Shots

young couple posing on a bridge during a honeymoon photo service
Irina and Simon felt a bit uncomfortable and awkward during the first shots of their photo portrait in Venice

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.

Irina and Simon posing in a Venetian alley during a couple portraitMy 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.

LaterYoung couple enjoying their informal photo walk in Venice , I propose an informal photo walk in Venice which let them explore the city, even its less famous areas, and enjoy the daily life of the city: even if we stop in some of the most romantic spots to shoot the sweetest couple portraits, I spend most of the time portraying what they would do strolling around by themselves, as if I were their shadow.

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.

Irina and Simon smiling at each other during an informl photo walk in Venice
At the end of our informal photo walk the young couple eventually felt at ease with my presence and work and I managed to get very intense shots.

For further examples of couple portraits in Venice see my website.