Last year at this time I was on the west coast of Sorrento, Italy, casually photographing Simon and Claire’s wedding. The couple chose a location away from their home in England for their friends and family to gather, a place where they could all share and experience culture, food and relaxation.
What can we learn from this exotic wedding? A well chosen location can be the perfect backdrop for beautiful images, whether a wedding or portrait. I like to think of it as a great starting point to set the tone.
The most important thing to remember is that the location is just the canvas. Don't lose sight of the reason for your photographs. Highlight the relationships you cherish so those memories can live on.
Now here are my ideas on how you can give your portraits that Italian coast vibe without having to be on the coast or deal with the travel.
As I mentioned before, location is important. Look around your own city and search out interesting landscapes or architectural spots. I keep a running list of old buildings such as churches, libraries, museums or locations that have gardens or are near water.
Pay attention to some of the architectural details; windows, doors, staircases, etc. These could be beautiful places for your photos.
Less is always more. The focus of this long weekend was on relationships, while still enjoying all that Italy had to offer. Simplicity highlighted their love, and delicious food and wine warmed us inside. We are taking note, Simon and Claire.
It doesn't take much to give your portraits the relaxed Italian coast feel - A bit of sunshine, a location you love and an intimate atmosphere.
I can't disclose how many different locations in Italy I sampled pizza, but can tell you it was worth every last calorie.
"Myself and my Husband chose Sorrento for our wedding for a number of reasons. The scenery, the food, the people, I could go on for ever. We had a beautiful relaxed day surrounded by the family and friends that we love.
Personally for me the Medieval Cloisters where we held our ceremony had a very calm and spiritual atmosphere, this was very important to me as my daughter, Ellie, who sadly passed away 6 years ago at age 9 felt very close to me that day. During our reception we had a candle lit in her memory overlooking the bay of Naples, with Mount Vesuvius as a backdrop. We chose our reception venue for this stunning view of a stunning part of the World.
Laura's photography skills captured every special moment, every glance and all of the love and laughter.
Not only did she do a superb job capturing these moments, she also became a friend.
Looking back on this special weekend, Claire's words reminded me of a blog post I read about the brutal truth of why we take photographs. Its a little raw, I'll warn you. Hearing Claire's story first hand of loosing her precious daughter reminds me why we document life and love. This post is a must read. Thank you to, Megan Elizabeth of Echo Artistry for sharing it with me.
At one point or another we will all experience a loss like Claire's. I get teary eyed each time I dig through old photo files to send to a family I've photographed who have experienced a loss. Let's make 2014 a year of documenting the relationships that mean the most to us. xo - Laura
P.S. I cannot write this post without sharing a picture that means the world to me of my brother who passed away nearly 16 years ago. Little Alex, isn't he charming.