Why digital?

I haven’t used film since 1999 and I will never go back for the reasons listed below:
I don’t have to limit the amount of photographs I take – I usually shoot around 1000 shots per wedding. This increases the chance of getting great pictures.
I can change the light sensitivity, colours, etc. in the blink of an eye. This gives me absolute freedom to read the situation and adapt. I don’t have to stop and change film every time I want to swap from colour to black and white, or every time the light conditions change (e.g. walking out of a dark church into the blazing sun). It also means that I never miss a shot, since I can shoot hundreds of photos one after the other before needing to change memory cards.

I can immediately check that the image came out well.
The quality is just the same as film (and, I have to say, in some cases much better).
It allows me to work on the pictures afterwards, so I can take away that untimely spot, add subtle colour effects, etc – perfecting them just as if they were to be published in glossy magazines. This gives me an edge over traditional film photography, as the only way to touch up photos shot from film is to scan each image first, which results in a loss of quality.

With digital, there are very few ways you can loose the images. With film, that list is endless: a bad batch of film, the film doesn’t load, the film gets fogged, the lab messes up development, the film gets scratched or dusty… I just find using film much too risky for such a special day, and since I am responsible, it’s my job to minimise such risks.

Do you work alone?

Dependant on your package, I nearly always work with an assistant photographer who will also take photos on the day, ensuring that we never miss a moment. When I am shooting the bride entering the church, my assistant is able to catch the reaction of the groom and guests. In addition, my assistant photographer and I have different approaches to photography, which adds interest and contrast to your album. (Please note however that if choosing the Basic Packages, as stated on the price list, only one photographer is provided)

Will there be any posing for photos?

I do not pose my clients into over-romanticised, traditional poses. I may offer a few suggestions, like looking in a certain direction or trying not to smile for a few “serious” photos, but my usual instructions to my clients is to act natural and try to pretend I’m not there. This can be difficult initially, but believe me, after half an hour or so you will get so used to me that I will become part of the furniture.

Mum and her posing shots

As much has you hate those posed formals, your Mum will not feel like the photographs have been taken till they are taken. So how do we get through this painlessly. Firstly let try to keep the groups limited and do big groups like ALL the cousins, instead of individual groups. Then when your Mum makes a few request, lets not hurt her feelings and waste time trying to explain reportage to her. Lets keep the second photographer focused on the reportage while we make Mummy happy. After all you would not be here if it were not for her 🙂

Images to capture after sunset

First the entrance into the dinning room is great and it makes it all the more fun if you are announced. Then we usually shoot a few ambient shots, the first course and you two at your table. We then back off, nobody looks sexy eating… unless you are Kim Basinger. But the rest of us mortal are not sexy and this gives us a chance to down load and check if “tutto aposto” (if everything is in position.)

Then there are the speeches and first dance, which we recommend you do before the meal or after the starter. It will be so much prettier with the sunset in the windows or a dark blue sky instead of a black one. Recently a gorgeous couple I shot especially learnt to tango for their first dance and adored sparkling outfits. It was a great start to the reception and naturally made for great images.

Lastly there is dancing, cake cutting, bouquet and garter throwing. One easy trick which really helps with dancing photographs. Most people turn their back when a photographer wants to shoot them dancing. If you start showing off or dancing for the camera you will be shocked to see just how quickly and enthusiastically your guests copy you. And it will make for FANTASTIC pictures. Just take a look at the pictures from “Suzie & Craig’s” wedding on my website.

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A rigid schedule

One of the things I love about working at “Villa Eva” (Ravello) is that the staff and chef are very flexible. They honour the importance of the photographs by being super flexible. They ask me to be part of deciding the perfect time on the day, just so that I can catch that gorgeous dusk light. And the group photographs shot there are always lovely, all thanks to the staff of Villa Eva.

Most hotels insist on a very strict schedule and this is often detrimental to the photographs. The best pictures are often taken before sunset and so a wise photographer really wants to use all those last few seconds of day light. That doesn’t mean we can’t get great pictures when the sun goes down, it just means that groups are much prettier in natural light and so are most portraits. There are of course always exceptions. 😉

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Time to work

The best images on my website are the best because I was given time to work. The more time I am given, the better the pictures will be. It’s simple, the more one shoots the better the odds of great images. This does not mean that you have to take the biggest package but rather that you give your photographer at least 30 to 40 minutes to do portraits and half an hour to do groups. It’s just not possible in any less.

If you want images that look like they belong in fashion magazine 30 minutes is the minimum time you can expect to invest. Often things run late, and then I have to do all the groups and portraits in ten minutes. So I rush everyone about, end up being late, the guests and chef hate me and the bride would like to know why her pictures don’t look like “Amanda and Dylan’s”. Well Amanda and Dylan gave me literally 6 hours to shoot their portraits. Exaggeration? Perhaps but the photographs rock.

Show time.

I love the idea of a show or cabaret. A little entertainment is always a welcome distraction during a wedding. Ideas range from the truly daring to traditionally elegant. Fire blowers, burlesque show, the circus del sole, a Robbie Williams impersonator or my favourite the “singing waiters”. The singing waiters pretend to be guests and waiters at your wedding before bursting into song. It’s so much fun and the guests love it. There is something just sublime about live entertainment. I adore the musicians supplied by Marco Canterella’s “Wedding Music”. Ranging from Jazz, opera to Italian folk music. Italian folk music is really something to consider, it gets everybody dancing since it infectious and fun.

A show of lights

We adore light shows and design, especially in a beautiful garden. When one has the aperitivo (don’t you love that word) on the terrace and you walk to the crypt afterwards they often give divine lighting shows to the dizzy wandering guest. And if there is time to take a few quick photographs, you will get images that few others have. Below I have included a few images of the use of truly breathtaking lighting.

Making cake cutting images less boring

If you are cutting your wedding cake outside you might like to consider a small canopy over you and your cake. This will give the photographer something to bounce the cake off (well bounce the light off anyway). Another great idea is a net or tent hanging around the cake. I have also seen gorgeous smoky images from smoke machines or dry ice. A sea of candles can completely eliminate the use of the nasty flash. What about clouds of fairy lights? Especially if you are outside they can be hang on the shrubs behind you. A bright light place behind you on ground level will also give a fabulous effect especially when used with flash.

When will we bring in a little extra lighting?

If you know you are going to have quite a few very long speeches you need to let us know. Or if the speeches will be in a very dark place. In both these situations we would bring along a small video light to help guarantee the quality of the video images. Low light can create a lot of grain. If it rains we might also bring in a little video light for the photography during portraits and groups. A cake cutting outside maybe beautiful for the human eye but the cameras often need a little help.

Good lighting at your venue

May seem like a strange thing to consider when choosing a wedding venue. But one would be surprised to discover the difference a little ambient lighting can make. Photography is all about light and if you want great pictures you need to consider the lighting. So a venue which makes use of good natural light with huge windows or compensates for the lack of natural light with gorgeous artificial light, is an important consideration. Sometimes (and especially for video) we will be forced to add a little of our own lighting.

We adore first dance and speeches against windows or doorways with the sunset. This is not always possible but by doing both before the dinner begins, means you can almost certainly get some great skies through glass windows and doors. If you are going to use candles as a major part of your lighting, at least double what you think you need. When it comes to candles and photography, you can never have enough candles. And there can be nothing more mystic and romantic than hundreds of candles.