ok, i have to come clean about this. it has taken me forever to actually get around to blog this wedding… i’ve been going through my head about how to find the perfect words to describe this wedding. you see, it really wasn’t just any wedding. no, this was my brother’s wedding. for those of you who may not know his, i am the fifth of seven siblings. this was the first time i had to go to one of our weddings and i’m sure you’ll understand that along with the excitement of the day i am finding it hard to let the words come out in an eloquent way. so let me start by saying that it was an incredible experience altogether.
ana and nick got married on september 13th. as tends to the case, a small herd of family and friends traveled from near, far, and everywhere between to be able to attend. it was held at the small, and i mean small chapel at the british cemetery of bilbao. they wanted to have somewhat of a tim-burton-ish theme to the wedding, so this setting was a perfect fit. the ceremony was held by rev. alberto sanchez. at home, we like to call him dad. the pianist was someone that at home we also like to call “mom”, and the witnesses are also known as “grammy” and “yaya”. So you see, this was quite the family affair. In fact, at the end of the ceremony i had to switch my cameras for my ukelele and sing a song for the newlyweds with my favourite little sidekick, my sister anna. i won’t lie, i had a hard time not crying.
after having a very intimate lunch at a fantastic local restaurant, we proceeded to celebrate in style. they had rented out a house in practically the middle of the woods, and what a house! the celebration was just taking off by two local bands playing, “blues’n’breakers” and “enkore rock”. interestingly and unfortunately enough though, the neighbours complained of the noise, so by 1 am the police showed up and shut down our concerts. but there would be no stopping this celebration. in fact, a handful of people, including yours truly, spent the whole next day enjoying the sun by he poolside. so seriously, can you see why this was the best wedding ever?
i could spend a whole day talking about all the little anecdotes and details that made this wedding one of the best personal and professional experiences that i’ve had, but instead i’ll send you off with this: ana and nick, it was an honor and a tremendous joy to have shared this day with you. i wish you the very best that life has to bring, including but not limited to a small child who you may name adina or adino. congratulations!!
murcia, spain. unexplored territory. i flew down for a weekend to photograph inma + fernando’s wedding, and to be fair i wasn’t sure what to expect. i got it all wrong from the beginning since i thought i would never need a proper jacket in the south of spain. wrong. i also thought i could just pop into a large electronics store, or into the local h&m for whatever my last minute needs might be. wrong again. but after some minor setbacks and being able to resolve them quickly, there i was, with a borrowed jacket, discovering not only the charming little cobblestone street but most importantly the love shown to me by their people. i could go on and on about this small town that made me feel like a city girl 1,000 miles from home. i will spare you the details. all i can say is the experience was unlike any other, in the best way.
the wedding day started out like many others, light rain, big smiles, and big expectations. as soon as the ceremony started though, it was a beautiful display of southern spanish culture. from the traditional choir, to paying a visit to the virgin after the ceremony, i felt somewhat like a foreigner in my own country, but loved seeing different traditions standing strong in modern days. afterwards we took to a small road for portraits, then the formal dinner, and then after many surprises, it was time to let it all go on the dance floor. my favorite thing was definitely counting on inma and fernando’s fabulous fun-loving attitudes. ready to celebrate, to display their love, to go nuts. enjoying every single second… and i guess it was contagious because so did i!
looking back on this very special wedding i am filled with gratitude for being given the opportunity and the amazing amount of honor and responsibility, by two complete strangers, to travel hundreds of miles to be the one who gets to tell their love story. and what a story! as for me, all i can honestly say are those infamous three little words: i’ll be back.
we got lost in the woods. mye, miguel, and little marcus… that was the love triangle, their family, their story. we met in the natural reserve of urdaibai, and it was definitely worth the drive up there. the lush fall colors and all their surroundings just made everything look magical. i had always wanted to go there for a session and i think these guys were the perfect excuse to go. marcus insisted on wearing his robin hood costume, which made for some of the most memorable wedding portraits i’ve ever done! haha. as i look through these photos i think back to the wonderful time that we had, and all i can do is congratulate them on their new life together. so congratulations, mye and miguel, you found each other.
they met in moscow, they fell in love while traveling together through 13 countries, and they finally tied the knot in lisbon, portugal. this is just a very brief description of irina & charlie’s relationship, but it also happens to be the beginning of the biggest adventure that life could offer: their new life together.
i can truly say that i am honoured to have been able to call charlie my friend for a certain number of years now. with somewhat of an odd beginning to our friendship (my sister met him online and i kept calling to make sure he wasn’t a psycho killer) that i now like to think back on as part of the fun. charlie also happens to be one of my friend’s with the biggest sense of adventure. in fact, we have had the pleasure of exploring germany, holland, and belgium together… sometimes riding motorcycles, minivans, or a snowboard/ski combo. all of this is to say that when given the opportunity to have one more adventure together, and travel to lisbon to photograph his beautiful wedding, all i could say was yes.
now, let me tell you about this wedding… there were some language barriers, there was a heck of a lot of sun, and it included indulging in some delicious pastries… and that was all before it even started!! the ceremony itself was held at the beautiful pousada castelo de palmela, pretty much the most gorgeous castle atop a mountain that overlooks the entire city of lisbon and even has a view of the ocean… and all of it draped in perfect rays of sun. it was perfection. i have to give a huge shoutout to the few and the proud… that would be the few guests that were proud to cross halfway across the world, face insanely long overlays, and even the ones that went straight from the wedding to the airport. these guys were there because they are proud to call irina and charlie friends. i can’t ignore that kind of commitment and love.
and what else can i say? russians, spaniards, portuguese, americans, and the dutch. tears were shed cigars were smoked, and memories made. i think that pretty much sums it up. and if it doesn’t, that’s what these photos are for… see for yourself!
i wanted to be in one of the photos too! 😉
congratulations irina & charlie!!!
the first. that’s the first thing that came to mind when i met jon, my first nephew. i honestly have been thinking about what to say for the longest time, and i’m having a hard time putting into words. it’s so strange to see my brother, the one who i would equally look up to and fight with as a kid, suddenly being someone’s father. i guess maybe i’m just getting old, but it’s a bit mind-blowing. as is just looking at and holding this little man, with his teeny-tiny hands and his incredibly large-for-his-size feet. i also have to send a huge shoutout to my sister-in-law for braving through a not-so-smooth pregnancy. i remember cancelling several plans because she wasn’t feeling so great. nonetheless, i think that it’s clear as day that it was all worth it. incredibly worth it.
we hit the road. when i first started talking to tani about doing a maternity session we quickly got excited about the idea of finding someplace out of town, calm, and absolutely beautiful. we found the perfect spot in noja. a nearly-deserted beach, an adjacent park, and the golden hour promising us a gorgeous sunset was definitely worth the drive. these two… they’ve definitely got a good thing going on. it was so easy to get them to be affectionate and have fun with the session because they are just overflowing with love for each other. they honestly made my job so easy and fun that i can’t wait until we get together again for some newborn photos. it’s going to be amazing!
blue eyes. it’s impossible not to notice them when you first set your eyes on emma. along with her amazing head of hair, this baby will steal your heart and then melt it. she was very well behaved during the session and even flashed me a smile or two at the camera.what more could i ask for? i have to say i was also super happy to finally be able to see elisa and victor transition from their happy couple session, to their maternity session, and finally see them become parents. being able to witness this is definitely a privilege and one of my very favorite things as a photographer. thank you guys for opening your home to me and allowing me to capture these beautiful moments!
we sneaked out. the day that i shot mylene and miguel’s engagement photos we had actually met up for a barbecue full of friends and family. we had spent the last couple of weeks trying to arrange a proper date for the engagement session but inevitably something would come up and it would fall through. so there we were, stuffing our faces with freshly grilled burgers when i mentioned that i had brought my camera “just in case.” mylene’s eyes lit up. after a little convincing, miguel agreed to an impromptu photo shoot, and we we sneaked out of the barbecue and into the woods to write down the chapter to their new story together. we will meet again in september, with vows, and flowers, and toasts with champagne… but this time everyone will know. 😉