Well not really. It was not an actual wedding. But it was a vision. A vision to create a scenario to be able to capture some wedding images from Italy – which is what a group of us did when we went on our first PhotoVenture trip to Italy this past September of 2009. With the help by our tour coordinator Max Brunelli, we organized a photoshoot with Italian models and for few hours where we photographed them in their wedding attires and came up with some really cool wedding images. My goal was that all of us will walk away with some beautiful images for their portfolio. But not only that, I wanted them to challenge themselves to work in any kind of environment despite the language barrier to come up with shots that they needed. My personal goal was to photograph more weddings here in Italy so I wanted to build a portfolio to showcase more of my work in a unique backdrop only Italy can offer. Last year I had the privilege of photographing a beautiful wedding for Bob Davis and I fell in love there and told myself that I will make a goal and my vision to photograph more weddings here.
For this reason, the mock wedding photoshoot took place in a small acquaint hilltop medieval town of Labro tucked away between the mountains. Labro is in the Province of Rieti in the Italian region Latium, located about 70 km northeast of Rome. The town's population is about 350 and is so small that you cannot find it in most tour guide books. They also still have a prince that still lives and governs there.
When we started our shoot, we had couple of obstacle to overcome: 1) Rain. Which meant that we had to pose them in places where they were under the cover and/or the umbrella. Fortunately the rain stopped after about an half hour into the shoot. We learned the lesson of quickly adapting to things we cannot change (such as weather) and rather than letting that discourage us, think of more creative ways to capture the subject.
Despite the rain, we came up with some really cool images
Trying to explain to the them 'almost kiss but not all the way' was little tricky
2) Language barrier: Another challenge we had to face was that none of the models spoke any English. And we didn’t speak Italian so many times we had to use our body language, eye contact and just repeating things slowly and audibly so that they can somewhat understand what we were saying. And because many words were used in repetition, they eventually picked up some of our instruction and we also picked up a few phrases of their own. Lesson learned: that communication is very important during a photoshoot even with our clients. Often times I see workshop attendees just silent while they shoot away at their subject. It is important to keep the conversation flowing during our shoot.
Despite our language differences, I was still able to communicate to them on the reactions that I wanted
Often times we can use the photoshoot time to get to know things around us. We spent some time w/ the old man in the background and found out that he is 95 years old and has been the pastor of the church we were photographing for over 70 years old. Wow!
I love the breath-taking backdrops that only Italy can provide. Rainy weather meant bright blue sky to follow shortly after!
As we were driving away at night, we were mesmerized by how clear the sky was and how the bright stars were illuminating the city. Then we asked ourselves: "Did we really just shoot there?"
I am thankful for the experience that we had together as a group. I am putting it on my vision board to photograph more Italian weddings in 2010 so hopefully it will happen soon. In the mean time, I am taking a group of photographers again in less than 13 days on another PhotoVenture with Kenny & Friends. We have people from all over the States & Canada coming to this one. Kevin Swan from KISS Wedding books will also be joining us on this journey and I cannot wait to explore the region of Campania Felix (Amalfi, Napoli, Sorrento, Rovello, Positano, Pompeii, plus more.) It is not too late to sign up! If you are interested in joining us on this adventure, contact me. Until next time, happy traveling!
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