I seem to make a habit of staying up all night in Cyprus. Not that there is anything shady going on, mind you; it is all about the photography. :)
Night shoots are by far the most difficult. Getting that perfect shot and timing the lighting of the flash just right can be a pain, but when you do get it, the shot makes for an amazing photo. That is why I was really excited to try out a new piece of equipment, the The Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash. Flashes are super important to photographers in order to properly illuminate subjects and maintain a good light balance, so I was eager to see what the Phottix could do.
As I am a Phottix Pro Photographer for Croatia, I opted to use it in a series of shots in our pool to test out the new equipment. The Phottix Mitros+ is a hot shoe flash that lets you use it either on the camera or, if you need your lighting elsewhere, you can detach it and use the Odin, Phottix’s award-winning TTL flash trigger.
For this shooting, I used Mitros off the camera, placed aproximatelly 45 degrees angle from the model, triggered with Odin for some close up shots. The weather was hot and humid (as usually in Cyprus), so thankfully my handsome model Wilco did not have to freeze to death in the pool. :)
With Phottix's high speed sync feature, I was able to use a higher shutter speed without sacrificing the flash needed for proper lighting. It is very simple to use, even for beginners, and the flash recycle time is absolutely amazing.
Wilco was very patient and understanding about the whole process. Photo shoots can sometimes take awhile, and this one took a little longer since I was testing brand new equipment. He splashed around in the pool for 5 minutes just to get the second shot right. Thank you, Wilco! You are amazing! :)
Overall, the Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash in a combination with Odin trigger was a huge success. You can see every crystal clear drop of water and every subtle ripple in the photos, and aside from the flash, the set was almost completely dark.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with this flash and would definitely recommend it to every photographer. It is an indispensable piece that should be in every photographer's toolkit.
Make sure you stay tunned for new shootings with Phottix equipment and lots of behind the scene materials! :)
If there is one thing I love about being a destination wedding photographer, it is getting to know my clients. Every couple has a story, ranging from the curious to the sensational to the totally romantic. I like to get a feel for what the couple's history is, as it helps me to get the mood of the photo session right. If they met while walking their dogs in the nearby park, an animal-friendly photo shoot at said park is a must. If they met over their mutual love of football, an engagement photo under the stadium lights and the stars is where it's at. I think you get the picture (no pun intended). :)
For Viktoria and Nick, it was those long walks along the bay that inspired me to have their photo shoot on the Molos promenade in Limassol, Cyprus. The evening hours give off the most beautiful orange-tinged light that casts itself all over the boardwalk. It is like something out of a movie scene to see the two lovebirds meet on the promenade. It reminds me of the first time they met.
Viktoria and Nick met at a barbecue hosted by a mutual friend in Cyprus. Viktoria, who was a native Hungarian living in Cyprus, and who is also a devout vegetarian, reached across the dinner table to get the salt. Nick reached for the salt at the same time, and the two touched hands ever so briefly. Think of all the movie scenes in romantic chick flicks where there is an instant spark, an energy and tension that forms from even the briefest of touches. The couple's eyes meet, and it is love at first sight. It must have happened for Viktoria and Nick, right? Isn't real life always like the movies? :)
Well, not this time... Viktoria got a little chilly after Nick tried to spark conversation by making fun of her vegetarian lifestyle, which didn't work out so well. Smooth move, Nick. ;) However, after seeing each other more and more through their mutual friends and seaside gatherings, a mutual attraction soon grew, and eventually, Nick and Viktoria made their relationship official. I guess he got over his girlfriend's love of leafy greens; love means leaving your life of steak dinners for “greener” pastures.
The two could not be happier. You can see it in their smiles, the firm way they grasp each other's hand as they walk down the promenade. There's no regret in their decision to forge a life together.
And to think, it all started over a shaker of salt... :)
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, being a wedding photographer means that sometimes I end up playing other roles as well, a coordinator being one of them. However, I can not be everywhere at once. This is where a day-of-wedding coordinator comes in.
1) Having an experienced person running the show gives you peace of mind.
I have seen firsthand the results of brides having relatives or friends attempt to juggle the tasks a wedding coordinator. They end up feeling overwhelmed, and they are not able to enjoy the wonderful experience a guest should have at a wedding. For your wedding, you need someone who knows exactly what they are doing so that your big day is free of any hiccups or worries about things going wrong.
2) You'll have more time to spend with your guests.
Nothing is more stressful for the bride than constantly being called away every twenty minutes to fix yet another problem. Having a wedding coordinator means you don't have to lose time chatting and spending time with the ones you love.
3) No wrangling.
Leaving this task to a friend or relative is absolutely out of the question. When it is time to take group photos or have the maid of honor do her toast, no one wants to spend half an hour trying to find the missing persons. Your day-of-wedding coordinator will have everything well in hand; after all, it is their job to know where everyone is and have them at the right place at the right time. Leave the wrangling to the expert, and you won't have unnecessary stress, and neither will your guests.
4) Assist bride with putting on her wedding gown.
This can be very difficult to do, especially when the wedding dress is bulky or has multiple layers. Although family and friends can help the bride into her dress, adjusting all the little details to make sure it's put on correctly is sometimes over their heads. The wedding coordinator will help ease the process, making sure it is not time-consuming or stressful for the bride.
5) Making sure the dance floor is clear.
You want that first dance to be a glowing special moment. All eyes are on you as you gaze lovingly into your partner's eyes. The last thing you need are misbehaving children tripping you up or stomping around you, ruining this moment. The wedding coordinator will keep the dance floor clear and make sure that everyone, including the little ones, are respectful of this precious moment.
While I am capturing the precious moments of the bride and groom's big day, the wedding coordinator is orchestrating the smooth flow of events from behind the scenes. The day-of-wedding coordinator is an essential addition to your bridal team.
Here are five reasons not to skimp on your coordinator budget:
“Blessed are those who can hear the music of life.”
Sometimes, as the sun sets and the birds begin to call out their evening song, one cannot help but be beckoned to adventure, to sample the sweet night music that so often floods summer streets, gilding souls and hearts with its ebullience.
Such was the case when I visited merry old England recently as part of my work as a destination photographer—caught up in the hubbub of vibrant London, I decided to seize the night and venture out one evening with a friend of mine for a game of pool. As neither of us was all that familiar with our surroundings, we turned to Google, which led us to the Mau Mau Bar on Portobello Road.
When we arrived, we found that there was no pool table present after all - but there was something even better: Live blues music. Being fans of blues and jazz, we decided to stay, and to grab a glass of good wine and toast to whatever melodies the night may bring. Surrounded by the mystical transcendence of beautiful voices, I let my soul loose in dance, having not a care in the world as the notes lifted me higher. It was the perfect setting for my muse, as it turns out—during a trip to the bar, I bumped into Aleph, one of the musicians who had been playing. Sparks met artistic tinder and before I knew it, my camera was in hand, guided by the intangible vibe that emerges when many imaginative people congregate together.
Aleph, a 35 year old Venezuelan guitarist and musician, was kind enough to agree to an impromptu portrait session, even though he only had 30 minutes to spare between gigs. We hurried outside and I quickly made the most of the vibrant colours on the walls around us, finding them the perfect complement to Aleph's effervescent spirit. Much to my amazement, he was willing to dance on the street and smile his heart out, letting his unique personality beam through the lens like a warm ray of evening sunshine.
While the source of Aleph's radiant glow might have seemed mysterious to many, I had a good idea where it likely came from: His eyes were alight with the passion of a person who is not guided by obligation to material necessity so much as the thrum of God-given gifts. His dreams of being a musician were what led him to London, no doubt in the face of many obstacles and at least some criticism, and today he is so much in demand that his days are packed with gigs - a sight it did my heart good to see.
Too many people do not realise there is indeed a way to do just that - not all engagement sessions need to be staged, to be set up after the question has been popped, used only to commemorate the event once the initial thrill has passed and the couple can pose calmly together. On the contrary, one can hire a destination photographer to go “incognito” and act as a secret engagement photographer, blending into the crowd as I did and then springing into action just as you pop the question to your beloved.
Capturing that moment is so important; in many ways, it's equally as important as creating lasting images of you and your love saying “I do”. Never again will you and your partner stand on the cusp of such a well of emotion - love, anticipation, fear, shock, awe, and delight - as that moment when you cross that first bridge of agreeing to truly commit your lives to one another. As beautiful and touching as weddings are, they are most often a “sure thing”, where the commitment has been planned, the vows have been written, and each person is ready and willing to set the relationship in stone as an eternal bond. The engagement*, on the other hand, is where it all begins - and the look of knowing, for the very first time, that someone wants to spend the rest of his or her life with you, can never be recreated.
* Book your secret engagement session until 31st of December 2015 and get 10% discount on any engagement package. More info at
I felt on that day like I captured something too precious to be described in words - the moment love comes to full bloom, the moment it overflows its cup and spills into the souls of all those around it, a wave of joy rippling out through the great sea of humanity. I wished in that moment that every couple could preserve the memory of such beauty, create lasting impressions of something so perfect and so fleeting, so that it might never slip away.
Being a destination engagement photographer is not all about planning, about carefully-staged shoots set in tranquil gardens and luxurious hotels. On the contrary, often the best gifts come to us photographers amidst the hustle and bustle of life, on busy streets crowded with strangers caught up in the whirlwind around them.
Recently, my work took me far away from sunny Croatia, into the foggy heart of London, one of the largest cities in Europe. Naturally, I could not resist doing some exploring, so on one fine Saturday when the sun broke through the clouds, crowning buildings and shimmering along the Thames, I went out for an adventure.
As on any fine summer day - rare in rainy England - the streets were packed with vivacious people, with tourists, families, young people, and of course, couples. The atmosphere was akin to that of a great carnival, with everyone out to worship the sun and revel in the joyousness of being alive.
I was therefore not surprised to hear lovely music emanating from Piccadilly Square: All Of Me from John Legend danced on the breeze, amplified by the voices of a choir which stood on the steps before a beautiful young woman.
Years spent working as a destination wedding photographer - along with having been born a romantic at heart - has given me a keen eye for love unfolding, so I immediately noticed the nine red roses in her hand. “Ah ha!” I thought; “Someone is about to get engaged.”
Everything after that moment happened in a flash of emotion and inspiration: As the lyrics crooned, "'Cause all of me loves all of you", a young man stepped out in front of the choir, and my camera found its way into my hands. Astonishment and tears dawned on the face of the bride-to-be as her handsome prince knelt down before her, professing his devotion for all the world to see. “Yes!” was of course the heartfelt answer to his question, and thunderous applause erupted all around - along with tears of joy dampening the faces of total strangers - as my shutter click-clicked away.
Find me in London from 5th to 12th of June. Still have some available dates for engagements or couple sessions, portraits, family sessions or private tutoring. Contact me for more info!
Love. Never a tamed, calm thing. Never settling down, never standing still, rushing, moving, like waves rolling over an endless ocean, ever changing and yet remaining in their beautiful consistency.
Love. The power set free when two souls meet each other and decide that it was each other they were waiting for. And then they finally embrace and sparks fly, twirling up into a golden sky, reminding the world that anything is possible. The moment counts, endless seconds filled with the dearest thoughts, the warmest emotions, the purest happiness.
But there is also the future awaiting, bright and shining, a path that may not always be easy, a road that might sometimes get rocky, forcing the wanderers to take a turn, to pause, to sit down for a moment and breathe in and out deeply. And even if the travelers do not know where exactly the road leads, what they do know is that they will be traveling it together, hand in hand, side by side, helping each other to stand tall against all odds.
The past has to be overcome, yet never forgotten. Because it's the past, that helped create the bond which longs for the future. Only true love has the ability to travel through time, to exist simultaneously in the past, the present and the future, only love can bring together all dimensions of this universe, only love can survive, only love counts.
In the end, we are all but ships, floating in time and space, until we find the one, the one whose sails are set the same way, the one who's floating alongside with us. And when the winds are gracious, they might bring two ships like these together and set them on a journey filled with excitement and joy.
This is a story about Carolina and Catalin, a Brazilian - Romanian couple living in a beautiful city of Brasov, Romania.
They met on a cruise boat 13 years ago where they went to work - they never thought they would meet each other, perfect and complete soul mates. Now, they have been married for 7 years, but from my point of view, their love is as powerful as it was the first day.
So what is it that binds two souls together? One of the greatest mysteries of a mankind, a blank space in our so very well explored world, a piece of uncertainty, vague, not graspable, unspeakable, yet uniquely intriguing. It is the glue, that holds the world together, the warm feeling deep on the inside, the soft touch of a lover's hand, two eyes meeting each other, maybe just for one second, a glance bursting with emotion.
Time will always pass by, years, days, hours, seconds fly by, some leaving traces, others not, some being preserved in the memory, some not. Love will always remain. Love would not fade. Because it has no concrete form, because it's ever changing and therefore remaining. The biggest secret, the greatest joy.