There are a lot of reasons for a Washington, DC, wedding photographer to take on destination weddings. Getting to take pictures of brides and grooms in a new place is an obvious one. The opportunity to learn about a different culture is another thing that DC wedding photographers take from the experience. That is certainly something that we appreciate, given our international backgrounds.
One of the biggest justifications, however, for photographing marriage celebrations overseas is the effect it has on one’s photography. Getting away from our home market of Washington, DC, gives us a whole new world of settings for couples portraits. We can create images of brides and grooms in front of backdrops that do not exist in the Nation’s Capital. Those new and fresh locations can unlock a Washington, DC, wedding photographer’s creativity and inspire novel ideas. And that leads to some really beautiful portraiture like what is featured here!
We created this particular image of a bride- and groom-to-be during a trip to Italy. We were in the small Tuscan town of Certaldo for a Fearless Photographers workshop. While in that charming part of Italian wine country, we had the fortuitous opportunity to do an engagement session. As soon as the seminar concluded, we set up a time to take some pictures of these spouses-to-be.
Like any good DC wedding photographers, we spent considerable time picking out the location for their betrothal session. The town of Certaldo is divided into two parts, so we had numerous options. We could pose them in Certaldo Basso, which is the part of town in which we were staying. That is the main, modern section of Certaldo. Alternatively, we could bring them to Certaldo Alto, a beautifully preserved medieval enclave situated up a hill from the rest of the city. Given that we have nothing like Certaldo Alto in Washington, DC, we opted for that location for the engagement photos.
Sometimes, however, a Washington, DC, wedding photographer cannot accurately predict what the best setting is going to be. It turned out that the road leading up from Certaldo Basso was the highlight of the shoot. The path to Certaldo Alto wound a considerable distance from the town, passing through fields and vineyards on the way. We could not have asked for a better setting for couples photos in Italian wine country. The rolling hills, the rows of grapevines, the older part of Certaldo visible in the distance… Everything looked straight out of a travel brochure! Even the sky was cooperative that morning. We were treated to a lovely sunrise over Certaldo. It was the perfect place for this couple to get engagement photos that only could have been done in Tuscany.
The only hiccup was the weather. The climate in this part of Italy is normally temperate, even in November (when we were there). Unfortunately, the morning of the shoot was particularly cold. We could see our breath clearly in the frigid morning air. Thankfully, the bride- and groom-to-be were great sports! Though they were obviously feeling the effects of the weather, they posed for us without complaints.
We started their engagement session with some more tightly-focused images. The idea was to concentrate on their faces and the interaction between the two fiancés. We gradually zoomed out to get Certaldo Alto into the frame. That gave the images a bit more of a sense of place. After some time, we decided that we wanted to get photos that encompassed the entire scene. The couple had come to Italy for these pictures, so why not make the setting a part of the composition?
With that in mind, we hiked up a small hill on the other side of the road. We put our widest-angle lens on our cameras and asked the fiancés to walk hand-in-hand toward us. We happily clicked away and got the image featured here. In our opinion, it does a beautiful job of highlighting the location without losing sight of the main subjects.
Location: Certaldo, Florence, Italy.Keywords: Certaldo Wedding (3), Tuscan Wedding (3), Tuscany (3), wedding photographer (12).