September 15, 2014

When you are stuck - Monday Post

I checked the parking lot sign again. Not sure it could be trusted. I was just approaching the hilltop farm where the wedding would take place later that Saturday. The sign was pointed at a pasture of green. Of wet, soaked in days-of-rain green. I hesitated but then opted to follow that piece of wood still having in mind all the other times I had not followed signs... So I thought to myself this once I will do the German thing and followed directions. As it turns out it was the worst parking lot decision made in... uhm, forever.
After a bit of trying back and forth I felt the wheels turning without moving an inch and jup... I was stuck. Like literally. In the mud. 

Horror scenarios of the unfolding wedding day where forming in my head. You see, this location was not the only one I had to go to. We would start in the village & then go up to the hills. I was just checking everything out up front. My phone had no reception... naturally...
My head started pacing as I slowly started climbing out of my car. I felt my hands shaking as I walked up the hill. Not a good sign. 
The first guy I came across must have read the desperation in my eyes because he offered to take over immediately. As in subito. I handed him the key to my precious car and he said he would give it a try (bless him!!!) if this would not do it, he would get the tractor. 

This was only the first shocker moment of the day! The wedding was planned as an outdoor wedding and as the ones of you currently in Germany might have guessed, this time Plan B kicked in. As in cozy barn wedding plan B. We - bride, groom, me - in my car. Back up on that hill after the first shooting, now heading to the wedding ceremony. As I entered the ceremony barn only moments before the couple was to follow and found it was not just a little cozy dark it was pitch black in there... I literally wanted to scream a loud and audible **** (fill in whatever you want). Oh hello desperation again. 
I went down the isle with all eyes on me, dropped my bags next to a bale of straw and started bringing out the flashes. Nervously I adjusted the settings and held my breath for what was to come. I mean I use flash and I have exercised a good deal... but only for the party part of the wedding day. Using them spontaneously still makes me a good deal nervous. 

Fast forward to the second portrait session of the day. We were in yet another barn filled with straw and hay. The groom had found a rope and was literally swinging across the barn from one bed of straw to the next. I mean in suit and all!
Oh what a day we had. The bride & I laughed our hineys off as Tarzan leaped for Jane.

This was most certainly a new Saturday adventure of mine. At the end of the day, the ceremony images turned out a lot better than visioned in the adrenaline over kill brain of mine and the car was restored to former glory by the friendly stranger on that hilltop farm.

Do I need to add that the group picture was snapped from a dangerously high stack of straw bale?

Oh and there were cake pops!

This picture was taken near Roma, where I had travelled the week before. 
You know, to escape the rain. 
More from that will come to the Blog.

Have a lovely new week, friends!

September 10, 2014

Best Way to End a Wedding Day - Christina & Jacob Part II

For me, as the photographer, an excellent wedding day ends with a sunset session. And when there is a sunset like this one, unexpected, after heavy rain and just splendid... well, I´m in heaven.
As I mentioned in Part I of Christina & Jacob´s wedding, this day was full of surprises.
The time which this wonderful couple made for me, just as the light was right, was one of them.
An equally outstanding but totally different surprise waited for all the guests as we returned to the tent. 

September 1, 2014

Married: Christina & Jacob Part I

It all started in high school as Jacob asked if Christina would be willing to go out with him. This was ten years ago.

Where to begin? A wedding I have been part of as a friend and as a photographer. A wedding which is still fixed in my memory like hardly any other. A day full of surprises. All of them gorgeous and most happy turns of a day unfolding into the unknown. Like asking out a girl in the high school public unsure what her answer will be. 

We started out at Christina´s place, filled with friends from all over Europe. Both had studied abroad several times and have relatives from four different countries. Just imagine the lovely hum of languages mingling <3!

Christina had her dress designed and crafted by our dear friend Marta, which carefully followed instructions to wave a bit of red into all the details.
 Just like the rest of the day. Tipped of by bright red. 
With great love.

For the portraits we continued to one of the most romantic rococo gardens I know so far, right by their house. Oh my, the whimsy in every corner!! Needless to say I went a little crazy on the hyperventilating... 
And then the weather took a turn for the dramatic and started to pour. Like it was middle of October. I remember Christina describing the plan of the day to me... and as I asked for the Plan B, you know... every German outdoor wedding neeeeeeds this Plan B... she said, we don´t think of Plan B. 

August 31, 2014

Time to go south

This summer I have more weddings scheduled on my Saturday´s than ever before. I enjoy the taste of being close to full time during my summer break. Still every rainy, dark, grey summer day in Germany makes me miss Italia like crazy. I mean like nuts. It is even worse when all of le mie ragazze (my girls) are traveling. Soooo, here is the plan for the next week:

This is my one week for travel and I will drink it all in, southern style ;)
Now, here is the deal for you!
If you happen to be in Roma, and you always wanted to have a portrait shoot or engagement shoot or a styled shoot. 
Shoot me a line ( and we will meet next week!

I wish you a wonderful new week tomorrow.
Have a great one!

August 28, 2014


They met during a cultural exchange between Belarus and Germany. What was a brief encounter turned into a second exchange and this eventually developed into a friendship. Across borders and languages, they found their own language of staying in touch, being close and dreaming up plans. One of them came true on this cold April day at one of my favorite places in Stuttgart.  Which made it not only a day of their dreams but also of mine.

 The castle Solitude is truly the ultimate romantic location I can dream of and even on a very chilly Saturday you guys filled it with warm laughter. Thank you for joking so freely, for laughing and giggling along. 
Dear Alena & Ingo-Felix, never before have I laughed so much during a client meeting than with you!!
Thank you for making me falling in love with what I do even more!!
You guys are great!

August 25, 2014

How to get through a wedding marathon - Monday post

Or how to survive a twelve hour + wedding.

I have the feeling, the longer the summer the longer are my weddings.
The first time I was on the phone and the groom announced that twelve hours will not be enough I felt a slight panic gripping me. I had surely accompanied Jan for longer weddings last year. But being a team and shooting all on your own is just a whole different game. 
I know I get tired and exhausted after a full day of carrying around two heavy cameras, plus lens & later with flash. I was quite afraid of not making it through the fourteen and half hours of this one spanish-italian wedding. I know my arms are not as strong and oh, a wedding day full of new turns in the time line can be, lets be honest, very tiring...
So, what do I do to stay on top of the game? 
I decided I need a game plan in order to tackle this marathon which creeped all I had within me... well, out of me. 
So here is my strategy:
It is still in the testing, but the last super long weddings have passed well and I thought it might help the one or other newby. ;)

Get a lot of rest beforehand. 
This is one great tip I read other photographers do. I try to have a quite Friday and get to bed real early. Even if I am bad at retiring early it helps a lot.

Have a lot to drink in the car.
For the warm summer days I have a cooler in the car. It is stacked full with drinks and power bars and all the food I could crave. I realised that when I am hungry I can get cranky... so this is one state I want to avoid. Whenever there is a switch of location and I have five minutes in the car I tend to eat while driving just to stay fit. Usually as soon as I am out of the car there is no time to rest and eat till dinner comes along.

When on a break, be on the break.
During the day and especially during the portrait session I can get really excited. This is cool for the couple because I make jokes, run around and entertain them (read make a fool of myself). At the same time this takes a lot of energy. Whenever I have the smallest break I try to wind down, slow my breathing to relax for a tiny bit. This is very hard and I am so not good at it. ;)

Drive home safe.
Two weeks ago between the time I closed the front door and I got back home where seventeen almost eighteen hours. There was a two and a half hour drive to and from the location and oh boy I was at my limit. Wedding days are kind of extreme so I get my last espresso at 11 pm and turn the music up good.
And lets be honest! There is nothing like driving in Stuttgart down town, with the rain coming down and the windows down for fresh air while Bonnie Tyler hollers I need a hero... in the middle of the night at you. Oh those beats... ;)!

Some instagrams from last Saturday : )

Have a great new week!!

August 20, 2014

My summer in between

Every now and then people ask me what I do during the week... when I don´t shoot weddings. Most people know that weddings happen on the weekends ;) and assume that during the week I am well... not as productive.
Usually I study and teach in university. I take classes, do the student thing and also edit. Now that my summer has fully begun (read, last exam over and term paper handed in) it was time to take off and let summer rain on me.
So I am most happy to write that for the rest of summer I am free of university obligations and truly can take time to roam, to be creative and to drive around the country to visit friends.
This is exactly what I did last week. 

So this is my invitation to join my summer in between. In between the weddings and in between the weekends. In between meetings with couples and preparing for the bliss of what  I gladly call my work.
I decided that my summer break does not have to be scheduled out of the wedding season. I decided it is right here. In the middle. In between.
Small breaks to recharge. And share time with friends.

August 7, 2014

Steffi & Sam - sunrise couple session

 Night was still in the air, I was in the historic centre of town, listening to the rare sounds. 
Waiting. Filling my lungs to wake up.
Then they came around the corner. Both on his bike, she safely in his arms. She blinked at me, unbelieving. Oh, is this what we do?
I greeted them with embraces and let Steffi in on the secret Sam & I had prepared for them.
Honestly? Nothing like surprising friends! Nothing like it.

August 4, 2014

The Monday post - pouring rain & le ragazze

The clouds rolled in, with the wind picking up, I searched my way to the hills near Würzburg as the car went quiet. 
I will be honest with you my mood was low ... even lower. The wedding was planned entirely as an outdoor event and the prospect of a tent packed with loads of guests was nothing for my slightly claustrophobic self.

After a full hour of wet from above... oh happy day... the sky cleared and we had the most amazing time outside with the panorama of the city spreading below the hills.

Not only was it the day I spent with my ragazze (my italian girls) one of us tied the knot and oh boy! Nothing like a good international wedding party!

Oh, the dress was designed and created by Marta (on the left). You will see more of it!!

I was of course happiest to have time with the sunset light working its magic and the cutest couple on earth.
Still I was even more surprised as Christina´s favourite band appeared on the scene. The exact group which she had most detailed described  to me as not realisable for their wedding. Yes, lets just say, she takes great delight in surprising her friends.

So here is to beautiful surprises and the sun coming out again!
Happy Monday!!