Valencia - My Winter Travel - Part I
Last Christmas I ... (uhm this sentence will end different than you expect) ... traveled to the south of Spain. As some of you well know, I love the south and have not been in Spain since the introduction of the euro. This seemed like a good enough reason to have a small escape. We found a cute apartment right next to the famous market of Valencia (Mercat Central de Valencia) and with that in the very heart of this wonderful city.
Come along for a couple of my favourite glimpses of Valencia.
Dear Friends, I hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas time.
I am very excited to celebrate the birthday of Jesus these days and have some slow time. It is wonderfull to know that this season has a higher meaning and a really good reason to it. My brother is right now backing christmas cookies, while Viola & I listen to kitschy 80s music and have occasional outbursts of laughter. Also, it´s seventeen degrees in Germany. This is almost as warm as last year in the south of Spain. I think God smiled at me and said, Oh well you can´t travel this Christmas, I give you some warm days anyway. Haha. Have a good one! PS, If you feel like watching something pretty I highly recommend Lindsay Stirling's video of Hallelujah. Find it here.
I hope you don´t mind, but this week it will get very christmasy on the Blog.
Jan and his family are already of to visit their family. I have the studio all to myself. I get to do some slow walking, loud singing and sharing a bit of my behind the scenes from my snug apartment.
I don´t quite know why but this winter season is about the quietest I have ever had in the longest while. It could be that I did not yet arrive here and do not have multiple circle of friends to meet and checklists to fill. Or it is the fact that this year we decided to do just one gift for each one of our cozy circle. Each one will get one secret santa present. And then we will simply delight in the company of each other and more importantly in His presence. I am very much looking forward to a small circle of family & friends. A tradition I totally and completely adore about my family is the fact that it is never (ever) to crowded in our home to welcome a guest. This year we will have an exchange student from a small island with us. And ya´ll know how much I love international students. Hihi.
There is no better place for vine aficionados to get married, but a castle surrounded by plenty of vine. It was the sweetest day as the couple laid eyes on each other for the first time in a tiny village church down the valley. Joy spilled over contagiously.
Last weekend on Saturday I got up really early an drove for one hour south... nothing unusual from my wedding routine, but geuss what? It was not a wedding saturday... and with all this incredible golden, mild goodness of this years fall I can get pretty grumpy when I am not able to take pictures around the best hours of the day... you know it being a satuday and a gourgeous one and all...
Therefore I decided to take my little baby (my camera, to avoid confusions) to the Christ crusade meeting from all of southwest Germany. Well... here is what happened. I asked Martin if he would like to sneak out for a mini break and shoot in the little wilderness behind the house.
Let me just say... there was a lot of gold, in the leaves, in the air and in the hair.
Liebe Freunde, endlich ist es so weit. Die letzte Hochzeit des Herbstes ist bearbeitet. Zur Feier der 25 Hochzeiten die ich fotografieren durfte und der 30 die ich bearbeitet hab (für zwei weitere Fotografen) gab es zunächst eine extra Portion Tandooro Chicken mit Nan... Nach der kleinen Stärkung geht es weiter mit einem Highlight im November. Unseren Studio Workshop. Kennt ihr das auch? Wenn man auf Reisen unterwegs ist, und man möchte das Erlebnis einfangen, weiß aber grad nicht mehr wie die Modi der neuen Kamera funktionieren? Ja, das kennen wir. Und wir möchten euch gerne helfen besser mit eurer Kamera die Bilder zu machen die ihr einfangen möchtet!
Two weeks ago I got this immensly wonderful mail in my inbox. A friend from New York had asked if four five days later I would be around Berlin. It was not my plan till then,but I made it my plan. So I sat on a train for half a day & emerged in Berlin right after his flight arrived. He is one of my dearest chums from way back as I lived for the first time in Italia. It was this season of life when friends told me I should watch Big Bang Theory and I vehemently resisted because I had all of this in real life right outside my door. Speaking of sharing a house with approximately thirty computer scientists and engineers. Till now it is one of my favorite times of my life.
I loved being able to drive up to Berlin and hang out for two days. Have our wonderful conversations, take a stroll around Berlin in fall, make nerd jokes, try craft beer and finally being introduced to lol. Till this past weekend I thought lol is laughing out loud. Turns out I was wrong and this Lol championship is also a good reason to pay Germany a visit.
It started out as a rainy day and despite the thick clouds this incredible couple decided to set up the chairs on the field behind the romantic mill. For the first look we met under a broad roof between the hen house and the main house. I just love this well curated place. Every corner you turn is utterly photogenic. And this day? My couple was a dream to be around. They were full of joy and laughter. From the first to the last moment.
The unusual about my past weekend was that I shot two weddings in a row. Not the usual one short, one long wedding. No, two long ones. While Friday I got to be at one of my favourite locations south of Stuttgart again, Saturday I shot at a greenhouse wedding! What joy & beauty awaited. This aside I knew I had to prepare the days with sleep and rest well in advance. I packed my favourite food and prepped the car with some stay awake music for driving home late at night. Then there was only the agonising outfit choices to be prepared. Believe it or not... Friday I wore my PJ to work. Not what you think, editing in front of the screen, not-seeing-a-single-soul-work-day. It was a wedding day. :) There you go, how to wear an italian dress and a PJ top. Since I totally forgot to ask someone to take my picture, here is another one, with the same pyjama top. :)
Other highlights were, that I was told I speak Italian with a Spanish accent from a Sicilian. Always a pleasure. And then Sunday (brain function about zero) I placed four baby vases on the mattress of my bed and ten minutes later lifted the mattress to open the bed-drawer... Yeah, my advice: don´t do that...
Here is to rocking your long weekends & being cozy while doing so!
I woudln´t have believed it earlier this year but September turned out to be my busiest month. I have shot three long and three short weddings and minor shootings during the week. As the past Saturday came I was excited that my weekend had two full days of pause.
Not only this but also German Unity Day. I like this day. It is a day I love spending with people I could not have hung out with would the wall not have crumbled. I like this day because it is a reminder that peaceful revolution is possible. I like this day because we have this immense gift of living in a free country. This in times where waves of displaced people remind us that political and religious freedom are not always for granted.
For that and all the other good reasons I asked some very precious ladies to share the day. We had an extended brunch and then a walk in the fall goodness.
Come along for a happy mash of impressions from this day.
The day we met was just lovely. We laughed a lot and she especially as they told their story of quietly looking at each other for semester after semester till finally in their last week at the university Nico summoned the courage to speak to her. It was the sweetest story and I think I fell in love with them that day. To trump all this they got engaged in Bolzano where I once have studied. You can image we had plenty to share.
Tamara enchanted me with her classy yet modern style. Her dress is a special design by her and a dress maker from Munich. Oh Gosh! And then there are those portraits where she reminds me of Audrey Hepburn. But see it for yourself!
Often before moving to Stuttgart I had asked friends what their favourite place is if they were familiar with the city. One friend had said her total favorite place is the "Schlossplatz" castle plaza during sunrise. Taking her word on it I decided to meet with Johannes during the magical sunrise hour right there. I had a look at all the buildings near by & decided that for the vibe he wanted for his images, this would be a marvellous place.
This weekend something queer happened. I had a short wedding on Friday and a morning shoot on Saturday... then I settled at Anna´s place & we started our weekend together. Made pancakes for breakfast and had lunch with Samosa´s. After a full day of relaxing I just could not believe my weekend had another day of rest in store. Good times, friends. I watched three sunrises and sunsets. I mean seriously, when was the last time you took the time to savour a new day being born? Gosh it is a miracle, every.single.time. So there I was on the balcony talking to God.
In the past weeks I started reading the Chronicles of Narnia and I have to tell you, I am in love with these books! Not the films, the books! I think there is so much truth in them that I have to read them all over again. Even more, I think C.S. Lewis has a gift when it comes to speaking about God´s character. Some of the lines just hit me full on.
Honestly, I am at a loss for words about where to begin. This is at the same time the closing and the beginning of a new chapter. Maybe you need to know one thing about Anna & I... we where roomies for the last half year and I had never have anybody, no I mean it, grow so close and steady to my heart as this girl did! Where shared are lives and our joys... and all the quiet, crazy moments in-between. With the big day drawing nearer we brainstormed endless ideas & options about how to let this day unfold. And at the same time middle of August came, not quite daring to talk about moving apart but still looking forward to the rest of all the goodness. I have seen Anna & Chris on the every day, quiet, not glamorous and just normal days and I love the way they love each other. How he makes her crazy chuckle and how she makes him write songs. I remember the day we went swimming in the river and he held her in his arms, you know, "to keep the fish away"... and how they scream-laughed all the way through. The good, honest kind of belly laugh. In the early hours on that special day I went to meet with Anna extra early. Before the wedding bustle swept through the day... to have some tranquil moments and I was especially honoured to have been asked to come, because as she said, I carry peacefulness... and then for the first time I had a bridesmaids shooting. It was a bliss! Those girls stopped traffic, I tell you! We were in the park in Baden-Baden and they did their crazy flirting with my camera, as one driver going past our lawn actually hit a traffic sign! No kidding! We all laughed our way through this day. This couple is so full of radiant joy that you can hardly help yourself but to be joyous with them.
I remember as Alex shared with me that he was planning proposing to his girl. I was freaking out & had to keep all the goodness to myself for some weeks. We chatted about photographers from the Washington DC area & as the wedding plans where finalised I realised I would not be able to fly over to their wedding in the states. Oh that was a low of lows. Fast forward a couple more weeks & the two lovebirds came to honeymoon in Italia & Germany. Needless to say we had to meet!
In the past weeks I have been asked so many times to give travel advice for Italia that it really had me thinking about... starting a travel guide, a new Blog series on Italia or an e-book or... more than any of those ideas it gave me a deep longing to go south again. It has become kind of an annual tradition. To leave the screens and appointments for some refreshing days and to go south. In order to tame this strong urge of wanderlust I decided to publish some more images from the last time I short-visited Roma.
My past Saturday´s joy was that I shot like the most relaxed wedding ever. It was a wonderful affair. As we entered the dining room all the table numbers where decorated with characters from the best series ever (Kirk& Spock, Bert&Ernie...). So I scouted the room in all tranquility, taking the details shots... as I stumbled on my couple´s table... it had Penny&Sheldon as their table number and I knew we were a perfect fit. ^^ Apart from this awesomeness they are total Italia affacinatos and are honeymooning in my beloved Toscana. If I could give some travel advice? Oh hello yesss!
This is me at work, running crazy during the golden hour. Here is to clients who make you feel like the luckiest. To a gorgeous taste in flowers and golden hours that take your breath away! Have most wonderful new week! Thank you Florian for this one!
It was the first time we shot together in almost two years. We were on the road to Potsdam & I was gazing out of the window. I had not been in the north of Germany for quite some years and somehow I had forgotten how perfectly wonderful the landscape is up here. I was super thrilled about shooting together with Jan again and curious how the teaming would end up, since I had gotten quite used to shooting on my own.
Sooo, this is the back entrance... jup! Life is sweet friends!
If you think about getting married in a castle I would most love to shoot your wedding there! ;)
In the end I savoured the moments when I knew Jan would have my back. I was able to focus on documenting the details (something I love like crazy) and he would take the first round of group pictures. It was a marvellous bliss to split tasks like this. I would entertain the small group pictures while he was with the couple around the corner to work his magical-in-the-woods portraits. And then to actually sit down to drink my evening coke and not drink it on the run like usually was a new peak.
This is us getting the gear and mood ready to rumble. Oh how I love castle weddings!
It´s a lovely season in Germany. Every day you can count on the sun beaming it´s most radiant rays endlessly.
This is all very lovely for having a lovely-lazy pool day. To read the summer read you had on your list. Or... others just like me, might shoot a wedding on the warmest day of the year.
So todays snapshot is from a day with 40 degrees in the shade. Eight straight hours shooting outside. All my attempts to find an assistant for the day failed and I knew I would face this day on my own. To be quite honest shooting in a heat like this is one of my anxieties. This is after all the fresh hair and make-up has long left me. This is after the job is done. This is after having conquered a day I was afraid of fainting from the sheer heat. I remember sitting in the car and feeling so sick I could not drive. But this shot right here shows I made it. Not only to the location, but through the day. I set out to give my very best and conquered the day. This picture is surely not the most perfect or prettiest picture. But it is me, just how I am, with tons of sweat puddles (hence the black and white) and rings under my eyes... and this is also me having faced my fear and made it out alive. Yes. And I am happy to report that after not exactly the most chilled wedding day my wonderful couple loved their wedding images. Despite the sweat, despite the moments of desperation (no air-conditioning anywhere), the hours of endless joy and beautiful spoke louder than the circumstances which held them. Here is to always focusing on the joy instead on the circumstances. Have a wonderful week!
We met in one of my favourite cafés in Würzburg. After the first couple of laughters shared I knew I would love them as my clients. And all the more as clients from the Franconian region where I had lived the last couple of years.
My photographic past year was awesome, car wise. I had a borrowed huge VW passat for over six months, named her Arabella and we got along just splendidly. Not so much anymore as she decided to have a break down (not on a wedding day though, good girl). So then, what next, when your new income just does not cover an own car yet? In the country of cars they are just not as affordable as in many other places, ;) After talking to Jan about this years game plan we decided to opt for car sharing. I had rented a car several times last year and it is not the best affordable option. So here comes Stadtmobil. As for me living in Stuttgart downtown I don´t need to have a car right in fron of the door five out of seven days. If you are familiar with those worries about financing an own car or live anywhere close to those little stations where you can rent a car via car sharing I can highly recommend this option.
You can find car sharing in Germany here. And in Stuttgart here. They really do have a station in every second street down town which makes it super easy to pick up the car you need. If you need a bigger car you can find them with Stadtmobil as well. If you are a student and plan to move I can highly recommend this wonderful page here.
I hope this was helpful to some of you, see you next week!
Since I moved to Stuttgart I knew I wanted to pursue another passion of mine. I mean beside the obvious love-struck awesomeness of going full time on photography...
I wanted to have a guest room ever since I left my parents house almost seven years ago. I grew up with new and old friends running in and out of our home. Some stayed for years, some just for one night. Some I call family, some are intimate friends to this day, some taught me english, some how to cook exotic recipes.
As my Finnish friend JP texted one day if he could quite spontaneously crash for the night, I was delighted to host a wonderful friend. We had met in Würzburg and if we even met for some twenty minutes in between lectures to grab lunch, I always had the feeling that superficiality is just not in his repertoire.
As he was traveling to many countries in the break between semesters his wonderful and at times crazy stories of adventurous encounters gave me a really bad case of wanderlust. Or how Tolkien would put it:
I want to see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains,(...)
Anyway, I enjoyed hosting and listening and laughing and remembering.
And then I had to grab at least one or two frames of him... If I would have a street style Blog he would be on it. As in very second week ;)
One of my total favorite parts about my job is that I get to take it with me. On the road, where I travel. And as it happens for my weekend with le ragazze (my Itaian girls) in Munich it coincided with a lovely inquiry. It happened to be one of the more rainy weekends and for some time we where contemplating whether to risk it or not. Usually I would opt for a rain free day for an engagement session since I think this is the one day you can actually reschedule opposed to your wedding day where you have to rock whatever comes your way.
But since the travel days where kinda our restriction we decided to run with it and run we did. Call me strange but I actually love the overcast sessions so much! They have their own prose to it and the colors pop even more.
Having spent almost a decade side by side they decided to get engaged on a beach in Thailand.
Alex & Marcel, thank you so much for asking me to take your pictures. I loved it! I loved that you let me see your giggles and embraces!
For the first time in the almost two years I have been shooting weddings in the Stuttgart area I had a wedding at a location I already knew. Oh what a fabulous feeling. For the first time in two years not everything was all new. Also for the first time I had a more or less relaxed morning before a wedding day. I did not run around like crazy ( what usually happens) in a hectic mind set for the fifteen minutes before leaving the house. This time it was only five minutes. Haha. For me this was a new goal. To quiet down the hectic I usually get myself into before I start the wedding day. I was hoping this year some kind of routine would set in. Some set game plan to calm my nerves.
The wedding I was able to accompany this Friday was at a dream of a location of mine. It is an ancient mill set in a quite valley. Birds of all kinds, geese, white doves, ducks ... all things feathers are sprinkled across the greens and as soon as you close the door of your car you enter into this new place you leave behind all things fast and hectic. It is like a mini-vacation every time I come to shoot a wedding there. A place where the grandfather lets out the big geese at sunset hour so they can eat beside the small stream. Where all the kids and grandparents eat lunch on the porch before the wedding guests come streaming in.
So looking forward to shooting there one more time this year. :)
"If someone asked Emma, as they sometimes did at parties, how she and her husband had met, she told them:
‘We grew up together.”
- David Nicholls
This weekend starts unusually early. I had a Friday wedding yesterday and today I can go on and pretend I have a normal work week. Go for walks, have my favourite pug over for a visit and go to church tomorrow not being entirely sleep deprived. Oh what a day. :)
Here is a little teaser for your weekend. More to come soon of these lovelies!
Last week I was hanging some laundry on the balcony and one of those tiny, precious guys decided to pay me a visit. He sat on my hand. I mustered its wings. Felt its minuscule feet on the skin of my hand and thought this would be a cool selfie moment.
But then it occurred to me, you cannot take selfies with butterflies. The mere notion of movement will chase them away and the magic is vanished into thin air.
Last week was a wonderful one. I got to travel to Munich and meet with my Italian girls and then to travel some further to Würzburg and see my family chums and hug tight and catch up with many dear hearts.
I planned to arrive in Würzburg especially for a tiny, wonderful charity cafe my friends organised this Sunday. This way I got to meet and greet many special people. Not planned was the laughter-filled after party on the balcony. Some of us stayed a bit longer and we had this trial of how many people this cozy balcony can hold. Of course the occasional picture snapping in the sunset light was not forgotten.
Other highlights on the journey were getting accused of being Italian on the subway and stealing German tax money. Always a pleasure friendly stranger...
And shooting for the first time in my personal horror scenario: portraits on train tracks. Not that this was one of those tracks where no trains where running anymore... nooo. The result was that both times a train came rattling out way I was the first one jumping skittishly away. You can guess... I did not exactly enjoy. But on wedding days I do quite literally almost anything for images. ;)
Come along for a small glimpse of the more relaxed hours.
Here is one fact about me. Probably you have realised this some while back, but I am a huge procrastinator. There you go. As so often with projects and me being involved they get pushed to the very limit of the deadline. Don´t we all do that?
One of my favourite part about moving away from Würzburg, if there is any part to be favoured..., was that some projects where finalised in the last week. This way I got to go for some walks, climb some of the lovely hills and shoot some incredible people. Even if the project we where shooting for that particular day is not out in the open yet, I get to share some glimpses of it today.
I was a bit late on catching up with the news of the world after my past busy weekend. But as the week rolled in it suddenly occurred to me. I checked Facebook and different news pages to draw out the mental map in my memory of which part of the mountain country my Nepalese friend was from... With each new click I was confirmed that he was currently residing in the very hot spot of where the earthquake had shaken the earth. In the course of contacting mutual friends and waiting for any kind of news, wondering if the Internet would at all work where he was... I reflecting on my restlessness. I wrote with several common friends, all dear to me. We shared a home more than six years ago and I remember moving away many years back and I had this thought in my mind. I want to invest in people. I want to spent a good and very dear part of my every day to take an honest interest in people, in relationships and what moves them deep inside.
The past days I was wondering where this ache came from. I had a longing to be with those friends, to sit across a cappuccino & just exists for some sweet moments. I wondered why my heart cared so much about chums I had not seen for months, even years. I wondered at the ocean of feelings washing over me. And I remembered my own wish. This day I left Italia behind for the first time and drove in the car by myself. I remembered it now. I had this wish. To put people first. To care deeply. With caring comes feeling. You will not be able to dissect the one form the other. They come along the way, as twins bound tightly. To buy into the full range of emotions is the only gain I have and I realized about the gift to care and be torn, to hope and wait for news. The ache which invited itself last week came because I care.