24 months, 7 days & 11 little hours - Photographer's Diary
Two years ago when I packed my bag and flew all the way to Jalisco, Mexico, to learn from Jose Villa during his annual wedding photography workshops, I knew exactly what I wanted but had absolutely no idea how to make it happen.
I had million questions for Jose and his wonderful team. I wanted to know how to book destination weddings, how to shoot medium format film, I wanted to see how the styling process works and wondered how to price my work correctly.
I am so grateful for having this opportunity to learn from number one wedding photographer in the world. To hang out with top wedding industry creatives soaking in all the do's and don'ts, getting inspired, watch Jose direct and shoot and to have million more questions right after the workshop on my way back to Ibiza.
In 24 months I have successfully rebranded my entire business. I changed my entire online portfolio from digital to film, everything you see on Instagram, Facebook and my website is shot on film. I booked some amazing destination weddings including the private island of Mustique, Thailand, San Sebastian, Mexico and my next door island, Mallorca.
I am shooting every single wedding on film (and digital only if I need an extra speed plus during the first dance and party).
My clients totally get me, my passion, my vision, they book me because they like every single detail to be perfect and beautiful. My clients love expressing themselves in a unique way, they love good food, great wine, fashion and aim for the best quality. They take care of their family and friends wanting them to experience their perfect day using all five senses.
Thanks to Jose Villa and Joy Thigpen I understood the importance of constant communication. Of sharing your vision with people who collaborate with me. I remember Jose saying:
"Don't ever assume that the florist, chef or a planner know what light you need to photograph the images you want to photograph, or where the cake should stand for the best lighting situation."
Simply communicate with the amazing people who create the wedding day alongside the photographer. The cake artist, floral designer, wedding stylist, designer, wedding planner, chair hire company, transport, waiters, bartenders, performers, artists and musicians. They all come together to make the day simply incredible.
I learnt to check the sunset time and count backwards, I trained myself to check if the cake and the bouquet is facing me from it's "face" side before I press the shutter. I learnt to take control, to be confident, to trust myself as an artist. To trust my eye.
Film costs a lot of money! Shooting film taught me to be selective, to think twice before I press click, to be in the moment with my amazing bride and groom instead of looking at the back of a screen. It taught me patience. Made me see the natural light in a totally different dimension. Now I control the light not the other way round. It made me to see beauty and consistency in every detail. Like a string of pearls.
I remember Joy Thigpen saying and writing:
"In regards to the photographs, we want our wedding photos (actually any photos!) to shelter us and speak to use, to communicate and commemorate. To tell who we are and what we aspire to in our lives. Photographs can shelter a couple's feelings, values. (...). Photography has a remarkable ability to deliver an audience to a story and a story to an audience. "
Film is art, film is timeless, real, soft and elegant. It is true to colours and textures. It's physical. Touchable. It's real craft. It's manual. It lets you be an artist because of it's mental and manual process.
Two year after starting my film adventure, after meeting talented people like Jose Villa, Jonathan Canlas, Joy Thigpen, Emily Newman, Albert Roig and all Carmencita Film Lab team, Laurie Arons, Sarah Winward, Michael Ferire, I am finally at ease with myself as a photographer, as a business owner, girlboss and as a woman.
This year has been so wonderfully kind to me! Since making my inspiration vision board with Belinda Clarke, The Mid Life Mentor, back in April I seriously haven't stopped working and achieving my goals one by one. With Style Me Pretty front page features, Once Wed feature, Conde Nast Traveller commissioned stories and a cover, it simply has been an amazing year of progress and happiness.
Now is the time to set my new goals. To keep going. Keep dreaming. And to look for new exciting collaborations with super creative passionate people around the world!
Can't wait to meet you! xoxo
Concept and workshop: Jose Villa I Fashion styling: Grey Likes I Hair and makeup: Team Hair and Makeup I Design and suprevision: Laurie Arons I Design direction: Pitbulls & Posies I Floral design: Sarah Winward I Wedding dress: Emily Rose Riggs I Venue: Hacienda La Labor I Art direction: Karina Puente