Wedding reception table setup, Sphinx restaurant, view through door, Fira, Santorini, Greece

While getting married in one of Santorini's terraces is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, having your wedding dinner in one of them enjoying the volcanic ''caldera'' view, is also an unmatched experience.

Here is an image that represents, in my mind's eye, a ''door to a new tomorrow''.

Shot in ''Sphinx'', a wonderful restaurant, in Fira, near the main church.


Wedding kiss, gorgeous sunset, in front of volcanic view, Le Ciel Venue, Santorini, Greece

There can be tremendous passion and also tenderness and serenity in a kiss.

Having photographed thousands of weddings and tens of thousands of kisses, I sometimes feel like an intruder, and maybe, just maybe, I also feel a little bit reluctant to lift the camera, as if I am about to break the ‘’perfect silence’’ of a kiss.

But I do (lift the camera), as I have been invited to participate in the moment, in my own unique way, and I need to be worth the privilege.

Most of the times, the couple has even forgotten that I am there, and these are indeed the best moments of them all.

These two images were shot after a gorgeous wedding at Le Ciel Venue in Santorini Island, Greece.


Wedding couple touching lips, kissing, in front of the White Tower, Thessaloniki Greece.

This handsome man, is the ‘’shaved’’ Italian groom, from the previous blogpost.

The bride, a Greek woman, is also, of course, stunning...!

As the couple would fly out of Greece a couple of days after the wedding, we did not have enough time for a next Day photoshoot, and so, we had to use the little time available between the church ceremony and the reception.

We drove to the White Tower, Thessaloniki’s most famous landmark, where we spend approximately an hour or so, creating images for their wedding album.

 We also shot a few photos of them both in front of the monument, to be sent to friends and relatives that could not make it to the wedding.

This image is my favorite of them all, as it depicts the ‘’perfect kiss moment’’.

It looked great in color too, but the black and white version is, in my opinion, even better.


Shaving the Groom, Greek wedding tradition, hotel room, Thessaloniki, Greece

When a couple gets married in Greece, we usually visit both the bride and the groom, in order to capture some precious moments while they are getting prepared and before we all go to the Church.

One of the funniest Greek wedding traditions, is what is called ‘’shaving the groom’’.

During that little ‘’ceremony’’ the groom’s closest male friends, gather around him and give him a shave, that may be ‘’virtual’’ or – at times – real…!

Sometimes though, they do much more than that, as they spread shaving foam on his hair and on his chest, pretending that they will shave them too…!

I have even witnessed a traditional wedding, in a small village in the countryside, when the groom’s cousin, used a real sharp axe to shave a – small – part of his beard.

His advice to the groom was: ‘’don’t cough, don’t sneeze, don’t breathe, for a minute’’…!

The whole thing was scary in a funny way, and funny in a scary way…!

Thankfully the groom survived to tell the tale and did get married to his loved one and they did live happily ever after.

In the instance of the above portrait, the groom, that was Italian and got married to a Greek girl, had lots of fun, and the ‘’shaving’’ was painless, as it was ‘’performed’’ with plastic cap on the razor…!

I used a medium telephoto lens, to shot from a distance keeping myself out of the ‘’line of fire’’…!


Bride & five bridesmaids embracing under the sun. Volcanic view, Santorini island, Greece

After having photographed the wedding bouquets (previous blogpost), it was now time to ask the ladies for a group-hug-portrait, on the same location…!

They put down their makeup accessories, grabbed their bridal-team robes and rushed out of the prep room and in front of the caldera view for a few minutes, giving me ample time for some memorable shots..!

And, here they are an hour later, at Dana Villas, a few minutes before the wedding..!


Bridal & five bridesmaids bouquets on curved whire roof. Volcanic view Santorini Greece

Wedding bouquets are a significant part of the wedding day and they unquestionably deserve our photographic attention...!

The lady holding this particular bridal bouquet, got married at Dana Villas Venue, escorted by her five bridesmaids.

While all the girls were getting ready, in a room close to the Ceremony terrace, I researched the nearby area for a suitable spot, to photograph all six of them against the glowing white and deep blue the of the volcanic view.

I made sure that I shot them quickly, as to not expose them for too long under the scorching sun, and I promptly put them back into their wrappings.


An Australian Wedding in Bali Indonesia: Gazepo, Ceremony, Beach Photoshoot

A few years ago, I had the chance to photograph a number of weddings in Bali, Indonesia.

The most memorable one, was that of a wonderful Australian couple, surrounded by friends and relatives who flew all the way from Australia to share this special day with them.

The bride was an incredible lady with a great sense of humour and an epic appetite for life and for seizing the moment...!

While everybody was having drinks mingling and chatting, she left the hotel venue and went to the nearby beach, still wearing her wedding dress, and started playing soccer with some local indonesian boys..!

Thankfully the dress was not ruined (...!...) and we could still shot a few frames with her running on the muddy sand with her bridesmaids (...although I must admit that I did have to perform a little Photoshop magic on the dress and ''clean it up''..)

A little bit later, and as the sun sets at 18:00 in the evening, pretty much throughout the year, I managed to isolate the couple for a while and create a few images of them walking on the beach, in front of one of the most colorful sunsets I have ever experienced.

This time I did not have to work on the colors of the sky, as they were perfect just the way they were..!


Wedding couple sunset shot at Pyrgos village Santorini

 

This wonderful couple got married at Theros venue, on the west side of the island.

After the ceremony and as we had approximately 90 minutes at our disposal for the photoshoot, we drove to Pyrgos village that stands at the top of a hill, in the lower one third of the island.

Pyrgos is small all-white picturesque village, that is very worth visiting and exploring full of small gift and coffee shops and restaurants.

Walking uphill to explore it, rewards the visitors with incredible view of the whole island and some unique photos that can only obtained on this part of the island, since it is also the tallest.

The sun was quite low on the horizon, but we managed to get the shots that we wanted and return to Theros in time for the reception.


Wedding couple walking on Firostefani vilage road, evening shot, Santorini Greece

Firostefani and Imerovigli are two small villages, interconnected with Fira, which is the capital of Santorini, creating a long stretch of white houses and resorts, all hanging at the edge of the black stone cliff of the Caldera.

They are all located on the west side of the island, the inner one, providing an endless variety of micro locations, perfectly suitable for same-day and next-day wedding photoshoots.

Starting from one of the highest locations in Imerovigli next to the La Maltese restaurant, we step down a few steps and go all the way leftwards, towards Firostefani, creating memorable images, up to the Christian church od St. Anastasia, and even further, concluding our photoshoot in the middle of Firostefani, where the driver is usually expecting us, to take us back to the wedding venue.

This couple was photographed at an open location close to the end of this itinerary, where the narrow streets widen up a little, while the view remains exquisite, as the sun is on a trajectory to set in the horizon and the light is still ample and warm.


Bride and Groom being held by Groomsmen Bridesmaids after wedding ceremony Santorini

Weddings are about Love.

Weddings are about Life.

But Weddings are also about fun and laughter, and creating precious moments, and I am always there to capture them for you.

Santorini wedding are always full of energy, and full of passion for the essence of Life, for ‘’Carpe Diem’ in Latin, or ‘’seizing the moment’’ in plain everyday English.

So few words, such an expanded meaning, encompassing anything and everything that Life has to offer.

Creating fun and funny moments, capturing these expressions of joy is what makes photography so valuable on the day, and for many many years to come.


Bride wearing garter against the light black and white portrait Athens Greece

Brides are always so unbelievably gorgeous

The excitement of the day enhances their natural beauty and almost each passing moment feels unique and worthy of preserving through time.

Some of the most amazing moments occur during their preparation when the vulnerability of the moment is combined with the way they feel, resulting in golden droplets of time,that I am always on the lookout for.

I thank you all for that..!


Wedding dress hanging on Santorini studio door offering a volcanic view

Most rooms and studios on the west side of the island, especially those with the volcanic ‘’caldera’’ view, are a bit on the small size side, as space on the cliff is limited.

The view is always magnificent though, being the main reason, why so many people are attracted to the ‘’rock’’ as we, wedding photographers, affectionately call Santorini.

I photographed this wedding dress in one of the tiniest rooms, that I have ever visited, using a wide-angle lens and positioning myself accordingly.

Thankfully the bride got prepared in another, bigger, room, eventually and I had plenty of space to move around and create the images that I wanted.


Bride ''dancing'' on the water between palm trees in front of hotel pool in Bali Indonesia

In 2013, I accepted an invitation to fly and work in Bali, Indonesia, for a few months.

I jumped at the opportunity, as I really wanted to explore wedding photography in South East Asia, and I also wanted to spend some time staying at a dear friend’s, Glen Allison’s, villa near Ubud.

Glen had spent twenty years roaming the world at will, working as a travel stock photographer, distributing his images mainly through Getty Images (you can see his current work here).

After the decline of photo stock as an industry, he reinvented himself and has now evolved into an amazing fine art visual artist.

While staying at Glen’s place, for the duration of the wedding season, I shot a number of weddings mainly on the island of Bali, using exotic locations, beaches and venues, that are, quite different, visually, from those of the Mediterranean area.

This bride in this photo looks like she is running and dancing on water.

The images was staged and shot in a luxurious five-star resort in south Bali. It was a slightly windy day, with fluffy clouds in the sky, and for a moment it looked like as if it might start turning into a storm.

Thankfully, the weather remained bright and sunny through most of the day, giving us plenty of time to shoot all the images that we needed.


Black and white portrait of bride during preparation

I shot this image during the bride's make up and hair preparation, in a private villa in Athens.

The room was a little of the dark side, so I used a small flash bounced on a portable reflector. I turned the image into black and white in Photoshop and did some selective vignetting around the edges of the frame.

I also did some selective dodging and burning on her face, in order to achieve a more cinematic effect.

Her face was stunning and she knew it..!

When the preparation phase was finished we proceeded with shooting full body portraits and poses both alone and with friends and relatives in the house's garden.


Wedding couple resting by the seaside black and white photo

Magda and Ilias, are a couple with great chemistry between them..!

Tow days after their wedding day, we went for a long, slow and mostly enjoyable Next Day photoshoot, to Chalikdiki, an area full of lucious forests and azure blue sea, near Thessaloniki, the city were they got married.

At one point I asked them to lay on a beach chair, hold one another, close their eyes and pretend that they are asleep.

I think that they really fell asleep for a few minutes..!

Later I turned the image into black and white and it has, since, been one of my favorites.