One of the biggest challenges I put forward to myself in every wedding shooting I undertake is to make the couples feel that the photos they will hold in their hands after the big day, were taken by a friend of them, not by someone who was a stranger a few months earlier. In the case of Giorgos and Eleni, I accomplished this challenge, despite the fact that we had very few face-to-face contacts, since they live abroad.
It was a hot morning of August of last year, when the intended spouses visited my gallery, while looking for a photographer who would answer to their expectations and desires for the ceremony of their wedding and their little daughter’s christening. Before they had even decided which was going to be the place to host the double sacrament, they trusted me for the big day. Our distant communication for the planning details was in no way an obstacle for a perfect cooperation, thanks to our frequent talks through skype.
The choice of Trizonia in Fokida for their destination wedding and their decision to give a big party for their friends, a day before the wedding, were for me a double blessing, because I not only had the chance to take pictures in a hidden heaven I know very well, but also my presence in the island one day earlier played a decisive role to come even closer to the couple and their mates in order to capture really spontaneous and genuine moments.
The enchanting landscape in Trizonia, with its wild natural beauty and the deep blue waters, was the ideal place to welcome Giorgo’s and Eleni’s guests, who arrived by little speedboats, having departed from distant regions of Greece and Europe. Friends form Athens, Messolonghi, Orestiada, Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels and London reached the small Greek island to honor the couple! The European air was mixed with the unique Greek summer breeze for two unforgettable days and I recorded every moment with professional persistence in the details and with a creative impulse which resulted from my becoming a member of a happy company of young people.
On Friday afternoon (1st July), the couple with a few friends gathered in a dreamy, isolated beach and engaged in dives, laughters and games, which foreshadowed what would follow on the next day. The rocks and the cacti, together with the crystal waters, created an atmosphere completely exotic; the ideal scene for natural images and for my favorite submarine photo shoots. Giorgo’s and Eleni’s kisses under the water were film-like!
Later on, I suggested that the pre-wedding shooting be taken during a walk along the island. A touch, a hug, a true moment, combined with the virgin terrain and the absolutely unexploited island gave me the authenticity and the qualitative aesthetics I pursue in my photographs.
In the evening of the wedding’s eve, the almost 30 select couple’s friends enjoyed a relaxed time at a maritime tavern and I concerned myself to convey the atmosphere with a photo taken from a high point, in order to depict on the one side the guests and on the other side the tranquility of the scenery as the lights, after the sunset, reflect on the sea.
The wedding day had come and I was vigilant since early in the morning. After reading over the sun and mapping the routes the bride and her friends would follow on their way to the church, I felt sure I had made the right choice for the shooting of every photo, before the ceremony. The cacti was the best choice to photograph Eleni’s wedding dress and accessories, in order to create a connection with the previous day in the seaside.
The groom’s stylish accessories were also placed in a natural scenery for a bucolic photoshoot, during his preparation, which took place, with the company of his friends, on the other side of the island, before they reached the central square by a small sloop.
I captured the bride’s and her friends’ walk along the island’s backstreets, till the time she reached the church, where happiness, thrill and a sense of positive energy were dominant. A photograph of Eleni, dressed in her minimal long wedding dress, in front of some purple bougainvillea flowers, with the church rising on the background, and some photo shoots with a minimal, Cycladic-like aesthetics, dynamically complemented my artistic prefatorial narration, before the ceremony.
At the church, the bride’s reception by the groom, as well as by their little daughter, was deeply emotional. The ritual, conducted by a special and amiable priest, was enjoyable, maintaining the simplicity and grandiosity that the couple had chosen. That was the combination I also tried to depict during the couple’s photoshoot after the ceremony. My consideration of the right shooting angle depending on the light was justified by the photographic result which speaks for itself!
During the wedding reception, which took place at a fish tavern on the seaside, I singled out the inspired by the travels decoration and the unprecedentedly successful party, where the approximately 100 guests became a mixed company, danced to their heart’s content and had great fun. I feel exceptionally glad, because my photographs will always be a reminder of the fact that in this wedding tens of people travelled from big European urban centers to a very small Greek island of only 2,5 km2, to honor a loving couple on the most important day of their lives.
Eleni and Giorgo, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your trust and I wish your marriage life will always prove that the geographical distance is not enough to alienate people, when there is true love between them!