Before moving in with him, I used to share a flat in central London with two of my dearest friends.

It was a council condo between Camden and Tottenham Court Road, and I have the fondest memories of that place. It wasn’t particularly pretty: the furniture was old and mismatched, the kitchen was tiny and the PVC on the floor was stained and risen up on the corners. The bathroom was separate from the toilet (why…London, why?) and the sink was the small corner one. It had a bathtub though.

Milou and I could smoke inside, and Carola was patient enough to put up with the smell of cigarettes that lingered onto the sofas and curtains. We had the best parties and dinner nights there, and our friends had started to call our place ‘the Chickery’.

There is one thing that was objectively beautiful and that, along with the evenings with the girls, I miss so much: the view from my bedroom’s window.

Every time the sun would move or the weather change, it offered a whole new view and feel, and could influence my mood from the moment I woke up in the morning and looked out. It was so beautiful and breathtaking that I couldn’t help but photographing it, every time I could.

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One day the landlady knocked on our door and told us the condo was going to be taken down in the next few years to make space for a new train station.

Oh, London.

  • March 30, 2015 - 11:51 am

    Laura Babb - I love this so much. xReplyCancel

  • March 30, 2015 - 12:02 pm

    Anna Taylor - What a view and what memories. Love this.ReplyCancel

  • March 30, 2015 - 12:30 pm

    Gioia De Antoniis - I miss the Chickery too. <3ReplyCancel

  • March 30, 2015 - 1:24 pm

    Sonia - How beautiful, some memories are treasured foreverReplyCancel

  • March 30, 2015 - 4:56 pm

    Yolande De Vries - Such a great post Martina… xReplyCancel

  • March 31, 2015 - 11:16 am

    John - What a refreshingly different post. Love this :) ReplyCancel

There is plenty of articles for wedding photographers around the web about how to offer a top-notch customer service and what are the things you can do to make them feel appreciated as customers and as people in general (such as making sure you feed the wedding photographer).

feed-me

However, I have never seen anything that might help a soon-to-marry couple build the best relationship they can with their wedding photographer.

I know, the title makes it sound like we’re hard work, delicate wilting flowers but also demanding and entitled. But that’s not what this is about at all.

This is about knowing what will strike a chord in the heart of that one person charged to be the figuratively omni-present stranger at your wedding, in a way that makes him/her love you and bond with you. It’s about little acts of kindness  and wanting to make sure their heart and dedication is sincere because you made it so.

loving_feelings

  1. You will have a first impression of them, but they will have a first impression of you.

    That’s why it’s always nice for us to receive enquiries that don’t read ‘I’m getting married next year, what do you charge?’. Nobody is saying prices are not important and you should not ask the question, but adding a few nice words to your initial enquiry – just out of politeness – will go a long way. If you have already looked at their websites and are contacting them because you’ve loved their work, then tell them. If you’re just fishing around for prices, make an effort to at least make the email a bit more personal.

    I-dont-know-who-you-are

  2. There’s nothing wrong with being on a budget and saying so.

    But haggling to get a lower price is not something accepted, appreciated and expected in the wedding industry. If you have a limited budget, you and your photographer can work together to figure out a way to get a different kind of coverage for less pennies, if they offer bespoke services (or they just want to help). But expecting a full day coverage and then just ask to knock off a few hundred pounds just because

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  3. Don’t tell them about the comparison you’ve made with any other photographer.

    Which means don’t say things such as ‘I’ve heard that guy can offer the same as you for half the price, can you match’?, or ‘Can you try and mimic this style of photos? (following a link to another photographer’s website that clearly has a different style), or even ‘that photographer delivered a billion photos in, like, TWO DAYS. When can we have ours?’.

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  4. If you have strong opinions against any aspect of booking a wedding photographer – keep them to yourself.

    I understand that booking a wedding photographer might not be a priority for you (…really though?), but if you think they’re not worth the price, or if you think your uncle bob could do on his own, and yet you decide to go ahead and book a wedding photographer, keep any sort of remark about your doubts away from your photographer’s ears on the day of your wedding.

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  5. Don’t disappear when everything is done and dusted.

    Here’s the worst kept secret of the wedding industry: feedback is nice. After you receive the very final product (be that an online gallery, a disc or an album for example), you’re really happy with it and there’s no real need for further communication between you and your wedding photographer, do pop an email over – even just to say ‘I received the parcel and we really like it, thank you’. It makes such a difference and could easily make our day.

    8b8HCux

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Piracy is a crime! This post is rated AAARRRR for ARRRRSOME!

Excellent pirate puns aside, it’s finally time to share a wedding that’s as beautiful as it is captivating. Invited from my humble abode in dreary London, I set sail for the warm coasts of Casina – the Castello di Leguigno in fact. I wasn’t there to plunder its doubloons,  but to capture something just as (if not more) valuable: Marcella (Marcy) and Lorenzo’s (War) pirate wedding.

Marcella (Marcy) and Lorenzo (War) first met many years ago. Back then they both were with other people and were only friends to each other.

(e)X MARKS THE SPOT

And never truer words were spoken, for it was breaking up with their exes almost simultaneously that brought Marcy and War together. As they became each other’s shoulder to cry on, their geeky love flourished, and two years after realizing they would never ever let go of each other, War took Marcy to Lake Garda and proposed.

They both looked absolutely and fearsomely dashing in their beautiful pirate attires, courtesy of Midnight Costumes, but what stunned me the most was that all their guests, ALL of them, also wore their pirate attire and pulled it off just perfectly.
Yours truly also dressed up, but we don’t really want to talk about that. I looked like a very pirate-y potato.

War and Marcy threw out of the window all those stale and antiquate Italian wedding traditions for their wedding day. The only one they were not willing to let go was the bountiful amount of courses at the reception.

Even the entertainment had a funky twist: the folk-metal band Diabula Rasa kept the throats roaring until DJ Dirty Diana took over the dancefloor for the last part of the evening.

The whole crew drank, ate and danced until late in the night. It was a proper party-wedding.

Marcy and War decided not to have any couple-shoot during the day so that they wouldn’t make their guests waiting, which I thought was thoughtful. However, after seeing how freakin’ gorgeous their costumes were, I kind of regretted not trying to talk them into reserving at least 20 minutes for the two of them alone, as I feel I could have taken some cracking pictures.

Oh well! My mistake.

After all, To err is human, TO AARRRR IS PIRATE.

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  • March 10, 2015 - 1:08 pm

    Kathryn - Wow! Wow! Wow! What a great theme. Everyone looks incredible and you have captured it beautifully. A wedding I wish I was a guest at. Gorgeous!!! xReplyCancel

  • March 10, 2015 - 7:20 pm

    Eneka - TOTALLY amazing. Great wedding theme and must have been so much fun photographing this! xReplyCancel

  • March 10, 2015 - 7:29 pm

    John - Woah! Fantastic documentation of one crazy cool wedding!!ReplyCancel

  • March 11, 2015 - 12:20 pm

    Aaron - I’ve seen a lot of ‘wedding’ things in my time, but a pirate themed wedding – now that I haven’t ever seen! Amazing job though! So diverse and fun – you’ve documented it beautifully! :) ReplyCancel

  • March 11, 2015 - 3:26 pm

    Nikki Cooper - OMG!!! How fffing amazing is this wedding! You lucky bean – beautifully captured :) ReplyCancel

  • March 13, 2015 - 2:48 pm

    C - Such a fun wedding! Nicely captured :-) ReplyCancel

  • March 16, 2015 - 11:33 am

    Jenny Owens - Beautiful photography Martina of such a cool fun wedding!ReplyCancel

It so happened that one day, a lovely girl named Domiziana decided to undertake a project that would likely drain the life out of me if I had to manage it, but she can, because she’s just that great.

So she gathered together 31 photographers, asked them if they would like to shoot one photo per month (each), with their phone, for Instagram, and opened an account to which all 31 photographers will submit one photo each per month, following a strict calendar.

She (we) called it The Instant Collective.

It’s new, tiny, fresh, hopeful.

It’s been live for barely a month and it already looks so beautiful, it has no purpose other than showing off what 31 different minds perceive as beautiful and display it all together, one photo per day, one day at a time. I’m one of the peas in this pod but I am so very much excited to see how far this project will go.

If you’re interested in knowing who’s shot a particular photo, you need only read the description, but really, just follow the account.
You won’t regret it. We’re a good bunch, I promise.

THE INSTANT COLLECTIVE

Photo by @le_mondi | #shooting #vscocam

A photo posted by The Instant Collective (@theinstantcollective) on

As every story, we will start from a blank sheet. Photo by @colorsinbw | #vsco #typewriter #writing

A photo posted by The Instant Collective (@theinstantcollective) on

Photo by @lammaigal | #fruit #citrus #vscocam

A photo posted by The Instant Collective (@theinstantcollective) on

Photo by @freddyviera | #love #venice #vscocam

A photo posted by The Instant Collective (@theinstantcollective) on

  • March 8, 2015 - 1:51 pm

    Sarah - What a fantastic idea!!! Following this right now!ReplyCancel

  • March 9, 2015 - 2:27 pm

    Jenny Owens - This is such a fantastic idea and I love all the photos!ReplyCancel