Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Shot My First Italy Wedding!!!

Good Morning Everybody,

No kidding - we were planning one more long walk through the city on our last day in Florence.  We headed out from the J&J Hotel which was close to an old church at the end of the block.  LaDawn first noticed the wedding decor on the church rails and a small car waiting for the Bride and Groom.

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I couldn't resist, I had to check things out so into the church we went.  Sure enough, the wedding service was just concluding.  Being a wedding photographer, the most surprising thing to me was the fact that the photographers and videographers were all over the altar to get the best angles for their shots. They also had studio lighting set up approximately 8 feet high to both sides of the alter. Just look at the images below to see the action of the photographers.

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I’ve had similar experiences myself in my career where the photographer is expected to be right up there, up close and personal with the bride and groom to capture the photograph. 

My first experience with that expectation was at a Cuban wedding I photographed years ago.  The father of the Bride and the priest were pressing me to get closer to the action.  More recently, when photographing Hasidic Jewish weddings, the photographer is expected to right up there under the Chupa with the bride and groom, wedding party, and rabbi to capture all the action.

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Anyway, back to my Italian wedding.  After the ceremony. the bride and groom, witnesses, and the photo/video crew all converged on the altar for the signing of the marriage license and register - you can't miss that shot, and judging from all the camera activity going on up there on the altar, those guys and girls didn't miss it either.

The other surprise was that there was NO recessional that we traditional have at our services in the USA.  All the wedding guests family and friends left the church and lined up outside with rice waiting for the bride and groom to make their exit.  A few minutes later we were at the height of the action - rice flying everywhere!

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After making their exit, the bride and groom spent several minutes greeting their guests and getting photographs made with family and friends.  We were there about an hour.  Here are a few of my favorite images from my first REALLY Italian wedding.  Enjoy!_______________________________________________________________

Hey gang, that's it for my bonus weekend post.  We head north to Rapallo and our adventure continues. After we get settled in and get a feel of the surrounds I'll be back for an update.

Caio, David*

*Thanks Lisa ;~)


  1. great wedding pics :-)

  2. Wow, in my experience with wedding photography getting that up close and personal during the ceremony would be asking for trouble. It does lend itself to researching the custom & decorum of specific wedding practices or communicating with the presider beforehand what is and isn't acceptable.

  3. Hi David,
    thanks for sharing.
    I'm an italian wedding photographer, if someone is interested I can share my thoughts about my italian weddings....
    Just let me know, I can write a guest post for your blog.
    Here my weddings:

  4. Hi David, in Greece photographers tend to approach wedding photography in a similar manner. Usually they intervene in the wedding ceremony by asking the bride or the groom to look at them in order to take the picture. Even though I started the photography business in Greece and we have moved to the US since last January, I prefer the photojournalistic approach. The photographer should not intervene in any way in the wedding ceremony if he / she understands the religious importance of the ceremony.
    Yannis Malevitis

  5. This is how things work everywhere in Latin Europe and the Balkans; I don't know about the northern states. I always wondered how you in the States can shoot a wedding or similar event being from far away, I'd find it very difficult to do (mentally, not technically). It all has to do with the local culture and customs, in the end.