Nikola & Nicolas’ breathtaking couple shoot in a marble quarry in Italy

This engagement shoot is like a dream, that you’d never even known you had, come true. As a destination wedding photographer I often fantasise of far away weddings in the most unique places. And sometimes, if I’m completely honest, I forget that Italy has some incredibly romantic and breathtaking locations too - when you live in Italy you can easily take it for granted, I guess. But when I look at the pictures of my couples’ weddings in places like Tuscany, Sicily, or the Amalfi coast, it’s no wonder that so many couples choose Italy for their international weddings.

And so, on a sunny day at the end of July, without travelling too far from my home, I was given the opportunity to photograph the love of an incredible couple in one of those places that have the power of leaving you speechless: a Carrara marble quarry. Yes, a quarry - a minimalist’s dream! The perfect place for a couple that loves architectural lines, and possibly the most private and unique location I’ve ever photographed an engagement shoot at…

This beautiful couple, Nicolas & Nikola, is all sorts of amazing. Nicolas was born and raised in Paris, while Nikola was born in Singapore and grew up in California. They met in college in 2008 through mutual friends who felt they could be a match, not only because they have the same name pronunciation, but also because they felt they’d very similar personalities too. Fast forward a few years and Nicolas one day asked permission to marry Nikola, not only from her immediate family, but also from her mum’s two sisters who are like second mums to her - something that Nikola appreciated deeply.

marble-caves-engagement-tuscany_0003.jpg

 

THE DESTINATION

Nikola has always dreamt of visiting the marble quarries due to her fascination with landscape and scale. As she rightly mentioned to me, the scale is truly astounding, something you can only appreciate when you visit them in person. What I love so much about this couple is that they really wanted a place that reflected their personalities. An open architectural space like a marble quarry was exactly it, and the juxtaposition between a clean, structured, and airy place against the green untamed feel of their actual wedding venue (coming on the blog in the near future) was exactly what they were looking for.

the-nicokolas-engagement-cave-di-marmo-1.jpg


THE EXPERIENCE

Nicolas & Nikola hadn’t originally planned for a couple shoot, but as the wedding rush increased they realised that they wanted to document an intimate moment of just the two of them before the big day. I am so glad they did. As a wedding photographer one of the moments of a couple’s big day I love the most is when I get to sneak off with the bride and groom for a portrait shoot. Unfortunately the time we have together is always limited, as the schedule hardly ever allows for lengthy portrait sessions. So making the time for a relaxed engagement shoot before the wedding is truly invaluable. The flexibility it gives you in terms of picking date, time and location is huge, which means you can make it as personal as you want it to be.

 

I’ve asked Nikolas and Nicola a couple of questions on the experience and this is their reply:

How was the experience of sharing these moments with your photographer?

It was beautiful and a lot of fun for us. The extra time prior to the wedding gave us a chance to get to know the photographer and the rest of the team better. The bonding experience allowed us to warm up and get more comfortable in front of the camera - to prep for the actual wedding day. Elisabetta really made us feel at ease and we felt like we had been friends for a long time already. She is very genuine and has a great eye, and great ideas. We are so thankful to have found her to document our special day!

Do you have any suggestions for couple that might be scared of feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera?

I would definitely recommend not forgoing the couples shoot if you are able to. Nicolas and I are normally the ones behind the lens and are typically very camera shy, so we were not sure of spending extra time in front of the camera prior to the wedding. In the end, our time during the shoot was one of our most cherished moments during our wedding. After a little while you forget that the cameras are around and you just take initiatives or follow suggestions from the photographers. Besides - receiving the shots later on is a great experience. You get to rediscover those special few days from a different, more relaxed perspective, and it makes everything worth it.

My gratitude toward this couple for the opportunity they have given me to document such an incredible time in their life is immense. Thank you SO much Nikola and Nicolas.

If you’re getting married and are considering doing an engagement shoot in Italy or beyond, I would love to hear from you or answer any question you might have on the experience.

Tour company: Cave Di Marmo Tours
See more pics on LOVE STORIES

ONE-ON-ONE MENTORING SESSION

A few frames from my one on one mentoring session this week! A full day learning experience where we covered everything from inspiration to workflow and editing.

More info on EDUCATION.

DSC_1654.jpg

FEEDBACK

"Elisabetta was like one of those friends you go to when you feel down - you get back home feeling like all your problems have vanished.  As my day with her ended, I realised that her passion transmitted feelings, emotions and a drive within me that I cannot find the words to describe.  I will never forget the counsel, her reassuring smile and her kindness as she took me through her world. All I want to do now is shoot, apply everything I've learnt, change the way I see things, or even better, add more depth to the way I view things so I can shoot even better images.  A simple thank you would never be enough. Being able to enter Elisabetta's world for a day has been like a precious gift."
Francesca
oneonefrancesca_0006.jpg
DSC_1600.jpg

Noemi & Riccardo’s intimate couple shoot in Florence

Sometimes it’s important to go beyond the boundaries of our commissioned work to reconnect with our artistic side, find inspiration in the unusual and create beauty for the sake of beauty. That’s why a few months ago I decided to do a competition to offer one couple a love shoot. It wasn’t going to be the usual stroll in the city’s most famous landmarks. This shoot had to transcend the obvious clichés and go deep and intimate.

On a Sunday in March I finally met the winners of my competition, Riccardo and Noemi, an Italian couple who met in Urbino while at university. Noemi loves Florence and its romantic and artistic style, so when she heard that the couple shoot would be done at Soprarno, one of Florence most eclectic and artistic boutique hotels, she jumped at the opportunity to have images of the two together that would portray them in a place so close to their heart.

See more on LOVE STORIES, intimate couple shoot in the streets of Florence.

See more on LOVE STORIES, intimate couple shoot in the streets of Florence.

I’m so grateful to Riccardo and Noemi for letting me capture images of themselves that are so intimate. As a photographer, I find that my camera allows me to enter a private, personal realm that you could never enter without. It’s a small eye peering into an intimate situation that gives you the opportunity to capture deep, unspoken emotions. Riccardo and Noemi have allowed my camera to do just that - authentically.

If you’re a couple considering the idea of doing a love, couple or engagement shoot, these are some of my tips for you:

Look for affinity. On the day of the shoot, your photographer will enter a space (both physical and emotional) that is usually reserved only for your closest friends and family. It’s important, therefore, that you feel 100% connected to them so you know you’ll feel comfortable as their camera enters that space. So as you go through photographers, follow them on their social channels and get to know their personality as expressed through things like their insta stories. Look for things that make you feel close and connected to them - that affinity is what will allow you to relax in front of their camera.

Decide what kind of shots you’ll be comfortable with. Have a look at a photographer’s couple shoots and allow yourself to be transported in that setting. This will allow you to decide what kind of images you will feel most comfortable shooting, and those you won’t. If you feel most of the images are not for you, then chances are, you won’t feel at ease in front of the camera and this will affect the outcome of the shoot.  

Prepare for it. Choosing the attire for your couple shoot will mentally prepare you to express your personality, not just through the posing, which should hopefully come fairly natural when you’re madly in love, but also through a look that really speaks of you and makes you feel like yourself. Noemi and Riccardo, for instance, spent some time looking at images of the venue and realised that they wanted to wear clothes that felt complementary (by bringing in simplicity to a very eclectic space) to the style of the hotel.

Ask the photographer’s input. We have pretty much seen it all, so when it comes to giving you advice on things such as location, what activities we could do for your shoot, what props and outfits you should bring, chances are, we will have plenty of tips to give you. We know what works and what doesn’t, what gets our couples to relax, or what kind of outfits work better, so do feel free to ask our recommendation and we’ll always be happy to help, because we know that ultimately those images will stay with you for a long time, so we want the experience to feel just right.

See more on LOVE STORIES, intimate couple shoot in the streets of Florence.

See more on LOVE STORIES, intimate couple shoot in the streets of Florence.

I hope you’re loving Noemi and Riccardo’s shoot as much as I do, and I hope my advice will come in handy at some point. I’m grateful to this beautiful couple for the chance they’ve given me to go behind the scenes of their love and capture that intimate side that very few get to see.  

If you’re considering doing a love or an engagement shoot in Italy or beyond, I would love to hear from you.

 

Full gallery on LOVE STORIES, intimate couple shoot in the streets of Florence.

MY EXPERIENCE AT SOPRARNO, AN ECLECTIC BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN FLORENCE

On March this year I had the opportunity of experiencing a side of Florence I had never experienced before. This world of guest-houses that are perfectly designed to make your stay feel like an extravagant version of your home life feels new and surreal to me. How can you possibly feel at home while staying in a centuries old palace, with painted ceilings and in-room bath tabs?

It turns out, it is possible. And Betty Soldi is the woman that made this magical experience possible for me when she offered me the opportunity to stay at her boutique hotels SoprArno Suites and Ad Astra, located in the Oltrarno area of Florence, on the occasion of one of Pitti’s Taste events.

So magical that last week I decided to spend my birthday in Florence at Soprarno with my better half, Marco.

Now, this is definitely my dream place.

 

SOPRARNO SUITES’ STYLE
There is something incredibly unique about SoprArno. Perhaps it’s the way industrial-meets-classic-meets-eclectic. The intimate 11 rooms are all furnished with the most unique decor elements - up-cycled and reclaimed pieces, found in markets and auctions, beautifully adorn rooms that would have otherwise felt just like any other hotel in Florence - opulent and “seen-it-all-before”. Except, there is nothing quite that classical about this boutique hotel - something that made my stay intriguing… I love the way reality is intertwined with mystery, so staying at SoprArno, a place where every room has its own style and where every piece of decor comes from an unknown past, was a real treat for me.

ANDCOMPANY SHOP

The beauty of Soprarno doesn’t end in the rooms, its library or kitchen… Because its owners, Betty and Matteo also own a delightful shop / workshop - AndCompany, a place where you can buy reclaimed furniture, lamps, industrial pieces and antiques, but also a creative space where you get to enjoy Betty’s craftsmanship and calligraphy skills applied to her own products - from tea cups to clothes, personalised cards and paper crafts.

AndCompany is a place where magic happens… 

If you’re thinking of going to Florence, SoprArno and Ad Astra are definitely at the top of my recommended places.

Experience the magic… I promise you that you won’t be disappointed.

A dreamy, outdoor destination wedding in Capri, Italy

Published on HELLO MAY Australia

There are couples that choose a destination for their wedding based on years of memories visiting that place. There are people that choose a certain destination because it was the setting of a memorable life event. And then there are couples, like Laura and Nick, who choose a wedding destination because they want to make memories in a place that is new to both of them…

When that happens, you can guarantee that your wedding will be an emotional, exciting adventure.

Full story/ Laura & Nick 3 days Wedding in Capri

 

Laura and Nick were no strangers to Italy. They both loved it, but with family coming from pretty much every continent, they decided that South Italy would be a place everyone would love to get to. And so, their adventure begun - a dreamy destination wedding with traditional Italian touches, in the most perfect of backdrops, the Island of Capri.

Think Italian millefoglie garnished and finished in front of guests; think dancing to traditional southern Italian “tarantella;” think an outdoor ceremony in the most idillic of places, a secret garden even, saying I Do surrounded by your closest and by nature; think antique gold votives, flower with warm shades of dusty pink and burgundy, finished with figs and cherries…

Laura and Nick’s Italian wedding dream fused fine art details with traditional mediterranean touches. And it was perfect. But in Laura’s words, what made it perfect was the real focus of their special day - to “help each other become the best humans possible.”

There are no words to describe the beauty that I experienced on their wedding day. Perhaps my pictures will be able to do that more eloquently than my words would ever be able to.

 

Thank you so much Nick and Laura for making me a part of your wedding day. And thank you, Hello May for featuring my work.

Photos Elisabetta Marzetti // Second shooter: Yeray Cruz // Cinematographer: Mediaidem // Event planner / Stylist: Infinity Weddings // Florist: Tuscany Flowers // Stationery: Walton Street Stationery // Ceremony: La Certosa di San Giacomo, Italy // Reception, catering and cake: Capri Palace Hotel & Spa, Italy // Entertainment: Scialapopolo Capri and DJ Davidbit // Rings: Cerrone Jewellers // Bridal gown designer, veil, robes and bridesmaids dresses: Philippa Galasso // Hair piece: Tuscany Flowers // Lingerie: Mimi Holliday // Shoes: Chanel // Hair: Rosanne Abell // Makeup: P and A Make Up // Bridesmaid shoes: ALDO // Suit: Hackett // Shoes: Stemar // Socks: Calvin Klein // Barber / grooming: Quisisana // Groomsmen suits: Boggi // Flower girl outfits: Philippa Galasso // Page boy outfits: John Lewis.

BETTY SOLDI’S NEW BOOK, INKSPIRED, THROUGH MY EYES

My work as a professional photographer gives me opportunities that sometimes blow my mind. I meet people that allow my camera to look straight into their eyes and bring out what’s in their soul.  I get to photograph couples that end up stealing a little piece of my heart. I visit places that I never knew existed, and those I do bring up new emotions each and every time. And sometimes, even when I work on commercial projects that you’d think have nothing to do with nature, with love, with emotions, I come away more inspired than I have ever been…  

There is some incredibly creative talent out there.  

One such talent is Betty Soldi. Betty is a calligrapher and graphic designer like no other. She intertwines the timeless lines of calligraphy with modern graphic design touches, to create work that is truly unique in its form.  

I have worked with her many times, and each and every time has felt exciting and inspiring. But being asked by Betty to photograph her new book, “Inkspired”, has felt like a true honour and a privilege.  

So much graciousness and poetry goes into every detail of what Betty does. I hope that through my pictures you will see how much bringing that poetry to life has meant to me…

WHAT’S “INKSPIRED" ABOUT?

Betty says: “My Inkspired book is about the power of words, those thought and unsaid, but written and expressed, and the white spaces in between.”

“Inkspired is about the beauty of how handwriting makes you feel (…). The aim of the book is, ultimately, to bring writing to life finding original ways to sprinkle personal touches into the everyday (…).”

Inkspired pp(1).png

Published by Kyle Books, Inkspired is now out in the UK and can be purchased on Amazon and Kyle Books.

Thank you Betty Soldi for yet another opportunity to work with you and to be inspired by your art.

Elisabetta

____
Image by Elisabetta Marzetti Photography of Inkspired
Betty Soldi’s calligraphy book