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.
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.
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