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Le Ciel Santorini Wedding Photographer

10 Years of Lina and Tom Wedding Photography | Couple’s Favourites Part 2

After a super response to our first blog post asking couples from our first 5 years as experienced wedding photographers what their favourite images were then and now, in this second part we look at the years 2014-2018.

Our 5th year in business as Lina and Tom Wedding Photography, 2014, started with some exciting wedding news of our own, with Tom proposing to me under the Northern Lights in Iceland at the end of January. We went into that year’s weddings with a new perspective of being a wedding planning couple ourselves, choosing to plan our day for the 27th December later that year.

So to recap, as part of a series of blogs celebrating our ten years as a wedding photographer, we decided to go back to one couple from each year and ask for three examples of their favourite images straight after the wedding, and what they consider to be their favourites now. They could give us as little or thorough explanation as they wished.

We met the frankly quite awesome humans Katy + Kerr at the Bride Knebworth Wedding Show – one of an amazing bunch of eight couples who booked our services from that show in January. They really wanted a simple yet fun celebration at Springfield House, and the colour theme was rainbow! They had a little of the alternative about them which we knew our style would suit well too, so we were thrilled when they booked us, and even more so when they booked our top package which would see us shoot the whole thing and bring our photobooth. The big day itself at Springfield House was joyous, we loved everything about it, including that they had afternoon tea then pizza delivery in the evening – what’s not to love??

After the wedding we were thrilled that the wedding was accepted on the infamous Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride blog, and were astounded to read that Katy and Kerr spent over a THIRD of their total wedding budget on us. They truly saw their wedding photography as a commitment to their memories and we thank them for it. We’ve since been rewarded further by now being able to call them our friends.

We loved these three after the wedding, especially the sneak peek photo of Kerr lifting me, but on reflection, we realised they are all of us! The photos made us reflect on the day, how we had looked (fabulous, darling) and basically of how much love we felt on the day for each other. (And still do, obvs.) We also like that there’s a lovey-dovey one, a serious one and a fun one.

Our sneak peeks are very much chosen on gut feeling, we usually know during the day what the potential shots are, and back then we only used to choose one! How we did that I am not sure, probably with great difficulty and a few disagreements! But it’s such a thrill when the chosen shot is also loved so much by your client, and we love seeing that shot huge on their wall whenever we visit their home.

We just love the sneak peek dramatic kissing photo so it stays in the top three: it’s so well-framed, it has a bit of fun and a bit of passion in balance, the colours and depth of focus and… well, it was our wedding day and reflects how ecstatic we were about being married!!! It honestly will never not be our favourite.

The other two were hard to choose. We had a really difficult time agreeing on two that we BOTH felt were favourites now – whereas the ones from straight after we agreed on really quickly! People might think the choices are a bit odd, but after reflecting on why we chose them, we realised it’s because they’re more about the memories of the whole event. Who was there, why they were invited, things people said, how relationships with those people have evolved, changed, strengthened… 

Now the shot of Kerr and baby Arya has become a favourite for a couple of reasons. It brings back tremendous memories of the time we spent with friends before, during, and after our wedding. For Kerr in particular it reminds him of how emotional he was when Arya left to head back home to Canada (complete with copious tears from Kerr) and how the experience of hanging out with her galvanised his desire to be a father.

The night-time shot, quite apart from being a lovely bit of art, helps show a bit of the party (including the pizzas!) and it was really hard to choose between that and the beautiful, warm, dusk one.

Overall we think the real difference between the two sets of choices comes down to this – immediately afterwards we were more wrapped up in how in love we felt and how damn well gorgeous we looked. As time has passed, though, we look back at our wedding day through a different lens. The pictures we like now are of our friends and family. Pictures that bring back more vivid memories of what the day was like, how we felt having so many of the awesome people we know in one place, how amazing it was to have a great wee party with a wedding on the side.

Already we have echoes of couples in our last post, the first favourites being reflective of that bubble you find yourselves in after the wedding all about beauty and your love. Yet now they make an interesting point about the shots they love, and the power of the photo of Kerr with their friend’s baby having so much meaning for him. Wow…

Also at that wedding show in January 2014 we met the fantastic Roz and Alex. They were getting married that year and we’re making a u-turn on not having a professional photographer at their wedding after hearing Lina give a seminar at the show, hurrah! We are so glad they did, as not only did they have a wonderful wedding at The Shire in Barnet, but present were their friends Mandy and Sarah who then chose us for their big day the following year.

So the first three were three that really stood out for us at the time because we loved the classic ease of this one [of their son]. With the second, the two sides of this picture made us laugh so much! And with the third, it captures our complete happiness in the most natural way this still today is our favourite picture.

Tom is happy, that first picture is one of his favourites he has ever taken, there is indeed something classical looking about it, and the sense of calm. It feels like a painting despite it’s simple editing. Children are fantastic to watch at weddings, some wonderful documentary moments can be captured as they are largely just being themselves, unaffected from the meaning of the day others may put onto it. And that gorgeous last one, the purist of moments showing Mandy and Sarah’s joy as their guests cheered them out of the ceremony, and it made the cover of their album too.

We still love the last one as much today as we did then, as it reflects a natural happiness we felt. The next two pictures are where we are in our life now; still happy having fun and enjoying life with family and friends. 

Thanks for the memories guys.

We love this. That a photo taken four years ago can reflect Mandy and Sarah’s life together now. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?

Confession time… when we first met Izzie and Henry we came out of the consultation sure we weren’t going to get the job! Turns out Izzie is just so chilled out she was just taking all the relevant info in. Their wedding at her father’s home in Buckinghamshire was the first ‘at home in the garden wedding’ to make us truly realise how well our style was suited to this wonderfully relaxed way of doing things – no militant venue rules, just a good old garden party. Since then we have shot many of these weddings as our style suits them perfectly, and we do love them! We’ve also shot a number of weddings from the awesome bunch that made up their huge wedding party, for which we are so grateful.

The first image… well everyone loves a confetti shot! Then we could have picked any of the ones with the boys jumping/attempting to jump in the air, but initially we liked this one the most. If we could have one more picture for our favourites looking back now we’d include the one where you can see the amount effort they’re all putting in to getting the most height and one of the ushers has taken a tumble.

There was in fact a whole sequence of the boys aiming for the perfect jump shot, and indeed one of the ushers taking a tumble. In fact there is a whole sequence of twelve photos which made it into the album as a full double page spread! And then we couldn’t have loved Izzie and Henry more…

And looking back now…

We love the couple shots from the evening with the blue sky and my veil in the wind, but there’s something about the symmetry of this picture in front of the church and knowing that we’d just got married that makes it one of our favourites. 

This picture [of Izzie and Dad] really captures a moment. It’s got the usual pride and emotion of a father of the bride picture, but with my mum having passed away a couple of years before we got married there’s an extra something between me and my dad here. Henry and I have both lost a parent and we were a little worried that their absence might make our wedding day difficult and sad, but it became such a joyful day where both families were able to really celebrate life and happiness. That’s something we can relive every time we look through our wedding photos because you’re just so good at capturing moments like these! 

Some of our favourite pictures looking back now are the ones of the party. We absolutely loved our band and everyone had so much fun on the dancefloor – this is one of many we could have chosen!

Here’s to ten more years of amazing wedding snaps!! 

Thanks Izzie!  They did indeed have an epic party with a great band but we’re glad the moment with her dad is in there. We’re always looking for those relationships, and if a client has lost a parent or close family member we know some of the other relationships are possibly going to be even stronger, so we want to make sure they feature often. They had an absolutely joyous day and indeed a celebration of life and happiness – they couldn’t have pitched it better!

We knew Sam as a fantastic wedding make up artist we already recommended to our clients when she got in touch about her own wedding day. Given that she worked commercially too and must come across many photographers every day in her work, we were astounded and hugely flattered when she enquired about her Ibiza wedding day.  What followed was an amazing few days with some fantastic people, and we are so grateful her and Nick chose us to be there with them, making great memories together.

Before the speeches, before the food, before the wedding day had even happened, we invited L&T to Café del Mar, where the early adopters were gathering for a pre-wedding session. There are lots of lovely personal photos from this afternoon/evening, but Tom eagerly showed us this shot on the back of his camera, of a guy practicing poi in the sunset. It was like BOOM. We had made the right choice with these guys. What an opener.

This [next] photo instantly brings back the memory of the ceremony, and the heat! It reminds us both of the importance of what we were doing.

The day was such a perfect combination of emotions. So many friends and family, some meeting each other for the first time in our lives. But this [black and white] fairytale photograph brings us back to just the two of us, in this beautiful place. L&T were always scouting out little secret views and angles, trying to show us what we hadn’t seen ourselves.

It’s lovely that Sam and Nick acknowledge the work we do in advance to find the best spots for photos, so we keep everything moving on the day. In the case of a destination wedding, we actually travel out two days before to the destination, as we don’t like to risk travel issues. The first day is for travel and the second is to familiarise ourselves with the venue and location, so on the wedding day, we’re ready to go and work with the (usually restricted) wedding timeline. Their venue, the popular Elixir in Ibiza, is known for it’s beachside location and this gorgeous little jetty, but we wanted Sam and Nick to still have their own moment there.

Looking back across the whole shoot 2 years later, the 2017 faves are still the faves. But other photos start to mean more. The family photos are such lovely memories, we had so much help from them all, it meant the world to share these moments with them. We love the little exchange of glances between Nick’s mum and brother in this photo, it reveals a glimpse into the sub-plots of the day, and little moments of happiness that occurred without us noticing.

This golden one was taken in the post-wedding shoot, during a private wander through Ibiza’s Old Town. The light is so different, the warm afterglow of the bright sun the day before. The first day of our marriage.

I’m so happy Sam and Nick love that post-wedding shoot one, we feel it’s important to connect together on the day and with a destination wedding, the combination of later starts to avoid heat and wanting to take in a sunset don’t always give you much time, so our post-wedding shoot is a complementary part of our coverage so the couple can enjoy their location properly. The light in Ibiza Town was so dreamy and we loved exploring it with these two.

But isn’t it interesting that two of these choices are family shots? This is a lesson for wedding photographers here. There is a general school of thought that these images are a chore and to some degree they are, hence pure documentary photographers won’t do them. But although we restrict numbers due to venue time constraints, we always know there is a place for these family groups, as the specific record of who was there at the wedding. We don’t agree with them being stuffy though, so always try to keep them light and do them quickly, and love the moments that occur between the shots, such as that lovely look between Nick’s mum and brother as mentioned.

And finally the lovely Tori and Ben. Tori saw our work as a guest at her lovely cousin Lizzie’s wedding, and after seeing our natural and unobtrusive approach, got in touch when she was having trouble finding a suitable wedding photographer for her Santorini wedding. She felt the favoured style of the local photographers wasn’t to their taste, and as soon as we met up with them we knew we wanted to be part of their adventure.

Like Sam and Nick, we travelled two days before so could capture their pre-wedding drinks in Kamari, and love that Tori includes a shot from this evening in her favourites. It’s one of ours too, and yet isn’t one of the dreamy cute ones of them we did on the beach, but rather the full hair-whipping Proud Mary moment.

It’s interesting that some couples stuck to our request of 3 – Tori most certainly didn’t haha – but we’ve allowed her a few more as the set is still so fresh for them (including the header image to this blog,) nevertheless interesting to hear how some other shots may have come to the fore in less than a year.

I’m sorry but I couldn’t just pick 3! When it came to our wedding photos we wanted to ensure we were investing in the right photographers so we would always have our memories to look back on and, quite frankly, you both did too much of a good job to ask me to pick three! That’s almost like asking a mother to choose their favourite child e.g impossible!

There was an initial overwhelming love of all of the photographs that captured those initial feelings of a blissful setting, all consuming love and never ending laughter, although it did change after 365 days…

Santorini is famous for it’s caldera views and given their choice of venue, Le Ciel, is known for it’s view we knew it was going to be an important feature, yet we always strive to look for things a little different from what we see others do. When it came to their ‘hero’ shot, we looked for another angle, and love how Tori is holding her ‘superhero’ cape. Santorini is very windy, so the choice of the Pronovias cape instead of a veil was inspired!

Their post-wedding shoot was in Oia, the instagram star of the island, but again with a bit of preparation, we found a spot away from the crowds. This shot she chooses is one of our faves too, not actually shooting the sunset but the golden glow illuminating them. And that hair blowing in the wind, just glorious…

Choosing a moment from the UK party too, she’s gone for a quickly grabbed shot at the end of the night when our tipsy couple (maybe one more than the other, eh Ben?) stumbled over to the letters. We also love the memory this shot gives US, as we were then heading to the bar with their friends and family, a solid friendship made.

Our hearts now fall in love with the photographs that capture the finer details – the fleeting moments, that made our day so special, for all involved (not to mention a half naked picture that I will be forever grateful for, as needless to say the pre-wedding diet and exercise regime did not withstand the test of time! Documentation that I once looked like that! LOL!).

Yes Tori! THAT ‘half-naked’ shot. Tori choosing this is a personal high five for me. The biggest thing the bride can give me is her trust, especially when she is getting ready. I am not there to take porn pics of you but rather gorgeous images of the transition from bride-to-be. I felt like in Santorini, although beautiful, Tori may have still been a little shy when changing into her wedding dress (even though her underwear looked like a glamorous white swimsuit!) Here at the UK party, I was in the room with just Tori, Ben and Tori’s mum to help her change. Ben was sat chilling on the balcony when she started to disrobe and this moment was born. We don’t need to see Ben’s face, he may of not be thinking anything at all, but Tori looks fabulous, completely wrapped up in getting ready, not caring that I was there. I hope Tori feels empowerment in this picture, a celebration of her female form as she put her wedding dress back on. Hopefully her comment about the documentation is tongue in cheek though – as I definitely couldn’t see much of a difference when recently photographing her as a bridesmaid at her dad’s wedding!

We were so lucky to have found you both (Lina and Tom) as we now have a whole library of memories that provoke such emotion. I can hear everyone’s laughter in each photo. When I look back I get the feeling of being grateful to all of our loved ones who made so much effort to share our celebrations. The overwhelming feeling of love- for being married in a place we hold close to our hearts, for each other and for our family. Thanks for the memories.

Happy 10 years Lina and Tom- to say ‘you rock!’ would be an understatement.

We only ‘rock’ because our clients allow us to, and keep recommending us to fantastic couples who allow us to document these momentous occasions in their lives!

So there we have it. We haven’t asked any 2019 couples to take part as it is so fresh, but anyone from the last ten years is very welcome to tell us if their favourites changed, or maybe there was one photo you utterly fell in love with then and still have it front and centre now. We’d love to hear any thoughts and opinions.

As experienced wedding photographers we still absolutely love what we do.

Here’s to another ten years hopefully and thank you again to everyone who puts their trust in us!

Lina x



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