Wedding Photography Style Caravaggio

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Your wedding in a historic villa in Tuscany: How to find the perfect photographer for your individual wedding photos style à la Caravaggio?

A last minute wedding in a historic villa in Tuscany

photocredit: Angela Lindner

I remember an email that one day waiting impatiently in the postbox for me to be read. The author, a last-minute bride named Marina, was a native Swiss with Italian roots. Her dad was a native of Milan and her mother, a native Swiss from Bern.

The bride with Italian roots

Marina lived in Zurich with her longtime partner Dario, also a Swiss citizen with Italian roots.

The groom with Italian roots

Dario's family originally came from Calabria, a region in the south of Italy, and came to Zurich more than 30 years ago. Over the years they have been establishing a well-known and successful family run gourmet restaurant in the center of Zurich. That's why Dario has very little free time. He spends a lot of time with courses and trainings, mostly abroad.

Nonna Mariangela

The groom's family is very traditional and very proud of their origins. The Nonna (italian: grandmother) Mariangela, Dario's paternal grandmother, is a rather elderly but still very energetic lady and has set her mind to see her only grandson in front of the altar before her death.

The family had brought her to Zurich five years ago to take care of her. Since then, the Nonna is now her only son Pietro and his wife Veronica, Dario's parents in the ears, to ensure that the grandson finally marries.

The Nonna and her opinion ...

After all, living in a wild marriage is not enough. In addition, the two should think of children, the youngest they are no longer and the clock ticks.
Besides, she, the Nonna, feels weaker from day to day ...
So, the usual table discussions then went on dinner together at home 

Huge temperature fluctuations lead to a wedding in Tuscany

Since Switzerland was not spared by the climate changes, the sudden temperature fluctuations were also noticeable there and the Nonna suffered a serious circulatory collapse a good four weeks ago and had to go to hospital for a few days for observation.
One must imagine that the sprightly lady had spent a total of two nights in a hospital overnight in her 78 years: once at the birth of her son and then when, a few years ago, her beloved husband died and held her hand to the last breath.
Understandable that poor Nonna did not want to go to the hospital and certainly did not want to stay overnight. 

The promise: organizing a wedding in four weeks in Tuscany!

As a clever woman who had to fight through hard times, she knew how to make the best of every little bit of enjoyable situation. So it came that she "ordered" her grandson to the hospital and demanded a promise from him. Dario had to promise her to marry in Italy within a month, because she, the beloved Nonna would die soon ...
Of course, Dario promised to celebrate his beloved Nonna's wedding in Italy in four weeks. He was convinced that the promise had returned to Nonna's spirits.
Marina's urgent message to the wedding planner did not provide much useful information such as date, number of people, style of wedding or maximum available wedding budget.
On the other hand, after the three sentences about the promise to the Nonna Mariangela, the half-page email was filled with details about the style of the wedding photos. 

The telephone conversation to clarify and design the wedding in Tuscany

I contacted Marina to get a clearer picture and was pleasantly surprised to find such a loving and cooperative young woman at the end of the phone line.

Our conversation began with an apology on her part, having fallen so clumsily in the door, but the whole family was under stress.
Even though the Nonna was a bit difficult, she had such a sweet nature and a really good and big heart, and it was really hard to remember that one day she would not be there anymore.
I myself had lost my beloved grandmother a few years ago and could feel the situation very well.
Since I did not want to lose precious time, I went straight to business.

The key data for the small and familial wedding in Tuscany

I recorded the important information for me after the maximum available wedding budget was clarified and realistic:

• Total stay 3 days:
Arrival Thursday evening: Barbecue
Friday: Day program focused on art and culinary art
Saturday wedding in the garden - bad weather scenario to plan
Departure on Sunday after the wedding brunch

• Civil marriage in a historic villa with garden
The villa should have a nice ballroom
The wedding will be translated into English and take place in the garden
As background music a harp

  • 30 guests from all over the world: USA, India, Japan and Austria, as well as the family from Switzerland and Italy
  • Overnight accommodation at the Villa would be desirable, but not necessarily
  • Shuttle service - as all wedding guests arrive by plane
  • Reception in the open air for musical accompaniment, possibly saxophone
  • Wedding dinner in a beautiful ballroom with background music
  • Wedding dinner served - no buffet
  • Wedding cake at midnight
  • Favors: Yes, that's where I should deliver ideas
  • Wedding Stationery: I should think of something - simple and elegant, according to the style
  • Favorite flowers: roses in white with eucalyptus leaves; I should also think about the decoration at the wedding
  • Framework program necessary - experience factor is important!

The important point that I had to clarify was the documents. After the standard questions in this regard were also answered positively, several possible scenarios appeared to me in my mind's eye.

But there were two more questions to answer:
What was important to Marina in working with me?

Why a wedding planner, why me?

Working for an well-known international company, Marina had no time to plan and organize her wedding. A location inspection before the wedding date was not possible at all. She was happy that she could somehow insert the 3-day wedding party. The honeymoon has been postponed to next year. Since I responded quickly to her message, questioned her exactly what Marina wanted, listened carefully, and delivered realizable ideas, she immediately felt very good and was convinced that I was the right wedding planner for her.

Trust and security in working with a wedding planner

Trust and security were paramount, she wanted ongoing updates and ongoing communication. Pretty straightforward, Marina said she needed someone who could think along, planning in detail down to the last detail and being there on the day of the wedding.
Specifically, she needs a right hand, with no time to get to know and try out great.
I calmed Marina down and confirmed that I was palpably at her side from signing the contract, to inform her regularly about the progress of the preparations for her wedding in Tuscany.

Can we find the right wedding photographer for Marina?
Which style is required?

The second very important question dealt with the subject of photography. Her email was full of concern, the usual "0815" wedding photos must have ...
Marina told me about the countless weddings of her friends, in which countries she has been invited already. She had been attending weddings almost all over the world.
I let her talk and tried to understand what she wanted to tell me. I understood on a rational level: beautiful weddings, great locations, everything was wonderful.
But on an emotional level, I felt a big disappointment. That was very strange for me.
So, I broke off her detailed explanations after 10 minutes and asked Marina why I felt like I was listening to her so that she was disappointed.
Marina replied as shot dead, that in the end all pictures always looked the same. It was the same poses, the same situations, always the same.

Aha! All right, all right! I understood! From gut feeling I would have typed an artistic wedding photographer, but I was not 100% sure.
So, I asked Marina what should be different.
Unfortunately, she could not answer the question. She did not know.
So, I kept asking Marina what she would like. But even this question she did not answer.
Had she seen something on Pinterest or Instagram or in a wedding magazine that she liked.
Well. So that's the wedding planner’s life!

We had to work about photographer.
By now, 30 minutes had already passed, and we had made good progress. But Marina had only 30 minutes before she had to be picked up from the taxi and rushed to the airport to fly to Atlanta for 4 days, to the USA.
I reached deep into my bag of tricks ...

The desired wedding photographer for the dream wedding in Tuscany

I asked Marina for three words that linked her to Tuscany.
"Only 3 words? Difficult ... "she replied and stuttered a little thoughtfully.
I interrupted her thoughts abruptly, almost unkindly and said:
"Quick 3 words to Tuscany!
Then paused for 2 seconds and suddenly said, "Now!"
And there they came, as shot from the pistol:

  • cypresses
  • nature, green, color play, sunset
  • gold, mood, Florence

That's more than 3 words, that's right, but they're the right ones!

photocredit: pixabay

photocredit: pixabay

photocredit: pixabay

Marina got right into the feeling and that was what we needed.
I could already do a lot with that.

I asked Marina briefly to explain the terms in order to feel the image she saw in her mind's eye. And I also thought of three suitable wedding photographers on site, but they were constantly booked ...
In the meantime, she had reconfirmed my contract and returned it to me via Email.
She said goodbye and promised to give me feedback on my messages.

That's how it was.

Two days later, I submitted a scenario, formulated down to the last detail and equipped with pictures. Shortly thereafter, Marina sent me her feedback via email.

On the third day, I got a call late at night.
A coincidence that my mobile phone was still up.

Marina told me that she was boarding. Since the appointment was extremely positive, she was able to fly back earlier. She had chosen a flight connection via Vienna and would make a jump to my office with a 6-hour stay in Vienna and then fly on to Zurich.

That was great news, I was happy to meet Marina personally before the wedding!
I told Marina to send my driver, who would pick her up and bring her back to the airport.
After I had noted down their flight data, informed my driver and adjusted the To Do list for the next day, I went to bed "good" tired.

The personal meeting
The Wedding Planners Update organizing a Dream Wedding in Tuscany

I must admit; I was a bit excited and very curious to meet Marina in person.
In the office, all schedules have been prepared, and even small delicacies were looking forward to being eaten.

The plane landed at 8.30 at the airport Vienna Schwechat on schedule and my driver informed me according to good old tradition, that they would drive off and no traffic jam was to be expected.

How nice, everything went according to plan, a good sign!

Half an hour later, I heard the familiar knock of my driver.
I opened the door and saw a tired but happy young bride.
She in turn hugged me and handed me a pack of Swiss chocolate, and suddenly a scream escaped her: Yes, that's it! I want that!

I was briefly startled and looked where she pointed with her hand or better where she had meanwhile hurried. Directly opposite the entrance next to my Tuscany shelf is a small table set with four armchairs on which a picture in the style of Caravaggio enthroned.

photocredit: Angela Lindner 

Marina held this picture beaming in her hands.
Amazing, I thought to myself - photographer found!

In my office, I have some photos of Laura Caini, a Tuscan photographer, who photographs in various styles.

Honestly, I did not think about her because her favorite style is a very special one.

I said goodbye to my driver and prepared a café in my mocca (traditional Italian coffee machine), while Marina, still holding the picture with both hands, took a seat.

We both drank a café and I finally got my thanks for the Swiss chocolate. Marina had already packed her at home because she hoped to make a detour to Vienna in order to personally thank for my achievements and to find the right photographer. And she had found it, clutching the picture in her hands even tighter.

Laura Caini - the perfect wedding photographer for Marina

photocredit: Laura Caini

I briefly told Marina about Laura, who got her first camera at the age of 10 and never put it down again. At that time technical terms were completely unknown to her. Only capturing the moments made her happy at the time.
For me, Laura is a very dedicated and imaginative photographer, always in a good mood and trying hard to get the most out of a shooting.

When she met her husband Pier Luigi, who shared her passion, they spent every spare moment in their beloved Tuscany, capturing the peculiarities and nuances of their homeland in their photos.
After countless further education courses and workshops, the two opened their photo studio in 1998.

Laura's portfolio spans today


photocredit: Laura Caini 


Maternity Photo shooting

photo credit: Laura Caini



photocredit: Laura Caini


photo credit: Laura Caini

Laura accompanies people in the important stages of their lives and captures these unique moments with her camera.

A special style in photography, among many others, is the style of Caravaggio, that Laura is dedicated to!

Caravaggio and today’s Wedding Photography
Finding a special photographer for a Wedding in a historic Villa in Tuscany

Caravaggio is the important Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi. (Caravaggio was the place of origin of his parents).

Caravaggio is the great painter of the early Baroque, who treated Christian themes in his paintings.
He took a new path through his atypical for that time realistic image design.
Characteristic is his light-dark painting.

photocredit: pixabay

The painting "The Conversion of Paul" was commissioned by Caravaggio in 1600. The work was commissioned for the family chapel of the Treasurer of Pope Clement VII. Today the picture is in the Roman private collection of the family Odelscachi.

A dream wedding in Tuscany captured in the style of Caravaggio.
How can this be realized?

Marina asked how to photograph her wedding in this style.
Since Laura has worked long and hard on the works of Caravaggio,
she knows how to translate the three main points in photography:
• room
• intensity of light
• direction of the light

Post-processing with computer programs is not the topic.
However, the art and the skill lie further away from post-production.
On the contrary: the Caravaggio photographer knows with his trained eye, the mastery of his camera, the technology, the perfect moment!

In many years of her professional life, Laura has participated in numerous photo workshops in which the "Caravaggio Light" was explained and applied. The speakers were true master’s in photography of international renown.

The Caravaggio light and the challenges of wedding photographers

Quite simply broken down and explained it’s about trying to leave one side of the subject in the shade while exposing the other side and overlapping the shadow with light.
This is the kind of effect that can be achieved next to a window with natural light. Very well implemented at the perfect time in premises of a historic villa. When taking portraits, you can really achieve a fascinating result with this technique.

At weddings, the natural lighting situations can be very different. Therefore, it is not possible to apply this technique to all recordings. The best moments in which you can realize the Caravaggio light is when the recording takes place right next to a window.

Marina nodded understandingly and confirmed her decision in writing to choose Laura as HER wedding photographer.

I told her to talk to Laura to make sure that Laura was available on the one hand, and to talk about the necessary details such as location and time schedule for the perfect light on the other hand.

Marina agreed and suddenly the familiar knocking sounded again, and my driver entered.
The time had passed so quickly, and Marina was already in the taxi again to be safely taken to Schwechat airport and finally to travel home to Zurich.

There she was picked up by her sweetheart, who himself had just come home from a further education. Marina told Dario everything from the wedding preparations and the two were looking forward to their wedding in Tuscany.

One cannot imagine how the Nonna was doing ...
Back home, she was suddenly the thriving life!

The countdown is running! The wedding planner and his team:
the last essential points for the team to realize a perfect wedding in Tuscany

Locationinspection together with Marina and Laura was not possible due to the time constraints. So, I briefed Laura the best I could.
Since we had worked together several times, I knew that I could rely on Laura.
I emailed her my detailed checklist on the three main topics:

• Time limit on the day of the wedding
• Premises: where something happened
• Time frame for the respective shootings: group and couple shootings

I informed Laura that the bride wanted to capture as much of nature as possible and asked her to give me feedback about the possible scenario and timeframe for the desired Caravaggio photographs.

In the end I held a timetable that deviated quite a bit from mine.

Since I could not bring the civil marriage time forward and Laura had serious misgivings about the light, I planned to move the wedding in a more southern with original fresco equipped room.
Marina agreed and was happy.
No additional costs were incurred, as the location was rented in its entirety and thus all rooms could be used.
And Laura was calm too!

The last thing that worried Laura was the question of whether Marina really liked Caravaggio's style.
I must honestly admit; I had asked myself the question several times too!

Since Marina and I maintained an open and honest conversation, I did not think long. I asked Marina directly and suggested Laura's offer to do a couple's photo session in the studio the day before.

But for Laura, the couple shoot also had another aspect. She wanted to get to know them better and also give them the opportunity to shake off the stress and have fun before they get the "yes".
Laura had also provided clothes or fabrics in the style of Caravaggio and a makeup artist was present anyway. Marina liked the idea and agreed.

The day before the wedding
Fun, good time and carefreeness for bride and groom
Time out from everyday life and preparing for an unforgettable Wedding in Tuscany

So, we greeted each other in Laura's photo studio at 9:00 in the morning. I left the bride, groom and makeup artist and took care of the final preparations.

Marina and Dario told me at the final debriefing after the wedding how much fun they had and that they really had managed to get away from the stress of the last few weeks in such a short time.

It’s time to get married!
A Dream Wedding in a historic Villa in Tuscany

I do not have much to say: All's well that ends well!

photocredit: Laura Caini

Oh yes, the Nonna ...

Well, the Nonna enjoys good health.
And the daily conversations at dinner are now revolving around a new topic:
It's time for a great grandchild, after all, the Nonna is not getting any younger ...

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