Weddings

Wedding: Black and white photography at La Vieja Bodega restaurant, Casalarreina, La Rioja, Spain

Friday June 13th, 2014 02:26 PM

Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Many famous photographers shot many or all of their most evocative images in black and white, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa being among the first two to spring to mind. And not just because they had no other option. Paolo Pellegrin won Photographer of the Year last year with a largely black and white portfolio.

Black and white photography reduces a colourful world to different tones and, in doing so often simplifies a scene. Simple can be better, resulting in more powerful images. Not every photo works better in black and white, far from it, but some certainly do.

The photo above, taken during a wedding at the excellent La Vieja Bodega restaurant, in Casalarreina, near Haro, La Rioja, is a case in point.

I was reminded of this during a two-hour mentoring session this week with the renown British wedding photographer, Jeff Ascough. When I moved to Spain four years ago I always offered my wedding clients the option of black and white photographs. And the offer is still there! If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda en La Vieja Bodega, Casalarreina, Haro, La Rioja, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Unlimited coverage: Maria & Santi’s wedding, San Pablo church & Cachirulo restaurante, Zaragoza, Spain

Friday April 4th, 2014 08:00 AM

Wedding / Boda en Restaurante Cachirulo, Zaragoza, Spain

I’ve written before that unlimited coverage is a key part of what I offer my wedding clients. I don’t know why more photographers in Spain don’t do the same. To me it’s a way of getting great shots not only during those tension-ladened pre-ceremony mornings but also, many hours later, the evening festivities.

María & Santi celebrated their wedding in the beautiful San Pablo church in the heart of Zaragoza before decamping to Cachirulo restaurant on the outskirts of the city. Cachirulo not only has lovely gardens but also stunning indoor spaces, particularly the conservatory. The evening dance was to be held there and I, for one, didn’t want to miss it. To me the resulting photos are worth every penny spent on a hotel room even if it means I’ve less take home pay.

It was also a wedding where the guests just wanted to have fun. Me too! We all did and the result… happy clients!

Testimony from María:

“Hi James,

“Many thanks for everything. Your work was fantastic during the wedding. Many guests asked me who the was the photographer; whether you were family or a guest? It shows not only that you can take photos but also win the crowd.

“It was a great decision to go with you and many thanks for making it so easy.”

Wedding / Boda, Iglesia San Pablo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda, Iglesia San Pablo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda, Iglesia San Pablo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda, Iglesia San Pablo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda en Restaurante Cachirulo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda en Restaurante Cachirulo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda en Restaurante Cachirulo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda en Restaurante Cachirulo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda en Restaurante Cachirulo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda en Restaurante Cachirulo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda en Restaurante Cachirulo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda en Restaurante Cachirulo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding / Boda en Restaurante Cachirulo, Zaragoza, Spain

Wedding: Candid photos of Merche & Hernan, Toledo, Spain

Saturday January 18th, 2014 01:11 PM

Foto de boda Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain | Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

One of the weddings from last autumn that I enjoyed the most was that of Merche & Hernan in Toledo. Why was it so good? Well, in part because Toledo is a beautiful city and new to me; I always like the challenge of working out of my comfort zone.

A second, key, element was the working relationship i built up with the couple. They live in Madrid I went to meet them at their home soon after they first contacted me. Six months later I returned to see them in Madrid and we spent a day doing a pre-wedding shoot. This meant that by the time of the actual wedding in Toledo they were super relaxed to have me around them snapping away. It led to lots of natural, candid and spontaneous shots.

What’s more, their laid-back relationship with me spread among their family and friends, resulting in a series of candid shots of them too.

Oh and if anyone is thinking of getting married in Toledo, I’m sure I can be available!!!

Foto de boda Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain | Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Foto de boda Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain | Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.orgWedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Wedding photo | Foto de boda, Toledo, Spain | www.sturcke.org

Idoya & El Vasco’s wedding in Santo Domingo de la Calzada cathedral, La Rioja

Thursday November 7th, 2013 10:30 AM

Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

I’ve shot a couple of weddings in Santo Domingo de la Calzada this year but this was the first one in the town’s famous cathedral. Each year thousands of pilgrims on the way to Santiago pass through its doors, many keen to see the legendary cockerel and hen. They live in a hutch overlooking the pews which you can make out in the ninth photo below.

Inside, the cathedral is stunning and huge. I want to show the size of the building in my pictures, which is why I took a number of wide angle shots. The couple may look the size of ants but you get the feeling of the splendour of the setting.

I move around lots during a wedding ceremony – as quietly and unobtrusively as possible. Subtlety is a is an important skill for a photographer.

By mixing wide shots with close-up shots taken during key moments in the ceremony, I build up a range of pictures showing this part of the wedding.

There is a portfolio of the day, including the reception in Hotel Echaurren, Ezcaray, here.

Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Foto de Boda Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Wedding: Elisa & Gonzalo, Santo Domingo & Azarrulla, La Rioja

Saturday October 26th, 2013 07:22 AM

Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

I always offer couples unlimited coverage on their wedding day. To my mind, the longer I spend with couples the more chance I have of getting cracking shots. What’s more, I like capturing the changing mood as the day evolves. You can often feel the nerves in the air at the start of the day and, of course, once the ceremony is out of the way, everyone lets their hair down and the party really begins. Often accompanied by months’ of pent up emotions flooding out.

I don’t think Elisa will mind me saying that she was bloody nervous at the start of her wedding day in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja. Part of my job is to record that vibe but without adding to the pressure. I work quietly and, if needs be, keep back a bit, capturing the different moods in the room. While Elisa was contemplative, her grandmother was already enjoying herself, as you can see in the second photo below.

After the ceremony in Santo Domingo, the reception was at the Antigua Ferrería in Azarrulla, a hamlet nestled in the beautiful Oja valley 6km up the road from Ezcaray. It’s a great venue to enjoy both good food and feel the surrounding mountains. And, dance the evening away barefoot on the grass. You can see more of the day’s photos here.

Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org Boda Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja, Spain. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org