wedding photographer Spain

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

Wedding: Group photos at Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Basque Country, Spain

Tuesday July 23rd, 2013 03:41 PM

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Generally speaking couples hire me because they love the spontaneity and emotion that lies at the heart of my wedding photography. My main objective at any wedding is capture those special, poignant moments that pop up all the time.

But normally even couples looking for super-natural photos also want some group shots. I’m of course happy to do posed photos and aim to give them a twist and bit of elegance.

So when the families of Maluke and Edu lined up after the ceremony at Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, Basque Country, the first thing I did was move them around. I don’t want straight lines of people looking face on at the camera. I’m looking for small groups within a group – couples, for example – and move some forwards and other back to give depth to the image.

Moving people gives me a chance to interact with the people, crack a joke, and generally warm them up. It could provoke a smile or, like in the second photo below, two of Maluke’s sisters lift a leg. Simple, subtle, not too forced.

There are more photos from the wedding at Hotel Marqués de Riscal in this gallery.

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Fotos de Boda, Hotel Maques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Pais Vasco. Foto © James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Engagement photos: Merche y Hernán, Madrid

Sunday June 23rd, 2013 11:46 AM

Fotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

There are many ways to approach engagement shoots. Many wedding photographers favour taking their clients to a spectacular location where they set up lights and all sorts of other kit. Sometimes the results are fantastic but sometimes I’m left feeling that the couple look out of place and serious.

To me, capturing the joy a couple feel when they’re together is key to an engagement shoot. It should be the first thing a viewer sees. The location and lighting is complimentary but secondary. It seems to me that any photo where the viewer notices the setting more than the couple’s love for each other has missed the point.

But how do you show that chemistry? Well, here the relationship between the photographer and the couple is important. You need to know your subjects to be able to capture them. Merche and Hernán invited me to stay in their home in Madrid the night before their engagement shoot and that was an excellent opportunity to talk about the photos we wanted to take. Next day we shot at a number of locations in Madrid, some famous (Parque Retiro and Gran Vía) others less so. But I hope that in all these pictures the location plays nothing more than a backing role.

Fotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Fotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Fotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.orgFotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Fotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Fotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Fotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Fotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Fotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org Fotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.orgFotos de Preboda, Madrid - Engagement photos Madrid | James Sturcke Fotografía | www.sturcke.org

Spontaneity & Photography: Raquel & Fernando’s wedding, Hotel Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Friday March 1st, 2013 11:26 AM

Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org
A couple of months ago I wrote about the importance of preparation before a photo session with the world’s best chef, Ferran Adrià. In a world where most people have a camera-phone on them most of the time, preparation is often the difference between a snap shot and a great photo.

But however much you’ve planned something it’s also important to think on the hoof. Raquel and Fernando had asked for a photo call during their wedding at Hotel Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja. Photo calls are the polar opposite to my usual, spontaneous, no-flash approach. But I like doing them and wedding couples delight in the resulting photos.

So I’d set up a couple of remote flashes and all that was missing were the guests. While someone went off to rouse the troops I was left alone with Raquel. Now Raquel is an exceptionally energetic person by nature so, to while away the time, I suggested we took a couple of shots. “Why don’t you jump?” I asked. So she did. I took a shot. It wasn’t too bad. “Once more, please.” And that’s the photo above.

This shot is a result of planning but also improvisation. It probably took less than10 seconds from the idea coming into my head to the finished photo. Sometimes that’s how the best shots are.

People often ask me how much photoshopping was in involved in this picture. I don’t use photoshop much. I prefer to spend my time out taking photos not sat in front of the computer changing them. But I did use photoshop to remove a sign from the wall, which I found distracting. The rest is real. The original picture is below so you can see for yourself. And there are more photos from the wedding here.

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Testimonial from Raquel’s mother: “Dear Friend, A great job. Every photo has something special. You’ve known how to get the best of both of them in their most treasured moments. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! and many thanks.”

Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org
Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org
Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org
Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org
Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org
Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org
Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org
Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org
Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Hotel Echaurren wedding, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain. Photo: James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org