For today’s ISPWP member spotlight, we feature Madrid wedding photographers Alec and Leticia of AiS Fotografos.
Alec y Leticia Bio:
Five years ago we started out on our long distance race, developing and honing our concept of the type of photography we wanted to offer. We started to mould our own style, a style that like us – on a personal level – is in constant evolution and which matures as do our minds, our ideas and our outlook on life. We shall continue to make every effort to explore the creative possibilities open to us, to offer to all the couples who trust us with a record of their special day, a unique and sparkling memento to treasure.
How did you get your start and why did you chose wedding photography as a career?
Around nine years ago we started working in press photography as well as for a photographic studio which specialized in weddings. We loved the wedding photography, so five years back we set up our own business, AiS Fotografos. We both have an interest in photography which dates back 16 to 18 years and we wanted to incorporate more of what we did in our personal work and things we’d learned from the press work into our wedding photos.
How has your extensive experience in wedding photography helped you in difficult circumstances on a wedding day?
For most of the brides and grooms it’s the first time they find themselves at the centre of a wedding, so having someone who can improvise and transmit calm is key to solving unexpected or difficult situations. Our experience lets us anticipate most situations or react with a cool head when things don’t work out as planned. If there have been delays in the run up to the wedding, if the bride’s father has misplaced his suit, if the weather is not what was expected – so much can happen. On one occasion a tree crashed onto the car one of us was in on the way to the ceremony with the bridal party! It’s thanks to our experience that, should such things happen, we can still remain calm and collected and communicate that calm to the couple. It’s thanks to our experience that these things happen and we still remain calm and collected and transmit that to the couple.
Tell us about some of the more unique weddings you’ve shot.
Recently we’ve a had a few weddings which were very emotional and special for us. One was in Los Navalmorales, a village in Toledo, in a house that has belonged to the groom’s family since the 19th century. Alejandro is from Toledo, Patricia is from the Reunion Islands and they live together in Paris. The wedding ceremony was a romantic candle-lit affair in the wine cellars and caves of the house. To sustain the magical atmosphere we didn’t use flash so asnot to break the mood. We took the couple’s pictures in different parts of the house. On the day of the ceremony there were only 14 guests: the bride and groom, the parents, brothers and sisters, their respective partners and of course the grandmother who lives in Navalmorales, which made for a very intimate day, a very special occasion to share with them. The family meal was celebrated in the patio with Samanthacatering in charge of the food.
On the next day there was a party to celebrate the wedding, with friends coming from all over the world. It was one of the most multilingual weddings we have ever seen. There was a fascinating variety of food from typical Spanish dishes, some food which is traditional on the Reunion Islands, and the traditional village band provided the music. as well as the traditional village band.
We also had the chance to shoot a wedding in Catiglioncello (Tuscany). Marta the bride is from Rome and the groom Luis is from Madrid, where both of them live. They got married in the morning in the Castelo Pasquini in Castiglioncello. This is a a seaside village where Marta spent her childhood summers. They had an open air buffet on the green next to Il Cardellino restaurant. The bride’s wonderful dress was designed by La Canalla de Vigo, an atelier which specializes in theatre costumes. Marta’s red Camper shoes and the bouquet of red peppers were the ideal accessories in this special and magical wedding. To add to the magic, the children’s entertainers kept the little ones and the “not so little ones” captivated.
What are some of your favorite local venues?
One of our favourite places is Aldea Santillana, an amazing place in the Madrid mountains. Its location has fantastic views of Atazar reservoir and wide open skies. The whole place has been painstakingly sculpted and decorated, with fantastic interiors and exteriors. The great lighting at night along with the fantastic gardens and stables make Aldea Santillana a perfect place to photograph a wedding.
We also love the Monastery of San Bartolomé of Lupiana in Guadalajara, its a national monument which exudes history and elegance, full of elegant nooks and crannies which let you photograph in a wonderful setting. The Royal Balneario de Salinas located on the shores of the Cantabrian sea, is one of the best places to celebrate your wedding in Asturias. Fantastic cuisine, a view straight out to sea, spectacular beaches like the Beach of Silence for the couple’s session as well as its proximity to Oviedo, Gijon and Aviles – this all helps to make it ideal.
What advice would you give a bride who is looking for a wedding photographer?
There are two key points. The first is finding a photographer whose style you like and whose work you trust, so that it’s one less thing you have to worry about the day of the wedding. The second to have a good rapport with the photographer. You have to feel comfortable with someone who will be with you all through your special day.
What’s your favorite part of the wedding day to photograph?
Every part of the wedding is important, personally I like to capture the more spontaneous, more natural moments of the wedding on the one hand, but also love playing with the chemistry and aesthetic elements during the couple’s shoot.
What kinds of weddings do you love to photograph?
Multicultural weddings, the meeting of two or more cultures celebrating a couple’s love. Even though many of the guests don’t speak the same language, they still have a wonderful time together.
What are your top tips for brides to help them get great photos on their wedding day?
A. An overall look that suits the bride’s personality, which will make her more comfortable and confident in front of the camera, as well as shoes that won’t make her suffer with every step (if shoes pinch it shows in the face no matter how much you smile).
B. Relax and enjoy every moment, that’s why we think that each part of the wedding has to have a good time margin. Rushing from one part of the day to hurry to the next causes more stress
C. Avoid clichés and make your wedding into something personal and unique. Forget about the camera and enjoy yourself to the fullest – that would be our top tip.
How important is it to hire an experienced wedding photographer?
An experienced photographer is as important as the value that you place on the images which make up your memories of your wedding.
What do you find is the biggest challenge in wedding photography?
Capturing images that will really take people back to that moment and situation, which will let them relive that day. Taking photos during a wedding is about more than pretty pictures, you want to show real feeling and true emotion.
Do you do “destination weddings?” If so, what are your favorite destinations?
Yes we do! We love traveling, – in essence we are traveling photographers and we particularly enjoy getting to know something of other cultures which are different from our own. It not only makes every destination special, it helps us to grow as photographers and people too.
What do you do for fun when you’re not shooting weddings?
When we’re not shooting weddings we love to travel and photograph places and people from a personal point of view. We also love photographing dogs.
How would you describe your style of photography?
Our photography is very documentary and emotional, what we see and feel is what we transmit with our photos. Light and texture are two of our main tools.
What do you offer to clients that is unique? What is your Unique Selling Proposition?
Apart from offering a professional service which has its origins in fine art photography, where each photo is carefully crafted in camera and in the computer, our rapport with the couples creates a link which is crucial for us and for the couples. We love keeping in touch with many of the couples after we’ve taken their wedding photos, and even taking photos of other important moments after the wedding.
Do you offer albums? If so, describe the albums you offer and why you think it’s important to provide albums?
We offer albums that we design and lay out ourselves. We do it this way because we like to tell the story using a very simple and elegant layout. We like to give our clients a physical reminder in the shape of an album which tells their story.
What (or who) inspires you?
I’m inspired by the couple I’m photographing, my team mates, cinema and many other photographers who may have varying techniques but from whom I can learn, I particularly draw on the work of documentary photographers.
Have you found any products, services, or seminars that have made a difference to your photography or your business?
We try to push ourselves constantly, going to workshops and trying to hone our skills non-stop, its a never ending process… we’re also continually updating equipment as new and better products become available as well as trying new things out to see if they can be incorporated into our workflow.
What’s the best photography-related advice you’ve been given?
Shoot a lot, in your own time.
What would you say was the biggest reason for your success?
The great rapport we have with our clients, that closeness helps us tell the story on the day of the wedding and bring everything across with that extra touch of emotion. Being demanding with our work, working as a team is very enriching and fundamental to getting good results.
Thanks for the interview Alec and Leticia! Use the comment section below to ask Alec and Leticia a question or leave a comment.