Teresa's blog

A Rainy Day in a French Chateau

It’s such a rainy day today, and for some reason, I had to think of another such day, a little while back… a rainy day in a French Chateau, somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

We were on our way to Dominique and Maxime`s Wedding in the Beaujolais region of France, driving from Nice, where we had spend a few precious sunny days… Yes, I admit, combining work and pleasure is one of the definitive perks of this job!

I wanted one stop-over on our way north, to arrive relaxed and ready for the big day… which is how we happened upon this gem of a place: the Chateau d’Uzer. The day we spent there it was pouring with rain, which made it almost impossible to go out… and all the better for us. We spent the day reading, listening to the rain, leafing through the photo books on the coffee tables, and wandering about the Chateau in happy appreciation; enjoying the form and colour of things, and listening to the rain.

Wishing you a happy rainy day…

xx T

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Portrait Shoot in Vienna: Wedding Planner Maryam Yeganehfar

Meet Maryam! She’s the ever-stylish, world-travelling mind and heart behind yamyam event production, an Event Planning Company based in Vienna. We have worked together on many weddings, including some you may have seen on these pages, like this chic and colourful wedding, last December’s elegant winter wedding in Vienna, and Sonja and Werner’s wedding in the Austrian wine hills that was featured on Hochzeitswahn.

Maryam is a pretty fabulous girl to know. She will tell you in the blink of an eye where to find the best small boutiques in New York, or Rio, or Paris, or probably anywhere really. She cooks like a goddess. And she’s also the reason why I finally manage to put on my nail polish without making a complete mess of myself (a miracle!).

On top of all this, she’s also one of the most generous and truly friendly people I’ve met while in this job. If you ever need a wedding or business event organised, be sure to let her know - she’s done weddings from Las Vegas to Sardinia, so this is not just for you Vienna people!

Here’s to many more fabulous, tasty, colourful adventures together, dear Maryam!

xx Teresa

 

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A Wedding in Sicily, Five Years Ago - Sarah and Ken

Sara and Ken got married an incredible five years ago, in a lovely little hamlet on the beautiful island of Sicily, and we were lucky enough to be their photographers. We had photographed half a dozen other weddings, some for friends and some for paying customers (and often, a mix of the two). In retrospect, I’m forever grateful that they trusted these young Austrian photographers to fly into Palermo, navigate through the crazy Sicilian traffic, and capture their big day.

We had a fantastic day on that 10th of May 2008, mostly because Sara and Ken were truly having the time of their lives. They enjoyed every bit of it, from the lunch with friends and family, through the getting ready and the ceremony, right into the middle of the night when everybody kicked off their shoes and danced the night away.

We’re thrilled to see Sara and Ken again on the occasion of the wedding of Ken’s little brother, coming up in little more than three weeks in Monaco. Happy fifth anniversary, Sara and Ken, many happy returns!

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The wedding was wonderfully organized by Eva and Clara from Chic Weddings in Italy.

Catalina – From Berlin to Tennessee

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This is my friend Catalina, a few days before she left Berlin for Tennessee. Catalina is Colombian and American, a teacher, performer and filmmaker, and probably the most fiercely independent person I’ve ever met. These are her portraits.

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Jonas Peterson´s Workshop and What Makes Me Tick

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Last week I came back from London, where I spent two wonderful days with a small group of people, stuck in a City Apartment, listening and talking about photography – Jonas Peterson´s workshop “A Greater Story”.

Jonas Peterson is a man who makes a fortune every year travelling the world and shooting weddings. He’s a bit of a rock star for those who are into weddings – he gets asked for his autograph, and for pictures with his fans. More than that, he is a genuinely friendly person; he’s an artist who - as probably every artist should- struggles and fights to be truthful in what he does.

We talked about a lot of things in these two days: Storytelling, Artistic Integrity, Customers,  Facebook… even a bit of techy post-production talk. But what most struck a chord with me, and kept resonating over the following days, and is still ringing in my ears, is something that he said very early on: Find out what it is about your work that inspires you – and then do that more. Shoot what you see and what makes sense to you – not what’s expected.

For somebody whose main line of work is wedding photography – and we were all wedding photographers at this workshop – this is no trivial advice. 

You see, I know exactly what got me into photography, what mesmerized me when I first took up a camera. It’s just that, when you shoot weddings, you can get stuck on shooting tablescapes; and when you shoot actor’s portraits, you may end up worrying most about whether his agency might prefer landscape or vertical shots.

So since I started out as a professional photographer five years ago, it’s true that I have started to forget a little why I got into it in the first place.

When people ask me how I got into photography, I usually tell them about our friends, Laja and Dominique, who got married eight years ago and forgot to book a photographer. They had loved the photos that we took on our trip to India and Japan, and so they asked us if we would do it. And after a good deal of hesitation we did. And ended up loving it, and they loved their photos, and then it all went from there. 

While this story is true, this is how we ended up being PAID for photography; the initial spark happened a lot longer ago, and tells a lot more about what fascinates me about photography, and why I love what I do.

We were about 17 or so. I was talking with one of my best friends, probably about boys, and in a very cursory way she said something like: “It’s no wonder no boy likes me, the way I look.” I could tell she wasn’t being coquette – she really thought she was ugly. Which, of course, she wasn’t at all – like all of us, being 17, she was pretty, and lovely, and she had the loveliest smile in the world.

When I asked her what on earth led her to the presumption that she was ugly, she started showing me pictures of herself – and it’s true, she wasn’t  photogenic. She did look pretty terrible in the pictures. But I knew that she was beautiful, because I knew her, so I set out to prove it to her.

She got her father to lend us his SLR, and a few days later we met in my parent’s sunny garden, and started. I ended up shooting what was then an incredible 3 rolls of film. In the beginning she was nervous, but as we kept walking through the garden, giggling, sitting down, making jokes, she relaxed – she opened up. 

I showed her the pictures a few days later, the ones that I had chosen from the pile. She looked at them, she touched them, and she cried. Actually, we both cried. Something strange had happened: I had given her a different image of herself, one in which she was beautiful. And that was so powerful that it made both of us cry.

I didn’t think about it much before, but this is still what makes me tick. When I’m on the subway, or wait at the bus stop, or stand in line for something, I look at people’s faces, and I´m struck by them. I love how most people look, when they´re unaware of themselves, relaxed, just waiting somewhere. I love how they all have their dignity and beauty. How they have their wrinkles, and funny facial hair, and circles around the eyes, and dignity and beauty.

Of course there are other things that I love in photography: light, and the lack of it, the magic ingredient for all (outer) beauty; and composition, geometry. But to me, nothing beats the sheer beauty of a human face. Nothing.

Thank you Jonas for reminding me of that.

 

It´s time...for our Couple Shoot Giveaway 2013!

So it’s Valentine’s day. Some celebrate this day, happy about a pop of colour in this otherwise rather bleak season of waiting for the first signs of spring. Others say it’s a ruse by commerce to get you to spend ever more money. Our take on it is: celebrating love certainly isn’ t a bad idea, and February 14th may be just as good a day for that as any other! So bring on the pink confetti, the heart-shaped chocolates, the candle-light-dinner... and, of course, our by-now traditional VALENTINE’S DAY GIVEAWAY!

We´re giving away one free photo shoot with the two of us – Teresa and Daniel - to one lucky couple. You two could be engaged, married for 25 years, lovers since just a few days... doesn’t matter, as long as you´re in love (and over 18), you’re eligible!

We can do the photo session in Berlin or Vienna, so either you´re a resident of one of these two beautiful cities, or you’d have a really nice reason for a week-end trip!

Scroll down for the details on how to enter!

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To enter, just leave a comment below this blog post, stating

  • you and your loves´ first names
  • a little bit about yourselves if you like
  • remember to leave your correct email so we can contact you if you win!

And if you want to double your chance of winning we will enter your name twice into the lottery if you

  • go to our Facebook page and share the contest image we posted there

The Giveaway will stay open from the 14th Feb 2013 Noon to Monday, the 18th Feb 2013 at Midnight (CET). We’ll announce the lucky winning couple on February 19th. 

By participating you accept the terms and conditions.

Best of luck!

Teresa + Daniel

Céline and Carsten - Engagement Shoot in Vienna

When I studied theatre at the University of Vienna, the faculty was housed in a part of the Hofburg, the imperial palace in Vienna (talk about a regal place of study!).

As I still lived with my Mom, who lives outside of Vienna, I would spend all the breaks between lectures and seminars strolling around in the first district, the city center that was once surrounded by the city wall (or sitting in its grandiose Cafés, when it was raining). Since then, a lot has changed in this part of town, but some of the hidden places – systems of courtyards, old archways, tucked-away sidestreets – still look as untouched as they looked then, sort of like they were forgotten by history.

When Céline contacted us a year ago, to ask us whether we would shoot her wedding, she and Carsten had just moved to Vienna. Céline is from the French-speaking part of Switzerland and Carsten is from Germany, so when it came to their engagement photos, we all knew that we wanted to take in some of that Vienna flair. At the same time, we didn´t want their engagement photos to look like a personalized version of touristy post-cards, so apart from going to see some landmarks (like the Belvedere, which you see in the last picture), we spent most of the time exploring some of these quiet sidestreets and old courtyards I used to roam some ten years ago.

Doesn´t the romantic backdrop suit them perfectly?

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Carrie - Actors Portraits in Berlin

Here´s just one frame from our portrait session with actress Carrie Getman in Berlin yesterday. We had such a great time, and absolutely love how the photos turned out. Isn´t she breathtaking? Can´t wait to post more from this shoot!

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Dominique and Maxime - Wedding in the Chateau de Bagnols, France

Dominique and Maxime got married in the very early spring, in the amazing medieval Chateau de Bagnols in the Beaujolais region of France. On the day of the wedding it was still very cold, and the day had both rain and brilliant sunshine… and, as a result, a beautiful rainbow at reception time.

The Beaujolais is known for its excellent wines, and the Chateau, surrounded by vineyards, made for a  truly picturesque background.  Dominique and Maxime exchanged their vows in the small town church a few minutes walk from the Chateau, and afterwards headed back with all their guests, umbrella in hand,  for a tea-and-sandwich reception.  In the evening, the two treated their guests to a candlelight dinner, accompanied by the arias of an Italian opera singer, and to end the day, everybody cut loose after dinner and danced until the wee hours.

We had first met Dominique and Maxime at Dominique´s elder brother´s wedding in Cefalù, Sicily, which we photographed an incredible five years back. And we can´t wait to meet the whole family again at her younger brother´s wedding in Monaco, a little later this year! Thank you all for entrusting us with documenting your special day – it is truly an honour and joy for us!

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Simon Mraz - Portraits in Moscow

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On our trip to Moscow last spring, we did a short portrait session with the director of the Austrian Cultural Forum, Simon Mraz. Simon moved to Moscow five years ago, and with his energy and undivided passion for contemporary art he has since become a true fixture in the Moscow arts world. His enthusiasm for the arts is contagious, and it was wonderful to follow him from gallery to museum to artist´s workhop for a week. A true mover and shaker… so we thought the “high voltage” sign was a rather fitting attribute for his portrait!

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