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Engagement Shoot in Moscow: Linnea and Viktor

I sit in a New York appartment, the air condition is quietly whirring, but all the same it feels like it's about 27 degrees in here. All the more interesting for me, then, to transport myself back to April, in Moscow... when any ray of sunshine was greeted with enthusiasm, and the snow was taking its time to slowly melt. 

We met Linnea and Viktor on one of the first truly sunny days. They picked us up from the Metro and drove us to close to where they live - there's a lake, they said, and a monastery, so it could be nice for a shoot. When we arrived, we saw... this. How little were we prepared for the splendour of the Novodevichy Convent

We strolled around all afternoon, talking, photographing, and getting to know each other. Linnea is from Sweden and Viktor is from Russia, but you can tell there really aren't any problems in cross-cultural communication between them. They're both cosmopolitans (Viktor having lived in London and Linnea having moved to Russia for her masters in political science); more than that, you can tell from the way they interact that they're on exactly the same wavelenght. 

I'm happy to say, they got married only a week after our shoot in a small civil ceremony... All the best for your new life together, Linnea and Viktor! 

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Greetings from the Côte d'Azur!

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We're off to photograph Maria and Brent's wedding in Monaco, so we thought we'd leave you with a few pictures from our last trip to the region.

In the first photos, you'll find a few impressions of Colle-sur-Loup and the funky Hotel L'Abbaye, where we stayed. The second part are photos from a trip to the glamourous Villa Kérylos in Beaulieu-sur-Mer. Now that's a place where I'd love to shoot a wedding someday!

Now sit back and relax, and let yourself be transported to a holiday at the Côte d'Azur... 

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My Personal Guide to Berlin Kreuzberg SO 36

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This coming weekend, I’ll be attending THE HIVE – The European Blog Conference at Betahaus in Berlin, a place for bloggers from all over Europe to meet, connect, learn and… just plain old hang out and enjoy each other’s company. I’ve been living around the corner from Betahaus for the past eight years, so when Mina Moka, another Kreuzberger and participant in the conference, posted her Mini Guide of the neighbourhood, I loved the idea… and felt inspired to do the same.

So here it is: my personal, highly idiosyncratic, whipped-up-in-a-frenzy guide to my “Kiez”, SO 36, with a few darts into nearby regions. 

This map is from 1954, so don’t be surprised to see the border between West and East Berlin in there… the place where the Berlin Wall would be built a few years later.

Berlin map from 1954 courtesy of Berliner Stadtplanarchiv – double click it to see it bigger!

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  1. Betahaus – co-working space and location for The Hive. Just a stone-throw away at Moritzplatz is the Prinzessinnengärten, an urban oasis and total must-go in the summer. There is a garden with a small plantation of herbs and vegetables, as well as a Café where you can sip your drink in between flowerbeds.
  2. Würgeengel – Classic Cocktail bar with a slightly worn charm.
  3. Luzia – Hip bar with a beautiful bare-bricks interior; in the evenings, it’s usually impossible to find a seat. 
  4. Modulor – Paradise for artists and crafters. Three floors of DIY supplies, from paper to styrofoam, from gouache to crayon, from leather to metal… it’s all there. In the same building, you can find coledampf’s, a shop for kitchen utensils that’s also a restaurant. Great for a tasty lunch!
  5. Henne – A legendary old Berlin Wirtshaus, where even JFK apparently already enjoyed one of the famous chicken halves. This is what you eat here, half a chicken, either with bread or potato salad, washed down with your choice of beer. Prost.
  6. Drei Schwestern – This restaurant is housed in an old red-brick building that used to be a hospital and is now a cultural center. They serve fine German/Interntional cuisine, a bit pricey in the evenings, but the lunch menu is a very good deal. Most of all though, they have a lovely garden in the courtyard, which is nice for sunshine lunch or a drink in the evening.
  7. Markthalle Neun – A former market hall that was revived only recently and now houses an organic canteen (only lunch), as well as a bustling, mostly organic market on Fridays and Saturdays.
  8. Goldener Hahn – Very good slightly upscale (for Kreuzberg) Italian restaurant. I particularly like the starters, often genuinely Italian stuff like veal kidneys with garlic. They have just openend a bar next door, where you could enjoy your aperitivo or digestivo, or head across the street after dinner for a drink at the cozy Lerchen & Eulen.
  9. Pony Hütchen – My Favourite for vintage furniture, lamps and bric à brac. Sometimes you can also find gems in their collection of old dresses and shoes.
  10. 1000stoffe – A small and delightful little store for colourful fabrics.
  11. Baretto – A tiny Italian Café with some of the best espresso in town.
  12. Cafè Nest – The waitresses can afford to be snotty, as the Weekend Brunch for something like 12€ is really an all-day feast. You may have to reserve a table.
  13. Salon Sucré – not even the strange opening hours and the frequent “closed for holidays” sign can keep me from loving this French bakery, with the best Croissants aux Amandes I’ve ever had outside of France. I find the fancier (and a lot more expensive) tartes and cakes less satisfying… the buttery almond-filled croissants on the other hand are perfection.
  14. Café am Engelbecken – The coffee is only so-so, but with that location (right on a small lake in front of a derelict church), who cares?
  15. Five Elephant – Personally, I think the coffee here is way overrated, but the Cheesecake is probably the best in town.
  16. Schuhtanten – A small store for women’s clothes and shoes. It shares a small garden with a home deco shop next door.
  17. Lindt – My absolute favourite for Vintage clothes. Carefully selected by the lovely lady owner, there’s a huge amount of dresses from the 60s to the 80s, waiting to be tried on. (Technically, by the way, this is already Kreuzberg 61… just so you know!)
  18. Bully’s Bakery – ok, ok, this is definitely in the Neukölln area, so way off limits for an SO36 guide… but Bully’s Bakery is just too much of a favourite to be left out. Delicious espresso, and equally tasty Danish and Cakes.
  19. Burrito Baby – While we’re in Neukölln, we might as well enjoy a vegetarian Burrito and some delicious Rose de Jamaica Iced Tea.

 

I’ll have to leave it at that, even though a dozen more places come to mind… Let me know if you have any suggestions for more good places in the area!

I hope you enjoy this little Guide and it proves to be helpful! If you try out one of the these places, I’d love to hear how you liked them… let me know!

xx Teresa

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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