Real Wedding at Palacio Azcárate, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Real Wedding at Palacio Azcárate, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Wedding plans change. It’s a fact of life. I first spoke with Marlit and Iñaki about their civil wedding plans and reception at Palacio Azcárate in Ezcaray (La Rioja) around 10 months before their marriage. By the time we actually met up a few months later Marlit had a big announcement: she was due to give birth about six weeks before the wedding. And so everything now had to be tailored to accommodate young Leander!

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Corporate wine portrait photography: Bodegas Montecillo, La Rioja, Spain

Corporate wine portrait photography: Bodegas Montecillo, La Rioja, Spain

Passion, care, experience, knowledge, enjoyment, trust… these are all key concepts I’m trying to portray in my corporate photography. I want to show the pride and commitment people put into their work. And I want to show them in a natural, relaxed way that puts a human face on, in this case, a bottle of wine.

This all sounds very well on paper but when you’re in a field at 6.30am with the sun rising, the magical light fading and two winemakers from Bodegas Montecillo who aren’t professional models well, put it this way, the adrenaline is buzzing. 

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Commercial and Wedding Photography: La Arboleda del Sur de Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Commercial and Wedding Photography: La Arboleda del Sur de Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Among the most eagerly anticipated restaurant openings this year in Spain has been the Echaurren’s Arboleda del Sur in Ezcaray. Hotel Echaurren has La Rioja's only two-star Michelin restaurant and has long been a favourite wedding venue both locally and further afield. 

However, space was limited… until now! The Arboleda is purpose-built for events of more than 50 people with adaptable spaces depending on the size of the party.

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Northern Spain wedding photographer - Diana & Juan, Briones, La Rioja

Northern Spain wedding photographer - Diana & Juan, Briones, La Rioja

I love being close to the action; it's where you feel the emotion that is so much part of my wedding photography. However, sometimes it’s important to take a step back to get the bigger picture. Diana & Juan’s wedding in Briones in northern Spain’s La Rioja is a good example. 

The ceremony was in the family garden high above the river Ebro with sensational views overlooking Rioja’s vineyards. The only problem was that there was a three metre high wall around the garden blocking the view. So I had to get high, very high.

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Fashion photographer Spain - Mantas Ezcaray, La Rioja, northern Spain

Fashion photographer Spain - Mantas Ezcaray, La Rioja, northern Spain

Mantas Ezcaray, a family blanket & scarf manufacturer, sells its gorgeous products all over the world. The firm has garnered international success due to the quality and the largely hand-made nature of its products.

For this year’s catalogue, it wanted to incorporate the beautiful local surroundings. This made lots of sense, since the mountains near Ezcaray lend themselves to promoting a wool product. 

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Portrait photographer Spain - Ezcaray Basketball club, La Rioja, Spain

Portrait photographer Spain - Ezcaray Basketball club, La Rioja, Spain

My oldest son Nicky has become an enthusiastic member of Ezcaray’s basketball club. A few months ago someone at the club had the idea to create a book of stickers of all the players - young and not so young. Swapping football players stickers is something I remember doing in the school playground when I was young. Selling packs of stickers seemed an inspired way of raising money for the club. And of course they asked me to make the photos. “A 100 portraits, in two hours?” - I thought to myself - “Of course! Group photos too? Bring them on!”

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Corporate Portrait Photography Spain - Bodegas Montecillo, Navarrete, La Rioja, Spain

Corporate Portrait Photography Spain - Bodegas Montecillo, Navarrete, La Rioja, Spain

Bodegas Montecillo, in Navarrete (La Rioja), wine is a household brand widely sold across Spain. It’s part of the Osborne group who’s marketing is probably best associated with the giant bull silhouette statues you see near main roads as you travel around the country.

To differentiate Montecillo from other household wines widely sold across Spain, the photographic brief was to produce elegant images which showed the professionalism and personality of winemaker Merche García and her creations. 

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Briones winery wedding photography, La Rioja, Spain - Bodegas Vivanco, Briones

Briones winery wedding photography, La Rioja, Spain - Bodegas Vivanco, Briones

Some have amazing architecture, others a stunning setting. It’s hardly surprising that getting married in one of Rioja’s beautiful wineries has become a popular option for many couples. Wineries can not only offer a fresh, modern and relaxed setting for a celebration but also a link to a traditional industry. The fact that industry happens to be wine is, I guess, a bonus for many couples!

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Professional Photographer Navarra Spain: Helados Grate, Viana

Professional Photographer Navarra Spain: Helados Grate, Viana

To make fantastic ice cream you need fantastic ingredients and that is why raw materials are key to Fernando Sáenz. From their Helados Grate base in Viana, Navarra, Fernando and his partner, Angelines Gonzáles, concoct delicious ice cream recipes.

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Wedding photographer Logroño, La Rioja, Spain - Marta & Mateo

Wedding photographer Logroño, La Rioja, Spain - Marta & Mateo

Looking over these photos from Marta & Mateo’s wedding in Logroño (La Rioja) last autumn, I’m struck by the fact that they, and most of their guests, hardly stopped smiling and laughing.

The wedding itself took place in the city’s Santa María La Redonda cathedral - known locally as La Redonda - and the reception afterwards was at the always inspiring Hotel Marqués de Riscal, in Elciego (Basque Country).

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Rioja Wine Scenery Photography - Late autumn in La Rioja, Spain

Rioja Wine Scenery Photography - Late autumn in La Rioja, Spain

Baking hot in summer and freezing cold in winter, the Rioja weather can batter the senses throughout the year. It’s a climate of contrasts over the seasons, months and sometimes even over a few hours. Very chilly mornings can turn into beautifully pleasant days. Beautifully pleasant mornings can turn into brutally hot afternoons. And so on and so forth.

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Ribera del Duero Wine photography - Bodegas Viña Mayor, Valladolid

Ribera del Duero Wine photography - Bodegas Viña Mayor, Valladolid

Viña Mayor winery asked me to make some portraits of its recently arrived winemaker, Almudena Alberca. The brief was for elegant, reasonably minimalist images that showed Almudena at work in the Quintanilla de Onésimo (Valladolid) winery in the heart of Ribera del Duero. It also wanted portraits of Almudena at itand also its Rueda winery - Caserío de Duero - an hour away in Villaverde de Medina (Valladolid).

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San Sebastian wedding photography: Lianna & Salvador

San Sebastian wedding photography: Lianna & Salvador

Some weddings are intensely private affairs conducted in front of a select few people - I shot one this year where only the couple, the judge and me were present. Others, meanwhile, take place in full public view. Lianna and Salvador’s wedding in San Sebastian was certainly in the latter camp - it was right on Zurriola beach in the height of summer.

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Toledo wedding photography: Brenda & Alberto, Hotel Valdepalacios, Torrico

Toledo wedding photography: Brenda & Alberto, Hotel Valdepalacios, Torrico

With so many cameras at a typical wedding it’s so important that my photographs are different from the others - otherwise what’s the point of hiring a professional photographer?

So, like at Brenda & Alberto’s beautiful wedding at Hotel Valdepalacios, Torrico (Toledo), I’m constantly looking for unique ways of showing what’s going on. I want images that no one else will have. And a simple way of getting them is to put my camera in places other people don’t.

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Commercial photography in northern Spain: Mantas Ezcaray, La Rioja

Commercial photography in northern Spain: Mantas Ezcaray, La Rioja

A first encounter with a Mantas Ezcaray blanket is very much a sensory experience: the wool is so soft it could be silk, the colours are bright and appealing but not garish and your hand practically disappears into the thick fibres. There’s an overwhelming desire just to wrap yourself up in it.

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Publicity and website photography in La Rioja and across Spain

Publicity and website photography in La Rioja and across Spain

One of the first and best things I did when I moved to La Rioja six years ago was to invest time and money in building a decent website. One that was simple but elegant and showed off my photography at its best. It was a shrewd investment for my website has brought in tons of work ever since.

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Wedding photography at Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Basque Country, Spain

Wedding photography at Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Basque Country, Spain

Frank Gehry’s spellbinding design attracts couples from all over the world to get married at Hotel Marqués de Riscal in the relatively small Basque village of Elciego, known until recently more for its wine than architecture.

With destination wedding photography, it’s important not only to show the personality of the couple but also of the location. So whereas with local weddings I’m always looking to show the relationship between the place and the couple, with destination weddings I’m looking to explain to viewers why Emma and Gareth chose this location above any other in the world to celebrate their marriage.

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Basque Country professional photography: Basque Cooking at Bodegas Valdemar, Oyón, Alava

Basque Country professional photography: Basque Cooking at Bodegas Valdemar, Oyón, Alava

Pedro Subijana, Martín Berasategui and Juan Mari Arzak are legendary Basque Country chefs that helped raise the region’s gastronomic profile to the stratosphere. In recent years they’ve been followed by a younger generation including Andoni Luis Aduriz and Elena Arzak. But who will be next?

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London wedding photographer: Emma & Gareth, Welsh Chapel, Borough, London

London wedding photographer: Emma & Gareth, Welsh Chapel, Borough, London

Emma and Gareth had already booked me for their major wedding celebration in Spain but they also needed a London wedding photographer to cover a private ceremony in the days beforehand.

Generally speaking I’m game for whatever fancy my couples have! By being flexible and able to tailor my offering to my clients’ needs I find myself in all sorts of interesting places. And that inspires me to really push myself and my photography.

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Same-sex wedding at Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Basque Country, Spain

Same-sex wedding at Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Alava, Basque Country, Spain

Chen and Tony’s same sex wedding at Hotel Marqués de Riscal in Spain’s Basque Country was, simply put, a blast! So much thought and planning went in that on one level you thought nothing could go wrong. 

However, Chen’s family are from Malaysia while Tony’s from Ontario in Canada. And they had never met before! So that meant there was a special impossible-to-predict element that had everyone on tenterhooks in the days running up the the marriage.

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