La Rioja

Rioja Wedding Photographer: Isabel & David, Palacio Casafuerte, Zarratón, La Rioja, Spain

Rioja Wedding Photographer: Isabel & David, Palacio Casafuerte, Zarratón, La Rioja, Spain

It was very clear - and humbling - when I first met Isabel and David that they wanted me to shoot their wedding. They are journalists and I was a journalist in London before moving to Spain. They were looking for someone with that journalistic eye to record their wedding.

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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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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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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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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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Elena & Matt: Destination wedding photography in Hotel Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Elena & Matt: Destination wedding photography in Hotel Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

I’ve shot more destination weddings in La Rioja’s Echaurren Restaurant than anywhere else but this was the first one that I’ve done where the couple met in the building! Chefs Elena & Matt spent a number of months working in the kitchen of the 2 Michelin star restaurant and it was there that love blossomed. Perhaps it was something in the food?

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Wine photography: Grape harvest in Ribera del Duero, Toro & Rioja Alavesa, Spain

Wine photography: Grape harvest in Ribera del Duero, Toro & Rioja Alavesa, Spain

It’s human nature to prefer to buy something from someone you know rather than a complete stranger. That’s why Barceló, owners of Viña Mayor and Palacio wine brands, asked me to photograph the grape harvest in its Ribero del Duero, Toro and Rioja vineyards.

The brief was to capture images that show emotion, passion and sacrifice, amongst other things. They wanted to show something of the daily lives of those who work in the vineyards and the wineries.

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Press Photographer La Rioja: The Wine Battle, Haro, La Rioja, Spain

Press Photographer La Rioja: The Wine Battle, Haro, La Rioja, Spain

Like last year, I started this press photography in La Rioja assignment by wondering whether it was a waste of wine but once again I found it hard not to be swept up by the spirit of the annual St Peter’s Day wine battle in Haro, La Rioja.

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Food photography in Spain: El Portal del Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Food photography in Spain: El Portal del Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Food photography in Spain is one of the great perks of working in this country. There are 15 new dishes this year at Ezcaray’s two-Michelin star restaurant El Portal del Echaurren, and I’ve had the pleasure to photograph and then sample them! Chef Francis Paniego has continued with his theme of using out-of-fashion animal cuts in surprising and original ways. For example, the “razor clams” are actually pigs’ tendons.

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Wedding photography in Haro, La Rioja: Bodegas Tondonia is a well-kept secret place to get married

Wedding photography in Haro, La Rioja: Bodegas Tondonia is a well-kept secret place to get married

Bodegas Tondonia produces some of Rioja's most prized wines. Last year, when Falstaff magazine sent me to photograph Restaurante Can Roca, Tondonia was among the wines they served at lunch afterwards. And here's the secret: its also a very special place for a destination wedding in Haro, La Rioja. You just have to ask nicely.

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Commercial photography La Rioja: Hotel Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

Commercial photography La Rioja: Hotel Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja, Spain

The Echaurren gastronomic hotel in Ezcaray, La Rioja, has been in the same family for five generations, gradually building up a reputation as a very special place to eat and stay in northern Spain. But that doesn’t mean it rests on its laurels, as I found out on this commercial photography shoot.

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Wedding Photographer in Santo Domingo de la Calzada and Haro, La Rioja, Spain

Wedding Photographer in Santo Domingo de la Calzada and Haro, La Rioja, Spain

Before her wedding in Santo Domingo Cathedral and Hotel Los Agustinos in Haro, La Rioja, Maite had asked me to keep an eye out for her three-year-old niece, Alba.

As a photojournalist, I’m always following the light and the action and there’s a large chunk of spontaneity in the images. But as a professional wedding photographer it’s important to make sure key family members and guests feature in the photos. I always ask couples for a list of key people.

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Commercial photography in La Rioja: Garcia Hermanos Furniture, Ezcaray, La Rioja.

Commercial photography in La Rioja: Garcia Hermanos Furniture, Ezcaray, La Rioja.

Ezcaray is a popular holiday destination attracting people thanks to its beautiful mountainous location, excellent restaurants and hotels and, at least as we head into winter, ski resort. It’s particularly well-known among people from the Basque Country and Madrid.

But it’s also internationally famous in one particular, and rather niche, commercial sector: the manufacture of quality wooden furniture and theatre / cinema seats.

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La Rioja Editorial Photography - Pilgrims Walking the Camino de Santiago, La Rioja and Burgos, Spain

La Rioja Editorial Photography - Pilgrims Walking the Camino de Santiago, La Rioja and Burgos, Spain

You have to admire the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain! By the time they reach Nájera in La Rioja, they’ve already plodded 200km through the heat and are tired and suffering from blisters and still got more than 500km to go. Yet, despite the discomfort they’re an optimistic bunch and not prepared to let a bit of pain stop them.

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