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

 6/9/15 Emma & Gareth's wedding at Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, Álava, Basque Country, Spain. Photo by James Sturcke |

Wedding photography at Hotel Marques de Riscal

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.

So I step back some of the time to include the bigger picture of the building and its setting where the wedding is only a small part of the frame. Here I want to show the beauty of the Basque landscape and wait for the light to be just right, if possible. See the first photo below.

Destination wedding photography in the Basque Country

But I need to be alert too to what’s going on during the ceremony as I don’t want to miss anything important. I want to be close to capture the emotion of the day. Here the Riscal building can be understated taking up just a bit of the frame as it’s playing a supporting role to the main star: the happiness and love of the couple.

Being in the right place at the right time is sometimes a question of luck but more normally it’s a question of good thinking. Over the past years I’ve come to realise that what all really good profesional photographers have is a good sense of anticipation. That comes from experience and thinking. The brain is a highly under-recognised component of great photography.