What better place for a couple to elope to than the city where they first met? After Dani Rodriguez of Bring Me Somewhere Nice photographed their engagement session in Málaga, Spain, he invited Roberto Panciatici (one of Rf's 30 Rising Stars of 2017) to shoot the couple's elopement in Berlin, back where they first crossed paths.
"Shooting in Berlin is always a surprise," Panciatici says. "The weather changes so fast, sometimes several times per day. We wanted to do the ceremony at the rooftop. We were lucky, and it was pleasant weather for that."
"Most of the elopements we have seen until now have been in nature," Rodriguez points out, but "Rob proposed to do it in the city, and I found it to be a brilliant idea."
This was Panciatici's first time photographing an elopement in Berlin, where both he and Rodriguez are based. "I did only engagements in this city, so it’s a kind of ground zero to me," he says. "I love rooftops, intimacy and connections, and in this elopement I found all of these things, not only because of the incredible connection between the couple, but also getting the chance to shoot, learn and share the experience together as photographers [with Dani]."
"Even though our styles are different," Rodriguez muses, "our approach to the couples are similar. We are both Latins—warm and close."
Both photographers found it important to give one another space to create, even though they were shooting together, and while documenting this elopement is their shared work, they say, their differing perspectives are evident.
"I’m always ready to change my approach," Panciatici adds, "and this was a good chance to do it. It was very interesting to me to see how Dani works with the couple. As he said, we’re both very close to the subjects and warm as well, but there are a lot of different shades in being close to a subject, and it was very inspiring to look at the differences and to reflect upon them."
One of Rodriguez's favorite moments is when they asked the slightly scared groom to edge a little closer to the edge of the rooftop: "I was scared too!" he says. Another one? "Rob wearing the bride's dress. I have pics that document that. He looks really good in it."
"I don’t know if I want to share this pic," Panciatici says with a laugh, "but I was definitively very good!"
The fun times of the day got them thinking about the importance of what they do as wedding photographers. "It was a fun day," Panciatici says, "the kind of day that you finish having a beer all together thinking about the most important thing ever: Life is good, and we’re blessed to live how we live."
GEAR OF THE DAY
Cameras: Two Canon 5D Mark IIIs (Rodriguez); Sony a9 (Panciatici: "I really believe in a mirrorless future, even if I’m actually testing the new Nikon D850 that I love.")
Lenses: Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4, Canon EF L 85mm f/1.2 (Rodriguez); Sony FE 28mm f/2, Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 (Panciatici)