Strong connections wove together the nuptials of couple Simeona and Mirko's wedding in the fortified town of Kotor in Montenegro. "The location was absolutely mind blowing," exclaims photographer Eric Ronald. "I spent the entire day before the wedding exploring the ancient cobblestone streets of Kotor, hiking up the fort wall, taking pictures, and generally just soaking it all up. On top of that was the incredible history and culture throughout the whole affair. Notably the local gypsy band that led the bride on a procession to the church and bride’s father, a charismatic Orthodox Priest who actually married the couple! He was a real character and really enriched the experience a lot for me."
Ronald says the couple inquired about him after finding his work on Instagram. "I’m based in Melbourne and they are in Sydney so we arranged a Skype meeting and the rest was history," he recalls.
I Ronald continues: "I think shooting this wedding I was rewarded by fully committing myself and fighting my hardest for the best pictures possible. I did this in a few different ways but a really tangible example was with the lighting in the church. I scouted out the church the previous day with the bride’s father/priest and I instantly noticed the terrible fluorescent lighting in the place. I suggested we turn the lights off and open up some doors either side of the alter to let some natural light trickle through. The church staff were not keen on this at all but the big lesson for me was giving myself the confidence to speak up and stick to my guns. The result was a much more beautiful, dramatic and dim light which allowed the candles that were used in the ceremony to cast their warm glow. For me it was very reminiscent of the works of some of my favorite painters like Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Chiaroscuro who inspire me greatly."
'I Simeona’s dad, says Ronald, was also a mainstay of the wedding as a 7-foot-tall Orthodox Priest who "rocks a Santa Claus beard, ponytail, robe and crucifix around his neck, so it’s fair to say that he has a bit of a presence. Upon first meeting him, he instantly proclaimed ‘You’re not an Eric! You’re… Sebastian!’, and so for the remainder of my time in Montenegro Sebastian was my adopted name. I took an instant liking of this quirky Priest. I didn’t mind my new alias either.' "
Sums up Ronald: "This was a profoundly beautiful, unique and a powerful experience that was inspiring to photograph. We had a lot of laughs which is always great, but the thing that struck me the most about this couple is that they both seemed almost from another time and place. Mirko is an absolute gentleman and Simeona was this graceful, calm and beautiful princess (but with a witty sense of humor). They clearly shared a strong connection which lies at the heart of this special story."
Gear of the Day:
2x Canon 5DmkIII’s
Canon 24mm f/1.4L
Canon 45mm TS-E f/2.8
Canon 50mm f/1.2L
Canon 85mm f/1.2 L II
2x Canon 580EX II Speelite’s (for first dance/dance floor only)
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