I was recently in the stunning city of Matera, Italy, to shoot a wedding… as a travel photographer.

Let me explain…

My beautiful friend Silvia was getting married and she asked me if I could be her official photographer. I met Silvia through my work as a writer and photographer, and I’ve collaborated with her on various projects through Emilia Romagna Tourism including Blogville and teaching a photography workshop in Reggio Emilia.

Though I was honoured and flattered, I immediately told her that I wasn’t a wedding photographer and she said that was precisely the reason why she wanted me to document her wedding.

She liked the way I created environmental portraits of people and lifestyles during my travels, the way I connected with my subjects, and the way I portrayed them in a way that made the viewer truly see and acknowledge them.

I do admire wedding photographers and in a sense, the objectivity they can bring into a highly-charged wedding scenario. The main reason I don’t photograph weddings is because I need to capture the way I personally experience it through my lens and this can be at odds with a more curated album-friendly set that a couple may traditionally want.

Weddings are deep wells of raw emotions and I want the freedom and flexibility to be able to capture those unfiltered moments of pure joy and happiness, and to commemorate them in a way that feels down-to-earth and relatable.

To capture a sense of place and time and feeling, which is technically what I do as a travel photographer. I wanted the love to organically flow through.

So my angle was to shoot the wedding as if I was exploring Matera one day and happened to stumble upon a grand Italian wedding. And I have to say, having lived in Sweden for this long, I truly appreciate and often miss the Italian culture of countless kisses.

Thank you Silvia and Sergio for this wonderful honour of documenting your very special moment!

Here are just a handful of photos from that memorable day.