I totally talked him into it.
This is actually the second time that I have coerced DP into playing along with this particular scheme; the first time was a few years ago in the Tuileries in Paris.
I am speaking, here, of having our photographs taken by a professional photographer.
As non-conventional souls, we have opted out of many things including marriage. That’s not a big political statement on our part; we have just never felt the need to have our relationship recognized by church or state. (In our case, how would we begin to figure out which nation state’s blessing is required?) I do, however, love wedding photos especially when they are taken by photographers as talented as Kyle Hepp and her husband Seba.
When I saw that Kyle and Seba would be in Barcelona at the same time that we were visiting in June of 2011, I contacted Kyle about the details for an un-wedding shoot. When I knew that it was possible, I asked DP if he was interested. He said he’d think about it. He thought about it… I encouraged him… he caved. This is no small thing as DP would always prefer to be on the other side of the lens.
On June 16th, we met up with Kyle and Seba at the train station in Gracia and retraced our walk home through the neighbourhood of Gracia to our former piso (apartment) on Carrer Seneca (Seneca Street).
I felt nervous. Nervous and overheated. And then my head started to sweat. (If you know me, then you know that I’m a famous head sweater from way back!)
Then Kyle and Seba arrived at our meeting point and they were so friendly and accommodating that I soon forgot about my nervousness (my head, however, continued to sweat) and we walked through the favourite parts of our old neighbourhood having our photographs taken. This is a seriously surreal endeavour which I highly recommend to single people and married people and happily unmarried couples.
Yes, if you have been wondering, people do stare. They are trying to figure out who you are and why you are having our photographs taken. Mostly, they are just curious.
The surprising thing about having our photographs taken in Barcelona, where we lived for three years, was that people on the streets were much friendlier and accommodating than we had imagined. I have a saying about Barcelona which tickles me to no end… “You don’t go to Barcelona for the hugs.” (Catalans are notoriously suspicious of outsiders which is completely reasonable given how they were treated by Franco!) When we were having our photos taken, however, people stopped and waited patiently for Kyle and Seba to do their thing. A couple of people on a moto actually apologized which made us all laugh.
With some guidance from Kyle, we had chosen 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. and we were well rewarded with the most delicious light. As Mara says about Florence, “You could eat the light with a spoon.”
We totally recommend Kyle and Seba who have created an amazing photography business by being intentional and professional about every aspect of their business. They are warm souls with whom we felt immediately at ease and they made it a priority to understand who we are and what we wanted as clients. They are both amazing photographers and DP and I love their aesthetic. Amazingly, less than a week after our shoot, Kyle had already posted the preview of our photographs. Oh, the photos!
You can check out our un-wedding photographs here on Kyle’s site.
What’s the lesson here?
1. Do what you want.
Do it even if it feels goofy or you think other people might not approve. Live all over the world. Move to Japan. Have your photos taken on the light-filled streets of Barcelona by two strangers who are no longer strangers. Do it! What do you have to lose?
2. DPs love for me is an awesome thing. I totally owe him one.