Today’s very special feature is an interview with one of Mallorca‘s most talented wedding photographers. Roger Castellvi kindly shares his favourite wedding images from 2019, and talks about his passion for wedding photography on the beautiful, sun-kissed Balearic island.
How old were you when you got your first camera, and did your instinct tell you that this would be the start of the journey to your career? “I was a teenager when I got my first camera and I used to film my friends when they were skateboarding, so I guess that must have been the small Eureka moment! As I grew older and travelled, my camera always came with me… perhaps always unwittingly paving the way to my studies in design and audio visual.”
How long have you been working specifically on wedding photography? “This is my tenth season working for myself, but my career in wedding photography began when I worked for a big agency in Mallorca.” Have you always lived on the island? “I’ve lived on Mallorca for 11 years – after meeting my wife, and now we have a small child – but I was born in Barcelona.”
What elements are you looking for to shoot the perfect wedding photo? “When it comes to the technical aspects, I am always trying to capture the couple/bridal party/setting in the very best light in the immediate area. Then it’s really all about the moment and the emotion. It’s the same with every picture. Next my thoughts turn to composition; how can I bring everything together? My motto is natural and un-staged. It’s also important that the exercise is fun. Essentially, I am a friend of the couple so that they feel relaxed and can be themselves, allowing me to capture the best pictures of their day.”
How do you overcome the challenges of the heat and the light when working on summer weddings? Occasionally, and very unfortunately, rain can unexpectedly play a part in a couple’s special day. Obviously, you can’t play Weather God, but are there are tricks you can use with the camera to soften the blow of bad weather? “It definitely provides a challenge but it also motivates me to rise to the occasion. We can’t stop Mother Nature, and, actually, rain can make for some super cinematic photography. So I try to encourage the bride and groom to relax and go with the flow. It’s just one day and we make the best of it. Fortunately it doesn’t happen often!” Most memorable wedding you have ever captured on film? “Every wedding has its unique and special moments, and I have photographed weddings in some amazing settings and locations. I think it’s the ceremonies that touch the heart the most. Witnessing people opening their heart and talking about love is the most incredible thing.”
Absolute favourite image of 2019, and what made it so special?
The image below is probably my favourite of this last season because of the magic of the moment and because this couple was so nice and easygoing. I have great memories from them and how they enjoyed every minute of their wedding.
Do you work all over the island? “Yes. All over, anywhere – I love to travel.” What tips would you give to somebody who is looking to follow in your footsteps? “Find a photographer whose work you admire; whose work is high quality… and offer to work for free with them to help at weddings. It’s all about building up experience and learning on the job. The more you practice, the better you get. It’s best to stick to using one or two lenses at most when you are setting out.” What advice would you give to a bridal couple who are searching for the right wedding photographer? What are the most important points to bear in mind? “Obviously it’s really important to like his or her work. But it’s also vital to trust your gut instinct. If it feels right to work with a certain photographer, a couple will know it and should go for it. Equally, if something feels a little off kilter, a couple will know it too! It’s all about feeling and being relaxed in a photographer’s presence. That way a couple will achieve the best pictures of their special day.”
How quickly do you get booked up? “Usually up to a year in advance, although I do have three bookings for 2021 already!” How many hours do you put in on average to cover a wedding – from capturing those bridal make-up shots, through to the evening party? “10-12 hours, but if I am needed for longer, that’s no problem. It’s all part of the job.”
Who are your biggest photographer influences? “I love street photography. In that genre, I’m a big fan of Alex Webb and David Alan Harvey, and James Nachtwey’s work is incredible. I love cinematography too. Emmanuel Lubekzi is hugely inspiring. But my absolute favourite photographer has to be being Rodney Smith.” Anything exciting coming up in 2020? “I’m mostly focused on weddings here in Mallorca. Earlier in 2019 though, I worked in collaboration with some others on 2 weddings in 1 week in the Dominican Republic. That was a great experience.” Thank you so much for your time and insights, Roger! We look forward to working with you in 2020.