Wedding Photographer Costa del Sol: An Interview with Pedro Bellido…
It’s our great pleasure today to introduce you to Pedro, one of southern Spain’s most talented and renowned wedding photographers. Pedro has been working his magic for many years for bridal couples from all over the world who choose to get married on the Costa del Sol, and the images below speak for themselves. That said, Sunshine Weddings Spain jumped at the chance to talk to Pedro about his passion for photography and his expertise in this specialist, exciting, and extremely rewarding side of the wedding industry.
I was born in Malaga and I have always lived here, I was lucky to be born in a such a wonderful place. I think there are several factors that bring bridal couples to this part of the world: the first is the climate, we have 300 days of sunshine a year, our food and our culture is also appreciated and recognised all over the world, and we are well connected with one of the most important airports in Spain. There are also great professionals here with a lot of experience in the world of tourism and events, and that helps make this one of the definitive destinations to get married in!
Going into photography was a radical change in my life. Ever since I was young, I had a mobile phone business with a lot of employees and a lot of stress… After 12 years of doing this, one day I decided that I had to switch my career to something that really made me feel fulfilled. Although I love to travel and have taken photos as an amateur all over the world, I started training to become a professional and to be able to dedicate myself to the world of wedding photography. Connecting with people from all over the world, different cultures, and being able to witness first hand a special day in other people’s lives documenting their emotions, is priceless. It is something that has really changed my life and has made me passionate about my work.
As I am a bit ‘obsessed’ with numbers and I write everything down, I can say that I have photographed more than 280 weddings to date in these 11 years of my career. Often, this has given me the possibility to travel with my work to capture the magic of weddings all over Europe, Asia and America, which also makes this job very special.
Typically, on the day of the wedding, I set to work getting shots of the bride and groom’s preparations. This is when I meet the bride and groom, family and friends in person. It’s the first contact and it’s where I start to get an idea of everything that’s going to happen on the day. Then starts the fastest and most stressful part: the beginning of the ceremony. This is when everyone is nervous and everything happens faster. This is when I have to be the most attentive so that no expression or detail escapes me!
Then comes the more relaxed part, the ceremony is over and it is when the couple meet up with family and friends. It is a time for them to talk and enjoy themselves with the guests. At this time I put a lot of emphasis on the photos of the guests, as they are an important part of the wedding and I like to photograph the hugs and smiles as they meet the newlyweds. At the end of the wedding reception and before dinner, I usually take the opportunity to take formal family photos.
Later the speeches and the dinner begin. This is when the most emotional moments are seen. I love to capture the looks of complicity between the bride and groom and their parents and siblings.
After this, we usually take some photos of the couple in a nearby environment and take advantage of the special sunset that we have on the Costa del Sol. Then comes a short break to eat a little and recharge the batteries for the photos of the first dance and the party. Approximately one hour after the first dance, and when I am sure that I have enough material, is when I finish my day’s work.
The light in Malaga is really difficult to manage, often it is very tricky to work with hard light, especially when the ceremonies are in the middle of the day. Luckily, there are great professionals in the world of weddings in Malaga who take into account the best orientation for the set up of the ceremony. Modifying the orientation avoids the sun shining directly into the bride and groom’s faces, or one in the sun and one in the shade, although sometimes it is impossible and you have to work with the available light, which is complicated. When I can choose the light, as in for the purpose of the couple’s photos, I always try to find the best places with the best possible lighting. As for the heat, it’s something I’m used to, I was born in Malaga and I’ve spent all the summers of my life living these temperatures. What I can’t stand is the rain!
My style is fresh, contemporary and documentary. This unique take allows me to capture individual moments – your special moments – in a more creative and memorable fashion. All the photos of a wedding are important, it is not just about having a few spectacular artistic photos and not giving importance to the rest of the wedding photographs. I work with natural light, the real light of the wedding day – I am not a fan of creating artificial atmospheres with flashes. For the editing of my photos I use natural colours, colours that do not go out of fashion with time and that make the photos always look good.
Although we are on the coast near the beach, I think my favourite weddings are definitely those in the countryside. There are small ‘cortijos’ with lots of charm where you can celebrate spectacular intimate weddings; those landscapes with the mountains in the background and the light of the sunset are my favourites.
Being professional and humble are the best attributes of any wedding photographer. Many photographers believe they are great artists and want to be the center of attention at a wedding, from my point of view it is a mistake… On the wedding day I try to listen to the couple, meet their needs and help them as much as possible from the point of view of experience, going unnoticed and doing my job in the best possible way.
With the new measures coming in as a result of the pandemic, everything seems to be slowly returning to normal. 2021 may still be a year of transition, but I personally believe that 2022 is going to be a completely normal year in terms of weddings – in fact, there are already many requests and it looks like it is going to be a very busy!
In all this time I have had many funny anecdotes from weddings… and other complicated ones! A few years ago I captured a wedding of the royal family of Luxembourg, and I still remember how the camera shook from the pressure when I took the official photos of the whole family. I also covered a wedding where the bride had promised the groom that she would not be late and had a problem with the garage door… they couldn’t get the car out, and the bride arrived 2 hours late to church! Once at a wedding in Italy, the plane had technical issues before take-off, and the groom only just made it to the wedding. Luckily I arrived an hour before the ceremony. I also remember a Gothic wedding, where the couple wanted me to take wedding photos in the cemetery! I can’t quite imagine the couple hanging those photos in their living room …
Marbella is a location for many types of memorable weddings. I have also captured celebrity weddings, and some large Arab weddings with astronomical budgets. All have had their fabulous narratives worth remembering, and all have added to my experience!
Wow. Pedro, we thank you profusely for such an enthralling feature today on the blog. And we also extend a massive GRACIAS for these sublime images. We truly can’t wait to work with you at future weddings.