Last year, when I booked my first Italy elopement, I was looking at plane tickets and it just so happened that it was half the cost to stay for 4 weeks instead of 2. Whenever I travel abroad for work, I try to book more sessions once I’m already there because, hello, NO travel fees! I’m already there! So with a month to play within Italy, I announced I was going to be booking more sessions anywhere in Europe. I had been following Alicia for a while after one of my favorite California photographers posted photos of Alicia & Eric’s wedding because I just wanted to see more of their stunning Napa wedding. I announced I would be in Italy and I got a DM from Alicia asking if I would be willing to meet up with them in Lake Como for an anniversary session. She told me that her sweet grandpa lived in Lake Como for several years and it has always been a special place for her family. She wanted to celebrate their anniversary with a relaxed session on the lake. It lined up with my schedule perfectly and Alicia and Eric were kind enough to invite me to stay at their Italian apartment with them for a few days. Had we ever officially met? Nope. Did we spend 3 days together in Northern Italy and leave as best friends? YES.
You’ve probably read about my month in Italy in previous blog posts from my sessions there, but my trip to Europe was so meaningful and special. My mom ended up meeting up with me halfway through my trip and I couldn’t believe that Alicia and Eric were kind enough to go with the flow and invite my mom to hang out with us as well. We took a train from Florence to Milan and met up for dinner next to the Milan Duomo on our first night. We found a cozy outdoor restaurant and chatted about life and love and family and our shared love for Italy. The next day, we took a train together to Lake Como and checked into our vacation home located in the town of Como. Typically when I shoot adventure elopements or international sessions, I like to spend at least one full day before the shoot scouting locations or getting a feel for where I might want to shoot. Minutes after arriving in Como, we walked to the ferry terminal and decided to just hop between towns on Lake Como via ferry. We had the best time village hopping with no plan. Every village was more beautiful than the next and at one stop I just had a feeling that we should stop, so we did. And we found a cozy wine bar by the water with views of the entire lake and mountains surrounding us. We shared bread and wine and more wine ;). I can’t really describe WHY I picked that town or tell you the name of it (oops), but there was something about it that made me want to shoot there.
The next day, we woke up slowly, and Alicia and Eric got ready. Alicia chose one of the most stunning Reformation gowns I’ve ever seen with a plunging neckline that basically made me scream when I saw it. For any anniversary session involving a white dress or a “bridal look” I try to encourage my couples to find flowers because flowers always tie in the colors of the environment and add a *pop* to the photoshoot. Alicia found an amazing florist based out of Como who created a stunning spring peach & burgundy toned bouquet. We spent the day much like the previous day, stopping at different towns and just walking around finding cute corners and pretty streets. We took several breaks for wine.
These photos are so fun to look back on, and not just because Alicia & Eric could be real MODELS, but because of the experiences we shared together in those 3 days. It was so effortless and FUN to spend a few days traveling with new people. It’s one of the aspects of this gig I feel so lucky to have- meeting new people with fascinating lives and just having a great time together. I miss Como and I just can’t wait to go back someday!
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