I started photographing weddings as a way to support myself while doing my MA in photography (more years ago then I care to admit) and it stayed with me, more or less thorough all these years. I enjoy taking part in the happiest day of a couple’s life, documenting all the fleeting moments and details.
Documenting is a key word here - I don’t want to script your day, choreograph your joy - instead I try to be in the moment, very present, so I don’t miss anything. I give you your space and just wander around with the camera glued to my eye. I’m quietly observing the action so I can capture it without disturbing the flow. I will give you poetic, but honest images that would hold meaning and bring back wonderful memories.
1 Client Letters
The following letters are from the clients of Marta Ilardo.
Married: 11 years ago
Abigail & Wilf
Thank you so, SO much for being the perfect wedding photographer. We still can’t get over what a brilliant job you did. We were both very clear that what we wanted for our wedding was to focus on the day itself, on each other and on the loved ones who joined us, rather than having it become some sort of ‘staged’ event. We have been to too may weddings where guests have been pushed aside while the bride and groom had to pose seemingly endlessly for photographers who were anything from mildly bossy to downright rude. Added to this, neither of us likes posing for photographs anyway as we tend to end up looking awkward. What we did want was a photographic record of the day as it actually happened, taken by someone with an artistic eye. We also wanted to be sure that we would have digital files with full permission to print and share the photos as we wished (although we will probably end up coming to you for our prints anyway, just to be sure they’re done well!). When we looked at your website after finding you on the Wedding Photojournalist Association site, we were instantly taken by the quality of your photographs. They had a real honesty about them - we could see that nothing was posed or faked. It was clear that you were comfortable in all sorts of settings, that you were able to adapt your style to capture the atmosphere of each occasion, and that you didn’t need a sunny day to take great photos. Initially I didn’t think I wanted to have photographs of me getting ready, but I’m so glad now that I did. I was afraid that having a photographer around would be distracting or make me feel self-conscious, but you are so good at putting people at ease in your quiet, calm way, and we were hardly aware that you were there when you were taking your shots. The same applied for the whole day, right up until the end of the reception in the evening. It is still a mystery to us as to how you seem to have managed to be in two places at once - for instance, photographing me as I started to walk up the aisle, and still managing to capture the look on Wilf’s face as he saw me, while nobody seems to have noticed you moving from one end of the church to the other! Not only did you capture every moment of the ceremony and all the memorable moments of the rest of the day, but you also captured many moments that we wouldn’t even have known about if it weren’t for you. You photographed everything, from architectural details of the church and reception venue to conversations between guests and close-ups of the food. And then you did it all again when you travelled to France to cover our blessing celebration a week later. You made the whole process of organising the travel and accommodation so straightforward. You did everything we could have wished for and more - you went beyond the call of duty in the time and effort you put in, and we are forever grateful. The wedding industry is so commercialised and one often feels one is being taken advantage of, but you stand apart from all of that - you were such a pleasure to deal with every step of the way, and a delight to have around. The only problem we are faced with now is how to choose which photos to frame, which to put in albums, etc. - we had never dreamed there would be so many beautiful photos to choose from! And if only more of our friends were planning weddings - we’d love to recommend you to other people, and certainly will if we get the opportunity. The one thing that doesn’t seem fair about being a wedding photographer is that however good a job you do for a client, you (hopefully) only get to do it once - even if in our case it was a double occasion! Thanks again.