Nico and Vinx (The Ferros) are destination wedding photographers based out of Italy and Scotland. They are able to capture the connection between couples in a very raw and authentic manner, full of drama and emotions.
1. Your portraits are more than a collection of images of just your couples, they tell a story. How are you able to build in a narrative into a portrait session?
Spending time with our couples before the shooting is fundamental to begin being involved in their story. It will create a bond with them and makes us fell moved about their character, their relationship. Each captured story is in fact approached like a movie naturally inspired by the couple, imagining a beginning, a climax and its end. Asking them to talk a bit about what they are passionate about, who they are, how they spend their free time, will give us hints to enrich the story you are going to tell.
2. How much direction do you give your couples ahead of time in terms of style, wardrobe, time of day and location?
Their story is our main focus with all the shades of their emotions. Said that, styling is important. If you think of a movie, it helps creating and enhancing a certain mood. Same is with time of day, we always think of the best type of light that would better tell an emotion or a certain scene. Before meeting them we always make sure we involve the couple about the whole process, what is the idea, where we’ll take them and why at that certain time. Feeling part of the process will give them a deeper understanding and more excitement.
3. What is by far your favorite type of light for a shooting in order to create dramatic images? And why?
Shooting often in Northern Europe it certainly allows us to have a magnificent low and diffused light, which we love! As well as the poetic sunsets that we are lucky to see in our home country, Italy. We can say that every type of light has its magic and it helps telling a different mood and emotion. We never got tired to experiment with those, not to feel intimidated or limited when you find yourself in certain unknown situations.
4. Elements of mother-nature like wind, as well as stormy skies, really help in adding to the mood of your images. How do you go about getting similar, dramatic results if you have an overcast day with very soft light and the winds are calm? Are you able to always stay true to your distinctive style?
What keeps us motived and inspired are people. If the backdrop it’s a dramatic cliff in the middle of a storm it might might sound more exciting, sure! But really, that is only the start. The lesson we’ve learnt through the experience is that you can always find a nice spot. The most important part is how you will make of it the right “space” where to let your couple feel comfortable. Unfortunately we cannot rely on weather, but we can always rely on emotions and work on how to bring them out.
5. Your portfolio is full of sessions in the great outdoors ranging from the Scottish Highlands to the vast landscape in Iceland. How does your approach to photographing a couple differ when you are doing an indoor session?
There aren’t big differences, we believe. A very important part of the whole job is to build a connection with your couple since the first contact. The mutual trust will be the foundation to deal with really any situation. Outdoors will allow us to ask for a little bit of more action, while indoor sessions are more about their intimacy, in a more quiet atmosphere, so it will require a bit more of reassurance and ’tact’ (But that doesn’t mean you cannot have have fun and moments of laughs, we never take ourselves too seriously. It helps!)
6. Do you use any additional tools (special effects) to add more drama to your images? If so, can you provide an example?
We shoot with natural light, and are always so so happy when it’s a foggy or windy day out there! So if it’s an outdoor session we really appreciate anything that mother nature throws at us, trying to adapt to it, rather than going against. When indoors, we certainly look for moody/sensual atmospheres… you can move curtains to direct the light better, or ask if one of the two is a smoker to have some smoky and melancholic ambience (exactly like we did in our last work with Elisa and Matteo).
7. How do you go about evoking authentic emotions/expressions from your couples that add to the mood of an image?
Emotions are something so personal and private that we never take them for granted. We never expect that a couple will let us be part of their story straight away. It always takes time, care, listening, thought. Give your couple time to breathe, remember, enjoy the moment. Rush is not allowed when it’s about feelings. We sometimes guide them giving something to talk about, always respecting their character and the kind of relationship they have.
8. Do you have any words of advice for photographers wanting to start producing more moody, dramatic images?
Thank you for asking this! Think of what makes you feel moody, investigate about the “why” you like those worlds. Never stop asking yourself, it will feed your inspiration, which can be really all around us. Follow those artists, movie directors, as well as painters, musicians who are masters in creating those atmospheres. And ask yourself how they got there, what moved them, why they made those choices. It will (hopefully) give you a different starting point to feel excited and newly inspired about.