Thursday, September 2, 2010

Scenes from a Spanish Wedding



Beatriz & Alvaro are friends of friends from Spain; I had the good fortune to meet with them a few days before the wedding, and together we traveled around the north-central country near Palencia. Over summer the region is a fragrant, sunburnt blanket of grasslands, stone fences, farms, and old, old towns. Pilgrims on the Way of St. James lolled at signposts and train stations, lugging the requisite backpacks, walking sticks, and occasional scallop shells of tradition -- actual or decorative. One evening we visited an uncle of the bride, a shepherd, at dusk; as we chatted at the gate his flock came over the hills toward us in a column of dust, bells clanging. We parted and let them pass into the yard. It's a scene that hasn't changed much in five thousand years. Probably won't in the next five.

The wedding was a beautiful tumult, as any good Spanish wedding must be. It took place in a converted monastery, the exquisite San Zoilo. It was my first time on a wedding shoot, I don't speak Spanish except for "Hola, que tal?" and "Mue bien; y tu?", and few of the participants spoke English, and I was never sure exactly where I could and could not stand. Excepting some really weak results during the ceremony itself, the shots came out great. Spaniards are far too animated to ever take a boring picture.