Adventures in my own backyard...
An engagement session in Naxos
This is a shoot close to my heart and the home of my heart. Erin & James were going to have a pre-wedding honeymoon in Mykonos, Naxos & Santorini, and they asked my opinion as to which island would be best to shoot an engagement session. Trying to be as unbiased as possible, I said that both Mykonos and Santorini were classic and very popular destinations for shoots with a couple of amazing views for images, but Naxos, being the largest of the Cycladic islands, offered quite a few different locations as well as some unexplored and hidden gems which were both stunning and naturally beautiful. It all came down to which island they thought would match their characters best.
I was of course extremely pleased that they chose Naxos, the island I have spent almost all my summers since the age of six, as well as being open to exploring with me rather than being fixed to two locations. I met them at Love Hair where Erin got herself made up and styled by Maria, and we went on a little adventure starting at the Portara, Apollo's Gateway in the port of Naxos, the old Venetian town and kastro, and then drove out into the countryside to a deserted 17th century Jesuit retreat, tucked away in lush overgrown gardens near the village of Melanes. I had always wanted to do a shoot there and this engagement was the perfect opportunity, and thankfully Erin & James both saw the place's magical quality. Erin, a lover of animals, also wanted to have some images with a horse, and sure enough we found one in a small olive grove as we drove back. After a round of cocktails and a small meal at Picasso Mexican Restaurant we ended the day in the Dunes of Plaka beach at sunset.
The session was also a trip down memory lane for me, as we passed by and shot at places where I had lived and played growing up, adding an emotional engagement from my side which I hadn't expected, but am very glad is in these images. If anything this shoot shows not only the love they have for one another, my love for the island, but also that Naxos deserves to be a destination for engagements and weddings, not necessarily for the Jet Set and the glitterati, but for couples looking for a down to earth, authentic Cycladic island they can also feel at home, even for a few days.
Hair styling & Make up: Maria at Love Hair
With thanks to Debbie & Flora at Island Events
Shot on a Nikon D750