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To look at a shoot by Tali Photography is to dive head-first into the fairy-tale fantasy of a wedding. While these are definitely real men and women — not cookie cutter princes and princesses — getting married, they’ve been transported to another plane where soft sunlight caresses them, time has slowed down, and the love between people floats in the air like fairy dust.
Ask sister team Tali and Claudia Pelosi how they create that magic, and it sounds like the easiest, most natural thing in the world. Take, for example their photos of German fashion blogger Aylin Koenig, who got married in July 2018.
“We had beautiful light, nice scenery in Palma de Mallorca, and this spectacular Galia Lahav gown, which inspired us very much to start shooting,” Tali tells us. “We don’t really instruct them what to do. We just tell them where to stand or in which direction they should move, but all very natural and in their very own way. For us it is not about the exact pose of the couple that counts; it’s more about the interaction of light, love, and the wedding gown. We look for spots where the gown sparkles most, where the details of the gown are highlighted, and where the light brings out the magic of the love and the whole scenery. But we do this all very natural, without having a theory in mind or thinking too much.”
Before all that, however, the sisters have built up more than a decade of experience as wedding photographers, and that’s the kind of foundation that makes their natural flow possible.
After getting her start as a photographer for art and fashion magazines, Tali had several requests for her services when her friends got married. That’s when she realized she might be able to carve a niche for herself in the field.
“You know wedding photography at that time, 10 or 12 years ago, was not like today,” Tali says. “It was more conservative and standardized, and we discovered for ourselves that there are a lot of opportunities to get more creative — to work a lot with light, to work a lot with the bride herself, to get inspired by beautiful dresses.”
Given Tali’s background in fashion, it’s no surprise that she and her sister love to focus on the gowns.
“We start being creative if the gown inspires us in combination with light and love,” Tali says. “We think that a gown has a great impact on how the bride feels herself on her wedding day. It gives her self-confidence and pride …. Every bride has a certain vision of her wedding day, of how she will look and feel — and the gown is that vision manifest. The gown determines how the whole wedding vibe will be.”
But their work actually starts before they even pick up a camera. While they’re usually based out of Germany, the sisters have worked for couples from all over, so they begin their relationship with a conversation either in person or via WhatsApp. In addition to details like when, where, and what style they want for their wedding, this conversation gets much deeper. Their goal is to be able to treat the couple like “lifelong friends” by the time they’re snapping photos.
“On the wedding day itself, we are really close to the couple and the family,” Tali says. “It is very important for us to have the same energy level, to be with them, to feel their vibes, and also to give them back the energy we have.”
All that pays off in the form of an easy shoot. “Our shoots happen in a flow,” she explains. “We feel the situation, we let it go and build a connection to the couple and see what happens.”
Claudia, who studied political science, joined her sister’s business in 2013. Though often the in-demand photographers work on separate events, they occasionally get to shoot together.
“We really care for each other, and we are really sensitive and catch each other’s eyes to see if she is OK with what I say,” Tali says. “We know each other so well, it’s a flow.”
Their success as photographers has meant couples choose to hire them for weddings in some pretty breathtaking destinations. They spend a lot of time in Mallorca, but have also enjoyed shooting all over Europe, and recently in Tali’s new favorite place, Marrakech.
“The reality of traveling for destination weddings is, of course, not all the glamour it may seem,” Tali admits. “It can also be tiring, stressful, and lonely. But for us shooting destination weddings is a welcome break that can open your eyes creatively.”