The flight took a while
In early February, I headed to Madeira, a beautiful island close to the coast of Africa. As a globetrotter, I travel a lot, both for my work as a wedding photographer but certainly also during my leasure time; I didn’t know Madeira was so ‘far’. An island of Portugal, so I assumed Madeira was “nearby. But it wasn’t.
From Brussels to Lisbon was already a 2.5 hour flight, then another 2 hours from the Portuguese capital to Funchal: my final stop. So for those wedding photos on Madeira I had to be prepared, and the last flight was a bumpy one.
The runway of Cristiano Ronaldo Madeira International Airport is right next to the sea, and is a narrow strip also built on the sea. Due to the strong winds on the island, there are only a limited number of pilots who can land a plane there. On my flight, too: only on the second attempt was the pilot able to land the plane safely, after first making a detour.
A beautiful island
The base for my trip in Madeira was Funchal. I was there for a portfolio trip with Roadie Events – I do go on trips with them quite often. Portfolio trips with Roadie Events are totally my cup of tea: I get to go on a wonderful trip in a group, together with people who all have the same interests. From morning to night we are busy, and I get to take beautiful pictures.
If I have to choose between pearly white sandy beaches, or the rugged forgotten trails that Roadie Events hits, I chose the last one. Of course I already photographed couples on a beach, but if I really have to choose, my greatest love is nature and the mountains. Just the locations they go to: off the beaten track, from early morning until late at night. No sunrise or sunset is missed. I always go home with packed memory cards!
From the air in the plane, though, I had already seen it: Madeira is a beautiful green island! Those wedding photos in Madeira were undoubtedly going to be a hit!
Left before sunrise
From our hotel in the center of Funchal, I and the Roadie Events team left around 6 am, even before sunrise, for our first photo location: Miradouro do Guindaste. By now it was my second day in Madeira, the day before I had already photographed Beatriz & Rob, but the weather wasn’t too good then. Fortunately, today would be different: the weather forecast looked more favorable.
My wedding couple today was Styrmir & Heiðdís, an Icelandic couple also working as wedding photographers in Reykjavik. Lucky bastards I thought, to get to take wedding photos in one of the most magical places in the world.
By the way, I was already in Iceland for wedding photos: once with horse photographers, and once with Rebecca Marie, a wedding planner from the UK. Then I photographed Rosie & Rahi in Snæfellsnes, a peninsula above Reykjavik, and Lauren and Jamie. The latter two I photographed in an ice cave, and in southern Iceland.
Back to Madeira now. The location for wedding photos was fantastic, the sunrise wonderful. We took the photos on a rock overlooking the sea, the light was really spectacular. There was a beautiful haze of fog between the sun rays. So incredibly happy with the images I was able to take!
On our way on Madeira
After sunrise, we drove through Madeira by car and stopped at several photo spots. A photogenic location for wedding photos is this beautiful island, no doubt. But the weather remains a thing. Behind every bend, or on top of every hill, the weather can be completely different from what it was a few minutes before. So good adaptability is a must. We had rain showers, wind gusts, bright sunshine … let’s say we had all 4 seasons in one day.
The island remains so beautifully green because of the unique climate, of course. Wedding photos in Madeira are highly recommended! Another famous stop was Fanal Forest, a fairytale and mystical primeval forest high in the mountains in western Madeira. The place is also sometimes called Laurisilva, and is one of the last laurel forests in the world. That’s why Fanal Forest has also received a spot on the Unesco World Heritage List.
Those magnificent old laurel trees have special, sometimes crazy shapes, and are overgrown with a huge variety of mosses. Often there is a thick fog in that place, too, and at the time I was to take the wedding photos it was no different: it made for mystical photos of Styrmir & Heiðdís.
The last stop
After two days of shooting, my work as a wedding photographer in Madeira was almost over. The last stop for a stunning sunset was Miradouro Ponta da Ladeira, at the foot of a lighthouse.
After the stunning sunrise where I got to photograph the couple, this sunset could also count. That spot was a little busier: quite a few tourists had found their way to this beautiful spot on the island.
As it is with all workshops, I was exhausted after two days of shooting. On Monday a whole day in the plane and airports to Madeira, on Tuesday and Wednesday I made the wedding photos, and on Thursday morning I had to catch an early plane back to Brussels, via Lisbon.
Although taking wedding photos abroad is for me the most wonderful job in the whole world, it is not to be underestimated. Constantly being on the way, with all your expensive photo equipment. Security check in, then heading for the plane… flights that are delayed… for me that is the most tiring part of working abroad.
On every destination, I sleep an average of 5 to 6 hours a night, and have working days of 16-18 hours to make the most of my time abroad. Tired but happy, I got to finish this portfolio trip as well!
Are you still looking for a wedding photographer? Are you getting married in Belgium, the Netherlands or maybe abroad? Would you like to get married in Madeira? Or wedding photos in Portugal? Evelien Geerinckx Photography would love to go with you!
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