It was back in February when we received a message from our lovely client turned friend Cherry, asking if we were up for photographing her best friend´s wedding in China! After verifying that we were still free for the day, we didn´t think twice. After going through reservation formalities, our flight and visa issues were quickly dealt with. With the excitement of our adventure, all the formalities seemed to have solved themselves. Our excitement for the adventure was fuelled by updates from Cherry and Siying, our lovely bride to be, on the wedding preparations advancement, and their plans for our sightseeing days. Because you see Cherry and the couple we were to photograph are just so genuinelly generous, that they insisted on us staying at least a week in China, to make sure Fábio and I had several days to get to know Beijing. And that meant we had to squeeze our trip within a tight May schedule, literally in between already booked weddings. And thus we were boarding our plane rather knocked down from a fabulous wedding we photographed the previous day, but the excitement gave us all the energy we needed.
It was Cherry and Jason who awaited us at the airport and it was just so lovely to see them after almost a year since their destination photo-shoot in Florence and Cinque Terre. That very same day in the evening, we met Siying and Jiachang, Cherry and Jason´s best friends, and right there we knew we gained yet another couple of friends, the ones that despite georgraphical distance, stay for life. On that evening we discussed the couples´ wedding arrangements, and the best date and places for their engagement session. For the latter they picked The Great China Wall.
It also turned out that both couples generously offered their time to take us around. How absoutelly blessed we were to have not only the unique working experience , but also have friends showing us around the best of their city´s spots. And obviouly in just a few days we visited only a small part of the great vast that Beijing has to offer. So the first day we went to The Temple of Heaven which is a worship place, that belongs to the imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. It was pretty impressive to be so close to such an ancient history, and quite humbling to realize the humble role a human life plays when confronted with the richness of anthropological history. Having Siying and Jiachang as our tour guides was the best of all priviledges, as we had a first hand, unbiased description and comments. We took the opportunity to take some photos of the adorable couple out and around the temple as a little warm up before their realy photo-shoot.
The next day was our Engagement session day, so we set off very early to Mutianyu to make the most of one of the World Natural Wonders The Great Wall of China. We picked the Mutianyu section of the Wall, located northeast of Beijing, which is one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, and used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. The experience of stepping on the grounds of such an impressive structure, blending perfectly with the breathtaking surrounding nature, is simply inexplicable. One really needs to experience that to understand…
Being early risers paid off, as usually packed with tourist, we had most of the historical landmark pretty much to ourselves. Only by the end of the shoot we met this happy bunch of Belgian Marathon runners, who greeted us with very festive spirits.
The stunningly beautiful Siying, wearing the traditional silk Chinese dress together with her husband to be, complemented so perfectly this gorgeous background. Initially timid and reluctant, the couple quite quickly realized that they are so amazing together, and their shyness gave way to natural enjoyment of the photo-shoot experience. They are the sweetest couple around, and their asian charm is simply undeniable….