To make my site and my own workflow more coherent and consistent, I have decided to integrate my blogs and my websites. That means this blog will still remain online and functioning, but that all future wedding related updates and posts can be found on my new blog here. And that my personal blog as well as my travel, nature, lifestyle and personal work can be found on my Sigridsminde site here. Both sites can also be accessed from my main website at www.camillajorvad.com. So hop on over to one of them to view my most recent work. Hope to see you there :)

The flower crown had been nestled carefully in her suitcase and survived the trip from Germany (where she had made it herself a few days earlier, using branches and red winter berries from her mother’s garden) to Ærø island in Denmark where she and fiance Güney eloped. Her radiant joy and innocent eyes captured me. I could have photographed her all day. The beautiful Linn… (full post on its way :)

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When Tine first wrote me and described the atmosphere of barefoot luxury that she and fiancé Emil wanted for their wedding day at Tisvildeleje Strandhotel north of Copenhagen, I knew I wanted to shoot their wedding. And when they told me that they had planned for a very relaxed day with an open schedule that left plenty of time for them and their guests to just ‘be’, and talk and enjoy eachother’s company, I was overjoyed.

So many wedding days are run on a very tight schedule, and it can be extremely stressful as a photographer to capture it all, with that constant feeling at the back of your head that things are always a little behind schedule. A slower pace definitely gives the guests time to get to know eachother, creating a more fun, intimate and relaxed environment for everyone invloved. On top of this it gives me as photographer the possibility of being sponteneous and be able to act on creative ideas.

When I arrived at Tine’s hotel room on the morning of the wedding, she greeted me with a warm smile and a welcoming hug. Despite a few unexpected last minute problems the day before, the rain clouds only letting the sun peek out here and there, and the fuss of activity around her in the room with people coming and going, she remained calm and spoke to everyone in a soft tone that made you feel like a valued part of the day. Not only is she very beautiful and has impeccable taste, she is also one of the most sweet people I have ever met. And as I got to know Emil a little better over the course of the day, I saw clearly that he was a good match for her: calm, confident and affectionate. Even now, 7 years into my business as a wedding photographer I feel humbled by how much trust I am shown, how my clients and their families (who have never met me before) accept my presence there and welcome me, a virtual stranger, into their lives.

Tisvildeleje is one of my favourite places in Denmark. There is something quite exotic and foreign about the way the narrow road winds up and down and left and right through the town, and the beach and wooded areas have the same undefinable ‘something’ as I find on the Danish West coast. That ‘something’ that is a huge inspiration to me every time I go.

I shot both digital and film for their wedding day, so the photos below are a mix of the two. bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder

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Tine’s sleek and delicately detailed Jesper Høvring dress bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder

I could hardly believe my/our luck as the sun, which had been peeping in and out of rain clouds the whole day, decided to hide behind only a thin layer of warm mist when the couple and I headed into the woods for their portraits, giving me the most beautiful soft light to work with.

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Instead of a big traditional wedding cake, Tine and Emil opted for a selection of hugely delicious bite-size cakes and cookies from Copenhagen based pastry shop Leckerbaer. The treats were set up on a variety of plates and trays from A Table Story.

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Tine really wanted a few portraits with her vintage heirloom veil on, and because they had planned for a completely stress-free afternoon with their guests, we had plenty of time to sneak away and explore a little path behind the hotel leading through wild flowers and grasses, while the guests enjoyed their drinks on the terrace. bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder bryllup-tisvildeleje-strandhotel-billeder

Afterwards everyone went up to their rooms to change, and gathered in the courtyard for a drink before finding their seats for dinner.
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All in all, this whole day, the place and the people who filled it, left me feeling incredibly grateful that this is how I get to spend my time. As I left the hotel and carried my bags down to the beach where my car was parked, the rain slowly started up again. I put the bags in the car to keep them dry, but then sat barefoot in the sand for a little while, the beach completely empty of people, listening to the soothing hizzing sound the rain made on the completely calm ocean surface.

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My friend Jean and I spent our last two days in Portugal exploring the capitol, Lisbon. We caught the train from Sintra to Rossio, and decided to walk from there up the steep narrow streets to out hotel, Oliseppo Castelo, in the famous Alfama district. Lisbon is known as the city of 7 hills, which is obvious why when you see the city from above. Our room had a lovely terrace with a spectacular view of the city.

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And I felt compelled to take a very rare self-portrait :)

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We decided to explore the area right away so we would be able to easily find our way to the ‘Thieve’s Market’ at Campo da Santa Clara the next morning. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I have a very good inner compas and sense of direction, but I have to admit Lisbon was a challenge for me. Because all roads and streets basically went either steeply upwards or downwards, it was very difficult deciphering the angles and following the map and many of the smaller streets in the maps we found were not even named. It took all of the first day there for me to get an overview of the city, so we could find our way around without the map.

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Since out hotel was on the top layer of the city we found an elevator where Costa do Castelo meets Calçada do Marquês de Tancos, that took us straight down to R. da Madalena from where we could easily explore Rua Augusta and its many side streets, Arco da Rua Augusta, Praca do Comércio and the waterfront area, Praca da Figueira and the Rossio area. In the building that houses the elevator, we also found an ATM, a market and on the top floor a nice restaurant, Zambeze.

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In the south end of of Rua da Prata, a street running parallel to the main shopping street Rua Augusta, we found a little ice cream shop, Gelados Fragoleto, that served the best mint and rum/raisin ice creams.

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It was also in that area we found a little shop with local delicacies, where I among other things bought chocolate coated ginger and the most beautiful sugar dried red hibiscus flowers (unfortunately I don’t know the name of the shop nor the street). We then made our way back up to the Alfama district to search for a place to have a late lunch. Most of the cafe’s and restaurants in the main streets  had the same pushy waitors that we had experienced in Sintra and Cascais.

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After many a detour around the area we discovered the Church of São Vicente de Fora, which is also where the outdoor flea market would be the next day.

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On our way back to the hotel we happened upon this lovely boutique hotel, Santiago de Alfama, on Rua de Santiago. They had the most deliscious fresh tomato salad. We had lunch there the next day too, a superb gourmet burger. Highly recommend this place!!

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We spent the rest of the night back at the hotel terrace resting and watching the light transform the city’s roof tops.

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The next morning we quickly found our way to the market, which was much much larger than we anticipated, and by the time we had been through all the stands and were ready to move on (with a little detour to get those burgers at Santiago de Alfama) there were so many people we could barely move. So if you go (which I highly recommend, among all the crap there were lots of stands with genuine antiques and vintage finds), go as early as possible. I almost bought a bunch of vintage azulejos and old brass door knobs, but changed my mind in the last minute, figuring I would never be able to fit it all in my bag.

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We decided to take a tuc tuc taxi down to the harbour to find some kind of dessert or cake to bring back to the hotel terrace, and we might just have chosen the most crazy speeding tuc driver in the whole city, a savvy looking curly headed girl, who couldn’t have been more than 20 years old, with trance music throbbing on her radio. I wasn’t sure we would get out of that drive alive, and she did almost hit a pedestrian at one point, and a tram cart at another. I love cars, I love speed and I LOVE driving. But I swear my hands and legs were shaking when we got out at the end of the ride. For some reason we didn’t think to negotiate the price of the drive before getting in, and we definitely overpaid by the end of the short journey. So if you do hire one of these, do yourself a favour and haggle and agree on a price before getting in.

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On Praca de Figueira we found the famous Confeitaria Nacional.

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Overall I only have one complaint about Lisbon: there seemed to be dog poop everywhere on the sidewalks, really everywhere! In the beginning I hardly looked up at all there was to see because I was constantly watching the ground as to not step in one. But after a few hours I just gave up and just made sure to leave my shoes by the door when we returned to the hotel room as to not drag it into the carpet in case I had stepped in anything. Other than that, I have only good things to say. Despite the many sad looking abandoned houses, the city was a great visual experience; with a little bit of wanderlust and patience it is possible to find places that serve deliscious food; and at no point during our travels did I feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Everyone we interacted with were kind and very very helpful.

The blush building in the middle of the photo below, with the modern windows is our hotel, The Oliseppo Castelo. It wasn’t cheap but the location, the view, the staff, and the breakfast made it all worth it.

lisbon-portugal-photoA collection of some of the azulejos covering the exteriors of many of Lisbon’s buildings.
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And then back to our hotel to enjoy the sweets and once again be mesmerized by the view and the changing light, and early to bed to be well-rested for our flight home to Copenhagen early the next morning.

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I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Portugal. Having a week with no kids or husband asking questions, needing attention or help. I was able to just be ‘me’, to be in my own head, and to absorb all the impressions, sounds, smells and views at my own pace and without interruptions.

I hope to be able to return to Portugal one day to shoot an elopement or a destination wedding there. SO many amazing places to take photographs.

I don’t like travelling alone. In my opinion travel adventures are best experienced when you have someone to share the memories with afterwards. And I love travelling with good friends. People I can be quiet with, laugh with, and have deep conversations with. Jean, thankyou so much for always being willing to share my adventures with me, for your understanding when I am fighting my stupid fear of flying and of heights, and for somehow always having the exact same thoughts going through your head at the same time as they go through mine. We are so alike and so different in all the important ways :)

On day 5 we took bus 403 from Sintra to the lighthouse at Cabo da Roca, the most Western point of the European mainland, and by pure luck we arrived just as the morning fog started to drift away from the coast and revealed the most beautiful sight. This place definitely made me feel like this was the edge of the world :)

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Then, the plan was to hike to Praia da Adraga about 2km up the coast. However… we only got about halfway there, to the amazing Praia da Ursa, when the trail turned into thorny waist-high bushes and we (to my big regret) had to admit defeat, walk back in the burning sun and catch the bus instead. But the view at Praia da Ursa was worth the little detour.

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We took the bus from Cabo da Roca to the little town of Almocageme (which I learned I had completely mis-pronounced, and it is in fact something like ‘Almosasjem’) where we bought some water, fruit and an ice cream, and walked for what seemed like forever downhill before we finally reached Praia da Adraga and the cold water of the North Atlantic Ocean, where we spent the rest of the day exploring the caves and resting in the sun.

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On our last night in Sintra before we left for Lisbon to explore the capitol for a few days before flying home, the weather was quite amazing and it seemed like a proper beautiful goodbye as we explored some of the less tourist-y streets  and the outskirts of town.

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I will blog the last part of this series, from our days in Lisbon, tomorrow :)

On day 4 of our trip we got up early and bought a 5 euro roundtrip ticket for bus 434, taking us to the two castles we had seen come in and out of the clouds high above us for the past three days: the candy coloured Palacio da Pena and the 8th century remains of Castelo dos Mouros. This bus trip too, was kind of terrifying going through extremely narrow streets and mountain roads. And I was surprised at how many tourists risked life and limbs to walk the distance instead of taking the bus. Several times horrible accidents were avoided by what seemed only pure luck and the incredible skills of our bus driver. When you arrive at Pena Palace you have the option of paying 3.50 euro to take the tram up to the castle, but we opted for the free walk and exercise, and it was surprisingly quick, only about 10 minutes steep walk.

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I have to admit I didn’t care much for Pena Palace, it simply seemed to ‘fake’ or toy-like for my taste, but I did enjoy the view, the mountains and the park surrounding the castle. I imagine the park must be quite incredible if you visit in the spring months where the moss covering every rock, building and staircase is lush and green and the fountains, ponds and waterfalls are filled to the brim. In august it was very dry, the moss was more grey than green and several of the ponds were completely empty and dry. It was quite clear that Pena Palace was the main tourist attraction of the region and it was very very crowded but the park was remarkably empty and peaceful.

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As a bit of a garden nerd I found super interesting how so many trees had ferns growing all over them. In Denmark, ferns only grow on the forest floor.

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Castelo dos Mouros is actually one busstop before Pena Palace, but as we didn’t get off in time, Pena Palace was out first stop and we then walked back through the park of Pena Palace to get to the entrance of Castelo dos Mouros. On our way through the park we passed the Chamelia garden (which must be spectacular when all the trees are in bloom!) and stumbled upon this amazing greenhouse!

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I knew in advance that this particular part of our day would be very very uncomfortable for me, because of my fear of heights, so I was surprised at how easy it all went as we made our way up the many many steps to the castle ruins. Until… I made the horrible mistake of looking down over the side of the wall when we were right in the middle of a very narrow flight of stairs. I got SO dizzy and almost decided to turn around. But instead I sat down for a few minutes even though I was a bit in the way of the other people hiking up and down. And after awhile the nausea subsided and holding Jean’s hand I made it to the top of both towers. For some reason I am fine looking out into the distance, the horizon. It’s only if I look straight down I get queasy. And the view was worth the effort.

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As luck would have it this turned out to be one of the few ‘clear’ days while we were there, so we could see straight down to both Quinta da Regaleira… castelo-dos-mouros-portugal-photo

and the National Palace and Sintra below.

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Part 5 will be coming at you tomorrow :)

On day three, we caught bus 417 taking us to the coastal town of Cascais and back for just 4.10 euro. It might be the most crazy bumpy and steep bus ride of my life and I had nothing but admiration for our excellent bus driver who obviously knew both his bus and the streets very well. We landed in Cascais bus terminal after a 45 minute drive and a quick 5 minute walk took us to the beach, the shopping streets and the harbour.

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As was also the case in Sintra, the main streets were full of tourists, boring generic shops and restaurants serving the same thing as everywhere else and with the same agressive waiters, so we quickly found our way to the quiet and charming residential streets.

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Many of the exteriors of the houses in Cascais were covered in the traditional Azelejos, beautiful patterned tiles that also help control the temperature inside the buildings.

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We enjoyed a simple seafood lunch at Hotel Baia, overlooking the harbour, it was nice but nothing extraordinary. After lunch we followed the harbour around to Casa de Santa Maria, and a certain lighthouse I had seen online back home and knew I wanted to photograph. We then hiked a bit up the coast following the road Avenida Rei Humberto II de Itália, before taking the bus back to Sintra and a good night’s sleep :)

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Based on our research from home, Jean really wanted to see Quinta da Regaleira and I really wanted to explore the castle and park of Palacio de Monserrate. Fortunately one bus route departing from just outside of the train station (route 435) took us past both of these and we bought a rountrip ticket for just 2.50 euro. We quickly discovered that it could be quite difficult to get a seat in the bus if you caught it mid-route, so we always caught our busses at the first stop on their route, at the train station. We spent the morning exploring the gardens of Quinta da Regaleira and enjoyed the spectacular view of the valley below from the top of the castle tower. Since we had made an early start it was quite peaceful there for the first few hours and definitely much more crowded when we left around 1 in the afternoon. The entrance fee was 6 euro and the experience was well worth it.

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Even though Sintra is very near the coast, this was the first view of the ocean, because of the mountain mist and clouds that kept coming and going.

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This old chapel that we discovered by coincidence was by far my favourite spot in the park! I could have stayed there all day. I felt transported to a combination of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and a scene from Lord of the Rings. Amazing light, architecture and atmosphere!

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Plenty full from the wonderful breakfast at our hotel, we had skipped lunch, so in the late afternoon we found a quiet little cafe near the entrance of the park and bought a sandwich, and what turned out to be the BEST dessert or cake of any kind I had during our trip.

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The old part of Sintra is definitely a tourist location and most of the restaurant served almost the same food and many of them had very agressive waiters who tried highjacking us at every turn. So after a full day of impressions and a lot of walking we headed back to our hotel, and by pure chance found a wonderful little place just across the street, Incomum Luis Santos, that served beautifully cooked and presented local dishes. I enjoyed the best shrimp of my life, in a deliscious truffle sauce, and an aspargus risotto.

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Come back tomorrow for part III