Friendship, solidarity, creation, beauty, great times, good laughs and uninterrupted focus on photography have been my original thoughts when, a few years ago, I came up with The Secret Owl wedding workshop. There is nothing that beats this combination I was convinced and turns out I was at least for once right! The Secret Owl of Mykonos last April had been such a major hit with publications sourcing from our photographers and attendees all over the sphere of prettydom, the warmest acceptance, tremendous, solid collaborations among creatives, networking and above all, great relationships. Come September, our happy reception gave its way to the idea of launching a series of capsule city workshops, and so The City Owl was born.
The concept here was to entertain all the pretty, this time though in a more exclusive, more intimate context and a smaller time span, for wedding photographers who wish to elevate not necessarily through the prism of destination island wedding but with a more homey twist. Would it be utterly urban, urban-provincial, thoroughly pastoral or just simply in the backwoods? That only remains to be discovered as The City Owl keeps on expanding and has quite a lot in store, not only in Greece… but more on that in a later post.
We set off on our City Owl journey from the beautiful North, in the region of Chalkidiki, and teaming up with a band of inspired visionaries the magic began!
There are literally thousands of questions in a wedding photographer’s mind: Discovering identity, branding, marketing, connecting to the ideal client, creating a signature style, voicing the work, capturing incredible images and learning to navigate through styling and addressing blogs were some of the topics discussed through the first “theory” centered day where we all gathered at the Apolimeni Petra mountain resort in Taxiarhis. We had the entire 20 acres to ourselves, all so prim and cozy, endless space and niches to shoot, and of course the warmest welcome. Surrounded by lush forestry and (I’m thankful to the weather boss up there) drenched in remarkable light, we settled in our wooden private cabins, geared up with tons of coffee and kickstarted a full day of discussions, delicious meals, and bonding. I loved getting to know our participants better as the day progressed and was so happy to discover how well-versed, open-minded and gifted each has been. Our wedding planner, our writer, and our blogger whose expertise and industry insights topped the theory part had us engaged and captivated till the wee hours. Going to bed on the first night I closed my eyes to the sounds of the forest but was surely thrilled to hear talk from the neighboring cabins, we were all super excited we barely slept.
Our day two began with an all-fresh Greek breakfast and cheery chatter, and soon our shootings began with this beautiful boudoir below. Teams had already arrived early, and setups were staged: an utterly captivating sight of busy bees, floral installations, benches, canopies, tableware, stationery, details everywhere, and so much refinery. As a wedding photographer, it never ceases to amaze me how these beautiful artists bring visions to life, by arranging every single detail. Phaedra Liakou, our immensely talented wedding planner and her super cordial team, Kipos Kalou our much inspired florist, our calligrapher Manousenia (her works brought me tears of joy), Betty Leka our MUAH artist, our gorgeous models Vicky and Jim, as well as our blogger Chloe Koromila and our writer Setty Lepida, but also every single of our attendants and myself were all in such an astounding spin!!! From the delicacy of the bride’s fine morning to the ceremony, the walk on the woods, the shooting of portraits and wedding reception, to the last click sounding, everything fell into place and rolled like silk! I could never be more thankful and appreciative for all this energy, the positivity of crews and individuals who outdid themselves and had us click insatiably after every tiny slice!
Driving back home with a suitcase packed with rolls of film, and a heart jammed with the smiles and love I received during these two days, The Secret Owl inbox kept buzzing with asks on the next one. As I read through the texts I came across a note (I won’t say from whom) that made me realize that wherever the heart is bestowed, like in marriage, friendship, family and all good unions, magic exists. The message read the Secret Owl’s mantra: The initial bond is the shared experience.
You had me!
Coordination: The Secret Owl
Wedding Planning: Phaedra Events
Styling: Getting Married in Greece
Venue: Apolimeni Petra
Writer : Setty Lepida
Florist: Kipos Kalou
Wedding dress: Alkmini Atelier
Bridal Shoes: Sideris
Groom’s attire: Hionidis Mankind
Makeup artist: Betty Leka
Hair stylist: Be Star Coiffure
Furniture rentals: Party Rentals
Carpet Rentals: Fessa Carpets
Art de la table: White Lilac
Cake & Desserts: Sugarela