interview with piteira photography

hello hello, je suis back! and of course, i am back because i have another excellent interview about our topic of this week {wedding photography}. this time i decided to invite someone that started by commenting here on the blog, and now i consider her a friend, besides a very talented photographer. i think it all started with the love we share for our dogs. and from then on we have been exchanging emails about several topics, from random ones, to photography… and i think this friendship is the example of how amazing this social networking might be. we never know when someone is reading what we are writing… and we never know when that someone will become our friend. her name is kerry murray, she was born in south-africa, but she lives quite near me, in ericeira. she married a portuguese fellow that she met while working on a cruise-ship where they were working. they both are wedding photographers right now in portugal… and they tell amazing stories from the weddings they see. they are {piteira photography}.

hello, how are you? thank you so much for being here today kerry… i love having you here! so, i asked you to be a guest because you are quite a reference in wedding photography here in portugal, can you describe your path until now?
luis and i have both been involved in photography in some way or another most of our lives, we both studied and worked in photography (luis here in portugal and i was in south africa) before we met while working in the onboard photo department for a cruise liner company. we fell in love and worked together on the ships for just over 5 years, travelled the world, met fantastic people, took millions of photos… but it’s not the kind of job that you can do forever and after a while we decided we needed a change of lifestyle, and so we moved to portugal.

why do you chose to be a wedding photographer?
when we moved here (almost 2 years ago) we didn’t really have a plan of action, a set idea of what we were going to do for work. my first goal was to learn portuguese (something i’m still working on!) and adapt to a new and completely different culture. i was also unable to work for the first 10 months while my paperwork was being sorted out so i started learning about blogging so that i had something to do with my time. that first year we had 3 couples who asked us to be their wedding photographers through various accidental circumstances, we didn’t really promote ourselves or go looking specifically for wedding clients, it just kind-of happened. we shot their weddings and had a great time, we enjoyed the experience, we worked well together as a team and (most importantly) we received an incredibly positive response to our style of photography.

the majority of wedding photography here in portugal is still fairly traditional, which is the complete opposite of our style, and when we first got here we weren’t sure if there would be an interest in fresh, modern and fun wedding photography, but after we saw the response to the few weddings we had shot, we realised that there are portuguese brides who look internationally for wedding inspiration and who want something different and non-traditional. we saw a beautiful opportunity to do something we love and take advantage of a gap in the market, so we started promoting our work, created our blog and haven’t looked back!

what do you consider to be the secrets for a beautiful and charming wedding day, concerning the photography part?
our favourite type of wedding to shoot are the weddings where the bride and groom have been true to themselves and have made the day personal and unique. too may times people follow traditions just because they feel like they have to, without really considering why, or whether those traditions make any sense to them, personally. we love couples who aren’t afraid to break the rules and create a celebration that means something to them and tells the story of who they are. we also love diy weddings because a lot of work and dedication goes into the details and it always makes the celebration just that little bit more unique and special. plus, most importantly, there needs to be love, lots and lots of love, as long as you have that one key ingredient, it will always be a beautiful day.

what inspires you to make your work, what drives you to create the images you create?
we are inspired by so many things! life in general, people and how they interact, little moments when you think that no-one is watching, walking the dog, living by the sea… the list goes on and on. we are very outdoorsy kind of people, we love camping and roadtripping, we go for long walks as often as we can, not because we have to but just because we like to explore new places. i {love} to travel, experience new places, cultures, foods, it’s one of my favourite things in the world, and i love travel and landscape photography, this all influences the way i shoot a wedding. we are also constantly inspired by the work of other photographers, here in portugal and all over the world… there are so many awesome wedding photographers who create beautiful work and they drive us to be better at what we do, to push our boundaries and learn new things, be more creative.

the most beautiful place to host a wedding is…
maybe we’re biased, but we both still think that the most beautiful wedding location was the place where we got married, {groot constantia wine estate in cape town}, south africa. it is one of the oldest wine estates in the country and has a very special place in my family history, as well as being a stunning venue with everything a photographer could dream of in a wedding location. it would be wonderful if one day we could shoot someone elses wedding there too!

now, talking about a more technical point of view, tell me… what equipment do you use?
we shoot with nikon cameras and lenses, our main bodies are a d700 and a d300, with a d200 as our back-up. the lenses in our bag are: a 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, 17-55mm f/2.

what do you carry in your bag for wedding sessions?
all of the above, plus a few speedlight flashes and pocketwizards that we set up on the dancefloor to catch the after dinner action. because we always work as a team we have the luxury of not having to be changing lenses all the time and the last few weddings we have shot I have used the 35mm pretty much the entire time, its my favourite lens… for now.

what do you consider to be a challenge on a wedding day and how do you face that challenge?
outdoor weddings at midday… almost always a very difficult situation to work with since the light is directly overhead and very unflattering, requires the use of fill flash, which we don’t really like to use, but sometimes its unavoidable. we do our best to let the bride and groom/wedding co-ordinator know about the light situation and try to work with them to find a suitable spot for the ceremony beforehand (or lots and lots of well positioned umbrellas!), but it doesn’t always go according to plan.

what editing program do you use?
adobe photoshop all the way. i am learning lightroom but am not yet familiar enough with it to be using it very often, when i have a bit more time i will get into it properly.

can you describe your services and what do they include?
our no. 1 service is to document your wedding day from the bride and groom getting ready to the dancing and craziness at the reception and all the moments inbetween. we always work together so there are 2 unique perspectives which we combine to tell the story of your wedding day. we also always shoot an engagement session with every couple in the weeks leading up to their wedding and we have found that this is one of the best ways for us to get to know our couples a bit better, for them to get an idea of how we work and to feel a bit more comfortable in front of the camera.

we also have a few additional services that are slowly gaining popularity here in portugal, one of them is a photo booth at the wedding reception. we set up a background somewhere at the reception location and bring loads of props like wigs, hats, crazy sunglasses, mustaches, etc and photograph guests for a few hours as part of the after dinner entertainment. these photos are then available online shortly after the wedding for guests to veiw and purchase.

another service we offer is a trash the dress session, where you get back into your wedding dress and do a photo shoot with a more fashion or artistic feel than would have been possible on your wedding day. it could be in a field or at the beach or even in an old abandoned building, the possibilities are endless… and it doesn’t mean that your dress is going to be trashed, it might just end up a little bit dirty. these are also becoming popular because more and more couples want awesome and creative photos in their wedding outfits but sometimes its just not possible to do everything on the wedding day, because of time constraints or locations not being suitable, and this is a great way to make the most of your wedding day and still get the photos that you want!

so, what do you think? aren’t these beautiful? i think that asides from their obvious talent, they have this relaxed, yet beautiful way to capture each wedding’s essence. i see colours, i see love, i see flowers, i see people having a lot of fun in their day… and this is magical. to have someone capturing all this in the most precious way is priceless. i know that sometimes couples think that photographers for the wedding day cost a lot, but i think that if you have a talented photographer… your memories will turn into something you can look at for the rest of your life. i bet that every time one of these couples look at these pictures, they will do nothing but smile… this was their day, captured in such a beautiful and intimate way. {piteira photography} is kerry + luis. they have a {blog}… she has a {blog}. they are a team. a real team!

images: piteira photography (click on each image for further details)



  1. Great shots, marvelous location, beautiful bridal couple – what more could a heart / a photographer desire… ;-))

    Regards from Germany,


  2. Fantastic photos from an amazing team! Anyone who meets Kerry & Luis will find it very hard not to appreciate their awesomeness!

  3. Perhaps we will convince Miss Twiggs to become a Mrs. Twiggs with all these beautiful wedding images? Heehee! Really, I loved this post so very much, especially since we just photographed our first wedding and absolutely loved EVERY MINUTE. We’ve already booked two more weddings and this gives me so much encouragement to see the possibilities while being utterly inspired!

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