With an insatiable desire to capture a wedding’s most magical and intoxicatingly raw moments, Madrid-based Dos Más En La Mesa are taking their own path within the world of wedding photography. Steered by subtlety and soulfulness, authenticity and creative contemplation, their work is a revitalizing addition to an industry more and more swayed by social media and the overly composed.
Drawing you in with their delicate magnetism, Dos Más En La Mesa’s frames are an inspiring concoction of poetic moments. Here, nuanced detail, unguarded beauty and inceptions of memories blissfully converge, creating unexpected imagery that dances with light and feeling. Documenting the essence of every wedding they shoot from the dress down to the décor, what’s undeniable is their unwavering love for their art form, their ceaseless pursuit for truth and emotion.
Enamored with their aesthetic and deeply creative approach to their craft, we take five with the team to take a look behind the lens and uncover what drives them artistically…
“Our way of seeing has evolved naturally over the years. Not only due to our experience in the industry, but also because of certain milestones that have marked our paths; motherhood, love, or the absence of someone you love, are very present in our eyes…”
What was the spark for Dos Más En La Mesa? Where did your story begin?
We met in 2011. At the time, Andrea was and still is, a teacher in one of the most prestigious photography schools in the country and we somehow got in touch. After getting to know each other through the school, we discovered a lot of common influences both in photography and other art forms (Matisse, Goya, Diane Arbus, Ralph Gibson, Rinko Kawauchi, etc.) so we decided to start collaborating.
In the beginning, our friends were our clients and that’s why we decided to call the company “dos más en la mesa”. In Spanish, this means that we are approachable and would like our couples to consider us their friends. These days, we no longer work for friends and our wedding budgets have grown. However, we are proud to say we continue to pursue similar goals: produce timeless images that depict our couples, where their personalities and ambiance are thoroughly represented. Today, when our couples receive their images, they always agree on how well thought our name is.
The key to a poetic frame for you is?
We live in a world where zillions of photographs are snapped away every day and everybody has access to amazing cameras with which any amateur can produce very decent results. We find it more and more important to have our own visual language. A specific and recognizable visual narrative makes a photographer distinctive.
People increasingly appreciate the rare beauty of the subtle, of the non-obvious. Federico Garcia Lorca (one of the most relevant poets of our country) defined poetry as the union of two words that one never supposed could belong together and yet, together, they naturally form some sort of mystery. This definition fits very well with our philosophy. We do not seek isolated “poetic” images; we look for that union of certain images that endows our stories with mystery and magic. It is the only way we know how to work. This approach allows us to continue growing day by day without becoming obsessed with obtaining such and such images.
You capture each wedding in such an expressive way. How do you unearth this deeper, sensory meaning when you’re shooting? What are the moments that draw you in?
We have long sought inspiration outside this industry. Obviously, we study it, but we never obsess with temporary trends. Instead, we seek inspiration in cinema, literature, and art. Also, we all share a cultural background in documentary photography and our homes are full of amazing photobooks that we devour during rainy days.
Our way of seeing has evolved naturally over the years. Not only due to our experience in the industry, but also because of certain milestones that have marked our paths; motherhood, love, or the absence of someone you love, are very present in our eyes. We like thinking that like good whiskey, our images are becoming more complex and rich (laughs)!
You photograph a wedding’s reception details in a way that makes you feel, rather than just see. How do you work with couples or wedding stylists to produce incredible frames that capture every detail of the day?
That is a good question. Joan Miró used to say, that there are images that you could examine for a week, and still so, they will tell you nothing, whilst you could look at others for a second and continue to remember them all your life. With that phrase in mind, we work very hard on a daily basis to learn how to capture images that could transcend a bit more. Many people assume it is something inherent in our photography. Something that comes effortless to us, but there is a lot of work behind those images. Clearly, we do not get strong images every time, but at least, we know that if we work hard enough, and if we analyze the images that we are proud of in detail, we will be a little closer to our goal.
Before each wedding, we study our clients and the rest of the vendors involved in the wedding and create a moodboard mixing our tastes with theirs. This way, not only do we learn more about all parties involved but also, we can previsualize the environment we will work in (flowers, selected spaces and specific features of the location according to the season). We love checking the moodboard before the wedding to get inspired and remember how they imagine their day.
Also, we arrive a day early to do some scouting and, if possible, document the behind the scenes. It is wonderful to live those early moments where all the vendors involved are full of excitement. It somehow helps us to feel more part of the story.
Once the wedding begins, we have already carefully analyzed everything (light, spaces and even the bride’s dress), and thought about how to highlight each aspect. You might think we are a little crazy, but we come to think of the venue and the dress as if they were people and try to make a faithful and dignified portrait of their personality.
“Once the wedding begins, we have already carefully analyzed everything (light, spaces & even the bride’s dress), and thought about how to highlight each aspect. You might think we are a little crazy, but we come to think of the venue & the dress as if they were people and try to make a faithful & dignified portrait of their personality.”
For couples getting married, what advice do you give to them in regard to their wedding photography?
Each couple is different. Nevertheless, there are certain things we recommend doing to all our couples, to make sure they feel represented by the images we will create together. We always recommend that our couples share their tastes with us. Not only their photography related tastes but cinema, music or architecture. The more they share with us, the easier it will be for everyone involved to grasp what it is expected of them.
Another piece of advice would be to rely on the professionals you hire and allow them to guide you because their experience might be the best-added value they can provide you with. As an example, we realize many couples come to us because they like how we photograph reception details, or because they like the way we see the light and our “poetic” vision. However, what we are most proud of, is the effort we make at each wedding to get images that will stand the test of time. It is very important couples understand that as the years’ progress, some images will become less important, whilst others will become more and more relevant to them over the years.
While it is important to hire a professional who possesses a unique aesthetic vision, it is even more so to hire a professional who goes out of their way for their couples and constantly thinks of them and their loved ones whilst they photograph. As much as we are recognized for a certain style, what gets the word out there is that we leave each wedding knowing we have done the impossible to obtain emotional images with their loved ones.
A moment behind an image you’ll never forget…
There are plenty of magical moments that we will never forget. I will share one with you though, that to this day is still overwhelming for us. Three months after a wedding, one of our brides called us to thank us for our work. She told us, with a cracked voice, that she could not thank us enough for a particular image. It was a picture of her mother-in-law smiling in tears whilst holding her husband’s hand, watching her son getting married. We then discovered she had recently passed away after a fierce battle with cancer. One of the many images we will never forget.
What’s next for 2020?
This year is critically important for us because, for the first time since we started photographing, we feel that our brand is beginning to attract the attention of wedding planners and international brides and grooms. That’s why we want to focus our efforts on Europe and why not, the Australian market. Australia is a country that I know firsthand since I use to live there when I was an environmental consultant.
On the other hand, we are very keen to collaborate with young designers who share our vision and want to create special images for their designs. Fashion is something that interests us more every day, it’s a discipline that helps us to continue developing a photographic style.
Finally, last year we hosted our first photographic workshop and it was one of the most stimulating experiences of the year so, surely, we will dedicate part of this year to training photographers interested in our methodology.
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