Last week, I realized a wedding anniversary photo shoot near Valencia for a lovely elderly couple on visit for a second romantic honey moon in Spain. For privacy reason I will not mention their names but just their nationality. They came from a small town somewhere along the southern Norwegian coast. They got married up there in 1959 in a wet and foggy March’s day, as they told me before starting the photo shoot. Their families, along with the generous friends’ support, organized everything for their wedding and also the honeymoon. At that time, Spain was starting to become more and more a tourist destination for people from Scandinavia.
Warm sunshine, nice beaches and cheap prices were taken for granted, as both told me, and at that time Norway was not yet a rich and wealthy country. They flew down to Barcelona and then by train to Valencia for their 10-day honeymoon in late spring 1965. They spent most of the time in a fishermen village not far from Valencia where they stayed in what they remembered to be a lovely though small hotel near the beach. They still had in mind the wonderful taste of fresh fish they used to eat for dinner, the saltiness coming from the sea every morning they opened the window of their bedroom, the locals’ generous hospitality even if they didn’t speak a single word in Spanish. Smiles and hand gestures were the extraordinary mutual communication.
At that time both of them were still very young, happily naive and made a living. Once they went back home, both completed their University studies and they made career as medical researchers. Since their honeymoon they got the chance to travel the world extensively but, as they told me, those ten days in Spain remained forever in their hearts. Incredibly, despite they have been traveling a lot, they never visited Valencia again since then. That’s the reason why they decided to come back here for a few days last week: to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.
This time they stayed in a luxury hotel in Valencia but they asked me by email if it was possible to have a one-hour photo shoot in that village they visited a long time ago. Obviously, the small town changed a lot since then. More buildings, restaurants, plenty of trendy bars and tourist traps. The pleasant atmosphere of long time ago was wiped out. Even the small hotel that welcomed them a long time ago no longer existed. Anyway, this didn’t discourage them from enjoying their short staying in that sea town.
A couple of weeks before going there for the planned photo shoot, I had the chance to visit that town and look for the best picturesque corners where shooting and particularly the best light conditions for a successful photo session. They spent all the time watching each other and searching each other with the eyes and a simple smile. They were trying to revive all those beautiful memories that all these years were unable to erase. In a kind of way it was a touching and unusual wedding anniversary photo shoot for me as most of the images I shot spoke for themselves.