VENICE IS WHITE, GREEN AND BROWN: How to dress for a photoshoot in Venice
Have you ever visited Venice? How did you find it?
Bright blue, during crystal clear sunny summer days or orange? Was it black with golden accents when getting lost after dawn in winter days?
Today I am presenting you with another idea which are the colours of the soul of Venice.
It is about seeing it in white, green and brown.
When a couple books a photoshoot with me, I always discuss with them the dresses they would wear.
Sometimes they like to choose what they will wear, sometimes they would ask me for a tip. If they wish to be dressed „like Venice“ I would advise dressing: “white, green and brown“.
As a photographer, I have a pleasure to capture memorable moments of my guests – often couples. In this photo series, you can admire Venice scenes of white, green and brown patina tones. This style brings some sentiment, as well it is close to stories of the past and resembles the look of lost and found vintage photos retelling forgotten stories.
These three colours are visible simply for a practical reason – Venice is consisting of a great number of materials. Many of the construction materials are really old – coming a few centuries back. Venetians during La Serenissima knew where to get the best bricks, marble or stones to support their magnificent city- pearl to astonish its citizens and visitors.
If we like this palette and decide to capture and highlight these colours and quality of visual, then how to coordinate the figures into perfect compositions?
The more proper question would be: “How to dress for Venice?” Keeping these colours in mind, you can truly bring your favourite pieces, and being in the tonality of white, green and brown. You can become part of the ambience, perfectly wearing „Venice on you and in the image then, is a genuine part of Venetian scenography.”
Another idea can be getting to know in which specific locations you would be photographed. Will you sit in a gondola?
Would you visit colourful houses of Burano? Would you be captured in the monochromatic tunnel connecting tiny hidden Venetian streets?
If you, for instance, admire Venice from the water – view from a gondola or happen to be around them, you can easily wear black as well, with the accents of colours noted. On the contrary, you can choose to be in contrast with black gondolas.
People of Venice in the past would wear black a lot, and then, for the festive occasions, they would be dressed in tones of fire and magnificent brocades and velvets in all kinds of red, gold and fur – trimmings. You can take inspiration from this attitude as well. The choice is yours.
What is another way to go, is to be yourself, to feel yourself, and simply by choosing sensitively these colours, or decorative elements, to be actually really a part of the „set“.
This is why it is good to be in the conversation with your photographer. He can not only create an unforgettable photo- series for you. He can be your painter, your director, and to help you to get lost in the world of Venice and to be its citizen, even for a couple of hours or the whole day.
Venice has always been a rich mixture of cultures, styles, nationalities and crafts. Come as you are, and be the best version of yourself.
Would you like to have a closer look at the colours?
Observing these images, white colour is not only walls of architectonic monuments.
White lines are underlining windows, lining doors and giving us contours, pulling our attention to sharp details.
Sometimes we forget about these shapes, but they are there, and make Venice special and weirdly perfect – imperfect.
Numerous Italian architects decided to dress their buildings in white by using material of marble – that would create a definition mainly for the architecture of renaissance but found a place as well in the latest years.
To be more specific when talking about the construction material used in Venice: the most characteristic one is Istrian Stone.
This dense limestone would be imported to Venice from Istria (nowadays Croatia) to be found on the „the opposite side“ of the Gulf where Venice is based when crossing Adriatic sea to the East.
Istrian stone has remarkable quality. It was mainly used to be placed on a wooden base, to create a stable platform to further let the buildings to stand.
While being used since 15th century, even in 21st century, it is still being used to reconstruct precious architectural sites and valued for its stability even in extreme conditions – such as occasions of acqua alta.
White colour is generally nowadays considered as a colour of purity, clean space.
Design with a lot of white is considered as sharp, minimalistic. But there is not too much of white in Venice to make it look minimalistic!
White in the past, especially in the painting was representing heavenly powers, situations related to birth, youth, marriage, angels.
White in the clothing is worn during special occasions, or when underlining simplicity, elegance and sharp sophisticated style.
If you ask a child, what is green? Grass, nature. Therefore, situations related to life, growth, both wilderness and untamed elements.
Strangely, there is not too much of wild greenery in Venice, as it is rather filled with buildings or water. Though, we can find some green colour particularly in canals embracing walls and palaces.
In the photos, you can sense it through plants, decorated windows of Venetian ladies that like to grow their plants. Naturally, you can find trees and plants in a few city parks or in Venice´s secret gardens. How about another source of „green“?
Sometimes those are wild trees, many times making their way and living on the rooftops or abandoned balconies. Significantly, every good aquarelle painter of Venice has already noted, that window shutters in Venice are in numerous cases green.
So are the doors, which can be symbolic saying of stepping into unknown and dreamy.
Why did painters centuries ago used green colour? It would stand for renewal of energy, new life being born, of course coming in hand with spring, peace.
How do you feel in spring? Isn’t it time when we usually admire plants getting back to life with their fresh leaves? All of this can evoke a simple usage of green.
When somebody knows which colour tone to choose and how to combine it, results can be stunning! Why not take dressing as a symbolic and moreover, trying to fit into the area where you are captured?
Even in the streets and moments without any plant, the colour of life and nature is still there – in the water of Venice, creating golden reflections in the larger canals.
This colour is in Venice working as an „effect“. You don’t need to use too much of additional „patina“ to the images, to make them look more vintage or out of the old times. It is enough if you choose the outfits and transform yourself and you can happen to be in another times.
Brown is a natural colour of wood, and Venice truly embraced it. Thanks to the crafts of the past, you can sense true masterpieces in forms of doors, windows, or furniture pieces.
An essential part of Venice – boats are understandingly coming first in this colour, but as a practical action, you cannot see any of this natural color. Adding practical paint is vital. Though, you can happen to be in front of impressive carved functional, both decorative objects made from wood.
Walking through the streets of Venice, you can sense that the city has a „warm“ feeling. So are its shadows, darker parts. Work of water, air and time makes Venice painted by layers of brown and there is not a way to stop it, just to be impressed.
You can observe that the walls of Venice often seem to lose their color. Then, naked bricks are revealed, showing warm brown.
Brown colour in symbolism and painting of the past was color more attached to „darker“ elements, but to mysterious, surprising elements. Wearing brown makes us more fitting to nature, getting inspiration from natural materials.
I believe now you can see Venice through the eyes of a photographer and maybe next time, when you will visit it you can see something new, that was not visible before.
If you will be searching to book a photoshoot session with a professional photographer, I am ready for you!
Texts: Karolina Kamenska, styling, set, art, travel, marketing consultant
Colors are the essence of life. They are able to visually express all languages, all emotions, every message that we wish to convey.
Of course, you have to know how to use it, combining colors is like inventing recipes…
In Italy, the image consultants use a science that is called “armocromia” (“armo” = harmony, “cromia” = colors) to make people look their best.
It consists in analyzing the natural colors of a person, in order to identify the colors that he/she should wear in order to stand out.
It is a technique that requests knowledge about color features (value, temperature, intensity, contrast); but what is more important, its main principle confirms that mother nature is the best designer:
We only look good in colors that are in perfect harmony with our natural colors (the combination of eyes, skin and hair).
The same principle applies in fashion/photographic styling: for the best result, a picture has to show a perfect harmony between the outfit and the location. A real expert (the stylist or/and the photographer) has the expert eye to find the best place for an outfit or the other way round.
These are the reasons why I appreciate and applaud Luca’s project. He describes in a very poetic way (through images and words at the same time) the sine qua non relationship between the subject and the environment.
The white-green-brown pairing captured by Luca is probably the most representative of the multiple color combinations that Venice offers, concentrating the essence of life: the Light (white), the Life (green) and the Earth (brown).
In addition, the retro styled outfits from the couple give the picture a fairytale aura, so perfect in a so full-of-history, elegantly-classic, unique location.
Text: Irina Ricciardi, image consultant & fashion stylist
This article shows a selection from the about six hundred delivered images.
I helped this couple to live their experience in Venice for two halves of a day.
You can book me or an associate photographer, possibly working together with a local professional tourist guide who will explain all in the most beautiful way.
My goal is: “you will never leave Venice, taking with you at home” the knowledge of how the true Serenissima is.
Waiting for you in Venice!
> Full Day Photoshoot (best choice) € 1470,oo
Up to ten hours of service, eventually with breaks to rest, eat, change of dress.
Emotional edited sequence of 200 or more post-produced images.
We will scout some “secret” (even for my colleagues) and stunning spots spending the day together.
Photos delivered straight to your email within a week after your session.
> Half-Day Photoshoot € 870
Up to five hours of continuous service.
120 or more edited and post-produced images.
Photos delivered straight to your email within a week after your session.
> Complementary services
I can also work together with an image consultant, precious help in choosing the most suitable outfits based on your personal armochromy, a professional tourist guide and I can suggest the right gondolier or the best vintage wooden taxi boat.
NB please note my services are not per hour. These prices are set for opening a project with me and booking the day, with a different maximum of hours available.
As an example: the price of one hour-photoshoot or a five-hour photo shoot is the same.