What a privilege to hear from Italian-born, Berkshire-based wedding photographer Berni Palumbo. She explains about her love for Nutella, Woody Allen and preserving ‘real’ moments…
1) What makes you happy?
In one word: people. No material item can ever compete with that. Time with close friends, my son giggling, my husband’s quirky sense of humour. Leading a life I love, built around people I can genuinely connect with.
2) What does a perfect weekend look like to you?
Curiously, I’ve just had the perfect weekend, exploring Edinburgh with my toddler, husband and my camera. There is nothing like exploring a new city with my camera. It allows me to see it in a more detailed, ‘magnified’ way and notice things that would be lost on me otherwise. I feel so privileged to capture things and show how I see and ‘feel’ them.
3) What’s your idea of a dream holiday?
Exploring a city or country while connecting with the culture; reading about it, talking to the locals. I am not attracted to anything too touristy and I like to experience the feeling of living in a place, even if it’s just for a couple of days.
4) How would you describe your personal style?
It took me a long time to figure this one out, but I think I have reached a point where I know ‘’my thing’. I’d say my style is a combination of relaxed colourful reportage with the influence of my love for visual arts.
5) What three items would you take with you to a desert island?
My kindle, my camera and a charger I guess… I will need that 🙂
6) What do you love watching on TV?
We only really watch Netflix or Amazon Prime. Lots of box sets, and I must admit I have a thing for good documentaries, the ones that tell a good story in a professional way…
7) Where’s your favourite place on earth?
This is a tough one. I easily get attached to the places I visit. Let’s put it this way, the most amazing place I have seen was probably the White Sands in New Mexico, an incredible, completely white desert. It felt like another world.
8) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate! In particular Nutella (I am Italian after all!). I cannot have a Nutella jar at home without getting tempted by it. It feels like it’s calling ‘eat me… eat me…’
9) What’s your favourite film?
When I was a teenager I really loved ‘Basquiat’, but if I really had to choose my favourite movies of all time it would be Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’ and Fellini’s ‘8 and a half’. Sorry it’s two!
10) What do you love about wedding photography?
I love that I get to witness such an important day for someone, but even more that I am able to tell the story of that day, and capture all the little moments that others might be too busy to notice on the day itself.
Memories have always been very important to me and one of the most incredible things about photography is that you get to preserve them in a way that is not only visual but emotional.
A photo can preserve the way you felt about the subject in that moment.
I honestly can’t get enough of photos. I was always obsessed with photos of my family and friends (and now my son) and keep looking at them over and over again.
I adore my own wedding photos and look at them all the time.
11) What’s your background?
As you might have guessed travelling and exploring other cultures has always been a big thing in my life. I wanted to be a photographer as a child but in Southern Italy back then it wasn’t really an option (particularly not for women), so I studied Slavic Languages and Literature (Russian and Polish). In my late 20s I moved to Los Angeles for a PhD focusing on Russian Modern Art and that’s where I met my English husband. The rest, as they say, is history.
12) What inspires you?
Visual art and people really are what inspire my life and my work.
13) What’s your favourite food?
Ehm Pizza… Could it be any more cliché?
14) How would you describe your interior style?
Comfortable. I like my place to be bright but not minimal and cold. I want people to walk in and feel it’s a home: messy, colourful and real.
15) What’s your moto?
‘Live and let live’. I am a big believer that letting people be who they really are is the biggest act of love we can do.