My Brothers Paper Wedding: Šarūnas & Viktorija // Vilnius, LT

Congratulations to my big brother and his beautiful wife today - it's been one year since both replied "I do" and agreed on binding their paths together into one. Now - it's their first, the Paper Wedding Anniversary. A year ago I was there to dance and drink, laugh and eat, and also grab upon my camera once in a while, this way preparing my very personal gift for them. Weddings within a family circle are something different than friends weddings. Other thoughts cross your mind when you see a groom-brother waiting for his wife to be at the altar - families get connected, blood merges and the in-love-smile of your brother means so much more to you than anyone else's, you kind of feel in your molecules and start imagining what your little nieces and nephews are going to look alike.. But everything on that topic has to wait for its own given time. But for now - here comes a dash of a sweet sunny summer memory, with bright lunchtime sun and two people so in love under it. Chin chin to the paper-weds!


Quick note over here: Love is... is THE ultimate chewing gum of every post-soviet child in Lithuania. You could get it in every kiosk, some kids were collecting and exchanging the papers with little comics within, which broadly explained, what Love actually IS.


Gentlemen attributes..


..and the Ladies attributes.


I remember this little cabrio ride through the weekend city, with the newlyweds drive-dancing in the front and us two photographers Egidijus and I in the back, listening to this song of the incredible ODESZA out LOUD.. seriously, the ultimate summer time Vilnius ride with ultimate summer time soundtrack. Maybe you should listen to it while observing the rest of this post I strongly recommend, just to catch the awesome vibe.


It was a neat modern Lithuanian style wedding, including the parents greeting the newlyweds with black bread, rough salt and a shot of home made vodka for each - has something to do with good luck in their lives, of course; Lithuanian live music - good old pop and some folk; a whole lot of funny games involving the guests; and a present from the couple for their guests - fireworks at midnight. Singing dancing clapping - there was plenty of all. I wish every few years we could celebrate a wedding like that! so THANK YOU!

PS: You can read more about the beautiful late baroque style St. Johns church over here. Or even better - go over and visit, Vilnius is overall blooming with culture!

A Family Portrait: Meeting Dorija

This summer when I visited Vilnius the city was booming with vibrant colours, bright sun, musical fountains and vivid people. It felt like it's the Vilnius I always wanted to see, I was so happy that this is the capital of the country I grew up in. The more I think, the more I consider it to be - as Lithuanians say - 'the middle of gold' kind of city with spectacular aesthetic background for making and enjoying arts and culture, yet also for living a quality life to the fullest within friends and family circles. One of those sunny afternoons I met up with Eglė & Andrius and their newborn daughter Dorija for a family portrait session that we have been talking about online for almost a year now. Gladly the weather was perfect and we could take the fullest advantage of the amazing city.

It happened to be one of the most personal photography sessions. The thing is - my name is Dorija and  it's not a typical Lithuanian name, nor it is German, nor from any other country I know about. It's pronounced Dó-ree-a in a three syllable melody. In fact, this name was a unique creative present from my mother to me thirty years ago. And as there was no other Dorija in kindergarten nor school, later on I got curious when will the name emerge into bigger circles and the time will come for two Dorijas to meet each other in one room. And here I was, holding the precious blond baby girl in my arms, calling her to look up into the camera, watching Dorija fall asleep. While many probably can't understand or find it silly, for me - it's a first in a lifetime experience, even if with my thirty years of age.

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The last shot is my overall favourite one. When we got home, Dorija needed to be fed and sleep after the intense photo session. We were all a bit exhausted from all the excitement of the day. Just naturally, in a deepest silence of the evening, harmony took over, I took the last undirected snaps and my work was done for the day.

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A Drone Experience

... or The Things You Can Learn From Your Older Cooler Brothers

Both of my brothers are technical geeks, of course. Because who's brothers actually aren't. Every time I come around to visit the one or another - there's new things to see, to learn, to touch and then be jealous about. This time my big bro' introduced me to his precious new toy - the drone DJI PHANTOM 3 Advanced. As an out-dated humanist I have never actually seen nor - moreover - tried out navigating a drone of that kind. It's this little light weight, four propeller thing with a flexibly attached camera; it can fly and be navigated for up to 2 km of a distance away from its controller. A 12 megapixel camera with HD video recording capacity - all there. And - when you attach your mini tablet or smartphone on the controller, you can follow the drones route from birds eye perspective while still keeping your feet firmly on the ground. How damn cool is that!

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And so we packed the drone bag to drive towards the next calm corner in the busy city of Vilnius. My brother insisted on me overtaking the controller and daring to get the drone up to the sky. Amazing how easy with just four different finger movements you can come up with something amazing like that within minutes; I got thinking about how many more possibilities open up for creative people and artist, how many fantastic unseen images can be captured or even staged. Just to start with - look at this Lithuanian photographer Karolis Janulis who was obviously having lots of fun experimenting with his drone pet.

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But as it isn't quite of a bargain that you spontaneously purchase out of boredom at night on Amazon, here's my top five reasons to start saving on one:

  • it opens a rare perspective from a birds eye on demand, something that was not possible to be seen on a casual every day basis
  • it reaches things, buildings, nature landscapes which are hard to be reached by foot or machine and makes an additional point of view possible
  • it's practical for different kind of documentation like events, real estate, landscapes
  • what ever you do photographically - it will bring you to the next level
  • and let's face it - it's a great toy in general! like when back in childhood the kids who got those tiny remotely controlled helicopters for Christmas and from then on everyone wanted to be friends with them.. but that's a totally different kind of story.

Good to know: get at least one extra battery at purchase, otherwise you can pack up the propellers after just 20 minutes of great but short fun.

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A few snaps from up above:

Look at that - the most symbolical building of Vilnius, the Gediminas' Tower, the reason why the whole city was build around that hill. I was navigating the drone up above it and around.

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It was a rather special visit of my brother and Vilnius this time. To be honest, even though it's only the cream part I've been spending time at - like the old town, newly reopened parks with their musical fountains in bright sunshine, those busy but somewhat charming summer city corners amazed me. We were cruising on longboards in a big green park at dusk together with many other people cruising on other things while some DJs were changing one chilly vinyl after another, just because it's summer, just because it's good weather; we tested some of the new Vilnius talking statues between beers on a warm summer night to rediscovered some of the forgotten Lithuanian history pages while the streets were full of celebrating beautiful summerly dressed people; my bro' showed me a place to try out virtual reality glasses which was a whole lotta different experience all together. It was a quality visit for sure. And I'm happy to have a big brother there, too.