India, Monaco: Avni + Asheesh = Destination Romance Photo Session

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India, Monaco: Avni + Asheesh = Destination Romance Photo Session by Zorz Studios (1)

What could be a perfect destination for a romance photo session? Many, like this Indian couple, think France. Add a spice of Monte Carlo and a romantic photographer, and you get this editorial style rendezvous…

I was contacted by Avni in July when she asked if I am available to fly to the French Riviera in the south of France. She was going for a romantic retreat with her husband to visit Nice and neighbouring Monte Carlo, Monaco in August. I have just returned from Greece (more on those photo adventures in the next posts) but would not mind hoping back on the plane, especially since I haven’t been to France yet. Scheduling was tough in August but I squeezed a two-nighter in between a fashion shoot for Anya Caliendo Couture Millinery and a corporate event for Indian-American Logic Planet: flying out the same day after the fashion gig, arriving to France in the evening, shooting the couple in Nice around the sunrise, then before the sunset in Monte Carlo, then flying back to NYC the next morning for the corporate shoot. Friends mocked me for not taking the most out of this trip by extending but such is the busy season and the common nature of my travels—I do it for business… except for when I travel to India. Oh, but I did use wisely 5-hour stop-overs in Copenhagen going both ways (see Instagrams below).

In brief, the romance photo session was a sheer delight and success but it started and ended with a hiccup. First was the not-too-surprising electricity saving approach of one of Nice landscape hallmarks’, the Hotel Negresco. What looked spectacular the night I arrived to catch some Côte d’Azur tourist butterflies, turns dull for a 5 AM photo shoot… Sorry about not doing it justice. We went on with a photo walk along the famous Promenade des Anglais, so peaceful, azure, and fresh in that wee hour! Empty beaches, crystal clear and undisturbed waves, a tango with the water jet street cleaning truck (you bet I demanded the couple to jump in), temporarily unmonitored bikes to climb and mess with, empty pedestrian streets, a cup of coffee on the roof before the cafe opens, and of course, the sunrise along the boulevard…

We then took a break which I used to visit St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, the largest in Western Europe, and shop in the numerous antique shops of Rue de France.

A pretty ride along the sea on a local bus for about an hour, and you are in Monaco, the second smallest country in the world (and it is hard to tell when you cross the border). The rest of the romance photo session was done by the Casino Monte Carlo, a.k.a. James Bond’s casinos of Never Say Never Again and Golden Eye. I could not contain my surprise at the fact that you can shot inside, professionally! Obviously, the phone cameras are everywhere around the world but try entering a palatial private property akin the Plaza Hotel in NYC with your model(s) and take out a big camera… Escorted out in no time. Not in this luxurious place! Well, kind of. I started quietly, just in case, then got a little braver, and then stopped noticing everything and everyone around, until I noticed a change on my couple’s faces. A police officer mounted above and behind me ( I was working the floor, as usual), politely requesting the card be erased. So this was the second hiccup. We walked away from the building but found an empty and gorgeous backyard. Apparently, tourists do not realize or bother with its existence, making the finale of our shoot enjoyable, easy going, and fashionably rewarding.

P.S. Regular readers would spot the unusually short story this time… This shoot deserves so much more narrative and sharing anecdotes! Sorry to appear abrupt but this is a necessary measure to help me go quicker through the accumulated seasonal workload, national and international travels, and one very demanding change in personal life—bringing my new family to the country a couple of months ago. I am not sure if I can blog every shoot nowadays but if I do, it will likely be a short story. Hope you will still enjoy it!

Click images for full size. Kindly refrain from re-uploading images to social media during the first week of feature. Share instead!

Here are the Instagram stories around this trip, enjoy!

After finishing the first #fashion-driven #romance photo session in sunrise Nice, had time to stroll around the city. Attended the mass at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, completed by the #Russian #nobility in 1913 (the land is also formally Russian). It’s the largest Russian #cathedral in Western Europe. On to #MonteCarlo now to shoot the concluding part of the session at sunset. #traveling #TravelingPhotographer #InternationalPhotographer #DestinationPhotographer #WeddingPhotographer #EngagementSession #ZorzTravels #NYPhotographer #NYCPhotographer #DareToBePhotographed #GetZorzed #ZorzStudios #zorz #FearlessPhotographer #instalike #photooftheday #PhotographerAtRest #church #RussianChurch #StNicolasCathedral #Nice #France #Ницца #НиколаевскийСобор

A photo posted by Ed Zorz Hafizov (@zorzstudios) on

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.