With Valentine’s day coming up we are reminded time and time again about celebrating our relationships, however, we at Ottoman Hands believe, that meaningful relationships should not only be celebrated once every February, but every day. We have asked one of our favourite creative couples Emmanuel and Claudia of Emm & Clau to share their story.
- Could you please let us know how you and Em met?
- Emm and I met over 15 years ago, Christmas time, on a carol night (yes, we still go caroling on Christmas Eve in Romania and it is the best tradition ever!). The Winter Holidays are magical, everyone is joyful, love is in the air basically. Oh boy Emm felt like it was love at first sight! Well eventually Christmas was over, we each went our own ways and nothing really happened, we were like 14 years old back then. We now both feel the timing was not right and it was all for the best. We then went at the same high school together but again nothing happened, even though Emm wished it did haha, I was just so into my studies, did not care about boys at all. Fast-forward a few years later, first year of college, both of us left our hometown to go to University, so Emm asked me out on a date to catch up as.."buddies". I felt a bit lonely so I finally said YES, we went out and ate the best fast food haha. Long story short, we've been together ever since. On May the 6th we celebrate 12years of relationship and 6 years of marriage. Life just gets better together really.
- You are running a successful and truly inspirational art photography business? How did it all begin?
- While dating in college, I was working at the local airport when suddenly Emm decided he wanted to work part time as a photographer assistant. To be honest I was not very happy about it considering the pay-off was not appealing at all and he was anyways studying to be an engineer. But Emm always loved taking photos and he especially loved taking candid photos of me even before dating. And that got me pretty annoyed back then, but look how things turned out, I am now asking him to take my photos, isn't life full of surprises? So after one year of assisting that photographer, he took a leap of faith and decided to go on his own and since he needed.. well an assistant, there was I, happy to quit my job for something more fun and creative! It still feels surreal that we get to travel so much worldwide while doing something that we are very passionate about - fine art destination photography.
- What inspires your work?
- What got us so far is the constant desire to out-do ourselves. We never think, wow this is the best we can do, we are just amazing, no, we always think there's some place for improvement. We find inspiration in the most beautiful places we travel to, in the love stories of people we photograph or in timeless old photos. We never stop getting inspired, but we never compare our journey to someone else's. And most of all, we remind ourselves to be thankful for all that we have and what we have achieved so far, to take life easy and be content. If you want to be happy don't try to be happy, you'll be miserable, instead be thankful and you'll be happier. We feel truly blessed.
- What has been your most treasured gift to each other?
- Precious gifts, well I just love love my engagement ring, I believe it is the most beautiful ring there is and I was so happy when I realized I'm going to grow old with my best friend by my side. I'm sure Emm loves his photo gear the most, I don't think there's a particular gift that he's obsessing over, but he always reminds me he's so lucky we work together and spend 24/7 together.
- What makes every day meaningful and special for both of you?
- Being together 24/7 just works for us. I know other people couldn't do it, but we feel the most productive, content and excited about each day when we know we're going to be together and nothing else matters really. We are right now on our way to Miami and I am sure it's going to be a work trip to remember because we are together. I don't think I'd be such a travel junkie if it wasn't for him and that goes the other way around also. So yes, love is the best medicine for a meaningful day! Always!
To celebrate those special relationships in your lives and hear your stories, we are holding a bejewelled competition on our Instagram page. Enter the competition for your chance to win a box of beautiful gifts with £200 to share with that special person.