Almost six years ago, I attended my first destination wedding. It took place in Malta and it was a very special event for me. You see – it was my own wedding. Wow, has it been six years already? Time does fly when you’re having fun.
My wife, Antonija, and I had a small, intimate wedding in the Church of St. Barbara, with only our closest friends. After the wedding, we stayed there on our honeymoon for two more weeks.
Malta: The Island Of Bright Lights And Dark Shadows
Behind the beautiful beaches, sites with epic history, cheap seafood and everything else that is part of the tourist offer, hides the true face of Malta and its people. And it definitely does not look remotely like anything out of a tourist brochure. At moments, I felt like I was in Cuba, not Malta. There were old-timer cars, people in simple, common clothes, going on with their daily routines, paying absolutely no attention to us. It felt like we stepped through some portal into a parallel universe, but more like we were in both worlds at the same time. The tourist facade and the harsh background were intertwined. On one side, I could see the usual tourists, eager to see the sights and have fun, and on the other side, the locals who could care less about the tourists. And I was smack in the middle of that eye of the hurricane, untouched by either of the two completely opposing worlds, yet fascinated by both of them: Local resistance against the foreign intruders – the tourists.
Even though this sounds like Malta is an unwelcoming place, it is far from the truth. However, that particular aspect is what attracted my attention as a photographer the most. And as you may have already read in my other blog posts – I think that all those people – both the local residents and the tourists – are beautiful in their own way.
At first, I was kind of inclined to side with the tourists, as the three of us were also just visitors of the island. Oh didn’t I mention? Yes, there were three of us: Me, my wife and our lovely daughter Kiara, who was still in my wife’s tummy at the time.
After the two weeks there, we found ourselves more in sync with the laid back rhythm of the locals than the overclocked tourists. Somehow the locals won us over and we accepted their easy-going nature and stopped feeling like outsiders. That offered me a whole new perspective on the locals’ view of the tourists – there was no animosity whatsoever. It is just the unique nature of the Maltese people – they are not hostile or unfriendly, they just have their own rhythm and lifestyle. Once you pick up on that vibe, you will find them quite friendly and relaxed – thus, great subjects for my street photography.
Take a look at some of the street style photos I took during those mesmerizing and unforgettable two weeks in Malta.
Photos by Damir Plavotić, Photographer