Sophie & Phil had originally booked me to shoot their wedding here in Toronto. With Sophie at school in Montreal and Phil running a business in Toronto it was a little too much for them to plan a large wedding at the same time. They decided to change everything and cancel their plans of a local wedding and book everything on the brand new NCL Epic cruise ship. It was a very different experience shooting a wedding on a cruise ship. As big as the ship is, many of the spaces are small.
As soon as I knew where we were going I started my research. In St Maarten there is an airport where planes pass insanely close to the beach. There are hundreds of photos and videos online showing planes passing feet above the heads of people. I knew exactly the photo we had to get. One I had never seen before. I timed our trip around the island to get us there in plenty of time for the main event. We had hundreds of others around us watching but most were kind enough to give some extra space to the newly weds.
A video, just for proof. If I didn’t have this I know there would be a lot of people who would think it is all fake.
This session is like none other I have ever shot. When Heather and I were out in Cuba for a wedding I really wanted to do a session that is really unique to the area as I like to do in all my destinations. This time around I actually used Heather as my model though. It’s pretty strange taking pictures of your girlfriend in a wedding dress but I think the weirdness was outweighed by the amazing pictures.
Heather has a couple wedding dresses she has used for models as well as to model in herself for other photographers. I made sure I packed my bags lightly so I could throw the dress in my bag. Before we left for Cuba I knew exactly where I wanted to go. 45 minutes away from the Paradisus in Cuba is the town of Gibara. It’s a fishing town that was hit by hurricane Ike a few years ago which you can still see clear signs of to this day. I rented a guide and jeep to get us around which was probably the best decision I made for the trip as having a translator came in handy. My Spanish is still very limited.
This ship was broken into three pieces and has been sitting on the rocky shore for years. While the locals thought I was crazy for wanting to go take pictures with them it was actually one of the biggest reasons I chose to go here.
A follow up to Sarah & Andrew’s destination wedding in Cuba that I posted earlier. A couple days later we headed around the resort for a few additional pictures and a little fun in the water for a trash the dress session.
Thanks again to Heather Windsor for bringing me along
One of the best sunsets I’ve shot. I’ve mostly shot in Mexico in the Mayan Riviera where there is no good sunsets so I was thrilled when we had the chance to shoot one in Cuba.
Heather’s working hard in this one.
A couple months ago I had the pleasure to head down to Cuba for a destination wedding at the Paradisus Rio de Oro, just north of Holguin with my girlfriend, Heather Windsor to be her second. It’s the first time I have ever been a second photographer for a destination wedding and it was a blast.
Sarah & Andrew along with the great group they brought down were from England and it was a lot of fun the whole week. I even got to do a little deep sea fishing at the end with the guys before flying back to Toronto.
If anyone is thinking of getting married in Cuba, the Paradisus Rio de Oro is definitely one of the, if not the best in Cuba. The food and service is amazing and is far better then many other locations in Cuba.
The reception was just beside the beach on a patio overlooking the ocean. One of my favorite reception locations yet.
To everyones surprise (even Sarah & Andrew), the resort had a little surprise in store for the reception. A cuban a cappella group came to sing a few songs to us. They were absolutely amazing and one of the best parts of the night. I posted one of the video clips I took of them below.
For this day after and trash the dress session I decided to take a different approach then I had done on previous trips. Linda & Jason let me take care of all the details and were OK with me only having a rough plan of what we would be doing that day.
Instead of taking a Taxi, I rented a car. I knew it couldn’t just be any car, we had to ride in style. So what better way to explore Mexico then a Jeep Wrangler. There is just something about a bride in a jeep with the top down that just screams photo op.
First stop, Puerto Morelos. A small fishing town 10 minutes from the resort.
Considering we saw hundreds of people (sometimes in the same vehicle) piled into the backs of cars, Jason thought it would be OK to be doing a little stand up driving down some side streets.
We drove for a while and came to a cenote. I’ve used cenotes in the past so I was looking forward to trying a new one. Once here I was a little excited about the cliff we found. I think Jason told the story best when we got back, but my eyes really lit up when I found out it was deep enough to jump from.
After changing dresses, Linda started chatting with a little girl that lived on the property.
My favorite shot of the week. Good thing the water was warmer then the pools at the resort.
One last one. This was taken by Jason as we were driving down the highway.
I spent the last week in Mexico with an Edmonton couple, Linda and Jason, along with their closest friends and family at the Azul Sensatori Resort by Karisma. It’s a brand new resort and I was excited to be back in Mexico so soon after the last wedding. The group they brought along with them were amazing and made my stay that much better. Thank you guys!
This is post one of the week. We did three separate photo days. I can’t wait to share the trash the dress shoot with everyone tomorrow.
After the reception was over, I grabbed the couple before heading to the night club for some moon lit beach shots.
We had some fun with light writing on the beach. Written by Linda under the moonlight.
I meet a lot of great people as part of what I do. It was no exception at Alyson and Kevin’s wedding. Their family and friends were awesome for the whole trip and it was really fun being around them while we were all there. I put together a slideshow of a little more than 100 images set to their fist dance song. The wedding took place in Tulum, Mexico at the Dreams Tulum Resort as well as the Tulum Ruins and a local cenote
One thing I love about what I do is convincing those who hate getting their pictures taken that it’s really not such a bad thing (in the right hands). Kevin was one of those guys, so it really meant a lot to me when Kevin told me after their trash the dress session that he had no idea he would have so much fun and it was one of the best parts of their trip.
That’s all for now. I can’t wait until my next trip to Mexico at the end of this month with a couple from Edmonton.
Trash the dress sessions are definitely more popular with destination weddings and I love when my couples want one as part of their package. Alyson had a second dress for this one so we did it the day before the wedding even though I am posting it second. Mexico has some great cenote’s which are fresh water cave systems that are embedded in Mexican history and culture. They are also beautiful and are worth the visit regardless if you bring a camera or not.
This image has easily become one of my new favorites. It really makes me want to live in Mexico so I can shoot more underwater trash the dress sessions.
Another one of my new fav’s. I have been to this cenote before but ran out of time before I could take any pictures of a bride in lily pads. I knew going in there that I just had to get it this time.
It was so much fun being down there with such an awesome couple. I can’t wait to be down to Mexico for another wedding again at the end of the month.
I just returned from the Mayan Riviera, Mexico staying at Dreams Tulum with Alyson & Kevin and 36 of their friends and family for one of the best destination weddings I have been to so far. I had a blast with the group and got some great images while there.
We did three days of photos, plus a little bit around the resort. First we did a mini engagement style shoot at the Tulum ruins 10 minutes from our resort, then a Trash The Dress session in a local cenote, and finally the wedding. I’ll post the TTD session photos in my next post right after this one.
The weather really held out for us. For three days it was calling for rain on the wedding day but we had perfect weather for the wedding. A bit of cloud for shade and not a hint of rain.
I love taking large group shots whenever possible. The resort photographer had no idea what I was doing when I wanted to take everyone away from the beach for the photos, but a little shade off the beach makes group shots way nicer.
Sometimes I bring along a specially modified Infrared Camera that takes amazing images.
It was an interesting experience because the resort actually insisted that their resort photographer be at the wedding even though I was there. For any couple wanting to see a side by side comparison and the importance of having your special day captured the in the best way possible, I would be happy to share.