after the storm. that’s when sole, mariano, and i met for their madrid engagement session. it was a bit nerve-wrecking to plan this session in the middle of an absolutely terrible stormy day, but we were prepared with rain coats and rubber boots, and ready to create some ridiculously dramatic rain shots. and then it stopped. of course. sun is good, we love the sun, so we ended up just having a fantastic time finding cute little corners that would mesh well with their fun and quirky personalities. i have to say i absolutely love this couple. it’s not always easy to find clients that you agree with on ideas, priorities, and the like but i’ve definitely won the lottery with these two. i am in love with this session. ahhhh! i can’t even wait until their wedding day but now that rain or shine it will turn out amazing. See you soon!
It snuck up on me. After spending the last year of my life hearing about how I would be the next one of my siblings to marry, I guess I got used it. I stopped reading the signs. I got comfortable. So I was a bit blind sighted when I unlocked my phone and saw a picture of an engagement ring on my little sister’s finger. Whereas I totally understand that these two were meant for each other, I guess my growing Spanish mentality hadn’t quite grasped that after “only” a year of dating they might feel more than ready to say I do. They visited for a weekend to make things official and get their fair share of handshakes, congratulations, and pats on the back. Along with a few smirks by family and friends that have already married and give them that all-too-familiar “are you sure you’re ready for this?” look.
Well, ready or not, here they go!
It wasn’t enough. i guess it’s just the way things turned out on the day of nicole and phil’s engagement session in ocean city, new jersey. it wasn’t enough that they had booked me even though i am based overseas. it wasn’t enough that they picked me up from the airport and drove 4 hours until the wee hours of the morning to get here. it was clearly not enough that after just 3 hours of sleep, we were up chasing the sunrise. i look back on it and think that it just wasn’t enough because on top of all of that they just had such a fun and loving energy that they absolutely rocked their engagement session. i didn’t know if i was more entertained by the array of colors in the sunrise of by the massive display of overly-dramatic poses and ridiculousness that kept us moving along while laughing our heads off throughout the whole session. and what a session! definitely making my 46 hour commute here worth it, i simply cannot wait to see what could possibly unfold during the actual wedding day. so from the bottom of my heart, congratulations!
murcia, spain. unexplored territory. i flew down for a weekend to photograph inma + fernando’s wedding, and to be fair i wasn’t sure what to expect. i got it all wrong from the beginning since i thought i would never need a proper jacket in the south of spain. wrong. i also thought i could just pop into a large electronics store, or into the local h&m for whatever my last minute needs might be. wrong again. but after some minor setbacks and being able to resolve them quickly, there i was, with a borrowed jacket, discovering not only the charming little cobblestone street but most importantly the love shown to me by their people. i could go on and on about this small town that made me feel like a city girl 1,000 miles from home. i will spare you the details. all i can say is the experience was unlike any other, in the best way.
the wedding day started out like many others, light rain, big smiles, and big expectations. as soon as the ceremony started though, it was a beautiful display of southern spanish culture. from the traditional choir, to paying a visit to the virgin after the ceremony, i felt somewhat like a foreigner in my own country, but loved seeing different traditions standing strong in modern days. afterwards we took to a small road for portraits, then the formal dinner, and then after many surprises, it was time to let it all go on the dance floor. my favorite thing was definitely counting on inma and fernando’s fabulous fun-loving attitudes. ready to celebrate, to display their love, to go nuts. enjoying every single second… and i guess it was contagious because so did i!
looking back on this very special wedding i am filled with gratitude for being given the opportunity and the amazing amount of honor and responsibility, by two complete strangers, to travel hundreds of miles to be the one who gets to tell their love story. and what a story! as for me, all i can honestly say are those infamous three little words: i’ll be back.
they met in moscow, they fell in love while traveling together through 13 countries, and they finally tied the knot in lisbon, portugal. this is just a very brief description of irina & charlie’s relationship, but it also happens to be the beginning of the biggest adventure that life could offer: their new life together.
i can truly say that i am honoured to have been able to call charlie my friend for a certain number of years now. with somewhat of an odd beginning to our friendship (my sister met him online and i kept calling to make sure he wasn’t a psycho killer) that i now like to think back on as part of the fun. charlie also happens to be one of my friend’s with the biggest sense of adventure. in fact, we have had the pleasure of exploring germany, holland, and belgium together… sometimes riding motorcycles, minivans, or a snowboard/ski combo. all of this is to say that when given the opportunity to have one more adventure together, and travel to lisbon to photograph his beautiful wedding, all i could say was yes.
now, let me tell you about this wedding… there were some language barriers, there was a heck of a lot of sun, and it included indulging in some delicious pastries… and that was all before it even started!! the ceremony itself was held at the beautiful pousada castelo de palmela, pretty much the most gorgeous castle atop a mountain that overlooks the entire city of lisbon and even has a view of the ocean… and all of it draped in perfect rays of sun. it was perfection. i have to give a huge shoutout to the few and the proud… that would be the few guests that were proud to cross halfway across the world, face insanely long overlays, and even the ones that went straight from the wedding to the airport. these guys were there because they are proud to call irina and charlie friends. i can’t ignore that kind of commitment and love.
and what else can i say? russians, spaniards, portuguese, americans, and the dutch. tears were shed cigars were smoked, and memories made. i think that pretty much sums it up. and if it doesn’t, that’s what these photos are for… see for yourself!
i wanted to be in one of the photos too! 😉
congratulations irina & charlie!!!
the first. that’s the first thing that came to mind when i met jon, my first nephew. i honestly have been thinking about what to say for the longest time, and i’m having a hard time putting into words. it’s so strange to see my brother, the one who i would equally look up to and fight with as a kid, suddenly being someone’s father. i guess maybe i’m just getting old, but it’s a bit mind-blowing. as is just looking at and holding this little man, with his teeny-tiny hands and his incredibly large-for-his-size feet. i also have to send a huge shoutout to my sister-in-law for braving through a not-so-smooth pregnancy. i remember cancelling several plans because she wasn’t feeling so great. nonetheless, i think that it’s clear as day that it was all worth it. incredibly worth it.
we sneaked out. the day that i shot mylene and miguel’s engagement photos we had actually met up for a barbecue full of friends and family. we had spent the last couple of weeks trying to arrange a proper date for the engagement session but inevitably something would come up and it would fall through. so there we were, stuffing our faces with freshly grilled burgers when i mentioned that i had brought my camera “just in case.” mylene’s eyes lit up. after a little convincing, miguel agreed to an impromptu photo shoot, and we we sneaked out of the barbecue and into the woods to write down the chapter to their new story together. we will meet again in september, with vows, and flowers, and toasts with champagne… but this time everyone will know. 😉
the view was breathtaking as i drove up to the venue where sergio and esther’s wedding would take place. the etxegana hotel and spa, borders the gorbea national park and on this particular day it was a little extra bright and beautiful. it was also incredibly hot, but nobody could be bothered by the sun when they had a full day of displays of love and plenty to celebrate. i want to give a special thank you to the wedding planner, janis vallejo, for making sure we stayed hydrated throughout the day! the guests were absolutely loving the cocktails and the view and went all out for their photos, turning up with some of the most hilarious and spontaneous guest photos i have to date. and of course, the bride and groom looked amazing, in love, and relaxed during the last few minutes of sun that we had before the day was over and the night celebrations began. all in all i have to say that looking back it was an absolutely gorgeous, fun, and unpredictable day and i am glad i was there to see it!
pack mule. that’s what i looked like on my way to this newborn session. in addition to my regular gear bag, when i shoot a newborn session i also have to bring all sorts of props along with a backdrop. because public transportation is so great in spain (and parking spots are so hard to find) i happen to be dragging all these things around the metro. you can imagine how splendid i look when i get there. but not as splendid as this little family, of course. i will always have a special place in my heart for marcos and juli. probably because i’ve known marcos ever since we were both 16 or so. it’s such an interesting thing to be able to see who you were when you met and also see how far you’ve come. and he has really turned into the family man! i was delighted when we first booked a maternity session for this firstborn hugo, and even more so when we booked our maternity session this summer for little tiago, but i have so say that my favourite so far has been this newborn session with tiago. he has the cutest cheeks, adorable little face, and tiny little fingers. and he slept like a log through the whole session. every time i look back at these photos i can’t help but smile at how genuine everything is. the love. the smiles. happiness in it’s purest form. and that definitely makes it all worth it.