it was covered in snow. the first time i saw victor he was covered in snow, having a snowball fight with his family, and rolling around the ground. it was during our family session a few years ago. one of the most fun sessions i’ve ever done, in part because it never snows here, and in big part because this happy family is just such a thrill to work for. they’re just nice, good, happy people. the next time i saw him he was also covered in white, but it was due to his sailor suit for his first communion… and pretty sure his mother wouldn’t have been so happy if he’d decided to roll on the ground then. snow or no snow, still just as easy to work with, and i’m still thrilled for the results. i can’t wait for his little brother to have his first communion because with his enormous personality i know we will manage to do something wild and really fun. see you soon boys!
rain rain go away, come again another day… preferably on a day that my little sister isn’t having a garden wedding. we spent half of the night wide awake, as lightning lit up the room and thunder roared directly above us. it was all a bit surreal, thinking that the wedding would be held in a garden in the morning. this was madrid, it’s not crazy like bilbao where rain could come at you at any moment. alameth and i shared a room, along with nervous laughs, about what we would be waking up to in the morning. sure enough, the day set out to a bit of a disastrous start… the rain didn’t subside, the hair dresser took longer than expected, we were showered by the storm while we dealt with bad traffic, and right when we were pulling into the parking lot… the bride got in a fender bender!
after shaking all of it off, filing paperwork, and frantically trying to get back on schedule… the ceremony started and every thing that went wrong seemed to trickle off, like the rain on the windows. she looked stunning, everyone’s eyes filled up with tears as dad walked her down the aisle. our little sister anna sang “a thousand miles” and we all breathed a sigh of relief. the rest? party time, of course! there was plenty of singing, bouncing, chanting, and cheer going around. in fact, at a given point even alameth and jose’s greyhound were brought over to them, as a surprise. i guess they didn’t want to miss out on their big day either! all’s well that ends well!
ok, i have to come clean about this. it has taken me forever to actually get around to blog this wedding… i’ve been going through my head about how to find the perfect words to describe this wedding. you see, it really wasn’t just any wedding. no, this was my brother’s wedding. for those of you who may not know his, i am the fifth of seven siblings. this was the first time i had to go to one of our weddings and i’m sure you’ll understand that along with the excitement of the day i am finding it hard to let the words come out in an eloquent way. so let me start by saying that it was an incredible experience altogether.
ana and nick got married on september 13th. as tends to the case, a small herd of family and friends traveled from near, far, and everywhere between to be able to attend. it was held at the small, and i mean small chapel at the british cemetery of bilbao. they wanted to have somewhat of a tim-burton-ish theme to the wedding, so this setting was a perfect fit. the ceremony was held by rev. alberto sanchez. at home, we like to call him dad. the pianist was someone that at home we also like to call “mom”, and the witnesses are also known as “grammy” and “yaya”. So you see, this was quite the family affair. In fact, at the end of the ceremony i had to switch my cameras for my ukelele and sing a song for the newlyweds with my favourite little sidekick, my sister anna. i won’t lie, i had a hard time not crying.
after having a very intimate lunch at a fantastic local restaurant, we proceeded to celebrate in style. they had rented out a house in practically the middle of the woods, and what a house! the celebration was just taking off by two local bands playing, “blues’n’breakers” and “enkore rock”. interestingly and unfortunately enough though, the neighbours complained of the noise, so by 1 am the police showed up and shut down our concerts. but there would be no stopping this celebration. in fact, a handful of people, including yours truly, spent the whole next day enjoying the sun by he poolside. so seriously, can you see why this was the best wedding ever?
i could spend a whole day talking about all the little anecdotes and details that made this wedding one of the best personal and professional experiences that i’ve had, but instead i’ll send you off with this: ana and nick, it was an honor and a tremendous joy to have shared this day with you. i wish you the very best that life has to bring, including but not limited to a small child who you may name adina or adino. congratulations!!
The day came and the day went, but it wasn’t without nerves, tears, and laughter. vanesa and will held a long long extra long distance relationship for what seemed like forever. made extra difficult not just by them being thousands of miles apart and on different time zones, but by will actually being at high sea more often than not. i remember when i first met her in french class, then helping her get a job and becoming coworkers, then came the beers after work, the heart-to-heart conversations, and the eventual wedding talk. i never told her (and i guess she is about to find out) how much i admired their dedication to each other. how strong she is. how she inspired me to love and to allow myself to be loved. and love… this day was all about it! so what else can i say? obviously everyone was gorgeous and the nerves quickly subsided and turned into a beautiful choreography of laughing and crying. they absolutely spoiled me during the whole work ay, making sure i had everything i needed and even that i got in a little dancing! i still remember how amazing it was to meet people that had travelled from so far away just to be there for them. see? i told you it was inspiring! at the end of it all i can only say that it was truly a blessing to be asked to be the one that would help them remember every face, smile, tear. forever.
vanesa + will: i love you guys! please continue to love on each other and on your friends and family the way only you know how. i am so sad to see you go, my dear vanesa, but i wish you the very best and cannot wait for our paths to cross again. you hold a special place in my heart. you once told me that to you i wasn’t just a photographer. needless to say, you weren’t just another client. i’m going to shut up now because i don’t want to cry in the middle seat on a full flight. kisses! mwah!
emma is one. i remember doing the photo shoot for this little nugget when she was just born. i remember her thick dark hair and her gorgeous blue eyes. but most of all i remember seeing elisa and victor’s glowing faces and seeing how happily they had transitioned into parenthood. it was beautiful. we got back together a year later to make some memories of emma’s first birthday. she is such an explorer! she wants to see and touch everything, mesmerized with the decorations and even with the tall grass tickling her. the cake? not so much. but alas, she will have her whole life to get used to cake. there’s no rush.
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.
time won’t stop. it became clear to me the very first time i took photos of a wedding client, now turned into a parent. i was reminded of it again as i took photos for this family for the second time. it doesn’t seem like it was so long ago that manu, eva, and i took julene for a day in the beach and fun photos to follow. back then i am not sure she was even three years old. this time around it was her little sister enara that looked at my camera with a shy smile and much interest. we traded in the beach for a nearby natural park and we spent a lovely time between cartwheels, ducks, and a friendly tug-of-war. fun as can be, i can’t help myself but wonder what will become of them as time goes by. who knows, maybe i will even be their wedding photographer one day. because, like i said, time won’t stop… so why should they?