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 hit the road. when i first started talking to tani about doing a maternity session we quickly got excited about the idea of finding someplace out of town, calm, and absolutely beautiful. we found the perfect spot in noja. a nearly-deserted beach, an adjacent park, and the golden hour promising us a gorgeous sunset was definitely worth the drive. these two… they’ve definitely got a good thing going on. it was so easy to get them to be affectionate and have fun with the session because they are just overflowing with love for each other. they honestly made my job so easy and fun that i can’t wait until we get together again for some newborn photos. it’s going to be amazing!
blue eyes. it’s impossible not to notice them when you first set your eyes on emma. along with her amazing head of hair, this baby will steal your heart and then melt it. she was very well behaved during the session and even flashed me a smile or two at the camera.what more could i ask for? i have to say i was also super happy to finally be able to see elisa and victor transition from their happy couple session, to their maternity session, and finally see them become parents. being able to witness this is definitely a privilege and one of my very favorite things as a photographer. thank you guys for opening your home to me and allowing me to capture these beautiful moments!
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!
we planned for weeks, the day that iratxe her husband hector and i would venture out into the woods for a fun and memorable maternity session. it was a bright sunny day and we decided to hide in the shade of the gorgeous tall pine trees and make the best of the hot weather. by the end of the session we realized that there was a gorgeous sunset making way so we raced to the car and chased it all the way to the top of the mountain artxanda, that overlooks the city. it was their perfect ending to a new beginning.
ever had a dèjá vu? i definitely did as i unpacked my gear and realised that i was meeting up with the same couple, same dog, on the same beach, barely a year after their session. i guess you could say that the one new addition would be the fact that they were now… three. elisa and victor rocked it in front of my camera before, and they sure are fun enough to rock it in front of the camera again… and again… and again. elisa braved the chilly weather and came with all kinds of ideas to the shoot, i ended up with sand in my ears (no joke!), laika, the dog had plenty of outside time, and elisa and victor got to have their portraits taken to remember this new and exciting season of their lives. i have to say… if I had to do it all over again, i would.