El Bob on one of the highest points of the island where the lighthouse sits.
El Bob sits on some very plushy grass. They don’t have grass like this back in the states.
You know you’re in a good place when all the vehicle license plates are tagged with “One Happy Island.” Aruba is known for the dry weather and not affected by the hurricane season. I had the best Surf n’ Turf dinner in Aruba and I can’t wait for the next one. I promise myself I will have a destination wedding of my own to avoid all the unimportant guests, uninteresting rituals and traditions, and cookie cutter reception halls.
One great thing about island countries is that all cars including rentals are manual transmission only. That means any car I rent will be a fun driving experience through the curvy, narrow, scenic, aggressive, and dangerous roads across the island. I decided to rent a Nissan Frontier pickup truck for this trip with two models. Our destination, Barahona, was a 6 hour drive from the airport, far away from all resorts and toursists. It was undeniably one of the best drives of my life. Weaving in and out of the opposite side of traffic to pass slower cars, crawling through massive speed bumps that would otherwise destroy your axle over 10mph, climbing up and down hills in local towns, passing bullet-ridden road signs, enjoying the beautiful coastal scenery, two girls in bikinis trying to get a tan through the windows.
The hotel we stayed at was Casa Bonita in Barahona. The view was magnificant, the location was quiet, surrounded only by locals. We drove around the area exploring for locations to shoot and found more than enough places with little to no people. One of the beaches had a perfect inlet of calm, shallow water, with the exception of sharp and painful pebbles.
My outdoor style is usually inspired by Sports Illustrated swimsuit photos. They are clean, bright, and soft tones, with limited dynamic range. My two main lens for otudoors is usually the 24-70mm and 70-200mm, and I don’t use fill-flash since I can’t carry studio strobes with me. Indoor dimly lit photos are always taken with prime lens – the only way to capture enough light. Make sure you take a lot of photos while shooting with primes wide open, as there is always a chance of your photos being misfocused due to the low light, and you won’t find out until you view it on a computer.
Click on the panoramic photo to download full-res version. These were taken from the room balcony.
These photos were taken last year, however I never got a chance to edit them until now. You might have seen the scenery photos from my old Xanga post.
The Maldives is definitely the furthest place I’ve traveled for a photo assignment. A Beijing couple was referred to me by an acquaintance and they wanted a “U.S. photographer” rather than the cheesy studio glamour photos. They found this island through a wedding convention in China. Kani is one of hundreds of tiny islands that form the Maldives in the middle of the Indian Ocean just south of India. You could consider this a “trash the dress” session, two years after they’ve been married.
All photos were taken with natural lighting, with a Canon 1D Mark IIN, 50mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm.
While I stayed at the Rockhouse in Negril, Jamaica. Tanya stayed at Idle Awhile, also in Negril. We met up after the wedding for a day of shooting. When you’ve been working together for over 3 years, nothing really stands in your way in terms of conflicts in style, ideas, or even clothes. I can only hope for many more years to come. She is like wine, only gets better with age. Tanya is afraid of the deep dark ocean, and on the day of the shoot, it was overcast and no sun came through even the shallow waters. She was brave enough to take a ride out on Famous Vincent’s glass bottom snorkeling boat, as well as standing a few feet away from a rocky ledge over the cliff, all for pictures’ sake.
The day started at Tanya’s balcony while it thunderstormed. We went back to the Rockhouse and for about $35USD each, we took Famous Vincent’s boat out to shallow waters in the middle of nowhere to shoot. Vincent was nice enough to maneuver the boat around based on what lighting I wanted. Afterwards we took a few shots on cliffs at the Rockhouse and then back to my outdoor shower.
I was impressed how we covered three locations on an island while it’s nearly impossible to cover two even back at home. I just think we are a very efficient and experienced team together.
This is my second time back at the Rockhouse hotel in Negril Jamaica for a wedding. It’s a beautiful location, but I personally still prefer dry, cool weather myself. It was easier this time due to previous experience of this location, 2 more years of photography experience since the last trip, and newer equipment. However long ago the first wedding may be, I definitely think Derek and Sherry’s photos will live up to my expectations for many years to come. The following photos are just scenic photos the day before the wedding, captured with Canon 5D & 16-35mm 2.8L II. This may be the only time I’ve taken scenery photos with people.