Posts Tagged: island

Paradise with Olivia

It truly felt like paradise being far away from everyone we know, no plans, no agenda, just exploring together with a tote full of new outfits, few camera lens, and a rental car with no destination. I planned for weeks on outfits and matching accessories and couldn’t wait to put them on the model and photograph her somewhere exotic! Our adventures started at the amazing bed and breakfast in San Juan by the ocean. It was a mini paradise by itself, with open arches and gates, foliage, plenty of natural light, and two adorable golden retrievers. The decor of the bedroom also lend itself to some very sexy photos. We ended the day with an evening shoot at Luquillo beach. What an exciting feeling to be alone in the quiet and calm bay as the sun sets, like a giant bathtub for the model and I to play in.

The next morning would start before the sun came back up as we walked down to the beach waiting for the sky wake up right behind us. Later in the day while driving to Fajardo for our ferry ride to Vieques, we spotted a pony ranch on the side of the road. I always love random detours that gives us unexpected photo opportunities. The owner of the ranch was extremely helpful, making sure we got the ponies to do the poses we want and standing where we want. When we were done, he gave us a phone number for a friend of his in Vieques, just in case we needed anything – this would practically save us later in the day.

Upon taking the last ferry from Fajardo to Vieques, it was already evening when we arrived at the island, and due to low tourist season, there wasn’t a taxi in sight. I had no choice but to call the phone number given to me and see what he could do for us. Amazingly, this friend, Luis, is a driver for tourists and just happened to be a few minutes away and saved our evening by taking us to our B&B. We enjoyed his company and knowledge of the island so much we decided to cancel our rental car and hire him as our driver for the next day on the island while we shoot. He took us to all the best locations we might have never been able to find on our own, so I credit the Vieques photos to Luis. We visited the island’s four hundred year old tree, complete with vicious fire ants, secluded beaches, and access to a fort museum. Our last spot was a black sand beach. It would be a grueling hike to reach this secluded cove. I would have loved to spend more than just the quick forty five minutes we had there. Our amazing three day shoot would end here, as we packed up and took our redeye flight home the next morning. It was a trip I will never forget, and the photos will always remind me of these moments.


Bernadette & Keith

Bernadette and Keith got married on the happy island of Aruba. There’s no better way to celebrate than with a few of your craziest friends far away from home, and of course some alcohol lots of alcohol and great music. A pool dive at the end of the night helps too. The next day we rented a Jeep to go to some off road locations for the Trash the Dress session. It’s great to find locations without another soul there and just do as you please.


El Bob Drops In St Lucia

El Bob flies to St Lucia for a wedding celebration. He relaxes at an all inclusive resort and explores the local town. You’ll just have to wait for the wedding photos to see it all!


El Bob on one of the highest points of the island where the lighthouse sits.

 

El Bob in Bahamas Day 1

El Bob arrives at Old Bahama Bay resort in Grand Bahama. He is overwhelmed by the colors and natural life around the resort. He feels like he’s back home.


El Bob sits on some very plushy grass. They don’t have grass like this back in the states.

Aruba, One Happy Island

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.


Convenient Paradise

I love Puerto Rico because of the convenience of the island, which I think plays a major factor in deciding which island to visit, because in the end, they are all the same sand and palm trees. I am a lot more familiar with parts of Puerto Rico the more I visit, and this was my second trip back to Luquillo Beach for a model shoot. It’s about a 40 minute drive from San Juan which means less tourists and more locals and less crowded. The second location was in Hotel El Convento in Old San Juan.

This was my first shoot with my Pocket Wizard Plus II and Canon Speedlite, which was setup on the beach with a small light stand. I only used the fill flash for the black swimwear, as I still do not like artificial light. The beach shots were shot with a Canon 24-70mm with a circular polarizer to darken the sky and minimize water reflection.

Jestina is one of the easiest models to work with and has a lot of experience. My style for the beach shoot was a mix of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit and black & white glamour nudes. She had no problems running around splashing in the water completely bare in front of local people. That’s what I call professional.
















Barahona, Dominican Republic

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.





























Kani, Maldives

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.

Yum!

Into the Deep

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.

The Rockhouse, Jamaica

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.