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.
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.
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.
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.