World, meet Leon.

I am at a loss for words, I never believed something so long awaited could be the most beautiful feeling in the world.  I didn't think much of my pregnancy as it was pretty normal and easy to say the least in comparison to others' experiences.  I had energy during the second trimester and into the third I was just ready to meet our little one. 

Aldo, my husband, and I decided early on that we didn't want to know the sex of the baby until the day came to meet him or her.  It's incredible that we didn't cave in and actually had fun not knowing, because in the end, it didn't matter to us.  Our baby, whether girl or boy, would be loved no matter what and as long as the  baby was healthy, that's that that mattered.

Finally the day came and my doctor opted to induce me.  The reason being is because our little one was not growing inside anymore and since they were full term, it was best to let him or her grow outside of the womb.  I was all for it.  I just wanted to meet this little one already!  We got to the hospital, Aldo meeting me there a couple of hours after. 

Friday came and our little Leon was born at 3:21pm weighing a solid 6 pounds.  First words out of my husbands mouth when Leon finally made his debut:  

"He is perfect.  Just perfect."

And he continues to be.  Everything they say about having a child is completely true, you have to live it to really appreciate it.  But never could you feel a love so intense and so natural.  Thanks to God for this little blessing.  I'm excited to watch him grow and get to know him.  

World, meet Leon.  

 

Maternity Session Part II

When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately thought of doing a studio type of session when the time came.  I was super happy to have my husband take the others in the mountains for me and they are some of my favorites, however, these in studio just have a different feel.  I am so happy with them!!!

If you know me, you know that I'm not particularly fond of showing so much skin but being pregnant I feel like the tummy needs to be shown off!  I love it when my clients show off their baby bumps and so I too had a lot of fun. 

We took our own photos right here in our home last night and it was such a great experience to be able to take photos and pose all while trying to beat the 10 second timer, haha.  

So here they are! (You can see Part I HERE.)

Beautiful Nuevo Vallarta Beach Portrait Session at the Grand Mayan Resort

I love having the beach so close by!  Makes it all that more fun when I have families who are from out of town come visit and take advantage of the view with a fun family portrait session!

Tere contacted me via Facebook letting me know that she and her family were going to be in town.  We coordinated and I met them at their resort, The Grand Mayan, in Nuevo Vallarta.  What a gorgeous location! The best is when the hotels have beautiful  beachfronts to soak in the sunset!  We had fun splashing in the water and getting to know each other a little better.  

If you are traveling to Puerto Vallarta or anywhere in the Riviera Nayarit area, please let me know and we can take advantage of the beautiful views and get a sweet portrait session done! An amazing memory to take back with you from your vacation 😉

Jessica + Joel Chihuahua Destination Wedding

Seriously, this couple is the sweetest.  So in love with each other and very devoted to one another!  It was sweet to watch them on their special day.  Especially when it started pouring rain and we had to change venues, Jessica kept her cool and we were able to make some very beautiful and unique images at the new location.  

I'm so excited to share these with you guys! I loved seeing this family and group of friends again! 

Jessica + Joel:  Thank you so much for having me on your special day! It was great to see the profound love you two have for each other and I wish you nothing but happiness!!!

Maternity Photos Part I | Riviera Nayarit

Sometimes, things don't go so according to plan and you end up with even better results! We were headed to the beach on Saturday to take these but low and behold, it was pouring rain.  Like thunderstorm and wind pouring.  No chance of getting any sunlight at all.  So we aborted the mission and on our way home, Aldo turned to me and said, "Can I take some with the hills and the fog if we find a good spot?" I said, "Sure!"  As we made our way back home, we found a few good spots and quickly jumped out to take some photos.  

I love that Aldo has such a different perspective when it comes to taking photos and he can always make me feel absolutely comfortable in front of the camera.  

I LOVE these photos!!!

This is only part one.  Part two is coming soon ;).   We are so ready to meet this little baby of ours... the due date can't come soon enough!

Jessica + Joel Engagement Session | Campestre Golf Club Chihuahua, Mexico

I love seeing families grow.  I photographed Sergio and Karla's wedding 3 years ago! Little did I know that I would be photographing Sergio's sister's wedding now.  It was so great to see the family, meet Joel, and photograph another beautiful wedding for this family.

Jessica and Joel are sweet natured and so, so, so in love!  We decided to shoot their engagement session at the Campestre Golf Club in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Such a gorgeous venue!  

Usually during this time, Chihuahua is a hot mess with temperatures in the high 90's, however, I was greeted with rain!  I can't complain, I'm 7 months pregnant and welcome rain over sunny any day!  It was such a fun shoot, we got rained on and then the sun peeked out for a little bit before setting.  

Ideal Wedding Day Photography Time Line

Hey brides!  After choosing your photographer, you will most likely work alongside them to create the best timeline for photos on your big day.  This is really important because it will help the photographer to get an idea of where to be, what time the major events are happening through out the day, and carve out the best time for the portraits of you and your love!  It also helps us photographers with knowing where the light will be and how we have to adjust in case we need to take photos in bright noon sunlight or during sunset at the beach.  

I'm going to outline some of the more important photography moments that should be worked into your timeline.  However, take note that it all depends on how long you contracted your photographer for, where you are getting married, and other factors. 

Getting Ready 

Ah, the getting ready shots!  These are my favorite to start the day with.  If they can be worked in, I highly recommend it!  If you're pressed for time, shave off an hour of the reception coverage for these, trust me, you will not regret it!  It's a quiet time when you and your girls or perhaps just you are getting ready and can really soak in the day.  At this time, I usually take advantage of photographing the dress, shoes, jewelry,  and any other important detail the bride has chosen for her day.

I also love to get candid shots of the bride with her family and friends and allow things to flow and just happen.  Sometimes we get the best emotional photos out of these moments.  

This time also allows me to get photos of just the bride alone right after she's done getting ready.  It's such a special time to just breath and take a look in the mirror  and get excited! I love being with brides during this time.

Oh, sometimes we get shots of the grooms getting ready too ;)

Bride & Groom Portraits / First Look

I love to do have the bride and groom do a first look after the Getting Ready shots.  It makes for a more impactful surprise and during this time there are guests around which makes it truly special for the couple.  They are alone, together, for the first time the entire day.  After the portraits, the couple is surrounded by people the rest of the day.  So, I love it when we carve out enough time to take the portraits.  If your timeline allows you to do this before your ceremony, I recommend it! You'll also look fresh and excited.  

However, sometimes the bride and groom opt to see each other after the wedding ceremony, which is totally ok too! Just make sure you have enough time and a location away from your guests and bridal party so that you can have that time alone!

bridegroomportrait

Ceremony

This one is obvious! You must and should have at least 15 - 20 minutes buffer before your ceremony to relax, touch up make up, and allow your photographer to get the ceremony location with out anyone in it.  

All of the decor has to be photographed because it was chosen by you! And that makes it extra special.

Bridal Party / Family Formals

These are great to get done right after the ceremony when everyone is present and no one has disappeared to the cocktail hour yet. Also, I like to do these at the same time or one right before the other.  The reason being is because most of the time, the bridal party is made up of family! So rather than have two separate times, we do it all together.  You might not like the idea of having family wait for formals or vice versa, but it takes all about 30 minutes to get these out of the way.  

These are also when I take a more formal approach to the photos and allow different combinations to occur.  It all depends on how big or small your bridal party and families are!  

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Sunset Photos / Cocktail Hour

These can be done at the same time or scheduled so that you can enjoy the cocktail hour and then slip away for a bit for beautiful sunset photos.  These photos really offer beautiful golden light during one of the most sought after times for photography! 

If your photographer has an assistant photographer, they usually will have them taking candid photos of the cocktail hour and your guests.  This way you don't miss out on capturing some great moments of your guests :).

Party / Reception

This part of the day is usually more relaxed for us photographers.  I like to make sure I get to the reception venue a little early to get all the details of the decor, just like the ceremony.  Depending on how many hours you have your photographer for, make sure they get your grand entrance, if nothing else.  

I don't really have a set a timeline as most of the major events are announced by the DJ.  I do try and work with the DJ so that we're on the same page and he knows who I am and we'll check in with each other during the reception so we're both ready and don't miss anything important.  

The main events during the reception include: Grand Entrance, First Dance, Mother / Son and Father / Daughter dances, cake cutting, toasts, garter and bouquet toss, and lots of dancing!

Grand Exit

If you have a Grand Exit in mind make sure you speak to your photographer about the time and if you have anything special planned!  We'll need to be set up and ready to go before you actually exit and make sure we're in a good position so that people don't crowd us or we don't miss where you're going to be walking through.  And if there are sparklers, we love sparklers, we'll need to set up for that too! 

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One Year in Riviera Nayarit

I've been living outside of the US for almost 4 years now.  I can't believe that it's been that long! I have to say that since moving here to Nayarit, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.  

Some of my favorite things about living in Nayarit in no particular order.

  • Being so close to the beach!  Within an hour and I'm on a beautiful beach with the most beautiful sunsets and lukewarm water.  
  • Being close to bigger cities like Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta- which means we have access to lots of festivals, concerts, and major events and don't feel like we miss out on anything. 
  • Having so many places to go and see! There are so many beaches, the sierras, the lagunas, waterfalls, trails, natural springs, and many Pueblos Magicos like Tequila, Sayulita, and Jala just to name a few.  We have so many places to explore still!
  • The people here are just so nice.  Everyone is very amicable and always helps you out if you need it.  
  • Direct flights to Tijuana so that I can always be a  3 hour flight away from my family just in case I need something.  Or when they come visit :D
  • THE WEATHER.  I have to put this in caps because we have simply the best weather out of all the regions nearby.  During the spring it's cold morning and evening and during the day a little hot and humid but never over 90 degrees.  In the summer the fog rolls in and it rains non-stop the whole time.  Fall and winter get cooler and fresh with out any of the humidity but you'll get perfect 75 degree days in between.  Still perfect weather to hit the beach!
  • Public transportation is really functional here.  Taxi's are not at all expensive and there are more buses passing through at all times of the day.  We've used them to festivals, events downtown, or at night when we want to go to a bar. And if you live here without a car, you can even take a bus to the beaches and surrounding cities.  
  • Destination weddings! I love to photograph weddings and weddings that take place on the beach are my absolute favorite!!! I love it when people come here from the US or Canada and get married here.  It's just so much fun! If you want to know more about destination weddings click HERE to read the post I wrote ;).  
  • We adopted Sasha, which has brought sooo much joy into our lives and she loves to go out and adventure with us.  We take her with us whenever we can, otherwise we just think of her the whole time! 

And now that we're expecting a little one, we can't wait to go to the beach and explore all of the amazing places we've been to and still have left to see! It's like every time we leave the house, there is something new - we love that feeling.

It's been a crazy ride but sooo worth it.  The Riviera Nayarit is full of adventure and relaxation so if you're on a fence about coming, just do it already.  You won't regret it at all ever! 

Should you do a first look on your wedding day?

You might have seen it over and over again as you started planning your wedding on Pinterest or on the blogs of other photographers, planners, and coordinators.  Are you wondering what a First Look actually is? 

What is a First Look?

First Looks are not new, I'm sure they've been around for a long time but really come to become the new tradition about 7 years ago.  Since then they have taken lots of different forms but to put it simply, it's when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony.  

Why do a First Look?

There are many reasons that a First Look might come into play during your wedding day.  In my experience, it usually happens for one of two reasons:

  1. To take advantage of the light.  For example, if your getting married in the fall and your ceremony is at 4pm, that doesn't leave much time for portraits of the two of you.  It cuts into time with family, perhaps a cocktail hour, or another event during your day.  To take advantage of the light, we'll schedule the portrait session before the ceremony when light is abundant.  This way we ensure that you have great photos of the two of you with lots of time. 
  2. Another reason couples opt for a First Look instead of staying with the traditional see-you-after-the-ceremony, is to have a moment alone together.  Usually, after the ceremony, there really isn't much time spent as a couple, alone, together.   Having a couple of hours just the two of you really makes the day even more special.  

How does it work?

The great thing about the First Look is that when you see each other, right after you ease right into the portrait session.  It is a seamless transition that allows for many more photos during your day and also allows the photographer to get those must have shots as well as experiment a little bit without eating time from major events on the day of.  I'm sure that was a run on sentence but you get the idea.  

This is especially important if light is an issue during your day.  After all, your photographs are all that you'll have left and you want to make sure you have the most beautiful photographs of you and your hubby!

But it'll take away the surprise!

FALSE! There is nothing wrong with keeping it traditional, I have many couples who opt for traditional all the time and everything works out perfectly.  However, thinking that seeing each other before the wedding takes away from walking down the aisle, IT DOESN'T at all!

I have had grooms who are beyond nervous and quite frankly need more than a shot or two before the wedding, and after the First Look have expressed to me that it was the best decision because it made them even MORE excited to see their bride walk down the aisle.  

My husband and I also opted for a first look and we got some of our favorite images from it! It was a nice time to see each other and be alone for a bit before seeing our friends and family for the rest of the day.  It definitely calmed my nerves! 

Whether you opt to go the traditional route or do a First Look, just know that you have options.  Make sure you talk with your photographer to see which suits your day the best.  

Must Have Photos On Your Wedding Day | Tips for Brides

There are lots of resources out there and I know it can get a little overwhelming, especially in the planning stages.  So, I've come to help take a little bit of the stress off your shoulders, Brides.  

Every wedding is unique and with that, each event is different in terms of timeline, number of guests, and what gets photographed and what doesn't.  A seasoned photographer will have a mental checklist of all the details they should be capturing through out the day and will aim to get them all.  Sometimes, brides have very specific photographs in mind and most often than not, forget to communicate that with their photographers.  Resulting in missed shots that the bride would have loved.  

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

For example, at my last wedding, if the bride hadn't told me about her something blue, I would have missed it completely - even though I carried those shoes throughout the whole suite for 30 minutes and never noticed! I'm glad she said something and I was able to get that shot.  From now on though, I will be looking at the souls of all future brides' shoes just in case ;).

It's an honest mistake and no one is to blame, however, it can totally be avoided!  In order to make sure to get the photos you truly want, I've created this checklist for you to fill out and hand over to your photographer the next time you meet.  

In my personal experience, I don't mind getting these back from brides at all because it's so important!  Sure, 99% of the items on the list I already photograph and make sure it gets into the gallery.  However, there is that 1% that might slip through or that one shot that is most important.  

Wedding Day Photo Checklist 

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO VIEW AND DOWNLOAD.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO VIEW AND DOWNLOAD.

EXPECTATION VS. REALISTIC

You've handed over the checklist and now you are expecting all of those photos to be included. Let's be realistic, your photographer will have 99% of that checklist already in their heads as they are photographing your wedding, however, some of those shots are just a no go on the actual day of your wedding.  It could be a lighting issue, a location issue, maybe that person didn't show up on time.  There are countless reasons, so it's good to always stay a little flexible.

Being able to stay realistic about the photos on the checklist on your wedding day will not only relieve a bit of the stress off you, but will allow your photographer to make changes or improvise and make the best possible photographs with what is happening the day of.  

And sometimes, being a little flexible gives you even better photos than you imagined! Your photographer is experienced and will know how to handle the situations  as they present themselves during an event.  We have pretty much seen it all when it comes to this kind of stuff! 

So there you have it!  A little handy checklist to help  you get the photos you really want on your wedding day.  Just remember to stay flexible and enjoy your day! 


What do you think about this blog post? Was it useful to you? If it was, make sure you share with other future brides and comment below or hit the like button!