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Archive for April, 2008

Kelly & Raj at Aventura Spa Palace, Playa Del Carmen

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

About an hour south of Cancun, Mexico is Playa Del Carmen. Where Cancun is new and glitzy, Playa Del Carmen is a little more hippy and slow with lots of expats tending bar. We photographed the wedding of Kelly and Raj at the Aventura Spa Palace all-inclusive resort just north of town.

Kelly and Raj came down from Seattle - just the two of them. They were great fun and after the ceremony, we just kicked back at the bar and had a couple drinks waiting for the light to get all nice and pretty. There was no reception to run off to nor family members to line up and photograph. They were great sports and weren’t shy about working it for the camera.

Here’s our happy groom, Raj:

And Kelly…

Got this one as she was about to walk down the aisle. There was a golf cart behind her that I had the staff move. No sooner did they move it than she started to walk down the steps - but just before she did, the wind caught her dress as she lifted it. And I got my shot!

And there they were getting married, just the two of them and the officiant.

The amount of emotion in a ceremony isn’t necessarily related to how many people are in attendance.

Here’s The Lookbook in action:

Here’s a pose from the Lookbook…

And this is one we just sort of we came up with all by ourselves…

This is the part where they jump into marriage…

This is what the other side of jumping into marriage looks like…

And then the sun went down. Time enough for just one last shot.

John

Pyramids in the Jungle - Chichen-Itza

Friday, April 18th, 2008

For the first time on our trip, we managed to get off to an early start. We wanted to hit the pyramids before the tourist buses with all the herds showed up. I’m glad we did - we got about 30 minutes of solitude before swarms of people from all over the globe started crowding in.

The main attraction at Chichen-Itza is the big pyramid. Unfortunately, it’s fenced off so you can’t go up. In fact, everything is fenced off so you can’t really experience the architecture. Here’s the big guy:

I don’t think I’d want to be a Mayan. They liked to kill people. The Mayans would rip out hearts from living people or sacrifice them by tossing them into a nearby Cenote. The building in the foreground is the Temple of Skulls which is ringed by hundreds of stone carved skulls. Apparently, a lot of people died here.

After Chichen-Itza, we headed up to Ek’Balam about two hours away. It’s not as impressive a site, but the cool part is that you can walk up the pyramids and inside the buildings. Very little was roped off as opposed to Chichen-Itza where everything was roped off. There were also a lot fewer people so it made for more enjoyable afternoon.

The walk up the main pyramid is steep. It definitely doesn’t comply with US building codes or ADA laws. You don’t want to fall - once you get started, you’re not stopping until your lifeless body hits the ground.

Once you get to the top, you really understand the importance of the pyramids. The Yucatan is completely flat and covered with jungle. For most everyday Mayans, they’d never see anything other than the trees in front of them. Once you get up on top of the pyramid, it’s like being in a plane. You can see for miles and miles and you’re above everything. The experience must have been awe-inspiring back in the day. It was for me too actually.

Here’s Jen goofing off on top of the pyramid. Yeah, we’re tourists’ we can’t help it.

Tomorrow, we’re off to some more ruins and then the beach. I’m looking forward to getting out of the heat and relaxing next to the water.

John

Along the Mayan Highway, Mexico

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

I’m trying to keep up with the blogging while on the road down here near Cancun, Mexico. The internet connections are hit and miss so it’s hard to post regularly. I’m skipping past the wedding stuff which I’ll blog later. (Jen’s got that on her computer.) Yesterday, we left the resort and headed inland into the Yucatan peninsula. Our first stop was the town of Valladolid, about two hours inland from Cancun. It’s an old Spanish colonial town with lots of color and a traditional town square across from the catholic church.

As I was sitting in the hotel room playing with the photos, I decided to play around with some of the textures I’d shot walking around and use them on the photos. These are genuine Mayan textures here folks! ;-)

Although there’s tourists in Valladolid, there’s not a lot. For the most part, it’s just the local Mayans. Jen took a shot of a couple of kids. Before we knew it, they were on us: “Sacaste nos photos. Tiene que compra algo!” which meant “You took our photos, now you have to buy something!” So we bought a couple of ten peso (one dollar) handkerchefs for my little neices back home.

We stopped and ate at this restaurant. It was pretty simple food - much like home cooking.

Later, we came back and ate here. The food was super-delicious. The drinks and salsas were perfect as was the ambiance in this old Spanish villa.

After lunch, we drove to a nearby “Cenote” - it’s basically a hole or cave filled with water. The area is littered with them and they make perfect rest stops. On a hot day, you pay your ten pesos and then jump in to cool off.


We tried to drive to some nearby Mayan ruins, but it started to rain. And rain. And then rain harder. Eventually, we just turned around. Not only was driving on the narrow road a little scary in the wet weather, we figured that trying to walk around in a pouring rain would be pointless. Once we decided to turn around, the rain let up. It was like someone was giving us a message.

We drove to our hotel, the Mayaland Resort. The name was kinda hokey, but the resort consisted of small, thatched roof villas spread over a large property surrounded by jungle. Just outside our room was one of three swimming pools. It was perfect for jumping in and cooling off after a hot day of playing tourist.

Next stop: Chichen-itza!

John

Cancun Here We Come!

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Jen and I are in Cancun, Mexico this week to shoot not one but two weddings. We’re also going to be taking a little vacation while we’re down here. On the plane down, I was looking out the window and was just struck by the cool patterns down below. I snapped a few photons through the window - unfortunately, there was a lot of distortion so these aren’t quite the masterpieces I’d hoped they would be.


I’ll have more from the wedding and our travels later so stay tuned!

John

Meet the Parents

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

Not just any parents, but my mom and dad. My mom called last week and says that she wants to come visit with my dad. And she wants their photo taken. Well, seeing as I am a photographer I figured I could do that. I was a little surprised when they showed up with nice clothes and all. I think it was something she had planned in her mind for a while. I was just the last to know. But that’s what family is all about. ;-)

John