Destination weddings are a lot of fun to begin with but the experience feels even more rewarding whenever it is followed by a shoot that is more relaxed, laid back, casual: the so called ‘trash the dress’ photo session that usually does not have much to do with spoiling the dress. Even though many times brides choose to go into the ocean with their gown, nothing really happens to it. It can still be kept in its original shape.
Shivani opted to wear a light summer dress, very appropriate for the beach. That was a great idea considering the elaborate outfits she wore the day of. It was perfect for the purpose of our little creative adventure and she did not have to worry about anything.
By the time we made it to the beach the sun was already going down but we still had a little time to play. The beautiful cove had so much to offer: plenty of colourful backdrops, boats, a wonderful beach with super warm water. I think we were quite able to take advantage of all this while fully enjoying ourselves in the process.
The result: another lovely series to be used as a forever reminder of a good time shared with some fantastic people. Enjoy!
The very first person who knew about the potential chosen spot for Mona and Emon’s post wedding photo adventure was my dad. This past December I was back home in Romania. One relaxed evening we were sitting beside each other, him doing his Sudoku and myself researching cool spots in the Punta Cana area. This is how I discovered Altos de Chavon. I showed my dad photos of it and he said to me: I really hope you make it there, it looks breathtaking! I brought the idea up with Mona and Emon while being a bit nervous about it. Because I knew it would take time and effort to get there especially the day after their wedding. I can’t say how excited I was when they decided to go for it! I knew this was going to be a memorable journey. Altos de Chavon is a replica of a Mediterranean village, built on a cliff and looking down to the Chavon river. To those interested, this is a private property and one has to pay quite a lot to get to take photos. We did not know how much until we got to the gate! The journey to this dreamy place was also rich in surprises as we got to stop in a sugar cane field, by typical Dominican homes and last but not least, we caught an unbelievable sunset which Mona and Emon got to enjoy while stepping into the ocean.
The images below are a colourful record of our adventures that day. One thing I love about editing the photos I take is that, while looking at each one of them, I get transported back and relive each single second.
Mona and Emon, I know how tired you were that morning when we started our journey, therefore thank you for being willing to go for it!
I trust you will look at these images and smile to yourselves while recalling many of those great moments we had together. Hugs, Manuela
After a splendid wedding day at the Riu Palace, Reyhaneh and Will decided to continue their adventures with a ‘trash the dress’ photo shoot. But the photo taking was just a part of the journey the three of us have embarked on that day. We made a first stop in Cabo San Lucas, the little town just 10 minutes away from the resort. What I recall as a dominant feeling throughout the day was our willingness to live through things as they came. Not a lot of planning ahead, with just a general time frame guiding us, welcoming each moment as it presented itself, we soon found ourselves floating away in a little boat taking us to the Lovers’ Beach, our next stop. I guess our Mexican friend somehow managed to tap into the way we were that day, so he decided to give us a little ‘tour’ before dropping us off on the beach. We drove around on choppy waters, getting extremely close to birds and sea lions, smelling the ocean, feeling slightly frightened at times but being immediately comforted by the calm on our Mexican friend’s face. Once on the beach, I felt it was really hard to take all that unusual beauty in. We needed a while to get over the initial amazement which literally left us speechless. The images below are just glimpses into the wild pure beauty of the place. Even though the surroundings were absolutely stunning, I am certain the photos would have not turned out the same if it wasn’t for the way Reyhaneh and Will are. Simply put, a dream to be around and photograph.
After a couple of hours spent on the beach, our friend came to pick us up and offered to drive us back to the resort in his boat. The tide was really high though and I recall one moment when, still in the boat and literally on top of a massive wave, I looked down at the shore and thought: we are stranded. We had to find another more calm spot and rush out of the little water taxi the moment it was pushed close to the beach for one fraction of a second. Once all safe on the shore, we watched the boat driving away and I still recall Reyhaneh’s words: ‘this feels like a movie: the boat vanishing into the sunset’…
Indeed, it all seems like a dream now. Yet, there are clear proofs of the fact that we have been there. Every time I look at the photos we took my heart fills up with joy and gratitude. Thank you again dear friends!
Heather and Christian got married last year in August. I have thoroughly enjoyed being there on their day.
It was to my nice surprise that almost one year later Christian contacted me thinking to surprise Heather for their first anniversary by offering her a ‘trash the dress’ session with me. He knew his wife would be absolutely thrilled to wear her gorgeous dress again.
So here I went to Barrie on an amazingly beautiful September day. We had, again, a lot of fun together. Heather looked stunning, she was so playful and daring, she ended up going into the water all the way! I feel blessed for this great opportunity that allowed me to fully express my creative vision while getting to work again with this very special couple!
I have to say a big Thank You to Christian who has organized it all and even brought a canoe. He was so very patient and helpful throughout the shoot, making sure his wife was comfy and having a lot of fun!
In case you are wondering, the dress is doing just fine, it did not suffer any injuries in the process and I am very happy about this part. I am all for ‘mild’ such sessions, following which the bride gets to still enjoy the intact beauty of her cherished gown.
Big hug to you guys and we shall see you soon!
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