Since most of our photography education is self taught, we set aside educational money each year. Both John and I constantly strive to learn new photography techniques, keep up with the trends (and try to stay ahead of them!), push ourselves as artists, build friendships and support from the photography community, and invest in high quality equipment…oh yeah, and try to keep up with social media, website trends and good business practices…sheesh!
Anyway, the education budget this year went to a couple things, and one was that I got to go to Mexico and second shoot for the fabulous Fer Juaristi. Fer and I met in the FW Forum, a place where photographers from all over the world push each other to be better and more fearless with each wedding they do. When Fer had a few fantastic weddings this year that he opened up to members, I jumped at the chance to learn from him. Fer was amazing to work with. I had never second shot with someone I admired before, and it was definitely daunting for me. Fer was warm and kind and told me to “just go for it, girl!”. I loved watching him work with natural light, and seeing him move around a space and work the angles was very impressive. When I saw his work afterwards, I was just blown away by the moments he captured. He has definitely inspired me to go above and beyond and really push as a photographer.
To see the blog entry for the wedding we shot together, go here.
So when I do things, I usually just dive in, and this was no exception. I don’t speak Spanish. And here I am, flying to Queretaro (about an hour and a half north of Mexico City) to shoot a wedding. I didn’t know anyone, I hadn’t met Fer in person, I hadn’t traveled internationally before by myself…in fact, I hadn’t really vacationed by myself before. I was excited and nervous! On top of wanting to learn, I also wanted to make sure I took good images for Fer, being a second shooter can be easier (because you aren’t in charge) but I put a lot of pressure on myself because a photographer I admired would see my work. Even though Fer is as low key and easy going as one can be, I was still very anxious.
The first couple days I documented on the blog already, about a month ago. To see those images, click on the tag in this blog for Mexico and they’ll pop up. I’m very proud of those images!
Then we came to the wedding. The WEDDING! The guest count was over 800, and there were paparazzi and tv crews, plus the top videography team in Mexico and one of the top wedding designers…this was a big deal and a gorgeous day.
Bibi was simply lovely and Miguel couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Both families were so welcoming and I spent time at Miguel’s while Fer was with Bibi. Their first sight was so sweet! One thing that I loved with this wedding was that the images focused mainly on the couple, and they gave us plenty of time to work. So we were really able to use the gorgeous hacienda where the wedding took place and things were low key and easy going. Bibi really wanted some dramatic images and Fer kept telling her to “work it like Shakira!” Which, I must say, she could =)
There were two ceremonies, one held deep in the caves under the hacienda (yes, caves) where they store the wine. It was very intimate and sweet, full of candlelight. The second ceremony was the traditional Catholic mass held in the village church connected to the hacienda. This church could only hold a small amount of guests, to tents were set up to extend the church. Chairs were lined up like pews and the entire aisle (inside and out) were coated with a layer of pine needles to connect the two spaces. Guests in the outside space were able to view the ceremony via flat screen televisions lining the space. From the very end of the aisle looking into the church, it was quite impressive.
Flowers were everywhere. They lined the aisle, and coated the entire altar and pew ends. Bibi’s bouquet was magnificent and at the entrance to the reception hall, there were two giant trees hanging with pomanders and floating gladiolas and roses. All of the reception flowers were white. The wrought iron gates were completely covered with sprays of flowers and the reception hall was a variety of silver trees and fixtures holding many different arrangements of white flowers. It was truly breathtaking when the sun went down and all of the lighting came into play. Purples and silvers, reds and blues all added depth and drama to the space. Professional event lighting made the dancefloor shine and there were huge chandaliers hanging. And we can’t forget the fireworks! A canon announced the time for the civil ceremony, a fireworks display started off the reception, and the end of the first dance was showered with fireworks at the corners of the dance floor.
At the reception, there was an artisan rolling cigars, butler passed food that was simply out of this world, and large light orbs scattered on the grass. I’m assuming that design came into play because the wedding took place during a full moon. For entertainment, a mariachi band played during the dinner and then some familiar dance tunes came on for the dance. Fer and I were done after at least a 12 hour day and it was such a great experience!
Here are my favorite images, and I’ll probably blog more down the road, maybe show off more of the details! Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear feedback on the style!