Archive for 'Travel'
There is so much that I love about traveling to document weddings in different states and countries. One of my favorite parts of destination weddings is shooting in unique locations and different weather that you normally don’t experience in Florida. One of my goals is to shoot a wedding or portraits in snow and it seems every time we are in NY or NJ we miss the snow by a few days, but I won’t be discouraged. It will happen!
Cindy and Rob had a beautiful waterfront wedding with the New York skyline as a backdrop and we were excited to take some time the morning after for some new Mr. & Mrs. portraits. It was chilly but the light was absolutely delicious and we found a beautiful area with a waterfall backdrop. I’ll never forget the gorgeous fall colors mingled with the sounds of the rushing water behind Cindy and Rob, it was mesmerizing.
We had so much fun with this sweet couple and thank Cindy and Rob, their friends and family, Kathy Romero and her amazing team for making us feel at home and part of the family!
Here are a few of our favorites from that day. Be sure not to confuse Cindy and Rob for Jennifer Lopez and Van Diesel…we teased them enough about that! ;)
I’ll never forget that evening in the Dominican Republic, when Kathy, from Kathy Romero Weddings and Events and I discussed the possibility of working together for Cindy and Rob’s wedding. An opportunity to work with a fabulous planner/friend that I admire and a wedding in New Jersey, my home away from home?! I thought it just couldn’t get any better- but it did. When Khaled and I went on our family road trip over the summer to NJ, we had the opportunity to meet Cindy and Rob before their winter wedding. Cindy’s smile (as you’ll see in the images) is absolutely contagious! Cindy is such a sweetheart and I knew the moment we met, we would be instant friends. It’s easy to see why Cindy loves Rob (aka Vegas in the wrestling world). He’s dedicated to his family, loves her beyond words and together, they dance like no one’s business. Their evening wedding ceremony took place at Waterside on the Hudson river, with a stunning view of the NYC skyline. What friends and family were not privy to was that Rob had something special up his sleeve. You see, Rob hadn’t proposed to Cindy yet, and as the ceremony was underway, he knelt on one knee. It was such an emotional moment, that I had to fight back a few tears.
One of the most heartwarming moments from the wedding reception was when their little baby Noah joined them on the dance floor. Another of our favorite moments at their reception was when Rob surprised Cindy with an amazing jazz performance! Rob had been secretly practicing the saxophone for months leading up to the wedding and did such an amazing job!
It was such an honor documenting Cindy and Rob’s special day and working with such a fabulous team. We wish this beautiful couple all the happiness and love for years to come! Thank you Kathy for your trust and for everything you did to make us feel welcome in New Jersey. It was an unforgettable experience and we can’t wait to visit and work together again soon!
Enjoy some of our favorite images from their special day and stay tuned for their day-after session featured in the next few days!
Google the word spontaneous and I’m positive my picture will pop up. I’m always looking for an adventure; so when the idea of a family road trip came to mind, I did everything possible to make it happen! You see, being an entrepreneur and a business owner has many advantages, but one of the disadvantages is there’s no one to tell you, “Go home, we don’t pay overtime!” Since late 2009, the majority of my energy and time has gone into creating an unforgettable experience for our wonderful clients and getting my business to where I want it to be- that left no time for a vacation. I’m beyond blessed with a supportive family and an amazing husband that, besides working a full-time job, also spends his ‘free time’ helping me reach that goal. But I must admit, burn out was in our future and the consequences of such fate are not too pleasant.
At the beginning of this year we took a step back and got some clarity. We penciled in actual days ‘off’ for the year and for the first time ever, penciled in a vacation during the first week of July. At that time, we had no clue what we would do that week and I doubted we’d actually make it happen- which makes this vacation extra special. Not only did we take time to spend with family and recharge, but we reached a goal we set and that tastes pretty darn good!
Happiness is a way of travel- not a destination.
In a matter of hours, we decided to hop into our car and drive up the east coast to visit friends, family, and create some adventures! Our wanderings brought us to the gorgeous streets of Savannah, Georgia where pecan pralines had me at hello. We celebrated Khaled’s birthday with balloons and ding dongs while jamming to our favorite tunes in the car! On our way to New York and New Jersey, we passed through South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, D.C., Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Spending 36 hours on the road with my family is definitely the highlight of my summer.
We were so excited to spend the forth of July holiday with my brother and his family in New Jersey and do some sight-seeing in New York but nothing prepared us for the unforgettable memories we would create. I was even able to sneak in some time to meet with one of our sweet couples, visit our beautiful October wedding venue and see my super-talented and wonderful friend, Kathy Romero. I’m in awe with her husband’s ability to make veggies taste sinful (let’s not discuss his yummylicious margaritas) and her amazing curry chicken!
Feeling adventurous, Khaled brought along his Nikon D7000 and filmed snippets of our trip. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that my hubby created this beautiful recap of our experience in just a few hours.
We had such an amazing time, we’re already planning our next road trip. California, here we come!
Music – All Those Pretty Lights (Alternate Universe Version) performed by Andrew Belle – licensed through The Music Bed.
The next two collections of images were all taken with my iPhone:
I don’t know where to begin to describe last week. It’s still a blur of airplanes, delicious food, and laughter. Lots of laughter. When my dear and super-talented amiga, Kathy Romero, invited me to the Dominican Republic, I couldn’t have imagined the beauty, friendships, and experiences that awaited. I’ve been to previous Inspire Smart Success experiences, as an attendee in Orlando, Fl and as an exclusive photographer in Cancun, Mexico and every experience has brought new friends, inspiration and clarity. It’s a wonderful experience when the industry’s finest gather in an open and creative environment, where being inspired and soaking in words of wisdom comes as naturally as breathing.
In between catching up in the office after being away for 8 days and photo sessions this week, I look forward on reflecting over my notes and unforgettable experiences. I can’t wait to share my experience- Dominican style- on the blog in the next few weeks; but for now, I leave you with one of the precious scenes I saw daily while in DR.
Dazzling, sparkling, and, INSPIRING. That pretty much sums up the ISS experience in Mexico. The luxurious event, held in Cancun, Mexico, was filled to the brim with exquisite details, expert speakers and an electrifying atmosphere. It was absolutely amazing to shoot and participate in such a creative, fun-filled environment. I can’t thank Stacie, founder of Inspire Smart Success, enough for trusting me with such a huge endeavor. Each day was filled with so many unforgettable details and experiences. It’s hard to pick a favorite from the event, but shooting the fire-dancers during the Blanco Party was definitely a thrill! Everyone at the event was warm and welcoming and we built an instant bond. I can’t begin to describe and count the immense talent behind this event. The gorgeous paper products created by Tifany of Gourmet Invitations, the beautiful cinematography of Ryan and Eric of Epic Motion, the unparalleled service by the staff of Now Sapphire resort, just to name a few.
Last summer I had the privilege of attending ISS-Orlando as a guest and it was an incredible experience but it could never have prepared me for what I experienced in ISS-Mexico. I must admit that shooting this event was not an easy task, especially without my amazing second-shooter (aka: my hubby) but I couldn’t have done it without the help of Karl & Nanette of Luminaire Foto. We had a blast together (you’ll see a bit of the fun in their photobooth at the end of this post) and it was a blessing meeting both of them.
Besides making new friends and sharing unbelievable experiences together, here are some mentionable highlights of my time in Mexico:
-Almost (accidentally) throwing Mike Colon off a lifeguard tower, this one to be exact. (Thanks Austin for the snapshot, priceless memory and thank you Ana, our talented model)
-Preston Bailey complimenting our work and autographing his book with, “Mariana & Khaled, you both have an amazing eye.” Yes, right at that moment life couldn’t get much better.
-Rooming with Krystyn of Bridal Beauty Chicago. I had never met her before and instantly felt like she was family.
-Christopher Confero and Clayton Gray. LOVE them both to the moon and back.
-Opening my dinner invitation on Day 2 to find that it was with Sonny Ganguly…you know, the guy that created Sony. (I guess it’s a bit of an inside joke).
-Working closely with Sandie (Stacie’s mom), Rachel, The Jens and the rest of the crew. They did a phenomenal job and it was such a pleasure.
-Getting to know Ceci Johnson. I met Ceci before in Miami last year and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to chat more with her in Mexico. She’s a big inspiration and I absolutely love her work.
-Tajin Seasoning. Lisi Korn, although we didn’t get to hang out as much as I would have loved, a big thank you for introducing me to the delicious seasoning. I finally found it in Tampa and use it on everything!
-It was hilarious and fun to spend time with Dana Larue and her hubby, Hunter. The monkey showing his ‘affection’ to Hunter was probably one of my favorite memories.
-Riding the van from the airport to the resort with Youngsong Martin and getting to know her and her hubby was a great experience.
-Traveling with my airport pals ❤ Petronella, Eddy and Marilyn, Eileen and her hubby, Brad.
-Meeting Kathy Romero. I can’t describe what a wonderful and inspiring woman she truly is. It’s no wonder why her beautiful face is gracing the cover of the first issue of ISS Magazine. I might even have to create a blog post to feature her and how she’s motivated me in many ways. Kathy…We’re.On.Fire.
There are just too many memories to list, but I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and share amazing memories with such a wonderful group of top-industry professionals. Wishing 2012 is full of much success and happiness for each of you!
If you haven’t attended yet, I highly recommend you check out and register for one of the upcoming ISS events!