Andrea & Anthony Day After Session, Conchas Chinas, Mexico

What is better than photographing a couple on their wedding day? A day after session, of course!

I had a lot of fun reconnecting with Andrea and Anthony a couple of days after their wedding day for some relaxed beach portraits at their hotel, Costa Sur. The view was just amazing and even though it was sunny, it was such a beautiful time to have a session.

There is literally nothing more spectacular than two people in love with such a beautiful beach backdrop.

Real Wedding Inspiration - Destination Weddings, Mexico

I have another edition of Real Wedding Inspiration, Beach edition! Each bride and groom pour their hearts into every detail of their day. I think it’s really important to take photos of even the smallest detail of their day.

 A rose blush wedding overlooking the waters of the pacific.

A rose blush wedding overlooking the waters of the pacific.

As a beach wedding photographer, it’s really important to capture these details to give the couple the photos that make them relive their wedding just as they remember. To have them go back in time and remember how they felt during their special day.

 A fashion glam wedding in the Riviera Maya near Cancun, Mexico

A fashion glam wedding in the Riviera Maya near Cancun, Mexico

Each wedding is unique in their own way even if they were held at the same venue. Each bride and groom take their time to choose linens, flowers, dresses, and even the earrings that they’ll wear on the day of their wedding.

 A bling whimsical wedding in Cancun, Mexico.

A bling whimsical wedding in Cancun, Mexico.

These real weddings of real couples are here as inspiration for your own wedding. Letting you visualize what the details could look like in your dream wedding. So feel free to pin, save, and share with your planning squad.

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 The two photos above are from the same wedding. A rustic beach wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The two photos above are from the same wedding. A rustic beach wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

All of the weddings in this post have been photographed on the beaches here in Mexico. Do you see anything that you’ll want to add to your wedding look and feel? I really just love all of them!

What to expect from your portrait photographer

There are so many wonderful and great photographers out in the world now. It’s amazing to see so much being created on a daily basis, especially through Instagram. Lots of inspiring work and even more self expression than ever before.

It’s important to note what separates a professional portrait photographer from someone who isn’t. There is a lot of great stuff out there and equally great people, but it’s a good idea to really know what they are best photographing.

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There are photographers who specialize in only newborn and maternity. Others who specialize in only weddings and engagements. And others who only do commercial work.

Then there are photographers like me who do both weddings and portraits and will also take on a special project, only if it truly aligns with my style and business goals.

So what can you expect from a professional photographer?

This is not an all encompassing list because each photographer does business differently and has different ways of doing things, however, I’m sure most would agree that they are basic expectations a professional photographer should meet.

  • They can match their experience with their passion. You want someone who has taken at least 100 high quality portraits because that experience will guarantee you have a great session as well.

  • Website or portfolio of some kind. Let’s include social media in this because sometimes that works best as a portfolio rather than an official website. However, a website will tell you much more about a photographer than social media.

  • They offer options and can answer all of your questions, no matter the question. They are the professional, not you so your questions must be answered with kindness and expertise.

  • They send out official contracts with terms and make sure to let you know of any policies they or their studio has.

  • They can clearly outline the experience they will give you and how you portrait session will be like. You can only expect this from a photographer that knows what they are doing and has enough experience to guide you through the process.

  • They know lighting and can suggest the best times for your session. If they are a studio photographer, they’ll know what lighting is best in order to create the best portrait for you.

  • They will be a little higher priced than the Craigslist photographer, Facebook photographer, or the photographer just starting out. This is because of their years of experience and many, many, years perfecting their craft.

Each photographer is different and has a different business, however, it’s important to know what to expect from a professional because they can make all the difference between having photos you absolutely love rather than absolutely cringe looking at.

When you’re looking for someone to photograph you, if they don’t check most of these off, then I would suggest moving along. If you really love their photos, then ask them directly and go with your gut feeling.

Have you had any great photographers take your portraits? Let me know in the comments below!

Your Mexican Beach Portrait Session Experience | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

I photograph in many of the same locations again and again. Here in Bucerias and Puerto Vallarta, this means that I photograph many sessions at the same beach.

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However, it has always surprised me that I could photograph two sessions on the same day at the same location and each session will be SO different from the other. No two sessions are ever alike and this is because of YOU.

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You, my clients, are the ones that make each session unique and truly one of kind. Yeah, I know that sounds cheesy but it’s 100% honest truth. The way that you approach the session is what makes it YOURS AND ONLY YOURS.

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I’m using caps because I need to emphasize that each session is tailored to you and that each portrait experience is not like any other.

I never get tired of photographing portrait sessions at the beach. The sunset, sometimes at noon with the beautiful blue sky reflecting the blue water. The vastness of the shoreline and always, the fun that splashing in the warm water brings.

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Each portrait session experience depends on what you enjoy. Like to be romantic during engagement photos, we’ll be romantic. Like to be playful for family portraits, let’s have fun. Want to mix in a little bit of both for your anniversary session, we’ll do both.

Your experience in front of my camera is important to me and I hope that you enjoy it to the fullest because moments are fleeting and as cheesy as it sounds, photography is all that is left to remember your life by.

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So enjoy the session, don’t be nervous, I got you.

Leon turns 2! Bucerias Beach Mexico

I can’t believe that it’s been exactly 2 years since I went home from the hospital. Leon was born on September 30th at 3:21 pm. He was 40 weeks and 6 days. The doctor’s induced me because he hadn’t grown in over a month according to his ultrasounds.

 Not even 1 day old.

Not even 1 day old.

I wasn’t worried. I knew that he was going to come close to his due date and that he would be born in September. We never found out if he was actually a he! That surprise happened that very day he was born.

Two years old.

It’s crazy to think back, through all the struggles, the adventures, and yes, some mommy frustration and ultimately, GROWTH. Growth for the both of us and now we have this amazing groove.

Leon at 2:

  • Loves to play and can play alone for hours if you give him something to assemble or put together and take apart.

  • Loves water. Playing in it, spraying it, dumping it, putting water from one cup to the other, swimming in it, and of course, hates showering. He’s definitely my kid. ;)

  • His vocabulary is growing and growing and can even repeat sentences that are simple like “where are you?” and rightly knows his name is Leon. Can also recognize his written name.

  • He will take forever to go down stairs because, duh mom, jumping down is the only true way to go down stairs.

  • Loves to egg us on in games and asks for “more” when he likes a certain game. Usually if it involves him laughing he’s all for it.

  • Says, “awe” when he sees babies, animals, especially dogs. It’s the cutest high pitched “awe” you ever did hear.

  • He’s had precisely one hair cut since birth. It just keeps growing and growing. And it’s so beautiful.

  • Currently he’s getting potty trained and doing really well. Except when he does the pee pee dance and mommy or daddy don’t catch it in time.

  • Drinks water like it’s going out of style. Loves all things sweet, no surprise ;). Hates veggies but slowly getting them in. Can officially say “more cake” now.

  • Still goes to daycare and loves playing with other kids.

  • He shares easily and is a sociable kid when he feels comfortable enough. Is very confident in what he does want and doesn’t want, especially in social situations.

  • Loves Paw Patrol and we’ve seen the same two seasons like a bazillion times already on Netflix. When he wants to watch he says “lala guau guau”.

  • Loves anything that resembles a bus or big rig trailer. He currently sleeps with his two favorite Hot Wheels. He also doesn’t discriminate, he’ll play with the dollar store cars too.

  • Loves music and dancing to music. If it has a cool beat, or sounds a little electronic, he’ll flail his hands up and down as if playing a guitar in mid air or something. He’ll also stomp his foot to the rhythm and then if he really likes it, full on dance.

  • He’s a sweetheart and has begun to give us hugs and kisses out of the blue just because he feels like it. He also says “I la u” when prompted haha, which I try to get him to say to me all day long! It makes me melt each time.

  • Loves to play with daddy. Knows that daddy is fun and can always come up with games and when Aldo comes home from work, Leon scrambles to find a toy and give it to him.

Okay, I can go on and on but that’s Leon in a nutshell. He’s a really good kid and I’m truly blessed to have the chance to get to know him and grow with him. Thank you God for this gift that I wouldn’t have otherwise given to myself. That’s when you know God always knows best.

I just pray that I can be a good mom, keep my calm, and know that as you grow, I need to grow with you and not against you. I pray that I always appreciate your quirkiness and personality 100% because that’s who you will always be on the inside. I pray that I am able to love you but also let you be your own self. I pray that I don’t get in the way of your kindness, sensitivity, independence, and confidence because all of those traits can make the world a better place.

Over all, I just pray that you always give me such wonderful kisses and tight hugs.

Happy 2 years my boy!

Baby Chema Bucerias Maternity Photographer, Mexico

I get asked often what I do for a living, and when I was first starting out, I would feel really silly proclaiming that I was a portrait photographer. Or a photographer in general. At the time, I was so immersed in perfecting my craft that I felt like everyone was becoming a photography. It’s like when you’re looking to buy a new car and then you suddenly see the car everywhere.

After 10 years in business, I’ve learned that in order to continue doing what I love, everyone must know that I’m a photographer. This is particularly difficult for me since I’m naturally an introvert and don’t like talking to strangers on a superficial level.

But this means that even my landlady knows that I’m a photographer. And when her son and daughter-in-law were looking to have their maternity photos taken, she thought of me.

You see, sometimes, you might be the only person people know who does what you do. So never shy away from proclaiming your talents, passions, and career choices.

You just never know the wonderful people you may meet. Monse and Chema were so fun to photograph and they came to me with a truly unique idea that I just love how it turned out!

Congratulations you two are going to have a lot of fun with your little baby boy!

Want a portrait session on the beaches of Mexico? Contact me HERE.











Andrea & Anthony Costa Sur Resort Conchas Chinas, Puerto Vallarta

When Andrea and I spoke for the very first time over the phone, I immediately fell in love with her heart. She wears it on her sleeve and makes you feel like you’re family. She speaks to you with such a calm and loving tone. So when I didn’t hear from her for a few months, I was saddened and figured that she and her fiancé Anthony had chosen another photographer.

To my delight, she contacted me a month before her wedding and we made it happen! It was a wedding filled with the most love and closes family and friends.

Never in the 10+ years that I have been a photographer had I heard such beautiful and heartfelt toasts from their guests. Each speech reaffirmed how beautiful they were and how fortunate everyone was to have Andrea and Anthony in their lives.

It was moving to hear Anthony’s father say he was blessed for having Andrea in their lives. And when Andrea’s father said the same about Anthony, it is sure that there was not a dry eye in the whole of Puerto Vallarta.

It rained during family portraits but this didn’t hinder anyone from having a great time and enjoying time with family and friends.

It was a beautiful sight to see these two humble souls love each other deeply. It made my heart remember why I got into photography in the first place. Why I photograph weddings.

What happens now? My process after I photograph your wedding or portrait session

I have been a photographer for quite a long time (10+ years!) and my process and business is always evolving. When I first began, I remember editing photos, one by one, in Adobe Photoshop CS2. My computer would freeze and it used to take forever!

Thankfully, my process is a lot more streamlined and faster. Which means, you get your photos a lot faster and with better quality retouching.

My process

After I photograph your wedding or portrait session, I usually go home and upload the photos either that same night or the next day. Usually, I’ll send a sneak preview or two that same night to my clients edited slightly on my phone ;).

I then choose the best of the best photos in terms of exposure, expression, and important events. I try and put myself in your shoes and carefully choose the ones I believe are the winners. For portraits this can be anywhere from 60-100 photos or more depending on the size of the family. For weddings, it depends on how many hours of coverage that you had and on average, it will be between 400-1000 photos.

All of the blue photos are the chosen ones for final edits.

I know other photographers include many more photos however, I make sure not to overwhelm my clients because it can be a little excessive when you’re seeing 30 photos of the same pose, same light, same everything and you really don’t need to. You need a good solid 5 photos of each pose, if that. So I make sure to choose only the best as final images.

After I choose the photos that I’ll be editing, I then begin the process in Lightroom. If I need extra retouching done, I’ll open the photo in Photoshop. Both programs are really great for editing.

Once your photos are edited, I’ll upload them into your personalized online gallery and send you an invitation to view, share, download, and purchase products like albums and prints.

The whole process for portraits takes about two weeks and for weddings it takes me about 4 weeks (sometimes less if I don’t have other weddings waiting).

Editing / retouching

For my work, I don’t do much to the photos. I make sure to get the photos as close to perfect as I can in-camera so that I can spend more time actually photographing clients rather than sitting at my computer all day.

My editing style is simple: I add a little brightness, warmth, contrast, and take away any weird hair fly-aways, trash in the background, and maybe swap a head or two if I need to.

 The photo on the right is the original. The one on the right got a boost in brightness, contrast, shadows, and warmth. Almost no difference.

The photo on the right is the original. The one on the right got a boost in brightness, contrast, shadows, and warmth. Almost no difference.

As for retouching, I will remove a blemish here and there or perhaps the linea nigra on a pregnant belly. Sometimes I’ll take out some sand on the face or weird fly-away hairs. However, I don’t overly retouch a client unless they have asked for it specifically. When I first began, I would smooth out skin, take out anything I considered a blemish, like moles, or even slim arms and waists. I do not do this anymore.

 Very minimal editing done to the photo. Some brightness, contrast, warmth, and straightening of the horizon.

Very minimal editing done to the photo. Some brightness, contrast, warmth, and straightening of the horizon.

I don’t retouch like that because it is not a real representation of who you are. It is fake and I want your photos to be as real as they come. I also want you to look at your photos and recognize who you are and know that you are beautiful inside and out.

Because all of my clients are absolutely beautiful and that needs to be reflected in the photos.

I don’t outsource my workflow

I know a lot of photographers out there that outsource their editing and while that is a great option, it’s not something that I personally prefer.

I rather make sure to edit and retouch your photos personally. I want to make sure that they keep their quality and streamline the editing look so that they don’t look different from one photo to the next.

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I also photograph one wedding a weekend because I want to make sure to give my clients the best I can and doing two weddings in one weekend is so tiring! I have done it and on special requests or situations I will.

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This gives me more time to really focus my attention to each photo that goes into your gallery. To give it real thought and make sure that I pick the very best to deliver to you.

After I receive my photos what then?

When I send the invitation email to your online gallery, you have the option to view, choose favorites, and share your photos online. You also have the option to download high resolution images and print at a location that works best for you.

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Since I am a destination wedding and destination portrait photographer, I offer an array of products through the gallery that you can purchase and have shipped directly to you anywhere in the world. Choose from albums, photo prints, framed prints, small cards, USB with your photos and wooden box, and much more.

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Your photos are safe

I keep client photos for 10 years. Sometimes more! I have them on external hard drives and make sure to backup all of the photos.

I have had couples lose their photos because their laptops broke or got stolen. I’ve had portrait clients forget where they saved them or lost their USB where they had them saved.

 This portrait is from more than 7 years ago. Still has my old website watermark on it.

This portrait is from more than 7 years ago. Still has my old website watermark on it.

Because I hold the copyright to your photos, I am able to keep them safe for a long time. Don’t worry, you have full permission to print and save your photos. The copyright also helps me to be able to use the photos on my websites and in the articles that I write. Which basically makes you famous ;).

Easy and simple

One thing I really like about my process is that it is easy and simple. I don’t over do the editing which takes time and can delay getting your photos to you.

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I make simple edits that make your photos pop without losing quality or authenticity. And the online gallery is simple and easy to use as well, which makes it easier on you.

That’s it

And that’s it. That is my process after the weddings or portrait sessions. It’s something that I get asked about often it’s great to let my client’s know what to expect after we have fun at their wedding or portrait session.