The last day of the year arrives and it is almost obligatory to evaluate the last 365 days. It is important to seize what we have experienced, both good and bad, draw conclusions and plan for the year ahead.
If I had to define how my year has been, I could say that it has been extreme. Or rather, a year in which I have been on both sides of the coin.
I have started the season in New York and I have finished it in Hong Kong, almost at the opposite end of the world.
I have been a student of the best teachers and I have also been a teacher of fantastic students. And I have learned a lot from all of them.
I have photographed clients who have become friends and I have been photographed by great friends.
I was at the same time photographer and groomsman at the same wedding! Seldom have I been so close to having a multiple personality disorder.
I have photographed weddings 1 kilometer from my home and also 10,000 kilometers.
I have enjoyed great companies and I have also missed terribly. I have laughed and cried. Screamed with both joy and anger.
Yes, it has been a year of extremes.
I could say that these are my great learnings of 2017, and therefore what I will boost during the next year:
I have rediscovered myself with photography and with my path inside it. My voice, which I thought lost at the beginning of the year, has been resonating with greater force within me as the year passed. I have been able to appreciate it clearly while reviewing all my photos of the year .
Put aside everything that is accessory and look for the essence of things. On all levels. Betting on what will really enrich me personally or professionally and forgetting everything that is a burden. The same in photography: looking for the essence of the moment and the people in front of my camera will be the way to create images that will last over time beyond passing fashions.
Thanks to all of you who have been part of my year, because the best of 2017 was precisely you.
New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Hear it for New York
I was happily surprised that I was asked to be their wedding photographer, and even more surprised when they asked me a couple session in New York City, their new place of residence.
Being a witness of their love is like watching a Hollywood movie, the kind of movie that you see with tissues in one hand and an ice cream in the other. Not a sad story but a romantic one, the kind that touches your heart. A true love that has lived on three different countries and three dreamy locations. A couple generous in kisses, caresses and laughs. Love is love, but also the city lights give some inspiration.
Thanks to this photo session I have discovered a couple of things.
NYC is an overwhelming city. It suddenly beats you in your face and knocks you down. The buildings, the traffic, the crowds of people coming and going… One could think that New Yorkers are unfriendly, but actually both NYC and the New Yorkers warmly welcome everyone there. The best way to enjoy the city is to flow, forget about your prejudices, walking with expectant eyes and your camera ready.
The other thing I have learnt is that photographing love and happiness is the same no matter where you are.
From Central Park to Times Square, this city is full of charming spots and it is a great destination for a romantic photo session. I fell in love with Brooklyn Bridge: its architecture, beauty and charm are awesome make it the perfect location to enjoy with the one that you love. We ended the day savoring the sunset, the lights and the reflections on the buildings.
Here is the first year of Lepus & Arnaud’s marriage, and their first story in NYC.
Hear it for New York.
The beautiful wedding of Daniela and Jesus took place in Rio de Janeiro, however, the grandparents of Jesus were not able to travel to Brazil to accompany them. As the saying goes “if the mountain does not go to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain” the bride and groom decided to make a trip to Spain, put on their wedding clothes and toasting with the grandparents. And in addition, a post-wedding in Madrid at the beautiful Capricho park.
Daniela is a designer at her own atelier in Brazil. Of course, she designed her (spectacular) wedding dress, so I conceived a photo session with 3 main characters: Jesus, Daniela and her gown.
I hope I have been able to capture, not only to the beauty of the “human” protagonists, but also to the beauty of the dress.
Carla, Javi and me prepared with great enthusiasm his portrait session in Scotland. On the one hand, they wanted to show what is now their place of residence and, on the other hand, I had long wanted to know the Highlands, the castles and the impressive Scottish lochs.
However, sometimes the plans do not go as planned.
On Saturday a torrential rain received us and it lasted all day. Our plan to stroll through the Highlands, Glencoe or Inveraray was truncated and only in St. Conan’s Kirk we could find shelter. Seeing the way it rains there, it does not surprise me that everything is green! The long hours in the car served Carla and Javi tell me about Scotland and their own history, at the same time we studied the weather forecast minute by minute looking for alternatives.
We adapted our plans so that on Sunday we could enjoy other locations that, although unforeseen, were just spectacular: Melrose Abbey was a treasure!
I returned from the weekend with a good bunch of photographs and experiences, grateful for the hospitality of Carla and Javi … and I still have an excuse to return to Scotland.
“We love your work and would like you to be part of a very important day for us.”
These were the first words I read from Sandra and Vicente.
“We have decided to celebrate our wedding in Punta Cana, our little paradise, not because we were born there but because it has been amazing what we have always lived there.”
A couple of emails and calls later made me feel a great connection with this ¿crazy? couple, and I felt the desire to tell their story.
The plan was much more than a wedding. It was sharing a week with family and closest friends. A trip to an semi-desert island, a party catamaran (neither the tropical rains could turn it off), walks on the beach, laughter and cocktails in the pool, a trash-the-dress session that became a trip to the authentic Dominican Republic … ah, and the wedding, of course.
The whole wedding day was a succession of emotions. After the getting ready in the villa resort we ran to the place agreed for the “first look”, where a nervous Vicente waited to see Sandra dressed as a bride. The civil ceremony was in a beautiful gazebo overlooking the Caribbean Sea, so emotional that all we drop a tear or two.
Vicente proposed Sandra two years ago, in the same place after a romantic dinner by the sea. The wedding banquet was the same menu as then, under the same stars and by the same sea.
This has been my first destination wedding in the Caribbean and I have no words to describe this experience. What I do have are words of gratitude to all the people involved in this adventure, especially for Yoli, Mª José and Vicente, who made us feel part of the family from the begining.
When you least expect it you may find a treasure, whether in the form of a dusk, an interesting conversation or a surprising landscape. All it takes to be a little attentive and enjoy those small gifts.
I discovered Bardenas Reales almost by chance, returning home from a wedding in Pamplona. When I saw it’s textures, the colors and the light, I knew that I would return for a photo session.
A few days later, I suggested to Elia and Miguel to shoot their trash the dress session in the desert. Although they may have to drive hundreds of kilometers, they accepted the idea excited (I love fearless couples!)
We drive through amazing Lunar lanscapes (or maybe Martian) while Bowie sings his “Space Oddity”. Dirt roads, it is the turn of AC / DC’s “Highway to Hell”. We run and laugh over the rocks and the mountains to the beat of “Don’t stop me now” by Queen.
That afternoon we had an interesting conversation in a spectacular landscape at sunset.
It was certainly a great gift.