Francesca and I chatted for a little bit having a cup of tea and some sweet goodies (or biscuits as the british say) at one of the 5 star hotels at Kensington Park right across Kensington Palace where Princess Diana used to live, how often can you say that, right?! Francesca is a Nutritionist, she has discovered that watching what you eat really makes a huge difference in your life, it made her feel more energetic and even helped her to lose weight, which inspired her to be a Nutritionist and now she is inspiring hundreds of women to eat healthy! We had a great time discussing about food and health, we really hit it off considering she’s a nutritionist and I just started eating vegan. We, of course, went to a Whole Foods store in downtown London to do her ‘Branding’ Session, I felt like a kid at Disneyland, it was 3 stories high filled with organic goodies! Well, I have learned that Europe has high standards when it comes to food, they do not put any chemicals in most of their food from produce to meat products. Yep, i’m packing my bags! As we went through the store, she would explain a few things and told me which ones are her favorite to buy and of course, we won’t have it here in the U.S. (Buggah’!).  We both enjoyed our time together, getting kicked out and turned down to do some photos in some areas of the store which were the first for her, “…It’s London, that’s wha’ they do” I had to ask if we could, didn’t hurt to ask, right? But we managed to do a few shots, I followed her around the store as she was really shopping for groceries, people were looking but it was fun! We were able to take more photos across the street at Kensington Gardens and called it a day! We went back to the hotel and had our “Afternoon Tea”! It was a ‘splendid’ and ‘brilliant’ idea to end the day. Francesca has asked me, “When ah’ you coming back to London?” …Uhm, I will definitely come back within a few years! “It was a lovely experience foh’ me to do a session in London and would love to do it again!” Thank you so much, Francesca, for giving me the privilege to photograph you…

 

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It’s been a humbling experience to have the privilege to photograph Catherine and Jacob’s wedding in the oldest city of Netherlands! It is the city where Jacob’s parents were married and it meant a lot to him to have his wedding there as well. The couple got married at St. Stephen Church, the oldest and largest church in the city of Nijmegen! It was definitely a unique experience to watch a traditional Dutch wedding! After the ceremony, the couple was surprised by the groom’s family with a grand exit outside the church, both of their families and friends gathered up with balloons and sparklers, even tourists gathered up to see the newlyweds and took a few photos as well! Before we headed to the reception venue, we drove down to a local park, Kasteel het Valkhof (Castle the Valkhof) to do some of their portraits, that was once a tall and mighty castle, but stands in ruin today and which is now a museum on a small hill that overlooks the river Waal, it was The Chapel of Saint Nicholas where his parents made their vows. To top that off, Catherine is the 5th generation that wore the wedding dress of her great grandmother… absolutely amazing! Jacob is a viola player that travels with an orchestra band throughout Europe, Catherine is an Opera singer who also does gigs throughout North Carolina and in Europe, and that’s how a Violist and an Opera singer met and the rest is history… Such a sweet couple with wonderful families, I had a great time spending almost a week with them, traveling by plane, trains and buses and learning the culture which is now one of my favorite countries, the Netherlands. Thank you so much again Catherine and Jacob for letting me be a part of your big day! Here are “a few” of the images I was able to capture, enjoy!

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It’s such a rewarding experience to get referrals from previous clients. Valeria is a close friend of one of my former senior clients and bride! Such a cute couple! They told me the story of their dating days until the day Ismael pulled it together to ask the “question”, ha! I love hearing these stories, the stories that unfold another chapter in a couple’s life, the stories could be funny or emotional or both! It’s great hearing both sides, the bride’s and the groom’s perspective on how the day went, then they start exchanging thoughts on how they felt at the time, and as for me, sitting at the back of the car listening to the couple, it felt as though I was watching a romantic movie (pass the popcorn, please?!)

We had a great time exploring downtown Wilmington, you can never go wrong with the area, every corner you will find such amazing historical sites, new cool shops and great architectural buildings. As the day went on, it never felt like a job for me, it was just another day spending time with a couple on a date and I happen to be the chaperone with a camera! It was truly an honor and a privilege to photograph these two love birds and becoming a part of their lives… is priceless!

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Chanda explains to me that she and her family had an eventful 4 years, the hardships of life but through it all they made it! She and her family were at the Durham Rescue Mission Victory program for a little over two years which helped her ignite a passion working with children. Now, she’s graduating and receiving a degree in Early Childhood Education at North Carolina Central University in Durham! Her inspiring story has touched my heart and for that I felt it was such a privilege and honor for me to photograph her senior portraits. Along with us was her daughter, Mikaelah, she’s a hoot! Such a sweet and funny girl! Made my job easy by making her mom laugh and comfortable in front of the camera. I’m glad I chose to do her session at NCCU since the location means a lot for her huge achievement, it’s a place where she will never forget, I also had a chance to walk with her in areas where she spent most of her time around the campus then had her pose for her photos, I noticed tears coming down her cheeks, I asked, “Chanda, are you cying?” “Yes,” she answered, “I’m going to miss these buildings, this school… this is where I worked so hard!”  Wow! I don’t think I can even describe it in words on how amazing it felt seeing and hearing her say that… but I just had to try to brush it off before I start crying with her and lose my focus working. So without further ado, here’s her senior portraits at NCCU, where it’s a place of her new beginning!

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Funny how life goes sometimes, you meet potential clients at the least places you expect it. I went for a doctors appointment in Raleigh, you fill out the usual forms then you get the chance to talk to your Physician on what you do for a living, and I must say, it is fun to talk about photography. A few weeks later, I get an email inquiring for my services from Kristine, she have mentioned that her husband which is my doctor referred me to her. Kristine is also a doctor and what’s cool is she’s also a writer/author who is publishing her first book in June! She needed a few head shots for her upcoming book. Since they were also due for a family photo, I had the privilege to photograph the whole family. I got to spend time with their oldest son, Henry, he was a hoot! He was full of energy for sure while his younger brother has a sweet spirit and gave me the sweetest looks in photos. Kristine rocked the photos, she’s a natural! She made my job easier and as for my doctor, Justin, he was actually under the weather during our session but managed to endure the day, the photos turned out great and the kids enjoyed a day at the park!

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