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Finally being able to wake up in Isla Mujeres was a phenomenal feeling.  I was in a tropical paradise.  Not something I would find myself at often, but still a fantastic prospect of fun came about.

It was a pretty relaxing morning as I met with Eliza, Erick and Erick’s wife Katie for breakfast.  And I had to be the one to order corn flakes at this little corner shop.  Little did I know that the little bistro didn’t have any in stock and off one of the workers went to buy a box for my breakfast.  Having said that Eliza’s, Erick’s, and Katie’s breakfast came out.  And they had cooked meals!  Ahh!  I just wanted a simple cereal breakfast!  We joked that he had to run all the way to Grand Rapids, Michigan to get my box of cereal, which he did.  It was a big box too.  Oh.shoot.

Uhhh….

Well the cereal came in a small bowl with fresh fruit.  Too bad the cereal was tasting a little stale..D’oh.  The highlight of the morning.

Maybe I should have ordered something cooked where one of the workers didn’t have to run to “Grand Rapids, Michigan” for my cereal…

When breakfast was done, mine included, we went back to get our things to go to the beach.  Me being me, I thought we were going to the beach outside of La Luna Playa Media.. so I went walking down the beach to check out some things.

When i got back, John was telling me that they were looking for me. Oh.  Oops. But they weren’t that far away, so I was able to catch up to them sneaking behind Erick.  The beach, where they were heading, was also the beach where the reception would be.

We went into the ocean for a little bit till a crab bit Eliza on the toe.  I guess the crab was telling her it was time to go to the salon, as it was getting to that time.

I met her parents when we walked down to the lobby to catch a taxi to the salon.  Eliza’s dad knew what to do, once we got there he took off for one of his walks.  From what I was told he loves to hike and walk around.  When her dad walked off, the salonist made us some espresso while we got to our respected areas of the salon.  It was a small place, but she was a seriously talkative and jubilant person which made it fun.

The stylist thought I was a professional, but asked anyway.  While there is truth to that, Eliza and I were going under the guise that I was a friend with camera benefits.  Otherwise the resort would not allowed me to photograph on their premises.  Which is stupid, but they want to keep their photographers available and paid.  I understand, but, neither of us liked their work.

But really it isn’t hard to be friends with Eliza and John.  The fact that Eliza and I chat it up in the emails would have made us friends anyway.  Plus I love it when clients whom I photograph become my friends anyway.

In the middle of the prep time, Erick, Katie, and their dad returned.  Her dad probably hiked the island and back.  haha!  They stopped by to see how things were going and saw the jewelry lady’s wares.  Her mom was having a great time going back and forth showing Eliza the items as Eliza was getting her hair done.

Eliza was in the middle of getting her hair done, so I thought I could head out with those three to find a snack to eat.  As we walked down the street I found a corner shop thinking that they could make a vegetarian taco, so I said my byes to the three as I went inside.  And.  They did not, so I resorted to caramel popcorn for short term sustenance.

Eliza was nearly done when I came back to the salon.  Oddly, the lady with the jewelry gave me a long sniff.  I mean she took a long inhale of whatever scent I had on which would be my deodorant.  Did I remember to put it on?  It was very strange.  I looked at both Eliza and her mom with the look of, “help me!”  The jewelry lady tried to play it off that she likes to smell guys and there was this one guy who makes his own cologne and she loves to grind with him just so she can smell the smell.  Not helping you, lady! haha weirddd!!

During the makeup part of this came about, three others came into the salon.  I am guessing they were the salonist’s helpers.  One of them was pretty cute.  Looking for some fun framing, I went around the area while Eliza was getting her makeup on.  All while watching where that jewelry lady was so she wouldn’t smell me again.

When we finished, we went back to the hotel so that Eliza could get her dress on.  I think the salon lady called the taxi to wait for Eliza so that the make up wouldn’t start running in the heat.

I got to my room to download of my CF cards to the hyperdrive unit.  This was my backing up drive, but, after it finished with my Kingston it kept on timing out with the LEXARs.  Those were brand new cards, how could be corrupt?!  AHH!  But I had a lot of 16 gb CF cards so I will just change out the cards.  I usually wait till the wedding and images are done editing and backed up before I wipe out my cards.  Hyperdrive, you are really pissing me off…

Anyway, Eliza’s and John’s room was just down the path from mine which was good as I didn’t have to run around to find their room.  I got my other cards ready.  Good thing after the prep shots, I am going to put the 5D2 shooting in sRAW- same capabilities, aside from the 21 mp, as full raw but smaller file sizes.  I got some images of the dress and the rings when I realized that my remotes were not working.  Fuck.  At first I thought it was that the batteries that I had, eneloops that I fully charged before I left, discharged already and had to change batteries.  Well that would have been made it worse if I had my macro to try to get the rings as the macro needs a lot of light for a steady shot.

I got some cool shots of the dress in both inside and outside while shooting it from the balcony into the window.  Erick came into the room to ask about the timeline.  I think we were supposed to start the family images at 3:30 which, we were getting close to.  Eliza put the dress on pronto.  I mean into the bathroom, slipped it on and Erick helped her zip up.  Done.  Whoa.  Doing our B+G shuffle, we made sure John was nowhere to be seen.

I did some formals on the 2nd floor’s lobby.  While I was my groove into action, the darnedest thing happened.  Eliza started to feel under the weather.  Either from the heat, being nervous (not so sure about that one), and the drinking from the previous night.  Uh oh.  Luckily her brother Eliu’s room was right there where she would be chilling till right up to the ceremony.  Since I realized that my remotes weren’t working, I eyeballed the room to try to use it for the bride formal images.  I first had her sit/lay on the bed closest to the window and shot in from the window.  I loved it.  The light was harsh, but, in this area it totally worked.  With my remotes acting up, I had to use that harsh light.  So I asked if she could, and she did!, move to the other bed and look at her bouquet.  Moved some things in the room that would created clutter in the images and bam.  knocked them out!  These are probably my favorite bride only images!  Yes!  I immediately knew that these images were to be put into B&W.  It wouldn’t have worked in color.

After those images, I went back to the room to photograph John getting ready.  He was in his boxers when he stated that I probably never got a shot of a dude in his boxers.  I think he was joking, but I am guessing he didn’t see my bathtub scene from Pat and Andrea’s….

John finished getting dressed and that he would gather his brothers and find them in the lobby.  I went back to Eliu’s room to find out that Eliza was throwing up.  Oh.  Crap.  Ehhhh…. what to do.  Luckily she didn’t get any of that mess on her dress, but.. wow.

I went back outside to find John and his brothers to do some formals on top of the deck.  I tried using my reflector on him.  Eliu was holding it up for me. haha!  Yes!  Assistant on the go!

With the formals of John and his brothers finished, I grabbed some images of the guests getting ready.  Ahh I had a new idea, but it wouldn’t have worked since Eliza wasn’t feeling good and the guests were already out.  I was thinking about Eliza leaning over the balcony a little bit and with me from the top deck of the balcony, I could get some candids of her from there.  Bummer.  I went back to Eliu’s and Marissa’s room and Eliza was feeling better.  Thank goodness.

I suddenly thought of my wire, when I looked I saw one of the copper connecters was bent.  ARGH!  No wonder why it didn’t work!  AHHH!!  How the heck did it get bent??!  Well at least I knew what the problem was, so I put the wire away.  I had another one which I tested and worked.

I went back out to photograph some more of the guests, when I ran into the coordinator.  She was asking for my information and all, while I knew what she was getting at, I really didn’t want her to know that they paid me to go.  So I kinda joked with Eliu about getting girls’ numbers.  Actually, from her perspective I was shooting for free and she would want to refer me to others for that which is not something I would do.  Anyway, I went back to shooting and Eliu came up to me to confirm that Eliza, John, and I came into this as a college friend of theirs.  I think Eliu knew the background.  It’s not like I didn’t try to do it legitimately.

The guests started to walk to their seats and the ceremony was about the begin.  John walked to where he was supposed to and a little bit later, Eliza came down with her dad to walk the aisle.

The coordinator;s photographer was there snapping away.  At first I thought it was a guest, but then I found out it was the coordinator’s sister.  At least she wasn’t hanging around during the formals.  I would have been miffed.  I did my sneaking around shots and tried to find negative space to fill around Eliza and John to make silhouettes of the guests in the foreground.

Thinking that the ceremony was about to close with the kiss, I went back to the pool to do a straight on shot of Eliza and John.

“You may now kiss the bride.”

And there.  Ceremony done I went back to the deck to unlock my thinktank and start the family images.

With the sweat dripping down my face, it started to get into my eyes which became a serious issue later on in the day as it was really irritating.  After we did the formals, both with the party and B+G I had to rush to the bathroom to wash my eyes out.  I wish I had some visine.  I think next time I will just wear a head band to prevent the sweat from dripping into my eyes.

I couldn’t stay too long to fully wash my eyes out as John and Eliza were heading out to the reception site.  I rushed off to catch up.

I did the details shots as everyone was mingling around and grabbing some appetizers.  I really liked the overhand over the dance floor, but with night coming fast we had to do a fake cake cutting and first dance.  Done and done.  I would have loved to use the flash up there, but with the gear not being responsive and that the flash enjoying its hibernation mode, with just being me there, it wouldn’t have worked.  Oh well.  At least all the important images have been made.  I photographed some of the food and lantern shots.

Once everyone was settled down, I took some images of the group eating knee deep from the ocean and on top of the balcony.  I grabbed some food and ate the light meal so I could get back to working, but, finding a seat was pretty hard.  Luckily Eliu let me sit in his seat since he was either done or getting a plate for himself.  I just wolfed it down.  The last thing I ate was the corn flakes in the morning.  Also working with 5 hours of sleep from that disastrous flight certainly didn’t help me either

Darkness was upon us.  And while I got some really nice night images of the landscape, exhaustion hit me like a bus.  It was a combination of the working 11 am to 9 pm straight, the sparse amount of food, sleep, and water that nearly knocked me out literally.  I really needed a breather and like earlier couldn’t get a seat.  Well I could have gotten onto those beds, but, I knew that if I sat on one of those I would have fallen asleep.  So luckily, again, Marissa let me sit in her seat.  Thank goodness?  I started to doze off.  Not good.  It got so bad that Erick, Eliu, and Eliza just told me it was alright for me to head back to my room. My contract stated that I was only to shoot till 9 pm, anyway, so I guess there was some positives.

Erick escorted me back to my room.  He asked about my family on the way and I told him about them.  even about Jeff.

When I got to my room I showered and immediately fell asleep.

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