Expression Sessions

Now before I get started on Express Sessions – and why you should really be opting for at least a 2 hour session -, let me just say that one of the reasons for my recent online-absence is because I’ve been switching things up a little.

First of all, it’s rainy season. Usually that’s mainly planning and training time, but it’s also an opportunity to dedicate time to “non-wedding photography”. To be a little bit more specific, that would be:

  • 15th birthday celebrations (insanely beautiful and popular here in Guatemala),
  • pregnancy sessions,
  • general portraiture,
  • as well as headshot photography.

I’ve been receiving interest in so-called “Express Sessions” lately (which I don’t advertise, or do). These requests for information are certainly not something new, but it seems to be on the rise. So much so, that I believe it’s worth writing about.

My general feeling towards Express Sessions is that they’re a seriously flawed concept under most circumstances. If you’re OK with a “fast-food” result, then Express Sessions are perfectly fine. However if you want more of a “gourmet” result, you really need to allow for the time required in order to come out as amazing as possible. Nobody wants to just look OK, right?

Personally, I always aim for the best I can do. If I can’t promise my clients my best with only 15 minutes of their time, then I’m just not going to offer it. “Lowering the bar” is definitely not an option. So, at the time of writing, my portrait sessions start at 2 hours and US$89. But why 2 hours you ask? Here’s why:


Feeling at ease in front of a camera

Every individual will be different and unique, but subconsciously, most of us change dramatically when in front of a camera.

It’s true that some people do just “take it away” the moment they get in front of a camera. Generally those people will be seasoned models, celebrities, actors… you get my drift. Sadly though, most of us mere mortals (myself probably more than many!) aren’t like that at all! We need time to get comfortable and adapt. It’s crucial to become comfortable with both the surroundings, the task at hand, as well as with your photographer in order to slowly “forget” that you’re in front of a camera. Only then will you truly be yourself. It’s only then that we’re able to get your best shots.

Back in the days of film, photographers would often shoot without film in their cameras, until they felt their subjects were ready for their best shots. We don’t need to do that anymore but the same concept still applies: You’re seldom going to get your “wow” shots within the first 15 minutes.


An Expression Session? Now we’re talking!

My photography revolves around keeping it real and conveying a message. I just want you, to be you.

If you feel pressed for time, wondering if you look alright all while stressing about your next meeting, you can be certain it’ll come through in your photos.

You see, the real challenge isn’t getting the lighting or composition right. It’s getting the real you in there!


Variety and Diversity

In addition to trying to get the real you in there, my goal is to also deliver some diversity in the shots. This applies to expressions as well as looks.

Often it will involve a couple of changes of wardrobe, more often than not it will involve a change of location (or at least a change of background), but it will always involve making plenty of faces and having fun! Just remember that it all takes time.



So, summing it all up, if you want to have fun, look your best and get a variety of real you photos, take the time. Regardless of who your photographer is, if you want the best shot you can have, dedicate that little bit of extra time. Book at least 2 hours. All photos shown on this blog post were taken during 2 hour photo sessions.

If you’d like more information, to book or just talk photography, just get in touch on my contact form. It’ll be a great to hear form you!

Rock the dress

During booking sessions with my couples, particularly when they are local, I frequently get asked about the value of a rock the dress session.

What is it?

In essence it’s a care-free, post-wedding, artistic portraits session. Historically we’ve been calling it a Trash the Dress session. Typically wedding dresses were wet, painted, muddied and even set on fire, all in the name of creating bold and innovative photography. As amazing as the results can be though, not every bride is willing to destroy their dress. So with that in mind, many photographers (myself included) these days prefer to talk about rock the dress sessions. They’re still about the dress and having fun, however they tend to be a little lighter on the torturing of the dress.

Why do it?

At the time of writing this I have plenty of time in my packages to include a portrait session of the couple on the day of the wedding, so why should you have a rock the dress session?

It’s actually pretty simple.

Grooms are generally more relaxed about these things but for the bride-to-be it’s usually a different story. As a bride-to-be just think about the timing of the couple’s session on the day of the wedding:

  1. you got up early to have your hair and make up done;
  2. you’ve hardly had anything to eat all day;
  3. you’re likely worrying about how the reception’s decoration turned out;
  4. you’re worrying that you have 200+ guests waiting for you at the reception;
  5. and chances are, your feet are killing you!

Of course you want artistic couple’s portraits on the day of the wedding and you’re surely going to have some gorgeous photos as a result of that session, however by that stage, as a bride you’re already pretty emotionally and physically exhausted.

Now imagine if you had all the time in the world (so to speak) to the session; Imagine being able to choose practically any time and place you like for it; Just imagine that all you have to worry about is having fun and being yourself.

That’s as simple as it is really. Essentially the point is for you to have fun. For you to have fun, show off your dress and get some awesome photos!

What should you expect?

When you decide to go for a rock the dress session, you should definitely expect to have the time of your life. You’ll have an awesome time and you’ll have amazing photos as result! Photos that convey they real you, for yourself and for generations to come! So is it worth doing? Definitely!

Happy Holidays 2018

Here’s wishing each and every one of you Happy Holidays in 2018! Hope your holidays are happy, fun and safe!

While I’m at it, let me leave you with an extra-special video-treat I put together for you! When was the last time you saw cameras dancing and singing to the sound of a “Christmasy tune”? 😉

Mother of the Bride helping Bride with dress

Mother of the Bride

Being the mother of the bride is definitely one of the most important roles in a wedding. The mother of the bride will not only be providing the all-important support, but also be helping with the decision-making process by bringing valuable knowledge and experience to the table.

Every wedding will be unique, but over the next few paragraphs let me take you over a few of the aspects where the mother of the bride can make all the difference!



Who better than the mother of the bride to bring up the religious or cultural traditions to bring into your ceremony? How many “back in the day” stories might actually bring valuable ideas for your special day?



Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that Bridesmaids aren’t important when it comes to the decision-making process. Just think about it though… Times do change but in all likely-hood, the mother of the bride will have gone through the same challenges at some point.

She’ll know what to look out for in vendors and she’ll anticipate issues before they arise.

Also she’ll be great to bounce ideas off of. The dress, the decoration, the invitations, the catering, the venue, the groom… no, just kidding about the groom, but they can definitely help trim the guest-list! The point is you should always expect honest feedback from the mother of the bride.

Not to mention that when the need arises, the mother of the bride can be the perfect tiebreaker!


Keeping order

Speaking of tiebreakers, there will be occasions where a tiny bit of interference is required. I’m talking about disagreements. I’m talking about not letting things get out of hand and saying what has to be said.

It’s certainly true that most disagreements do resolve themselves but the self-sacrificing mother of the bride will usually be the one willing to have those awkward and difficult conversations should the need arise.


Point of Contact

For my weddings I know that I always request that there be someone designated to help with coordinating but so will other vendors. Wedding planners, florists, caterers, the venue will often have questions throughout the day and require a second point of contact.


The hostess

Naturally every wedding is different, but often the mother of the bride is the official hostess seeing to the guests. She’ll be the one greeting and making sure everything’s alright.


Dressing the Bride

Most of the points above will be completely invisible when it comes to the photos of the big day. This one however is the big exception. It’s such a special moment watching the mother of the bride helping her daughter into the dress and placing the veil.

I often see brides considering whether or not whether they should have the wedding preparation captured. The idea is to free up budget for the honeymoon, however is it not priceless to have these moments documented? These moments are all-important in telling the story of the day.

Real Moments Matter

For a some time now I’ve believed that cultural differences were the reason why many of my Guatemalan brides would often appreciate “staged” photos more so than those of genuine moments (at least more so than my European brides). I always tell them that real moments matter, but the matter might actually be more generational than cultural.

I’m a huge fan of letting the moments unravel and capturing them as they are. To me, a genuine laugh, a sincere smile, an emotional hug, a playful glance… they’re all priceless. Sure, a staged photo in a gorgeous setting will likely to get a bunch of likes on social media but does it constitute quality photography when it fails to tell a story?

In my experience, it’s far easier to “sell” couples the idea of staged, appearance-based photos than it for content-focused photography.

I’d say there are a couple of reasons for this..


The Digital Generation

Many couples, are a part of the first fully digital generation. A generation where everyone has a camera of some form and where printed photos are practically absent. Photos have become a way of sharing “appearances” with others, rather than a way of immortalizing memories.


Trashy TV and Fast Food

Due to social media, we also allow ourselves to be continuously bombarded with photos which aren’t necessarily of a high standard. Any individual these days can place a watermark on their photos and instantaneously “become a photographer”.

Andrea Bagnasco, an amazing Italian photographer, openly refers to this phenomenon in a very interesting way. He likens it to TV and dining. Even though the general public makes fast food and trashy TV popular, quality TV-shows and amazing dining experiences do exist. These quality experiences often something with a smaller yet more refined.

That’s what I strive to provide for my brides. Quality. I focus on telling their story as it happened. So sure, a staged photo, in a gorgeous setting will get a bunch of likes on social media, but does it actually tell a story? Shouldn’t that be the whole idea of hiring a photographer?

Exchanging rings

Exchanging Rings

If there was ever an all-important photo moment in a wedding, where the nervousness tends to kick in, it would have to be the ring exchange.

It’s a beautiful and emotionally-charged moment that all brides want in their photobook. The emotion and nervousness is perfectly normal. Exchanging rings is definitely one of the most important moments of the ceremony and more often than not it’ll also be the first time the bride and groom are exchanging rings. Because of this – and yes, this is for the guys! – the following tends to happen:

  1. the ring goes on way too quickly and
  2. often one hand ends up covering the ring altogether

Of course any professional photographer will be anticipating this. We’ll always get the shot of you exchanging rings by moving to the side or getting a higher angle but guys, just relax and be gentle. It’s a moment you should savor and rushing is not allowed! … of course if you remember, it can’t hurt to show off that gorgeous ring to the camera. You know it’s going to end up in your photobook!


Exquisite craftsmanship

Wedding photobooks

Continuing on the topic of wedding photobooks, I find that the details that make all the difference. The images themselves are hugely important however that’s not quite where it ends.

All of our photobooks are made using archival printing processes and only the finest materials. The materials and craftsmanship play a crucial role in the end product.

Each one of my packages includes a unique wedding photobook where my brides may chose from a range of different materials. From the types of paper used, through to the materials and colors used for the photobook’s cover.

Please allow me to share below a video and some photos with you showcasing one of our genuine leather sample photobooks.




Thanks to their layflat design, seamless printing of spreads is possible

Should you get a wedding photobook?

Definitely. You should definitely get a wedding photobook!

All my wedding photography packages include a wedding photobook because of how important it will become both to you and to future generations.

Let’s imagine that you burn all your photos on a DVD. Firstly you’re going to need a device that can read that DVD at hand whenever you want to view your photos. Also, depending on your handling of the DVD and the quality of the physical DVD itself, you may return it many years down the track (maybe it’s your daughter’s) to find that:

  1. the disk may have become corrupted – losing some or all of your data – or,
  2. you may no longer own a device capable of reading the media or even file formats.

Relying on digital media to store your memories over the long term is risky business…

“But what about printed photos? These too can get damaged and their colors fade!”, you say. Well, you’re absolutely right however most professional print services do provide “archival prints”. These prints are museum quality prints made using special inks and papers designed to resist fading and rated to last over 100 years without fading.

… but what if instead of printing half a dozen of your favorite photos, you had a gorgeous genuine leather, archival-quality wedding photobook (if you’re not crazy about leather, other materials are available depending on your package)? What if your photobook was one-of-a-kind? A timeless heirloom made from only the finest materials…

You see, as much as we love and embrace technology, in the end of the day we’re still tactile creatures. Humans like to touch and feel things because I guess it’s in our DNA. Just imagine how your grandchildren – and their children – , will feel as they flip through your heirloom photobook for the first time to watch your wedding-story unfold…

Atitlan when it rains

Guatemala Destination Wedding in the rain

You won’t normally see a Guatemala destination wedding in the rain, but they do happen. You see, rain or shine, Guatemala is always gorgeous! I’m pretty sure the amazing views and the rich cultural heritage play a part, but you know what? For your destination wedding, nothing can compare to the personalized experience you only get in a “boutique country” as is Guatemala! Can you not imagine yourself here? Where are you planning to get married?
Happy bride laughing in front of a red wall in Antigua Guatemala

Changing the way I share content

There’s always been something about social media that I couldn’t quite get as a marketing tool. I’m pretty sure that it’s mainly because I was never very good at using, but with all the hype about privacy concerns and data leaks I’m going to be making some changes. I’ll be changing the way I share content.

The 24th of January 2014 marked the beginning of my transition from to It’s main reason for existing was to showcase some of my portfolio while allowing me to host client galleries without heavily depending on 3rd parties.

Since then there have been considerable changes with many long nights developing features and fixing bugs. The time has now come to re-evaluate the purpose of my website and also see how it can free me up a little. What does that mean for you? Well, when your photographer is happier and more inspired, it can only lead better service and better images!

So, in changing the way I share content, I intend to refocus new publications on my website. Now don’t get me wrong, nobody’s leaving social media here! That’s not the idea. In all probability, I’ll be linking site posts there too.

So in order to get the ball rolling, here’s the opening post!

… and in case you’re wondering, this photo was taken in Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala’s most popular location for destination weddings!