Whoa…after processing and uploading the following photos of Carmen and Andrea’s beautiful wedding in Havana Cuba, I realized that there was soooo much that I wanted to share with you guys. I had to cull it down a few times already. So, allow me to apologize in advance for the sheer amount of eye candy to follow.
So what happens when mother nature decides to show up to your wedding and gifts you a downpour of rain on your wedding day? (I ask rhetorically) For Carmen and Andrea they did not let it bother them as they planned ahead and had contingencies in place. Sounds boring, yes, but I tell all my couples to always have a backup plan when it comes to weather as it’s simply something you can’t control! Now for the record, I must stress that it was not a drizzle or sun shower that we had…this was full on rain and heavy winds….don’t believe me? Check out this YouTube video I took.
When Lucy and I arrived at Carmen’s suite at the Parque Central in Havana, the bridesmaids were putting on the finishing touches to Carmen’s hair and make up. The room was kept nice and tidy, the large windows allowed a beautiful stream of light to fill the room and enveloppe Carmen’s Vera Wang White dress hanging nearby. This was definitely the focal point of the room.
As I was documenting Carmen’s prep, I noticed that the sun would pop out for a couple of minutes and be overshadowed by rain clouds, this continued for a while but Carmen did not fret. Her and Andrea decided to get married inside the hotel instead of the outdoor rooftop which was originally planned. With that taken care of, everything else was easy. Here are some I created while Carmen was getting ready.
Downstairs, a few floors below, Andrea was also getting ready. He was excited about the day and could not wait for it to get started. As his best man and father helped him prep anticipation was building. Not afraid to say it everyone, but Andrea is a pretty good looking guy and he looked pretty dapper donned in his Versace suit; he joked around about being James Bond, less the gadgets of course. Robin, his best man was also looking pretty spiffy in his grey suit with canary yellow accents that Carmen picked out.
Maybe it’s just me, but when I commit to creating an image, I have an emotional attachment it the moment I release the shutter. There are some moments that make you laugh, smile or just pretty to look at. The following images causes me to tear up a little (yeah..i said it!!) even as I am typing this. As a photographer, and a geek, I tend to focus on the technical aspects when looking at an image. However here, exposure, shutter speed, light and all that business fades away, there is nothing flashy about this image but the context tells it all. I recall focusing originally on Andrea’s mother congratulating Carmen, while in my peripheral, I saw Andrea’s father give his son a big hug with a big smile on his face. In a matter or seconds, his smile changed, he started to purse his lips and his eyes closed tight while still hugging his son while trying hard to hold back his tears. I shot a few frames as to not interrupt the moment. Seeing parents this emotional just pulls at my heart strings. These are just some of the moments that I live for and recognize while documenting a wedding.
So…back to the rain…as you can see, it was pouring quite hard and we learned that the vintage car that was booked had a feature that was overlooked….windows! Yup, this car had the look, the character and charisma, just not the windows to shield us from the rain. Hehehe. At one point, I held the umbrella outside the car while sitting inside to avoid more rain from coming in. After driving around looking for possible locations for the portraits, we came across Morro Castle/Fort. The rain subsided so we started shooting outside. Literally 2 minutes after taking this image, the rain came back for more so we scrambled to find shelter from the rain. Luckily, we came across an interesting tunnel and created a few of my favorite images there.
Before we left, the fort, the rain was gone but the clouds were there to stay. We took advantage of the situation and created some images of Carmen and Andrea in the cool car overlooking Havana.
When we arrived at the reception location, Lucy and I were shown our seats. At every seat, there was a small pocket notebook with our name on it. Curiously, I opened it up and it contained a very sweet and thoughtful hand written message from Carmen and Andrea. Thank you guys for having me experience and document your wedding.
Groom Shoes: Steve Madden