Costa Rican Wedding Photography :: Megan & David

My bags are packed.  Passport has been safely tucked away in my carryon.  I leave for the Dominican Republic in t-minus five hours to shoot what will surely be a gorgeous wedding.  Maybe I’ll even see some fireworks over Las Vegas as we depart.  It is Independence Day, after all.

But before we get all Dominican up in here, let me jet-set you over to a little Central American land bridge known as Costa Rica.

Megan and David flew to Central America to tie the knot, and they took an amazing group of their friends and family along with them for the journey.  The group spent five days exploring the Costa Rican culture while the honeymooners stayed several more days to soak in the sand and sun… all while getting accustomed to calling each other husband and wife.

As it goes for any tropical wedding, the lurking rain clouds and constant threat of showers was on Megan and her mom’s mind all week long.  I caught myself gazing to the clouds far more than usual, as well.  The wedding, scheduled to take place on a Friday, was set to be completely outdoors… at the mercy of the Rain Gods.  Tuesday went by with a few showers, same thing with Wednesday and Thursday… so hopes were high, and we woke up to a blue, cloudless sky.

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My day started with David.  Cool as a cucumber, and ready to see his wife… David.

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In stark contrast to the calm environment in David’s room was Megan’s suite… bustling with her closest friends, tears beginning to fall, and champagne brimming in glasses all around the room.  Megan’s mom, Pam, who is quite possibly the nicest mother on the planet… (including my own… I mean, come on, MY MOM has never taken me to Costa Rica… (joking, love you Mom!)…)  helped Megan into her dress while some of her best friends watched on.  The first thing that Megan had to do the moment the last bow was tied… twirl.  Like a girl playing dress up… Gone With the Wind Twirl.

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And with one quick look, it was too much for Pam to see her only baby girl ready to become a wife.

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Megan and David’s first look was scheduled to take place in front of some big arches in front of the property, but as we walked, we came across this endearing rock wall that separated the driveway to the resort and the Costa Rican thicket.  And we had to stop.  It was perfection.

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Just as we returned to the resort to start family formals, it happened.  Dark, lurking rain clouds rolled in… and then the clouds cracked with thunder and unleashed a downpour of wedding-day rain.  But in true pura vida spirit, the wedding went on as scheduled… neither Megan nor David blinked an eye.  Their guests waited in a nearby building to let the storm dump the majority of its raindrops, and then they gathered on the beach to watch Megan and David become husband and wife.

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With the two images above I’m fighting every urge in my fingers not to type… and they lived happily ever after… but alas… I can only tell you that Megan and David have lived happily ever after… as husband and wife… for about a month.  But I am sure that one month will turn into two, will turn into a year, will turn into ten years, will turn into a lifetime.  Much love and laughter to you, Mr. & Mrs. David Kirkland.  xo.

A Talk Shop

In the photography world there are Facebook groups for Facebook groups.  And then groups for those groups.  We have local photography Facebook groups, a group for users of this product, and a group for users of that product.  Groups within groups, and groups for other groups.  It’s kind of awesome, and a hot mess all at the same time.  Fraser doesn’t understand this.  He often asks why I would want to be friends with other photographers.  Why would I want to be friends with my competition?  Why do we share information with each other?  Those are completely valid questions.  We’re weird, us photographers, I’ll admit.  But here’s the thing.  I learned everything that I know from the Internet.  From other photographers.  I study other photographers images.  I read about lighting, exposure, f-stops, aperture, ISO levels, chromatic aberration… okay okay…  I don’t read about chromatic aberration. I  just threw that in there to make me sound smart.  But you know what… I did learn about chromatic aberration in one of my Facebook groups, and it kinda rocked my world.

Like any other industry, the photography industry has people of all levels in its folds.  But what makes the photography industry a little bit different is that most of us are running our own businesses… we’re all scurrying around trying to figure out what the hell we’re doing… and when you’re first starting out the learning curve is steeeeeeeeeeeep, ya’ll.  Where other companies have trainings, continuing education, and manuals to be read… us photographers have each other.  Awwww… doesn’t that sound all heart warming?  It should, because it is!!  Some of my dearest friends have resulted from a Facebook group.  We creepy stalk each other.  Yeah, like… we put all the ex-girlfriends of the world to shame.  We creep.  We stalk.  Hell, I even had a dream about a photographer the other night who I have never met!  Okay, you get the point.  But what I’m trying to get across here is that we lean on each other.  We learn from the best, and we learn from the newbies.  Photography is art.  It’s subjective, and there’s not one person who is doing it quote, unquote the right way.  I essentially just air quoted rather than real-life quoted… while I was typing.   That takes talent.

All of these Facebook groups have one thing in common.  Talking shop.  Errr…. typing shop…. but that doesn’t sound as good.  Us photographers love to hash out the nitty gritty details of how a photo is composed, what lighting was used to get the image, the lens… the camera… the positioning… off camera flash, on camera flash… bounce card… natural light… and dear gawd, let’s not get started on what type of editing was done in post processing.  So, yeah, we like to talk.  Which is why I want to host a mini-workshop… to talk shop… A Talk Shop.  See what I did there?  I play on words like nobody’s business.


Soooo… if you’re in Las Vegas, close to Las Vegas, or wanna travel to Las Vegas on August 4th, please come hang out and talk shop with me and ten other guests!!  And, if you’re gonna talk the talk you better walk the walk, right? So, this mini-workshop is going to be split into two segments of talking shop and shooting.  We will hit on a ton of behind the scenes topics such as websites, branding, client emails, contracts, posing (there will be a lot of posing)… Basically, I’ll open my business up to the ten people sitting in my living room for a couple of hours.  Then we’re gonna hit the streets and photograph some gorgeous people!  We’re going to have a wedding couple, and a gorgeous family to photograph.  Everyone will be styled, and ready to have some fun!  This is definitely a portfolio building opportunity as much as it is an opportunity to see how I shoot for genuine and organic emotions/interactions, and how to use natural light… even if it might be a little bit harsh at times.

This is the perrrrfect opportunity for somebody who is just starting out in the industry, someone who has been spinning their wheels but not getting anywhere, or if you want to just get a little push and some pretty images for your website!

Here are the deets:

August 4th, 4pm – 8pm (or however long we wanna shoot/talk), $200 per person, limit to 10 people… I have already announced this in some of those infamous groups I mentioned above… so some slots are already spoken for, and there’s only 6 left!  Hit me up with an email (  Please send me a real life email… not a Facebook message… or a comment below this post…  I won’t respond as fast to these forms of communication, and you might miss a spot because of it!!

I can’t wait to meet you guys!!