Daniel & Nastassian: Salsa Nuptials

In May I had the pleasure of shooting the fun, intimate wedding of Daniel José Older and Nastassian Brandon (now Brandon-Older) in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.

Meet The Couple

I first met this wonderful couple in the same way that they themselves first met; on Twitter! Daniel is from New York City, and Nastassian is from Jamaica (this is the power of social media). It was through this medium that I really got to know them.

In a quirky twist of fate, Daniel (author of Salsa Nocturna, Half-Resurrection Blues and Shadowshaper) happened to be a writer whose work I had been admiring for quite some time. Nastassian, while a law student, also happened to be a writer, and I could instantly see why they complement each other so well.

Twitter has a funny way of bringing people together and at times bringing out their true nature, and it was because of this that I could see how fun, witty and brilliant they are, not to mention adventurous (he proposed to her in Paris for Pete’s sake!)

The wedding, dubbed Salsa Nuptials by a friend of the bride, was held at Garden House, a guesthouse on the outskirts of Ocho Rios, with an absolutely gorgeous view overlooking the town.

When the day began, conditions were perfect for a day of shooting outdoors; the sky started out overcast, but cleared up quite nicely heading into the ceremony.

Both groom’s and the bride’s camps ensured that they were ready for the day (although the bride’s took a bit longer).

After the guests were settled in and the groom stood at the gazebo that served as the alter, everything went smoothly. Showcasing a bit of her fun side, the Nastassian requested that Big Pimpin’ be played for the bridal march, delighting the guests and causing fits of laughter.

After an excellent ceremony, the newlyweds took some amazing portraits privately and with their families.

The reception was fun-filled, peppered with laughs provided by friends and family through lovely, heartfelt speeches. The day was capped off with the couple having their first dance, completely lost in their own world while they danced arm in arm.

Gavin & Jess: A ‘Save the Date’ Shoot

Meet The Couple

A little while back I got a call (well, a call and then a Whatsapp message) from Gavin, an old schoolmate from high school. He was looking for a photographer to shoot him and his fiance Jessica, popular blogger of Jessica in the Kitchen fame for a ‘Save the Date’ shoot. It had been a little while since I’d shot a couple, so I was glad to sign on and work with them.

Jessica (and Gavin) In the Kitchen

We talked about a few ideas for the theme of the shoot. I asked him, “What’s something that you two positively enjoy doing together?” His answer was immediate; cooking! One of their favourite things to do is cook and spend time in the kitchen together. After hashing out a few ideas with him, I decided to go a bit more in-depth on my own. I wanted to showcase them in the kitchen, but I still wanted to keep the spirit and purpose of the shoot.

A few days later, I was in Gavin’s kitchen, ready to make some magic. Both he and Jess were incredibly comfortable in front of the camera, and they were a joy to work with. They were naturals; who needs posing, anyway?. We talked throughout the shoot, with Gavin recounting how he asked her out on their first date (it’s a really cute story involving a Super Bowl party and pastry).

After grabbing some great shots in the kitchen, we decided to head outdoors to get some more traditional shots. Gavin’s backyard was pretty sizable, so we had a lot of space to work with. While I did have a shot list to work by, Gavin and Jess pulled off almost every concept without even referencing it. This led to a really great series of images, which I feel were the best of the shoot. You could feel the love between them; it was palpable, and it translated well on-camera.

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