Travel Photographer

SamErica Creative Retreat in Tulum


It's been about a while (way to long!) since our trip to Tulum and I figured it's about time I did a blog post. Thank you to Erica from SamErica Studios for putting this super fun trip together! Also a big thanks to Kayla (October and Rum) and Melissa (Epoch Designs) , for being such amazing travel buddies and willing models.  And of course big thanks to the husbands who agreed to be dragged around and model too. :)

Day 1

We arrived super early morning on a Monday and after picking up our crew and the rental car, we drove down the coast from Cancun. When we got into town our first goals were to find our house, pick a room and turn on the AC, and then get a drink down by the shore. I think the restaurant and bar at Mi Amor was one of my favorite spots we went to. With an amazing infinity pool and open air to the stunning beach view it was the perfect way to shake off the airport grim. I mean how does life get better than a margarita and an ocean breeze. We got some dinner down the street and made a plan to check out some Cenotes (fresh water limestone caves) the next morning. 

Day 2

We woke up early, made breakfast in our central living room/kitchen, and then sun-screened up. Our first Cenote was probably my favorite of the trip, The Grand Cenote which is just outside of town. Crystal clear water, tons of fish to check out while snorkeling, and lots of secluded spots to take pictures. After swimming around in the cool waters, getting all of us a chance to brave the cave of bird/bats, and doing a little photoshoot, we were all ready to explore the little downtown of Tulum.

It was mid day, and pretty warm to go shopping. But once we grabbed an ice cream, we were ready to shop for all kinds of goodies. I really wanted to buy one of their stunning hammocks, but then I remembered I had a pretty full suitcase. :) After shopping we grabbed the boys and headed down to the beach to find a spot for dinner. The stunning beach front restaurant at Nomade had us all feeling super inspired.

Day 3

We started our first real beach day at CoCo Tulum, which if you have the chance, you must check out. The stunning cabanas, white swings, and Beach front conch shell shower make this spot a must must. Plus the staff was super kind and allowed us to take all kinds of pictures while we were there. A lot of the resorts in Tulum have weird rules about professional cameras so be aware if you ever head down there expecting to be able to take pictures where ever you want. In fact, my photos in this blog are a mix of iPhone and my big camera (can you tell the difference? I can, but I'd love to know!)

After swinging the morning away we decided to take a walk down the main strip by the beach, where there are lots of great shops and restaurants. I think my biggest piece of advice when visiting Tulum is to have transportation figured out. Rent a car, rent bikes, rent scooters. Walking is not super easy with no sidewalks and a lot of things are spread out and in the heat, walking was just not our friend.

One of my favorite spots we stopped to grab a snack at was Raw Love, which had amazing Acai bowls. The heat was definitely getting to me at this point in the day, and that creamy ice cold bowl hit the spot. Also as we were walking/driving around town we noticed all these amazing street signs. Instead of regular signs (like stop, speed bumps, etc.) they were all motivational mantras. It was fun getting to spot all the new signs as we went through town. 

Day 4

Another stunning day! We decided in the morning to go and check out the ruins of the Mayan City of Tulum. We started our tour by seeing a crazy amount of wildlife, including Coati mundi , which are relatives of our raccoon (but I think they're cuter), AND giant huge enormous iguanas. The city is stunning and I can only imagine what kind of thriving coastal trade city it must have been. Our guide was amazing, and taught us so much about the mayan culture and their day to day life. We got really lucky and got to see Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the flyers) while we were there, and I was shocked that those guys could swing in circles, tied to a rope, and play music the whole way hanging upside down.

After our morning at the Ruins, we were hot and ready to cool down so we decided to check out a few more Cenotes. The Cenotes water temperature can be in the mid-high 70's, and the temperature outside was in the 90's. So it was like jumping into a giant liquid Air conditioner. After drinking and swimming the afternoon away, we were all ready to grab some food and crash. Well at least I was ready to crash. Some of the crew decided to go out and dance the night away. The sun, the booze, the heat did me in and I slept like a rock!

Day 5

Probably my favorite beach day, by far! We went to Casa Malca, which was once Pablo Escobars Tulum home.  The staff were super warm and friendly, and took care of us like we were family. We got a little tour when we first arrived, and checked out all the stunning art, enormous art installation swings, and hidden underground pool. This part of the beach was also super clean (there was a a lot of seaweed while we were in town) so this is the only beach I ended up getting into the water at. 

This was also the day that the creative team decided we would work on collecting images for our portfolio and use later. We had and assignment and held each other accountable to hitting our goals. After swinging the day away on a giant swing, and swimming in the bright blue ocean, we decided to explore a bit more of the strip. We had to make a stop at a local favorite, Matcha Mama, and again I got an ice cold bowl. With all the fresh fruit how do you not just gorge yourself on it all?

This day was also my favorite dinner, cause we got like 10 street tacos for 5 dollars. I mean how do you go wrong?! If you stay in town in Tulum you have to try Antojitos La Chiapaneca, it's crazy delicious and crazy inexpensive.

This all feels like just a quick synopsis of what our trip was, but really what I came away with, is what I think travel does to everyone. A greater appreciation for the beauty in the world, a thankfulness for what I have, and a mind reset on my life and business. It's hard to hold on to all of that when you get home, but that's why you have pictures and friends. They're there to remind you and keep you on course. 

Shannon and Pat's Grand Targhee Resort Wedding, Wyoming

Pat and Shannon Grand Targhee Wyoming Wedding Grand Teton National Park-15.jpg

This past week in Wyoming/Idaho was so beautiful, and perfect for a stunning mountain top wedding. Grand Targhee is located basically on the border of Wyoming and Idaho, outside of  Jackson Hole and Driggs. I was blessed to be their photographer, and flown in and I couldn't have been happier with how lovely their wedding day was. 

 Pat and Shannon's family and friends came from all over to celebrate this sweet couples love. And Pat and Shannon's constant laughter and smiles in all of these pictures really tells the story of the day! Their bridal party was super fun and ready for all kinds of adventure. All dressed up and in high heels, this team made it to the top of the mountain and hiked up to the perfect spot for pictures. Plu sthis team really worked hard and made sure that all the details of their day were perfect, gorgeous florals, custom decor, stunning bridal veil. That is love and dedication!

The wedding was exactly what this laid back and lovely couple wanted, simple but stunning, with the focus being on their love. It gave a chance for all their friends and family to really experience what their life is like living in this part of Idaho. They even had all their guest contribute to a large nature inspired wedding mural. Pat and Shannon, I hope you love these sneak peaks and I'm just so glad I got to be there for your big day. Thank you for taking my brother's advice to hire me, and for trusting me with your beautiful day!

Big Hugs!



Venue and Catering: Grand Targhee Resort

Photographer: Great Woodland Photography

Second Shooter: Kellie Viagem 

Florals: Katie Knipe

Linens: High Country Linens

DJ: DJ Cut La Whut

Donuts: Paradise Donuts

Dress: Deerfield Bridal Barn

Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero

Groom and Groomsmen: Men's Warehouse

The Wisner's Family Session at Hotel Emma, San Antonio

Wisner Family Session San Antonio Hotel Emma 2017-3.jpg

So I am a bit behind schedule but I can't wait to catch you all up on all the crazy over the last few months of traveling (if you follow me on Instagram and Facebook you've seen some of the fun). But instead of getting you all caught up I figured I'd jump ahead and do a little blog post on some of my favorite people in the world, The Wisner's! When Catherine (who is an amazing photographer in her own right) GAVE me an amazing lens earlier this year I just knew I had to pay her back in some way, and so when we had a great family friend (who is honestly like family) was having a wedding in San Antonio, I knew my chance had arrived. 

I have know this amazing family for about 15 years, since Stephanie and I became friends in High School, and watching their families amazing journey has been a true pleasure. And the apple of everyone's eye is little Scarlet. It was a cloudy drippy morning, but Scarlett brought the sunshine in her smile. She kept us all entertained and she is truly, madly deeply in love with her uncle Joe. Their sweet friend ship kept us all giggling and smiling. She refused to sit with her parents in the group shot, cause uncle Joe is where it's at!

 I hope you all love this sweet sneak peak and I can't wait to get you the rest ASAP. It is such an honor to be your friends and your photographer.

Big Hugs!!!