Never thought I would be doing a destination wedding. Okay...maybe that was very pessimistic of me. I knew I would at some point. It's really just the law of averages. I just didn't figure my first location would be so epic. I was thinking Florida would be likely at some point. Possibly southern California. Maybe even New York. All spots I wouldn't mind shooting. Nope. It was Hawaii.
It all started with the engagement pics I did for Stefy and Sergio. Well if you want to be technical, it began with the first model shoot I did for Stefy. However, I would definitely say it was the engagement pics that cinched the deal. They were both so pleased with my work that they insisted I do their wedding. I was all game for it too. Then when I found out they were getting hitched in Hawaii, I just assumed all bets were off. Those wedding packages come with photogs. That didn't matter. They still wanted my services.
Keep in mind, I have never been to Hawaii. I have never even left the continental U.S. So this was quite the adventure for me. It didn't even matter that I was going there on business. I don't care what your profession is, it really doesn't seem like 'work' at all when your locale is Hawaii. And I quickly realized that 4 days there wasn't enough.
I promised the two of them that I would go above and beyond for their wedding. That meant more than just the ceremony. We did bridal and groom photos around the entire island of Kauai. As long as there was sun light, we were out shooting in it. I have never been exhausted in my entire life. But once again, it was a type of exhaustion that I would gladly settle for if given a choice.
The wedding day itself was almost a disaster from my standpoint. Something that Stefy and Sergio weren't even aware of until now (assuming they read this). It turned out that I had drained both my regular battery and my back-up battery by the time the wedding day rolled around. I had gotten so wrapped up in capturing every moment and properly preserving it that I forgot to charge my batteries the night before the ceremony. As I'm loading up my gear to head to the location, I realize I'm down to about 15 minutes of battery life. I was sweating like a prostitute in church on Sunday.
Fortunately, the vehicle that we were driving around had a regular three-pronged outlet in it. I charged one battery there while we snapped some of the formals at a lush flower garden. That only bought me another 30 minutes though. Then Lady Luck struck again. We had to take a ferry to the site where the ceremony would be held. It was approximately a 15-minute ride. And that ferry had electrical outlets. I was able to charge both batteries to the point where I bought myself at least another 3-4 hours. And thanks to my tactical shot selection, they were able to last even longer. Tragedy averted.
All in all, I can't even express what an amazing opportunity that Hawaii trip was. I cannot thank the Belmontes enough for allowing it to happen. If I never shoot another wedding again (after the one I already have booked a few months from now) then I would have ended on the highest note possible. I don't think I could ever live in Hawaii even if I had the chance given the high cost of living and being so far from everyone; however, I definitely would not mind visiting often.