James & Megan: Newport RI Engagement Shoot

In a couple of weeks these two will be getting married, and I'll get to photograph it. I know I say this a lot, but I am really looking forward to it. One of the best parts about my job is the process of getting to know my clients; their story, and the story before their story. Megan is from the magical country of Costa Rica, and James is an insanely talented musician. You can find his music here. They are so blessed to have each other. Spending time with them was more like hanging out than actually working. After we took photos, they took me to this cute little Mexican restaurant where we had very peculiar avocado fries that literally tasted like blueberries. 

Mark & Sheika

There are few things in life that are better than photographing a wedding... and that is photographing a bi-racial wedding. Even though the sun was burning some 90 something degrees, we were able to have so much fun. Sheika looked so stunning, and Mark, so handsome. 

Event Planning: Exquisite Events | Floral Design: Winston Flowers | Wedding Dress: Rosa Clará | Invitations: Paper Moss | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Catering:The Taj Boston | Makeup: Joanna Petit-Frere | Hair: Lawrence Hamilton | DJ: Ron Furr At Entertainment Specialists | Officiant: Reverend Alan Neale | Venue: The Taj Boston | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited | Cinematography: Buzz Media

PHOTOGRAPHED FOR REBECCA ARTHURS PHOTOGRAPHY

Thecia & Patrick

My sister is getting married today. It's a funny feeling being all grown up. She's the oldest, and I'm the youngest. Naturally, she picked on me and I tried my best to be annoying, so our childhood was filled with stupid fights and snitching. Mostly her snitching and me fighting. When we were kids I threw a penny at her forehead, and I swear I had unleashed Thecia 2.0. That was the last time I threw a penny at any type of forehead. When we were older, she chased me around the house, and me in my innocence did not foresee this type of attack, so as I ran in my socks on shiny new hardwood floors, I slipped and fell by our dinner table. Apparently that was enough punishment for me because she stopped chasing me. 

My sister and I only look a like, but we couldn't be anymore different than each other. I'm clearly more fun. Haha, I'm kidding. She's always been the wiser one, and I the foolish one. She'd do things the right way and I would ignore my parent's advice and mess up and come back crying. She studied hard while I was out and about. She started college right out of high school, and when I graduated, I was still out and about. I've always been so loud, and she just observes in her quietness. I give myself away to every person I meet, but she guards her heart. I'll give you my trust but you'll earn it from her. I live for the now, she lives for tomorrow. I care less, and she cares more, but somehow, it doesn't take much to make us both cry. 

In a few hours you'll be walking down the isle with my dad, and be given to your husband. I already know we're going to cry really ugly. It's a new season as you take on a new last name, and I am so happy for you. I'm excited for your new home, your new job, and your marriage. 

The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
— Lamentations 3:22-23

Juan & Juliana: Waterplace, Engagement Session

I studied at a different school every year while I still lived in Brazil, so making long-lasting friendships wasn't easy, especially for an eight year old. But when I came to the States, in the middle of fourth grade, I learned that the school system here was different. The kids in your kindergarten class are the same ones in your high school class (for the most part). 

I met Juan in that year that I entered fourth grade, and I remember his long bangs, giant white T-shirt, and I think he wore a blue sweatband on his head sometimes (it was cool back then, haha). Time passes, life happens, and we grow up.

And then I learn that he's engaged to the sweetest angel that is Juliana, and my goodness, she's a natural in front of the camera! Juan, you are too. One of the toughest part about photographing people, is directing them. Unless you're a professional model, you're not going to know what to do, right? But Juan and Juliana came to this session ready with some sass, and enough joy and love to fill the city. 

This was one of the funnest photoshoots I've done this year. I can't even imagine how much better it will be to photograph their wedding. 

 


The Hope Club Wedding: Jess and Jay

It was such an elegant day with Jay and Jess at the Hope Club. I never even knew of the gem that sits here in downtown Providence, RI. 

Wedding Planner: Blissful Events / Venue: The Hope Club / Dress: Monique Lhuillier, Carine's Bridal Atelier / Groom's attire: Brooks Brothers / Florist: Pomfret Florist / Caterer:  The Hope Club / Hair & Makeup: Serai Beauty / Band: The Sultans of Swing

Photographed with Rebecca Arthurs Photography 

Long Island Anniversary Shoot: Alex & Julie

These two are total babes! I felt like I was photographing for a catalogue, and on top of that, it felt like a day off. We hung out all day, found a few different locations to shoot in, and hung out some more, and ate some delicious Long Island "pie" or pizza. I loved spending the day there. Thank you Alex and Julie for letting me photograph you! And happy one year anniversary! 

Pst. Press play.  

Roger Williams Park, Family Photos: The Lima Family

This past weekend I photographed the cutest family. And the best part of it was their little girl, Bibi (bee-bee). For a child that wouldn't stay still for more than three seconds, she did really good! 

And you wouldn't even know that her mom was holding her in place 2 seconds before this picture. And surely, little Bibi ran after her right after this shot. Haha, you gotta love this girl! 

I've known the Lima family for some years, so I've been around Bibi since she was born. However, this little girl does not like my face, and I'm 99% sure thats all my fault. 

I mean, do you see how cute she is?! Everytime I saw her, I couldn't resist. I'd pinch her cheeks so hard that I might've classically conditioned her to associate my face with pain. So I thought that since I was going to be all up on her face, I was going to get some pretty grumpy shots. Trust me, I definitely did. But thank God her awesome parents were there, being silly, jumping and dancing just so that their daughter would smile in spite of me. 

Castle Hill Wedding: Allison and Matt

About a year or two ago, I found one of the best wedding photographers here in Rhode Island. Her pictures were so beautiful, and I instantly felt the need to get in touch! And to my surprise, she invited Savannah and I for dinner a few weeks later. Meeting her has opened a so many doors, and I am so grateful for that. One of those being able to shoot alongside her on some weddings, including this gorgeous one at Castle Hill in NewPort, RI. 

Shot with Rebecca Arthurs Photography

Shane & Alynne

My best friends are getting married! 

It's happening. It's that phase of my life where all my friends will become engaged, marry, and live happily ever after. Honestly, it's a lot better time for me than when all my friends were turning 15, and I had to learn some type of dance and then watch her dad give her new shoes. 

Knowing them so well, photographing Shane and Alynne was so much fun. Our plan was to photograph inside the Boston Library, but a mean lady told us we couldn't do it. It ended up being alright because we found some pretty neat places around Newbury street, and I got enough leg workout for the rest of the week!

I'm really excited to be sharing these pictures with you. While you view them, click play. ;)


Leslie

Can I just say that this girl right here is one of the best people anyone can meet? She is the realest friend you need, the funniest companion you can have, and also the funnest. Though I'm still trying to get her to watch Jurassic World with me. Sigh*

Anyway, we took a trip to a park near by, Lincoln Woods. And to my surprize, this place was huge. I didn't know a place so beautiful existed right around the corner. The sun was setting, the breeze was breezing and the trees were just fabulous. 

All the photos of me were taken by her. I'm telling you. She's a rising star.

Press play, and scroll along. :) 

Ruthie & Wagner

As we finished our session, I told them, "I'm going to be your lifetime photographer." And we all laughed. 

It's such a special feeling to be capturing all these great moments in the life of Ruthie and Wagner. I photographed their engagement, and their wedding about a year ago, and now, I was able to document them again. But this time, as they expect their first baby! 

Trust me, taking pictures in 90º+ weather was not easy. I felt like a fat kid in gym class. But being able to produce these pictures are always worth it. To capture their love and the fruit of that love.. what a beautiful thing. 

Starting Something New

I want to start a new project, not pertaining to wedding or couple/family photography. There's a photographer, Mary Beth Meehan, in Providence who mentored me for a while during my last year of high school as I sought to publish my own photography book. Her work is phenomenal, and she is well respected in her community. She's a published photographer and is a great advocate for justice, and bringing to light was is kept in darkness. Some of her work pertains to documenting the lives of immigrants like this one. Right now, she is in a current project that I think is pushing me to do similar work. She has a blog, Seen/Unseen

Seen/Unseen is a work-in-progress by photographer and writer Mary Beth Meehan, as she navigates the communities in her native New England, trying to meet her neighbors and describe what life is like for the people around her.
— Mary Beth Meehan

I have read some posts like this one, this one, and this one. Each one so genuine, raw, and deeply moving. As an artist, I think that I feel a bit more than the average person, just as I try to convey more emotion than the average person. Or maybe I'm just a really emotional person. Nevertheless, I want to document the lives I see everyday, but do not know. I want to meet and photograph the twins that I've seen since I was a child, the ones with the neon colored hair and the CD players and the booty shorts. People have called them the Tootsie twins, but I cannot say that is their real name. I want to document that old lady with the long skirt who always walks dragging her little metal carriage behind her, filled with things. She sometimes has a hat on, and always looks at the ground as she walks. I want to interview the men and women who linger around Kennedy Plaza; the familiar faces I always see on the bus, the souls who don't have a place to call home. 

I read an article by anthropologist Carlos Castaneda earlier this week that talked about overcoming our four natural enemies in order to become a "man of knowledge." (I take it that by "man" it is also implied that a person can also become a "woman of knowledge.") The article reads, 

A man of knowledge is one who has followed truthfully the hardships of learning. A man who has, without rushing or without faltering, gone as far as he can in unraveling the secrets of power and knowledge.

It is later described that the four natural enemies are fear, clarity, power, and old age. First, one must know how to overcome his fear.

When a man wants to learn, he is never clear about his objectives. His purpose is faulty; his intent is vague. He hopes for rewards that will never materialize for he knows nothing of the hardships of learning.

He slowly begins to learn–bit by bit at first, then in big chunks. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Learning is never what one expects.

That is my position right now. I am stuck between what I know and am comfortable with, and what could be. There's a fear of the unknown; the fear of picking up my camera and taking a walk downtown. 

Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield.

So a person can either wither in their fear, or conquer it, thus finding a state of clarity where he or she will no longer be afraid to try new things, to learn, to venture into unknown soil, to dance to a different rhythm. 

In the end, "...one becomes a man of knowledge for a very brief instant..." Right now, I am not too concerned about becoming a "man of knowledge" (maybe because these four enemies are something that I will try to fight naturally), but I know that I will  not wither in my fear. I will continue to fight my fears of learning new things, of working in new environments and know that being uncomfortable is always part of trying something new. 

This is Resting

Some of these photos were taken from The City Facebook page, which means I did not take all of them.

I have a love/hate relationship with writing. I haven't had much time to sit down and get my thoughts into words in a while, specially with the start of a new semester. I love sharing my ideas. I love conveying my emotions, whether that be through writing or photographs, and sometimes through video (but those take a little bit longer to compose, BUT CAN BE SO MUCH BETTER), even though the only one who probably reads this blog is my girlfriend. (She's kind of supposed to automatically like everything I do, right?) The hardest part is actually sitting down to write, or film, or create when life seems to be going in a perpetual whirlwind of school, work and responsibilities. My tendency is to do everything in a rush, and I don't know what for. When I drive, I'm in a hurry even if I'm not late. I don't cook, because I often make shortcuts and the food turns out terrible. I'll do a photo shoot and stay up until 4 am editing because I can't wait to see the potential of each picture. It's a habit where I often find myself restless; never satisfied. Not being satisfied can be good sometimes, because you will always work to be/get better, but you will eventually need to rest.

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
— Genesis 2:2

I just came back from a retreat with my church which gave me a lot to think about. The most incredible part about it was meeting a handful of people who congregate at another campus, people of character, who are full of joy and love and inspiration to give. But in the days following that, I haven't had time to share all the blessing. I've been tired, I've been doing a whole lot of lying around, but not a lot of resting to gather my thoughts. And when I sat down to write this post, I began to think more about what it means to rest. What did God do on the seventh day? I bet he enjoyed His creation. He watched the sun rise, and the sun set. He must've noticed a murmuration at twilight. He must've let the wind blow through the land and watched the leaves fall to the ground. He must've dug His feet in the brown earth. He must've smelled flowers and the ocean water. 

For me resting is not just sleeping. To me, this is resting. It's writing. It's sharing. 

To rest is to laugh. 

To rest is to remember. 

It's enjoying. It's eating with friends and family. it's kissing. It's listening to music. It's long boarding. It's watching my brother be a rockstar for a day. 

It's going to a concert. It's sledding with my best friends (no matter how old I am). 

It's worshiping. It's praying. 

And worshiping some more (while trying to do some spider dance).

It's spending time with my family. 

It's being a creep behind my girlfriend, and then laughing about it. 

And watching my sister and her boyfriend fall in love. 

I'm learning to rest as well as enjoy this life. I'm learning to slow down and embrace what life is nowbecause tomorrow is not a guarantee. Who knows what it will bring? Tomorrow may never come. And that is not a pessimistic way of thinking, it's a way to appreciate what you have now. 

Today, I will work. I will do what I have to do, and then I will rest. 

Savannah {And Our Story} // India Point Park Providence

I have the most beautiful girlfriend in the world. I'm not being biased. Even before she was my girlfriend, I still thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world.

We met at Starbucks. She was in front of me in line ordering her chai tea latte when she realized she had forgotten her wallet in another purse. I offered to pay for her, and said, "Since I bought this for you, can I at least know your name?

And then she fell madly in love with me. KIDDING. We knew each other before that. Up to that point, we had only communicated via text and Facebook, and not that frequently. How romantic, right? We knew each other through a mutual friend, but never had the opportunity to actually meet. I remember the first time I ever saw a photo of her, four years ago. I thought her beauty was so effortless. She was standing in the edge of a boat. The sail stretched high off the frame, frozen in the wind. The sky shined in dark red, then deep purple as it stretched away from the horizon. And there she was, holding the white railings of that boat, leaning back and looking at the camera; her hair flowing in the wind, but not messy. I would study these photos, track every speckle of brown that covered her skin, entangle in the green threads that stretched across her pupil and back again. I had no idea who she was, but I never neglected to tell her how amazingly gorgeous she looked, and she never failed to respond with another compliment. But this was the basis for most of our conversations, which were rare and never escalated to much depth, but at the same time, it wasn't superficial. I knew that one day we would look each other in the eye, and fall endlessly in the abyss of love. It was a weird feeling, but I was so certain. Just as the sky is blue, I knew we would be together. 

And when the day finally came to meet her, I felt like a fanatic Taylor Swift fan. Maybe not to that extent, but it was wild nonetheless. I picked her up from her house, and we drove to Starbucks. 

And as we sipped our chai tea lattes and talked face-to-face for the first time, my heart couldn't really decide. Although I preferred it'd just stop, it raced too quickly before I could catch it, and ran down my sleeve readying itself to dive into her hands, as soon as she came close enough.

*SIGH*

I am so lucky to have a woman like her.  

 

Too Much Fog

I can't remember the last time I took my camera out for an adventure on my own. Lately, it's been just business. 

There's a song by Marina and the Diamonds that says, "If you are not very careful,
your possessions will possess you." In my particular case, it wasn't my possessions that possessed me, but my business that consumed me. 

"How do I book more clients?"

"I have to stop shooting for free."

"I have to be more professional, more stern and serious about this business."

"Let me just check my website one more time."

"Ugh. Why am I failing at this?

It was permeating my life. I was obsessed and I lost sleep because of it. When I wasn't thinking about it, I was talking about it (to my girlfriend, to whom I have already apologized). I felt like Cady Heron when she could "hear people getting bored at her" everytime she talked about Regina George in Mean Girls. But just like her, it didn't stop me from talking about my business, and hoping that someone would bring it up so that I could talk about it more. It was terrible, and painful even for me. I just couldn't come to terms that I had developed an acute condition of self-righteousness. 

You know how they say pride comes before the fall? I remember a few weeks ago when my friends and I went ice skating. I had gone around the rink a couple of times before my girlfriend, Savannah arrived. I was tired of seeing the other couples skate around while they struggled to stay on both feet. So when Savannah finally stepped into the rink, I grabbed her hand and said, "C'mon, let's show these people how it's really done." You can already expect what happened next. Just as we start to pick up some momentum, my feet start to fail, and like lightning strikes the ground, my face struck that beautiful, glistening ice, and I pulled poor Savannah down with me. At least the ice numbed the pain. I was so embarrassed because I was trying so hard to be perfect and show off. I literally fell after my pride. 

It was similar with my photography business, except that I was blindly causing myself to fall, charging outrageous prices and acquiring horrible marketing and social skills. Yes, I have clients, but you're not seeing my name in magazines. My focus was entirely on money. I'd completely forgotten why I pursued a career in photography in the first place. I had lost my passion and that fire that burned so bright was only but hot embers that lingered on a cold beach shore. 

But this weekend, that flame rekindled. I picked up my camera. I walked outside. I photographed what I found inspiring. I can't believe I've never taken pictures on a foggy day before. I found time to reflect on what I've been doing, and how wrong I've been doing it. And if there are any aspiring photographers out there who are reading this, don't lose your passion for photography. Don't get caught up in the money, and how many clients you have to book. Focus on doing what you love, and why you love it. And don't be afraid to express yourself. There are so many photographers in the world. What makes you stand out from the rest of them? Clients will hire you because of who you are, not just because of your pictures. 

A close friend of mine shared a video with me: a speech by Jasmin Star, a talented and amazing photographer who is so humble and true to what she does. Watching this helped me re-evaluate the way I do my business. You can watch it here.

Caleb & Meury

I met Caleb in the beginning of the year, at a student film festival. We both had short films in the festival, and we both went home with some memorable trophies. I believe he received one for best editing and special effects, and I can't remember what other trophy he won. We have kept in touch here and there. It's important to never take these moments for granted. Sometimes we end up meeting some of the coolest people in our lives. Caleb and his fiancé, Meury, will be getting married next year, and they had asked me to photograph them for a save-the-date invitation. From the moment we stepped out of our cars, it was all laughs. These two are hilarious, and such a joy to be around. I was so excited to be capturing it all. 

We shot in Valley Falls Heritage Park in Cumberland. It's park built on the ruins of Valley Falls Company Mill. Interpretive displays explain how Blackstone River was harnessed to power factories, and the growth of the Valley Falls Mills and the village around it. It's such an interesting place to wander. 

Keana

I can't believe that Keana is already graduating high school. Gosh, how time flies. I was so excited that I was able to take her senior photos. We decided to head out to the city, and I recommended we took the photos at the state house, where they have a huge beautiful wall covered in vines. 

It was an honor to take these photos. I personally never had my senior photos taken, and that's okay. I make up for it in shoots like these.

Location: Providence state house.

Lila

Lila is just amazing. She is also too fabulous for this photo shoot. Savannah and I almost couldn't handle it. And did I mention she was second runner up for Miss Rhode Island last year? Yeah, that's what I said. I just love working with interesting people, and being a small part of their story. 

Location: River Island Campground.