Ohhh October is my favorite time of the year. When you are not living in Key West, it’s FALL and the air is crisp and the leaves are changing colors and man, oh man, it’s just wonderful. It’s my wedding anniversary month, my birthday month and Halloween!!. One of my other favorite parts of OCTOBER is Halloween Minis! Don’t miss out on these fun minis. They are only $50 a person/pet. Book your preferred time slot by filling out this form: http://www.mirandaboller.com/halloween
Um HELLO Beautiful! Kourtney was absolutely glowing for this maternity session at Smathers Beach. I am a huge fan of the open belly dresses and she rocked this outfit like a model would. We made sure to include some family photos with her husband and two sons as well. I have to thank her sons for being my awesome assistants: they did a great job at holding up her dress and running out of my shot so we could get that floating dress look. My favorite part is how open she was to every idea and was super patient as I kept saying “one more photo” - us photographers sometimes we just can’t stop when we see the light! We were extra lucky to get some pinks in the sky and the moon was out for the last few photos. I can’t wait to find out if they have a baby girl or boy - they decided to wait till birth to find out and the suspense is killing me!
Happy First Birthday, Baby Olivia! 1. Look at that fabulous cake made by another military spouse - super cool and tasty! 2. How great is the outfit mom picked out for the Aloha themed cake smash? This cake smash was one for the books (in a good way of course!). Cake smashes go one way or the other, the child has no interest in the cake and wants to crawl everywhere or they just smash away and start eating it. Cake smashes take a lot of patience from everyone for this reason - heheh. We had to put Olivia in front of the cake numerous times to get her interested in eating it and she was willing to get her fingers dirty but the REAL cake smash didn't start until her brother decided he wanted some cake too. It was HILARIOUS to watch Olivia's face as her brother dug into her cake. He was quite the cake smash pro! I love that this happened and we just let them do their thing, because it created some pretty adorable and funny brother and sister cake smashing photos. They did a number on the cake and we were left with just crumbs by the end. Well done team, well done!
Still not sure what to get that special someone in your life this holiday season? How about some beautiful photos of yourself?!? For the rest of the year I am offering a holiday special of only $300 per person if you and two of your friends book the same day. We will determine the date that works best for you and your friends (or someone you know interested in having Boudoir photos!). The day will be separated out in time slots for hair/makeup and the photos so you have the option of hanging out and drinking champagne together or just arriving during your time slot. Boudoir photos take place in the comfort and privacy of my own home. We do hair and makeup in the kitchen and all photos are taken in the bedroom and my office. YOU DO NOT have to get nude or even down to bra and underwear. We can always do super cute photos of you with a t-shirt and shorts or your significant others favorite shirt. I never promote or use any of your photos without consent and everyone must sign a contract.
If you can't find anyone to join you I am offering $100 off my normal Boudoir packages: http://www.mirandaboller.com/boudoirsession/
Testimonials from sessions: "I had been wanting to get boudoir photos taken for a while, and when I saw Miranda’s promo, I signed up on a whim. I was extremely nervous to take photos like these with someone I didn’t know, but as soon I got there, she and her staff made me feel completely comfortable. It was so great to get pampered beforehand as well. I would recommend Miranda for any photos you might need. My photos turned out amazing, and I’m left with a newfound self confidence! Thank you so much!" - S.B.
"I was very nervous about getting out of my comfort zone and posing in front of the camera, but the minute I walked in, Miranda and her crew immediately made me feel at ease. Their presence were warm, relaxing and fun-loving. They guided me throughout the photo shoot that made my fears and anxieties turn into excitement. My session was so much more than I expected, we had an incredible time and they made me feel absolutely beautiful and sexy despite my insecurities. I love how my photos turned out and I definitely had an amazing experience." - J.C.
"Miranda is an excellent and talented photographer that I would wholeheartedly recommend to any woman seeking some special photographs. Her friendly personality and professional nature made me feel comfortable and she was very encouraging throughout the entire shoot" - N.B.
INTRODUCING holiday minis for September, October and November at three different locations! This year I am doing things a bit differently. I usually do my mini sessions on set dates but living on a 4x2 mile island has its advantages 🤩 Since everything is super close on this island I am giving you the freedom to choose the location (Boca Chica, Truman Beach, Trumbo) and date that works best with your schedule (depending on availability!). The mini session is $175 and includes a 20 minute session with an online viewing gallery and 10 digital downloads. Please book a session by filling out this form: http://www.mirandaboller.com/holidayminis
I will only offer these holiday minis during these three months and at these three locations. If you are interested in a session on Smathers beach, Ft. Zachary or location of your choice my portrait rate starts at $300 with a 45 minute session and 50+ images.
*As always, I thank previous clients by giving them more photos each time they hire me. So all previous clients get more than 10 images for this mini session!
Baby J is just the cutest - I mean hello L O O K at those CURLS! I've been one lucky photographer in that I got to photograph J at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and with his mom for mommy & me minis. So I was really looking forward to seeing this family again for Baby J's ONE YEAR photos. We chose a grassy location on base so he could be free and crawl around everywhere. We even came across an iguana on the rocks and had to get a photo with it in the background. No one year photo session is complete without some photos with mom and dad so we got plenty of those photos as well. It seriously makes me the happiest person ever to photograph these three! <3 <3
Military Giveaway <3 WIN A F R E E PHOTO SESSION! To enter you must be in the military or a dependent. Follow the directions below:
2. Like THE post on FACEBOOK
3. Comment ON the Facebook Post: What is/was your favorite summer vacation?
Winner will be picked at random on Friday, September 7th and announced via FB!
THESE TWO! I just can't. They are soooo adorable and so much in love! My heart was melting the whole session. We did two locations for their engagement photos. First was West Martello Tower** located next to Higgs Beach. This location was beautiful with so much greenery, a lovely gazebo, banyan tree, palms and flowers. A great place to get so many different photos. From the tower we adventured over to Fort Zachary Beach. At this location Ali and Michael were able to let loose and get super playful. We did some walking on the beach and feet in the water photos. At the end of our session Ali and Michael were willing to climb the rocks and jump into the water. I love the playful and romantic photos we got from these moments. They also had a seagrass war on their way back to the beach, which made for some pretty fun action photos. Both of these locations allowed for two different kind of "feels" photos. A more classy greenery session and a more playful beach session. I am so excited these two are a part of my life and looking forward to photographing their wedding day in November!
**Please note if you would like to use this location for a session they charge $100 for professional photography so that amount would have to be applied to our session.
I am absolutely in LOVE with banyan trees and Key West has quite a few I get to admire when walking around town. This one is probably my favorite one on the island because people can stand inside the tree and be wrapped up in all it's glory. It was so much fun photographing my friends Madeleine and Aaron for banyan mini sessions. They are just so adorable together and the session was full of so much laughter! I am now offering Banyan Mini's for only $99 until the end of this year. Please message me if you have any questions or would like to book a session!
My favorite thing about photo sessions is that I get to meet so many new people and hear their personal stories! I love that I always take photos at Smathers Beach, but every session is so different. The light is different, sometimes we get a beautiful sunset and sometimes it's just cloudy and sometimes we are even competing with weddings! This time around we had three weddings going on in the background. Each session is different and fun in it's own way because I feel like the people mix with the location to make it their own. This was definitely one of those sessions. Kirston and her family were in town for the weekend and wanted some updated photos. She loves palm trees so I really focused on having those in every photo. We also made sure to get a lot of photos of just "mom and dad". I feel like these photos are so often forgotten when kids come into the picture and they are still just as important. Their love was so beautiful! I feel so honored they hired me for this session while they were visiting Key West! How did I get so lucky?!?
I always get asked what is the best outfit or color to wear for my photo session? My advice is don’t wear matching outfits (the usual white t-shirt and jeans look). Coordinate with each other by choosing a simple non busy pattern (avoid large graphics and logos) and pull one of the solid colors in the pattern to connect each person. Stay away from colors that you do not look good in (yes we all have those colors - yellow for me!) and lean more towards colors and a style you are the most comfortable in. You want to feel good in what you wear! You can also think of what colors you would want on your wall if you plan on printing any of the photos.
Consider your location. Most sessions in Key West will take place on the beach. Do you want to stand out against the location or blend in with it? The internet is a great tool for some visuals as well as my blog with different sessions. Take some time to google or Pinterest family photos and see what people are wearing and which "look" you like best. Some have light pinks/whites and they blend in more with the environment and others use blues/teals/purples to stand out more. Which look do you find the most appealing? It's all about personal preference! If you want to get super adventurous and work with color palettes this website is very useful - https://www.design-seeds.com/by-color/
Remember the beach can be windy so be prepared to pin your hair up or out of the way if that is something that could bug you. Feel free to contact me if you need help narrowing down some outfit ideas :)
Below are some ideas I found on Pinterest!
I first met Shaydee last month when she took my photography course with her friend. We spent two hours talking about photography and getting to know each other. I was sooo excited to get to meet the rest of her beautiful family and photograph them at Smathers beach! We had a sunset session that included two outfit changes. Hellooo look at that gorgeous turquoise dressssss :) :) The palm trees are getting super full after the hurricane destroyed them and I loved having them in the background throughout this session (we all know the beach is more than just water and sand hehe!). It was so hard to narrow down all my favorites from this session!
Look at these cuties! I spent my evening photographing these three on Smathers Beach. L was in town with her mom visiting family and they wanted some photos of all three of the kids together. L was a little bit afraid of the sand but she did a great job being only 17 months! T, being the oldest of the three was such a little model and all smiles with her sister, A. We had a lot of laughs together :) Man oh man, I really do love my job! Also, can't get over how fun Smathers beach is for some many different photo looks (grass, beach, trees, walkway and rocks).
Everyone's having babies! Haha, it's been pretty fantastic having all these maternity photo sessions. Not only is my best friend having her first baby but so is my sister! I am so excited to be an aunt and spoil Jen and Drew's little babe. They are waiting to find out what they are having which makes this pregnancy even more exciting. We were all in Baltimore for our cousins wedding and we took a fifteen minute break between the ceremony and reception to run to a local park and get some quick photos. It rained all day but we got a few in the park and also a few under the hotels walkway where we were protected. Once again, I am loving all the greenery and flowers everywhere, it makes for such a beautiful photo location. Baby Perry is due the end of August and I am counting down the days! <3
One of my best friends is having her first baby! I try to encourage every mom to be to get maternity photos because it is such a big moment in life and these moments pass by before you know it. About once a year I try to make a trip back to D.C. to visit old friends and see the city. During this quick two day trip I was able to arrange a photo session in her neighborhood (Lake Barcroft is PRETTY!). I can't get over how green VA was and all the trees (hahah I guess I have gotten use to just palm trees and water living in Key West). I was super stoked to find a beautiful flower garden that almost matched Elizabeth's dress. The sun was also setting so it's always fun to play with sunlight in photos. I couldn't be more excited for Elizabeth and Evan and am so excited to meet their baby girl!
Wow! I just got back from an incredible two week adventure in Peru with Travis and two friends! If this country is on your bucket list I highly recommend checking it out. I'm not one to usually toot my own horn, but I have to say that this trip was pretty legit. I did a lot of research beforehand and spoke with many friends that had been to Peru to come up with what I believe was the ultimate two week adventure. So after all the hard work of putting together an itinerary I wanted to share it with all of you!
For those interested in copying this trip let me give you a heads up on my travel style :) We travel with backpacking backpacks and not suitcases, so we can move around easier. I tend to lean towards getting in as much as one can (so our days were pretty packed), I try to get as much local feel as possible (we didn't stay in fancy hotels and we did a lot of bus travel) and I love being active (we did a lot of walking, including two day Inca trek). So if you are more of a laid back, fancy and take your time sort of traveler you may need to adjust some of the days/activties we did below.
I knew we had only two weeks to see as much as we could while in Peru. When you look into all the possibilities there is honestly so much to see, it is a bit overwhelming, so I had to narrow down what was the most important to us. We wanted to get a small taste of the capital (Lima), but not being big city people we only spent half a day there. We then continued to the Amazon (Yes, Peru has the Amazon) and made our way up in elevation to some of the highest points in Peru (Lake Titicaca) before finishing our trip in Cusco. We decided to end our trip in Cusco because we knew we would be buying a lot of textiles (we brought an extra bag that we stuffed with our purchased goodies and didn't want to be dragging that around the whole trip). We also ended in Cusco after traveling in higher elevation so that we could adapt to the high altitude and be comfortable in the city, as well as not getting altitude sickness while hiking the two day trek (remember we come from Key West!).
We booked all our hotels and flights in advance and printed our itinerary so we always knew where we were off to next. I honestly don't think I could pick a favorite part as everything was so different and such an incredible experience! Here is the day by day breakdown of what we did! :) Feel free to message me if you have any questions.
DAY 1 | ARRIVE IN LIMA LATE NIGHT - Almost all flights from USA have to arrive in Lima and they almost all arrive late night. We got in at 10pm and went straight to hotel. We made sure to have a tasty Pisco Sour (local drink) as soon as we got settled in!
TRAVEL: 35 minute travel from airport to our selected hotel. They do have uber (if you can get wifi or have service) and taxi stands in order to get a ride to your hotel.
HOTEL: 1900 Backpackers Hostel [http://www.1900hostel.com] We decided on a hostel for cost reasons. They had breakfast you could purchase here. We picked one near the historic center so we could explore the next morning.
DAY 2 | EXPLORE LIMA THEN FLY TO IQUITOS - Morning and afternoon exploring Lima so we could get a taste of the city. We started off walking around the centre of Lima looking at colonial buildings. Took a taxi to Miraflores to see the coast and ate lunch at Punto Azul [Calle San Martin 595, Miraflores 15074, Peru]. Some of the best ceviche we have ever had! Then we took a cab to airport for flight to Iquitos. After landing in Iquitos we went to hotel and explored "The Boulevard" promenade for food and drinks.
FLIGHT: 6pm flight from Lima to Iquitos via Peruvian Air (not our favorite on this trip, they were always running a few hours late). We did fly Viva Air and liked them way better. So find the best flight that works for your timing.
HOTEL: Hotel EPOCA [http://www.epoca.com.pe] One room, four guests
TRAVEL: 30 minute travel from Iquitos to hotel (provided by hotel).
DAY 3-5 | EXPLORE AMAZON AND JUNGLE - There are many options for exploring the Amazon in Peru. We decided on Iquitos because the town is only accessible by plane or boat (thought that was pretty cool! and therefore tuk-tuks are the main form of transportation). I also did a lot of research and we chose Libertad Jungle Lodge for our Amazon adventure because it had great prices and was 100% community based tourism. We had the opportunity to walk around the community and learn all about their lifestyle on the river.
TRAVEL: Arranged with the lodge - 8AM pick up to transport to Libertad lodge which was about a two hour car ride and two hour boat ride, but totally worth it.
HOTEL: Libertad Jungle Lodge [http://www.iquitos-tour.com/en/jungle-tours-Libertad] This really was such an amazing highlight! We chose the 3 Day, 2 Night jungle experience. You have a private guide the whole time and get to pick what activities you'd like to do. We did the following: canoe trip down black river, all day jungle tour, fishing for piranhas, played volleyball with community, local tour of community including making your own crafts, night tour searching for crocodiles and tarantulas. They provide breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room. You have your own private hut with a shower, bathroom and mosquito netting for sleeping. They have electricity from 6pm-9pm so you can charge camera batteries, phones, etc. I was pretty nervous about the Amazon at first but it was so worth it and we felt safe the whole time with our guide!
DAY 5 | HEAD BACK TO IQUITOS FOR FLIGHT TO LIMA - We spent the last morning in the jungle and then took a boat and car back to the Iquitos airport where we flew to Lima. We had to stop here on our way to Arequipa and since we wanted the most amount of time on our last day in the Amazon we chose a late flight to Lima, spent the night and flew to Arequipa early the next morning.
FLIGHT: 8:15pm flight from Iquitos to Lima. Peruvian air was delayed once again and we got in super late so we just stayed at the airport hotel.
HOTEL: Wyndham (more pricey but it's literally a two minute walk from the airport and we wanted to avoid walking far in the city late night). They provide free breakfast early morning.
DAY 6 | FLY LIMA TO AREQUIPA AND EXPLORE CITY - I found this to be one of the cutest towns. Known as La Ciudad Blanca for its beautiful colonial buildings made of sillar, or white volcanic stone. This city is surrounded by volcanos and the perfect location to start our next tour of the beautiful Colca Canyon. I could really feel the high altitude (7,600 ft) so I spent the morning sleeping and drinking a lot of water (I also started taking medication to avoid altitude sickness just to be safe - you're dr can fill you in more on this). Everyone else explored the city by just walking around. I spent the later afternoon exploring Monasterio de Santa Catalina, one of the finest examples of colonial religious architecture in the Americas, Very Pretty! Some other ideas on things to do in Arequipa.
FLIGHT: 7am flight from Lima to Arequipa via VivaAir. This was an early flight but worth getting to Arequipa to explore as much as possible. We left our bags at the hotel and had breakfast on the terrace nearby.
HOTEL: Katari Hotel at Plaza de Armas. This hotel was AMAZING with fantastic views of the Plaza De Armas from their rooftop bar. I highly recommend spending the extra money to stay here. Breakfast is included. [http://katari-at-plaza-de-armas.arequipahotels24.com/en/]
DAY 7 | DEPART FOR COLCA CANYON TO PUNO - Colca Canyon really interested me because it is the second deepest canyon in the world (10,728ft). We booked a tour group [Via Viator] that arranged everything for our adventure to see Colca Canyon and the condors fly. It was a two day/ one night tour and we had a private guide for our small group of 8 people for the whole trip (until we were put on a bus to Puno the next day). We were picked up at our hotel in Arequipa and drove about 5 hours before we spent the night at a wonderful hotel in the small town of Yanque. The bus stopped along the way so we got to see some amazing views, alpacas and llamas, one of the highest points with volcano views (at 16,000 ft you can definitely feel the altitude!). Make sure when you can, to drink coca tea, which I highly recommend to help with the altitude. When we arrived in Yanque Kim and Hunter did a free 1.5 hr hike to local hot springs. Travis was sick and I had a broken toe so we rested up to fight the altitude and took a shorter walk to enjoy the hot springs. If you have more time on your travels there are some great trekking/trails throughout Colca Canyon that you can do.
TRAVEL: Picked up in Arequipa by Tour Bus at 7:30/8:00 AM.
HOTEL: We picked the 3 Star tour option and were very happy with our hotel. It was all booked but the company but if for some reason you want to do this on your own (don't know why because the tour group makes it super easy heheh) this is the hotel, Killawasi Lodge.
DAY 8 | COLCA CANYON AND ARRIVE IN PUNO - We woke up super early to get to the viewpoint to watch the condors fly. These large birds were pretty incredible to see in person. We got lucky and saw them within the first ten minutes of arriving at the lookout. With the extra time our guide took us on a small hike to see more of the beautiful canyon. From the bus we could see a lot of the terraces built into the mountains. We had lunch and then were put on a larger bus to Puno. This part of the trip was not the most fun, but the easiest way to get to Puno, which is the port city for Lake Titicaca.
TRAVEL: After our morning adventure of the condors we got on a seven hour bus ride to Puno. We arrived at 7:45pm in Puno and were picked up by a friend of Vidals (our airbnb) who drove us to the lake where we jumped on a boat and took a 10 minute ride to our floating island. Vidal was very helpful so communicate with him to figure out your pickup time.
HOTEL: THIS WAS A MAJOR HIGHLIIGHT!!! We stayed two nights on a floating island homestay via Airbnb with Vidal [https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/91836916] (Uros Summa Paqari) +51 9 3382 9167.
DAY 9 | TOUR TAQUILE ISLAND AND RELAX - Vidal recommended a tour of Taquile Island which he arranged for us. We had breakfast at the airbnb and then jumped on a motor boat (with a private guide again) and arrived at Lake Taquile in a little over 1.5 hours. Here we hiked up to the top for great views, to learn about the local life and eat lunch. You have the opportunity to buy local textiles as well. After the Lake Taquile tour, Vidal gave us a private tour of the Uros Islands. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the quiet island. Lake Titicaca is huge, beautiful and very high (13,000ft) so we took two nights here to adjust to the altitude. It was the highest point on our trip and it helped us adapt to Cusco (which seemed like nothing in altitude after this lake trip).
TRAVEL: A tour boat around the lake and private boat around Uros floating island.
HOTEL: Airbnb with Vidal [https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/91836916] (Uros Summa Paqari) +51 9 3382 9167. This airbnb is located on a floating island in the famous Uros area. It had a few private bedroom huts, two bathroom huts and a shower hut as well as an eating room and the private huts of Vidal and his family. You can purchase a home cooked dinner meal from them to avoid going on boat back to Puno. We really felt like locals living on this island! There is no electricity to charge phones, camera battery so be prepared. They have solar panels which provide lighting for the huts and island :) We also bought some homemade gifts from Vidal's father which meant a lot to us knowing they were made by this family we got to spend time with.
DAY 10 | BUS DAY TO CUSCO - We left super early, which thankfully was no problem for Vidal on getting us to the bus terminal. When we arrived in Cusco we took the evening to relax as the next day was pretty packed with touring ruins nearby.
TRAVEL: Bus at 6:50 am (board at 6:30am) arrive in Cusco at 5:00pm. We booked this bus with https://www.inkaexpress.com. They had a bathroom on board and also stopped at many locations along the way so the bus ride did not feel too long, even though it took the whole day. You can fly to Cusco from Puno as well but we wanted to see more of the country by taking the bus.
HOTEL: Amaru Inca in Cusco [https://www.amaruinca.com/en-us] We really loved the view of the hills from this hotel, it was decently priced, included breakfast and was in the San Blas neighborhood which was a great place to shop, walk around and eat.
DAY 11 | DAY TRIP FROM CUSCO: SACRED VALLEY, OLLANTAYTAMBO AND PISAC - We booked a tour [Via Viator] to visit the famous areas around Cusco. We saw the Sacred Valley from above before driving down into it, toured the ruins at Ollantaytambo, shopped at the famous Pisac markets (you can find almost all the same things in Cusco as well), had a great lunch buffet, fed llamas and alpacas and learned about how natural textiles are made with the opportunity to buy some. We were picked up at our hotel and dropped off near the hotel.
*Adapting to Cusco's higher altitude can be difficult if you arrive without time to get use to the elevation. Since we were at Lake Titicaca first the 11,000 ft did not affect us at all. Just something to think about when planning your trip :)
There are also a few other very cool things to see around Cusco (Moray salt mines and other ruins. We decided the above was the most interesting to us, but do some research to see what would make your heart the happiest.
TRAVEL: 8am-6pm bus tour with private guide
HOTEL: Amaru Inca in Cusco [https://www.amaruinca.com/en-us]. The staff was very friendly and we were able to leave our bags here while we did our two day Inca Trek to Machu Picchu.
DAY 12 | FIRST INCA TRAIL DAY : CUSCO-104 KILOMETER TO WIÑAYWAYNA TO MACHU PICCHU - We hired a company [iTep Travel] for a two day Inca trail to Machu Picchu. They arranged everything for us, including: transportation from Cusco, the train tickets where we got off at o KM 104 to start the hike, our packed lunch, accommodations in Aguas Calientes, dinner, tour of Machu Picchu, bus back down and train ride back to Cusco.
*We weren't too happy with our company as the accommodations were pretty sub-par and two of our friends got food poisoning from the dinner. I recommend doing research and finding a better company. I think it would have been fun to stay in Ollantaytambo (instead of Cusco) which is a quaint town and just leave early morning on the train from there. However, with that being said..... The trek was awesome and our tour guide was very friendly. It was pretty magical hiking for five hours and arriving at the sun gate to see Machu Picchu in the distance. We also got to stop closer to it and take photos with less of a crowd since it was near closing time. There are different treks you can do (7 or 4 day) but we decided on the two day trek to fit in more things/activities around our Cusco part of the trip. You get to see Machu Picchu twice on the two day trek and that is AWESOME!
We didn't find the hike to be too difficult but we took our time so that we would not run out of air (remember it is high altitude, but we were adjusted already thanks to Lake Titicaca). There is a lot of uphill climbing on steep rocks (stairs) and a good amount of cobblestone like pathways. I would say I am in average shape and I survived (even with a broken toe - thank you ibuprofen).
TRAVEL: Pickup at Cusco hotel, two hour drive to Ollantaytambo train station. Embark on train and get of at KM 104. At this point we trekked for 3 hours to the well preserved remains of the ruins of Wiñay Wayna (9,514 ft). On the way we saw beautiful mountain views, waterfalls and the river below. We stoped to eat lunch and then walked about two more hours to get the sungate and then we went down to Machupicchu town (Aguas Calientes).
HOTEL: Provided by tour company (Seven Mapi Hotel). I know this town was super touristy and made for all the people coming to Machu Picchu and maybe we were just spoiled with our non-touristy spots along the way but we were not a big fan of this city. This hotel was the worst hotel we stayed at. This town was definitely you get what you pay for type of hotel.
*Someone recommend the hot springs so we checked it out in the evening. I do not recommend this. It was gross hahah. We also had such a wonderful experience at the local hot spring in Yanque (Colca Canyon) so it was hard for us to look past the semi-warm pee looking water that was just overcrowded.
DAY 13 | SECOND INCA TRAIL DAY: MACHU PICCHU TO CUSCO - We got up early to bus back to Machu Picchu and tour the ruins. It was pretty incredible to see Machu Picchu twice! Due to food poisoning and my broken toe we had to cancel our plans of hiking Huayna Picchu Mountain (the large mountain behind the ruins). We bought tickets in advance to do this as you are allowed to enter during your assigned ticket time. We were super bummed about missing this but it was for the best. Our guide gave us a tour of the ruins for about two hours and then we had time to explore on our own. We had the 6am-12pm tickets to enter the site (they have two types of tickets so that the mountain is not overwhelmed with tourists). After climbing to the guard tower to get the classic photo we hiked back down to the bus and bused back to the train station to make our train in time.
TRAVEL: Bus up to Machu Picchu and bus back down to Aguas Calientes. Train to Ollantaytambo and private driver back to hotel in Cusco.
HOTEL: Back to Amaru Inca in Cusco [https://www.amaruinca.com/en-us] We returned to the same hotel we stayed in when we first got to Cusco.
DAY 14 | DAY TO EXPLORE CUSCO - We saved one day to just relax and shop before heading back to the states. This trip was so go, go, go it was nice to have a day to enjoy the city and not get up super early. We explored The Golden Temple of Sun, went to the local market and shopped the little streets of San Blas. We also stopped by Traditional Textiles Center [Av El Sol 603, Cusco 084, Peru] where we got to watch locals make textiles. We each bought something as well. It is pricey compared to the small markets out in town, but you are supporting the locals and handmade! We easily filled up our extra bag with tons of textiles including: placemats, blankets, pillow covers, headbands, shoes, slippers, sweaters, hats, scarf, artwork, table runner and xmas gifts for the family. We ate at Ceviche Seafood Kitchen at Plaza De Armas which was very tasty and I highly recommend. The evening we packed up and relaxed with a bottle of wine at our hotel.
HOTEL: Amaru Inca in Cusco [https://www.amaruinca.com/en-us]
DAY 15: FLY BACK HOME - We spent the morning getting some breakfast and then went to the airport to fly back home. Cusco is not an international airport so you have to fly back to Lima to get back to the USA. We found a flight from Cusco to Bogota (they do fly there!) to Miami and drove home to Key West. It is a long travel day so if you wanted to split up the time you could always leave the night before to Lima and spend the night then fly back to USA.
I can't stop raving about how awesome Peru was. We all really enjoyed this whole trip and I hope you can find some time in your lifetime to go visit this beautiful country! It has so much to offer from friendly people, beautiful landscapes, ancient history, great food and colorful textiles!
I had the pleasure of photographing Roy and Andrea for their maternity session and once their baby was born we had a newborn session as well. It's always great to get to know the people I photograph and be a part of capturing their life moments. Baby A's grandma, grandpa and uncle were in town and they wanted some updated photos for their home. So we went to my all time favorite location, Smathers beach and took all sorts of family photos including: the whole family, mom and dad, grandma and grandpa and a mix of different poses. We even took some with sunglasses since it seems quite appropriate for Key West's sunny weather. We ended the session with a beautiful sunset! It can sometimes be a challenge to get a three month to look at the camera, but baby A was very well behaved and gave us some glances and smiles every once and a while. I had such a wonderful time getting to know this whole family and they made me laugh a lot during this session! Interested in booking a family session of your own?? Feel free to message me with any questions 310.488.8654
Look at baby J, now nine months old! So cute to see how much has changed from his six month and three month sessions. He was much more active during this session, wanting to stand on his own and wanting to always crawl away from the teddy bear. Baby J's mom approached me about doing a photo series with her son every three months. Such a cute idea to record these moments in life and use the bear for size. We have completed the three sessions and I am honestly going to miss seeing this family every three months, heheh!
Below are two collages made in order from age 3 mo, 6 mo and 9 mo! So fun to see how baby J's size, hair, face, expressions and even skin tone has changed in the past 9 months :)
It literally rained nonstop for about two weeks in Key West. Angie and I had a Smathers beach maternity session all planned for Monday night, but it just wouldn't stop raining so we canceled it and rescheduled it for Friday. Well Friday came around and it was stiiiiiiiiill raining. So we waited and crossed our fingers that it would let up a bit around sunset and we could get some photos on the beach..... but it never stopped. So instead we did an impromptu photo session at the hotel they were staying at. Angie, her husband and two pups were leaving the next day for their move across the country so it was either now or never to get some maternity photos.
It was such a wonderful session, finding the best covered spots that The Perry Hotel had to offer. We started off in the sunset lounge which had a wave print in the background (yay our beach!) and a beautiful wooden coffee table. We used the inside to protect both of them from the rain and took some photos in the window with the palm trees in the background. We then adventured downstairs to get some photos in the front of the hotel, which was covered, but still had a wonderful tropical feel. From here we adventured into a room to get some clean belly photos with a beautiful Key West photograph in the background. We ended the session with Angie jumping in the pool in the rain! It was so awesome of her to get in and her husband held an umbrella over my camera so we could get a few water photos. This session may not have been the typical Key West beach session but it was ohhhhh so magical! Angie was glowing and it was so fun to get to know her, the hubby and pups! Special thanks to The Perry Hotel for being so accommodating <3
It's always an honor to photograph military events. This one was extra special since it was a Change of Command that also included a flyover and last flight! It has been raining nonstop here for the past week so we got super lucky with the weather clearing up. Below are a few of my favorite photos from this event.