Today, I had the privilege of attending a press release detailing some of the events that Cultural Mazatlan has in store for us this fall. Can I just start out by saying how impressed I am with this organization and what they offer?
Here's a short video that shows many of the great productions that will be offered over the next few months - and you are not going to believe the cost of tickets!? The average price for good seats at an opera for example - 300 pesos (about $17 US).
Jenica and I attended "Il Trovador" on Wednesday night - if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some of it in our Instastory (if you don't follow us, head over here and check it out. I post a lot about our daily life here in Mexico on Instragram Stories that never makes it to facebook or the blog.)
Now, I've never considered myself much of an opera fan... in fact, I think I may have only attended one opera in my life, and that was over 15 years ago when I spent the summer in Italy.
When in Rome, ya know...
Anyhow... this opera was much more engaging. It helped immensely that they subtitled the performance in Spanish and in English so we could read what was happening instead of just relying on the actions of the performers. Even my 9 year old was able to follow the story and stay engaged during the 2+ hour performance.
If you are planning a trip to Mazatlan this fall, a show at the Angela Peralta theater is definitely something you don't want to miss.
(And if you aren't planning a trip to Mazatlan, well... you totally should! It is such a fun and affordable city to visit, plus you could see us while you are here.)
Unfortunately, they do not have the capability to sell tickets online just yet, but when you get here, you can go to the Angela Peralta Theater box office just off Plaza Machado, or to the offices of Cultura Mazatlan to get tickets. Cultura Mazatlan will also deliver tickets to your home if you pay in cash, with a 2 day or more advance notice. Contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 982-4444 and ask for Lisa in Promotion.
They are also offering a fun new program this year called "Cena con Cultura" (Dinner with Cultura) where your ticket will get you 10% off at participating restaurants on the day of the show. Restaurants include Macaws, Water's Edge, Machado Grill, Pedro y Lola, Gaia, La Tramoya, La Catrina, La Bohemia, Mr. Lionso, Angelina'sKitchen, La Palapa delMar, La Mazatleca, and Il Mosto.
Just another of the many reason we are loving life here in Mazatlan, Mexico. Thanks for following our journey, and we hope to see you down here one of these days!
I have reached a point in my career where I'd rather shoot than not shoot. I love to be behind the camera. It's my passion. When I'm shooting, time stands still. I see things through my lens in a different way than most people see the world...
It's art, it's beautiful, and it's where I find my joy. I've also rediscovered my love for travel. I love to see new places, meet new people, learn about different cultures, and experience new things.
So for the next year, I'm offering my services as a second shooter FOR FREE! Yes, you read that right! If I'm in your area, I will second shoot with you (with all my own professional equipment) free of charge with no obligation. If you like what I deliver to you (high res jpeg or RAW images within 48 hours of your booking) you can purchase images individually or as a package (price for all images will not exceed $500 US.)
If I am not currently in your area (predominantly Oregon/Mexico), I would still love the opportunity to work with you, and will come to you for only the cost of airfare. That's how much I believe in my work!
I take direction well, have an artistic and creative eye, and can easily shoot 100 good quality images per hour. I get the angles and perspectives that you just aren't capable of obtaining as a single shooter.
Bottom line... I love photography. I love creating art that can be treasured and passed down for generations to come.
But right now in my career and in my personal life, I don't have the time or energy to pursue all the "other stuff" that comes with running your own photography business. The marketing, advertising, editing, client relations, etc.
So let me help you! All my images come to you free of copyright restrictions, watermarks, etc. I am your employee. I am at your beck and call. Shooting is my thing, but I will also gladly carry your equipment, set up lighting, or even grab your favorite drink from Starbucks.
For tax purposes, you can pay me as an independent contractor - and as long as the total in a year is under $600 you don't even have to send me a 1099 tax form at the end of the year. (Taxes... yet another hassle of being a small business owner... in my opinion.)
And you can always reach out to me via phone, text, or WhatsApp: +1.503.407.9623 (US cell phone 📱)
I'm so excited to be able to offer this service to you and can't wait to collaborate with someone like you that shares my passion and love for photography.
I believe that pictures and videos are the most important part of your wedding day.
Everything else will fade away with time, but photographs allow you to cherish the memories forever and pass precious heirlooms on to your children.
But wedding photography has become so expensive! 10 years ago, we spent $3,000 on our photography for our wedding (about 1/3 of our total wedding budget.) Today, packages with well known professional photographers can easily cost upwards of $10,000. And in this digital era when everyone has a camera phone, and many of you have professional or pro-sumer level cameras, it is easy to cut professional photography out of your budget entirely and just rely on well-meaning friends and family to document your most important day.
But what if there was another way? Did you know that a huge portion of what you pay for professional wedding photography is attributed to what we in the photo industry call "post-processing"? It's the time us photographers spend after the wedding making your pictures look perfect. Photoshopping blemishes, airbrushing skin, adding pops of color or erasing distracting details. But there is an array of free software on the market today allowing everyday people to perform this kind of editing, often times from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet.
I love shooting weddings. I love capturing candid moments, details, and the magic that happens during the first kiss. But I'm a mom of three little ones and I just don't have the time to edit hundreds of pictures right now. I've decided to pursue "second shooting" for other photographers, but I would also love to offer those services to you at a discounted rate.
If you plan to have a friend or family member photograph your wedding, but still like the idea of having some professional quality images to cherish your special day, consider hiring me to "second shoot" your wedding.
Here's what you can expect when you hire me:
I will arrive with my professional full frame Nikon DSLR, along with an assortment of high quality prime and zoom lenses. I will dress professionally and stay out of the way as much as possible so that you and your guests can fully enjoy your day.
I will shoot between 500-1000 high quality jpeg images and deliver these images to you within 2 weeks of your wedding via private online viewing gallery with unlimited download capability.
You will own the full copyright to these images. You can edit them however you wish, post them to social media, create your own custom prints and canvases, and anything else you might choose.
What will it cost?
If I'm already in the area where your wedding is taking place, the cost for my services is only $500 (includes up to 5 hours of shooting time). If you are planning a destination wedding, please contact me for special pricing. I love to travel and can often find some excellent deals on flights, so having an English speaking professional photographer at your wedding or event might be more affordable than you could imagine.
Here's a great example of how the shots a "second shooter" is able to capture can actually be so much better than what the person "behind the camera" sees.
This first image is what the person officially taking the picture was able to capture at a recent wedding I was a part of:
And here's my shot from the "second shooter" angle. Much more aesthetically pleasing and artistic (in my professional opinion).
I would love the opportunity to work with you.
Your wedding day will come and go, and while your love may last forever, the memories of that special day will fade away. If there is any one piece of advice I can give to brides and grooms, it's this... Hire a professional photographer. And now, with this exclusive opportunity, it can finally be affordable to do so!
And of course, I love to work with other pro's as well. If you are in a bind and need someone with their own equipment to second shoot a wedding or event with you, please don't hesitate to reach out to me!
Last summer we had the honor of photographing the most beautiful destination wedding in the Pacific Northwest. Green Villa Gardens is located about an hour south of Portland, Oregon and is a simply stunning location to tie the knot! Out of town guests stayed at The Grand Hotel in Salem, and shuttle buses brought them on a beautiful drive out into the country in time to enjoy pre-ceremony cocktails on the lawn and bask in the beauty that this part of the country has to offer. The August weather was absolutely perfect and the lighting throughout the venue provided the quintessential ambiance for a summer's eve wedding.
The bride and the groom were the most gracious hosts I've ever witnessed at a wedding, always more concerned about their guests than themselves. They exchanged the most meaningful, handwritten vows, surrounded by friends and family from both near and far. Later in the evening, the toasts from both the bride's sister and groom's sister also brought many a tear to peoples eyes.
Dinner consisted of homemade wood fired pizza from Maiale di Volo and fresh tacos from The Taco Pedaler, served directly from the vendors "food carts". If you aren't familiar with Portland, they are quite famous for their delicious assortment of food trucks, so it was certainly a nice local touch to add to their most meaningful day.
Thanks Diana and Johnny for allowing us to be a part of such a special celebration. It was certainly a wedding to remember.
One of the funnest things we did as a family while living in Mazatlan was taking the Baja Ferry over to La Paz. If you are not sure where either of those locations are in Mexico, here's a map of our journey.
We boarded the boat in the evening and got to sail off into the sunset. It was gorgeous! We ate dinner in the dining hall, which also had a full bar, a stage, and live music! People had told me that taking the ferry felt kind of like being on a cruise ship and they weren't kidding! We were only able to get a private sleeping room for the return trip, so for the 15 hour trip over to La Paz, we made our way back to our sala, or living room and settled into our reclining chairs for movies on the big screen. The chairs were not the most comfortable and I think most people in the room ended up curled up on the floor with blankets by the time morning came. The return trip was much more comfortable snuggled into our private room with 4 bunks, a window and a private bathroom.
While in La Paz, we stayed at the Paraiso del Mar Resort. It was amazing and perfect for our little get away. When we arrived via ferry in the morning, we took a taxi to downtown La Paz where the manager for our vrbo (vacation rental by owner) condo met us and escorted us across the bay in the resorts free water taxi service.
Our condo was 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms including a bathtub and came fully equipped with everything we would need for our stay. The bathtub was a big deal since our rental house in Mazatlan only had showers. Apparently bathtubs are not as common in Mexico as they are in the United States, so having one, even for just a few days, was a treat. Our amazing outdoor patio spaces overlooked the pool, palm trees and the ocean. We relaxed at the pool, enjoyed drinks with umbrellas in them at the swim up bar, walked the private beaches in front of the resort collecting some of the biggest sea shells we've ever seen, and even did a little kayaking with the boats that are available to guest to use free of charge.
Most days, we would take a short shuttle ride back to the water taxi, take the fun 10 minute boat ride over to the mainland and explore the cute city of La Paz. Similar to Mazatlan, they also have their own Malecohn or boardwalk, although theirs is much shorter than the one in Mazatlan.
Since we were essentially worldschooling our kids while we wintered in Mexico, the Museo de la Ballena (Whale Museum) seemed like the perfect educational activity while we were there and it did not disappoint. After paying your admission, you are given the choice to take a self guided tour, or be guided by a local that will speak to you in your native language. We choose this option and our guide was very fun and informative, although slightly difficult to understand at times. From what I gathered, the guides are just volunteers so we tipped him well at the end for all his effort.
We were able to see many full size skeletons of sea life including turtles, whales, dolphins and sharks. Some were reproductions, but many were real bones. If fact, all the bones and teeth in the pictures seen here are real! We learned about the differences between a whale, shark and dolphin and about many of the different types of each. We also learned about behaviors, what they eat and similarities they have with humans and other types of animals.
Our final night in La Paz, we had hoped to eat at this cute little hamburger joint that some other vacationers at our resort had told us about, where they grill the burgers underneath the hood of an old truck, but unfortunately it was closed that night, so we ended up at The Dock Cafe, overlooking the marina, with a nice sandy outdoor play area where the kids were given a whole box full of toys to keep them occupied while we waited for our food to arrive. There was live music and dancing and the place was obviously popular with the expat crowd. The dance floor was full of retired Americans... usually not our first choice of ambiance... we prefer to mingle with the local crowd when we travel, but the food, drinks and service made the evening worthwhile.
It was sad to say goodbye to such a beautiful little piece of planet earth, but we will be back, hopefully for a longer stay next time. If you have never considered La Paz as a travel destination choice, I would highly encourage you to check it out. They have their own airport, and if you live in Southern California and can walk across the border to TJ, I've heard you can find some amazing direct flight deals.
We love to answer questions and hear from you, so please feel free to reach out if we can help you in any way!