Well, what can I say? It’s not every day that I get airlifted into tropical destinations to press a few buttons on a black box with a glass attached to the front of it. However, whenever it happens, I feel incredibly humble. It’s almost surreal to be so fortunate and trusted that clients fly me halfway around the world. No pressure, right?
Despite the glamour of destination wedding photography, it can often be a pretty lonely experience. I spend endless hours waiting in airport lounges, enduring long flights in premium economy, and hanging around 5-star hotel bars sipping mocktails (I don’t drink alcohol). Walking along 7-mile beach with nobody to talk to can be quite traumatic.
Paige was a bridesmaid for Ben & Sam a few years ago, and when they were looking for a photographer, they wanted someone fun, energetic, and talented. I think everyone else was already booked, so they ended up with me. The wedding was originally scheduled for 2022, but personal reasons led to its postponement to this year. Fortunately, I was still available, and wow, what an experience it was.
The lads must have realized how lonely I was getting (maybe they overheard me singing “All by Myself” on the beach), so they invited me onto the Stag do catamaran boat trip. The day started with groom Luke being stripped naked and dressed in a Jamaica sun dress, then paraded over the beach like a Jamaican king (or queen). As we set sail along the Bloody Bay coast, it was pretty civilized, with intellectual debates, a few gentlemen’s spliffs, and a dip in the sea to take in the coral reef and marine wildlife. We soon arrived at the world-famous Rick’s Cafe, and that’s when things started to degenerate. Cliff jumping is dangerous, kids! (particularly the day before a wedding) but fortunately, no one got injured. Sprinkle a few speed-garage and reggae bangers, a pit stop at Margaritaville, and pouring beer down each other’s bum cracks (I won’t show you), and it’s safe to say that docking back at the hotel under an epic sunset made it a day none of us will forget. (I won’t mention Luke trying to catch one of his mate’s drones with his face, Photoshop is go).
The big day, what a venue! Pattoo Castle is a luxury villa located in the laid-back town of Negril on the West Coast of Jamaica. Situated on a cliff with magnificent, unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea, it was an absolutely stunning choice for a wedding. It was big enough to have a wow factor, but small enough to be intimate and stylish. (Bit like me, lol, lol, lol). Just imagine having your makeup done while staring out over the Caribbean Sea, with a cool breeze blowing and not a cloud in the sky. Incredible. Paige looked stunning in her Enzoani dress from TDR Bridal in Halesowen, and I loved the choice of bridesmaid color too. Luke and the lads also looked great in linen suits from Next.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking now, but one last thing: when Paige was a bridesmaid for Sam, I took a fun grab shot of her “grabbing” Luke, and that’s been her profile picture ever since. That shot has now been immortalized by SamTmadeit as a wedding favor pin badge! So cool.
Thank you for taking me with you. I am eternally humbled and grateful.