JAMAICA | {travel} | june 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

If you're considering a trip down south to the sun, sand and palm trees, I strongly suggest you consider visiting Jamaica.

Once you go, you know!

While organizing our destination wedding and even when we landed, I saw those five words everywhere - on google searches and then wall-to-wall billboards at the Montego Bay International Airport. I never thought much of it really. It was just another catchy tourism slogan. During our very first day on the beach, I saw it again. This time stretched across the back of a mans army green t-shirt. I started to wonder, what do they {people responsible for the intriguing phrase} really mean? Is it the sandy beaches, the island itself, the people? I wondered if we would know before we left Jamaica.

Our time in Jamaica was the most memorable experience of my life, and I've heard those exact words from a few other people that went with us too. It was not only unforgettable because we got married there and shared that special day with both of our families and friends, but we came away from this trip with so much more.

The Jamaicans have a saying. One you will often hear during a one-potato, two-potato type handshake ending with a thumb rub or elbow knock.

Peace.  Love.  Unity.  Respect.

Four words. Each one with the power to change how you look at life. Definitely words to live by.

Tom and I came back from our destination wedding in Jamaica united as one, more in love and happier (didn't think that was even possible) than we have ever been and with so much respect for the people we met almost 4,000 kilometers away. Thank you Jamaica!

Jamaica is a beautiful island and there is plenty to see and do, but it is the people that make Jamaica worth visiting. They are like no other. Life is about the people you meet and what you can learn from them. The people of Jamaica have a genuine, kind hearted spirit and offer a smile to every stranger they meet. They have music and rhythm in their blood and transcendent happiness in their souls.

...they are people you can definitely learn something from - even if it's just learning to smile above everything else.

Reverend Gordan announced during our wedding ceremony that Tom has a civic duty to bring his Bride back to Jamaica every year - he read my mind!

We've been and now we know!

We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall in Montego Bay. The resort was remarkable and the service was second to none. You can click the previous link to read all about its fabulousness! One of the nice features about the Iberostar Grand is that it is actually three resorts in one. You can eat, drink and take part in all of the activities at the two sister resorts (Iberostar Rose Hall Suites and Iberostar Rose Hall Beach) located next door to the Grand. That gives you a total of at least twelve speciality restaurants (not counting the buffet restaurants) - I'm not even sure its possible to eat that many times in seven days - and countless bars. There is also an evening show at each of the resorts - that's three shows to choose from. We honestly couldn't find a thing to complain about.

The following three images were taken at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites, which is located next door to the Grand.

The Suites also has an infinity pool.

The morning of our departure ranks very high on my list of favourite moments. I know, that even sounds strange as I write it. But, there's a really good reason. During the trip, my father got up every morning at 6am and went for a walk on the beach - we used to do that together during family vacations in Florida. I decided on our last morning to join him and take my camera. As soon as I stepped out on the beach, I knew I should have done it every morning. The pastel colors that often follow a sunrise were powerful and beautiful. It was a fabulous morning. Spending a tranquil morning with my Dad and our cameras was the perfect way to end an amazing vacation.

At the very end of the beach (next door to the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach resort) there were huts occupied by locals selling wooden carvings, handmade jewelry and other local merchandise.

There were also locals who set-up shop on the water.

This man, like many Jamaicans, greeted us with a smile as we walked down the beach. I never got his name, but he told us that he lives on the ocean and it was the only place he wanted to be. Now that's what I call an entrepreneur mixing business and pleasure.

SOPHIE | {newborn} | june 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's been a pretty hectic two months and wedding season isn't even in full-swing yet. Based on the year so far, it's going to be a busy one. I'm taking a break from editing to showcase baby Sophie. I feel so honored to photograph this little beauty. Her newborn session makes the fourth memorable event I have documented for the Noseworthy family. I love it!

Baby Sophie's newborn session completes the Belly 2 Baby Package for Aaron and Nichole. You can see their maternity images here.

Sophie was a pleasure to photograph. She was content while awake and dreamy when she fell asleep. Absolutely gorgeous!

OUR WEDDING | {tribute to merrick} | june 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

This is probably the most backwards, upside-down post, you will ever see here. Not only is this post about another photographer, but myself and Tom are featured in most, if not all, of the images.

When Tom and I set the date for our destination wedding in Jamaica, a common question was, "Whose going to take your wedding pictures?"

When we found Merrick Cousley's website, we immediately loved his work and photography style. Our decision to have Merrick as our photographer was made after the very first email we received from him. From just words in print, we knew he was the right fit for us. He seemed like a very genuine, nice guy! We liked that! Quality of work is extremely important when hiring a photographer - after all, that's what you're paying for - but, the photographer him/herself should also be a deciding factor - you are going to spend the whole day with them! Tom and I both knew, from just his emails, that Merrick was someone we could work with.

Merrick is a native of Jamaica. Our wedding took place at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall in Montego Bay. Merrick travelled from his hometown in Kingston to shoot our wedding. Thank you Merrick!

On the morning of our wedding (May 14th, 2012), I was surprisingly calm. Then, Merrick arrived! Reality suddenly hit me - holy moly, it's my turn! I don't know if Merrick sensed how uncomfortable I was in front of the camera, but with his Jamaica tongue he said, "Yeah Mon. Today, just focus on being a Bride." I took those words very seriously. I forgot about being on the spot. Forgot about being on the other side of the camera - the bride, not the photographer. I put everything else out of my mind and enjoyed the new and exciting role I was about to experience at a wedding. He put me at ease before I even laced up my wedding dress. Thank you Merrick!

Tom and I both agree, Merrick was amazing! We haven't had many photos taken as a couple. We've never had professional photos taken together. Working with Merrick felt like working with someone we had always known. He felt like a friend and we had only just met. He guided us through each pose and made us feel very comfortable. For those wondering, I had absolutely no say on poses, positions, locations, etc. We left Merrick in complete control and followed his direction. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. His attention to detail is impressive and his passion for photography is what I loved the most! With a contemporary and artistic style, he documented our wedding with perfection. Thank you Merrick!

Tom and I are both easy-going people. We love to laugh, have fun together and have a love for each other that goes deeper than being Husband and Wife. We are best friends. Looking at our wedding pictures, we believe Merrick captured our relationship perfectly.


Tom and I returned from our destination wedding in Jamaica with 830 professional images. As you can see from the number of images posted, we absolutely love them all!

Our wedding day was magical. It was everything we had hoped for and so much more! It is a day we will never forget. We are still on a wedding high.

Again, Thank you Merrick Cousley!! Tom and I are so grateful to you for giving us so many beautiful memories of our dream wedding in paradise. You are an amazing photographer with a true gift for creating breathtaking images and also making your clients feel at ease. You are a true inspiration!

As a photographer, I have learned a lot from this experience. Being the Bride and being on the other side of the camera has given me a better appreciation for how lucky I am to be a wedding photographer. Weddings are a special day for both the newlyweds and their families. I have always tried my best to make my couples and their families feel comfortable and most of all have fun and enjoy their day. Now, I can really step back and appreciate all of the emotions of that special day - the buzz of excitement and happiness in the air and the overwhelming love of family. If you have the love and support, not only of your own family, but also your new family, it's hard not to see just how truly lucky you are.

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