Gracia first contacted me two weeks before their trip to Puerto Rico, inquiring about photography for "a sharing of vows in the most beautiful day and place." Honestly, Puerto Rico in general is the most beautiful place for photos. Still, I'm so glad we ended up in the Aguadilla Ruins.
Planning an elopement in Puerto Rico: finding an elopement location
During our consultation, I learned that they would be staying in Isabela, on the west coast of Puerto Rico. The west coast is coincidentally the best, especially if you want beautiful beaches. I then shared several elopement location ideas with links to recent shoots in each of them, from which they chose the Aguadilla Ruins in Punta Borinquen Beach.
Planning around tropical weather
Closer to the session date, the weather forecast was showing rain for our day. However, as I always tell my clients, the weather in Puerto Rico changes by the hour, and we rarely have a downright stormy or completely sunny day.
In elopement and portrait sessions, we have the flexibility to arrive at the location with enough time to cover the session successfully before the good sunlight ends. This was our game plan for Gracia and Jacob's day.
Their windy elopement day at the Aguadilla Ruins
Gracia and Jacob were already legally married, but they did reserve their special vows for our day, marking it their official wedding date. No kids, no family, just the two of them showed up for their vow exchange.
We arrived, and there was no rain, but there was a wind so intense that we could barely stand. I was worried Gracia would fly away since her dress was so heavy! After exchanging their vows in the Aguadilla Ruins, we wandered around the coast for the rest of their newlywed photo session. They had several outfit changes, so we got them into a more wind-friendly dress and moved to the Borinquen Beach coast for the rest of our session.
Like other outdoor locations, Puerto Rico beaches are always windy. My photography style allows space for spontaneity, imperfection, authenticity, so I don't mind messy hairs by windy conditions. However, if you'd like a more polished look on your photoshoot, I recommend updos, braids, and an excessive amount of hairspray.
The wind did the ice-breaking for me this time: it was too hard to stay still, so it encouraged the silly and funny side of Gracia and Jacob. The hair was already gone: might as well just have fun and run all over the beach!
Spontaneity was big on this couple, so we did it all; we even got into the water (not too far in, since the riptide was getting dangerous). That day, I did some of my favorite beach portrait sets in my 14 years as a wedding photographer. I hope you like this one; I sure loved it!