During the COVID-19 pandemic, I've had the opportunity to broaden my horizons and work with projects I would've had to reject before due to unavailability. A photography kind I've grown very fond of during this time of exploration is portraits of women. Photographing women, their personalities, and their bodies has become an empowering practice during recent times.
Babymoon in Puerto Rico
A month before their trip to Puerto Rico for their babymoon vacation, Carmen and Jalil reached out to me. They were looking for a photographer who would be available and willing to capture her vision for their maternity photoshoot in Puerto Rico:
I want to do maternity and couple photos. This is our first pregnancy and our second time in Puerto Rico. I am half Puerto Rican and half Colombian, and my husband is half Puerto Rican and half Black.
Puerto Rico has always been special to us, and we thought it would be a great place to do our maternity pictures. I am looking to do a jungle setting and a beach setting. Maybe a few different looks. Talk to you soon!
Maternity Photoshoot and Couple Photos at El Yunque Rainforest
To thoroughly capture both locations, we two 1-hour sessions: a morning shoot at El Yunque and sunset portraits at a beach in Loiza. For the rainforest part, Carmen wanted a natural, wild, raw look.
Visiting el Yunque Rainforest During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to El Yunque Rainforest is restricted by reservation-only. You can quickly get yours online for a $2 fee. To ensure you find availability, you can book it a month in advance, although you can try your luck the day before your trip.
On the morning of the session, we learned that no taxis will drop-off or pick-up clients in the forest, so renting a car is positively encouraged. In Carmen and Jalil's case, I drove out of the national park and picked them up since we didn't want to lose the morning light.
We focused on the Juan Diego falls during our maternity photoshoot since we wanted to make the most of our time. These falls are easily accessible for a mom-to-be and a photographer carrying expensive equipment. There were at least 2 or 3 groups of tourists upon our arrival, but it wasn't too crowded for portraits. We moved downstream for a more intimate photo set on the nude.
Having finished our morning session successfully, I dropped Carmen and Jalil off at brunch and went home for a nap. I was so excited about our maternity photoshoot that I edited a few images for them to see before reconvening for our sunset photos.
Beach Maternity Photos in Puerto Rico
An hour before sunset, we met again, this time in Loíza, for their beach photos. This time, they were a bit more dressed up, hair styled, and make-up. In the rainforest, our sessions are slower-paced since you can't move quickly in the uneven terrain.
We ran, danced, and moved in and out of the water at the beach, which gave the second set a very different vibe. I had so much fun working on this set; I'd love to read your feedback in the comments below!