Sunrise-to-Sunset: Elopement at Hacienda Siesta Alegre and Old San Juan
Planning a Two-Location Wedding Photoshoot in Puerto Rico
Huong and Waleed are doing a small wedding in their hometown but wanted to use their trip to Puerto Rico as the perfect excuse to have dreamy elopement photos taken. When doing their research, they couldn't decide between having their portraits at Hacienda Siesta Alegre or at Old San Juan. So we did both!
Figuring out the logistics is always one of my favorite things during portrait sessions, and this one was a tricky one! Hacienda Siesta Alegre is in Rio Grande, about 45 minutes from Old San Juan, and including retouching make-up, finding parking, stopping for gas and snacks, that would put us off our good light window for at least one of the sessions.
I suggested Huong and Waleed the idea of splitting the shoots in two: sunrise in Hacienda Siesta Alegre, and sunset in Old San Juan. And they trustingly agreed with me!!
For a natural-light wedding photographer like me, sunlight quality is directly tied to the quality of the images I'm able to capture for my clients. This is why I always recommend planning shoots relative to the sunset time (or sunrise, if it is a morning wedding).
Sunlight is softer and more flattering for portraits in the three hours right after sunrise, or three hours right before sunset. This becomes of even more important in the tropics: since we're so close to the Equator, there are fewer steps between harsh light and complete darkness. During the summertime, sunset in Puerto Rico happens around 7 pm. During the "winter" time (although we don't have that type of season), the evening can start as early as 5:45 pm.
Sunrise Photoshoot at Hacienda Siesta Alegre
Usually booked full for weddings and events, the Hacienda was happy to let us shoot at sunrise, as long as we were out of the venue early, because they had an event later in the day. So we started at the Hacienda. Having done more shoots than I can recall in this beautiful venue, it was my first time seeing it in the light of the morning: it looked completely different, but every bit as magical!
I used the extra inspiration and lots of caffeine to power through Huong and Waleeds portraits at the hacienda, and we ended up with one of the most beautiful sets ever!
Sunset Photoshoot at Old San Juan
After a well-deserved nap and lunch, we met again an hour before sunset for the second part: we did a walk around timeless Old San Juan and had so much fun on this one!
I'm beyond blessed to connect with clients as trusting and fun as Huong and Waleed. It was an immense joy to share this marathon together and I hope you enjoy scrolling through this set as much as I did capturing it.
Puerto Rico Elopement Vendors
Wedding Photography: Weddings by Camille Fontanez
Elopement Venue: Hacienda Siesta Alegre, Rio Grande
Make-up & Style: Caridad Vidro