Destination Wedding in Mexicana!
I did Bianca & Daniel’s engagement shoot back in September 2016 (scroll to the end to read). On the cold snowy night of December 21st 2016 while going down Bathurst St. on a dingy bus, I received a Facebook message from Bianca: “We are getting married in Mexico.” We chatted away a little bit and things just happened: I was going to Cancun to shoot their wedding! I’d never been to Mexico, and had little time to prepare myself, not photographically, but lingually. I spent about 1 hour the day before the flight to learn basic useful Spanish, you know, expletives. I tagged along with a few simple greetings and that was about it. [Confession: Spanish was never on my radar of languages even though I ventured into over 20 languages in my life. German is the other one.]
I flew to Cancun from Toronto with the rest of the gang, none of whom I’d met. The flight was pleasant and short (I don’t fuss over seat or noisy kids aboard; I nap). First things first: Cancun weather sings to my body: hot, humid, unstable with rain fits amidst the burning sun. After all, I lived in Penang, Malaysia for four years. Bianca and Daniel greeted us at the hotel front: Allegro Playacar, Playa del Carmen. The staff were friendly and smiling which made it easy for me to practice my terrible Spanish around the resort.
My room was comfy and chilled. All I needed was my phone to read ebooks and play chess and a bed to sleep on (more on my iPhone 6S later). The only problem I faced was the fog that’d quickly form inside my cameras and lenses anytime I went out of my extremely cold room to the hot outside. No qualms, a bit of patience and all was set.
After a deep-in-thought prayer night at the synagogue in Cancun with Daniel and the guys that left our spirits at peace and oneness, I got to know them a bit more to infuse their inner demons in my shots. That was tantamount to getting out of them the best most natural expressions I could exorcise.
The rehearsal happened pretty much on the exact spot the wedding was supposed to take place. I fielded the possible challenges for tomorrow’s Big Day: bikini-clad and trunks-wearing bystanders, walking in the sand carrying a ton of camera gear. None happened to be unwarranted.
The whole day was overwhelming, with emotions running high. I walked with Daniel to his room and sat on a chair to get some cold drink out of the bar fridge. Daniel paused for a moment before the mirror. Tomorrow was the Big Day…
The day started with cloudy, threatening skies. Boys got ready unsurprisingly fast. We walked around the resort to fire away some iconic shots as the other resort tenants chilled by the pool and slowly sipped their drinks. Our dapper bad gang included Daniel, Vinnie, Jimmy, Luc, and Matthew.
The girls had a much more elegant, measured, and rhythmic approach to the preparation: Bianca, Antonia, Julia, Silvia, and Yoanna!
A heavy thunderstorm had just begun, putting worry in Bianca that it would continue and the wedding had to be relocationed indoors which was plan B. I assured her that in my career, I NEVER had a rainy wedding day. The words did not seem to really comfort her much to the deranging sight of the crazy drops before her eyes as she stood outside her room in despair. Then, it all stopped. Clouds split like the Red Sea, the sun revealed itself and beckoned us all to the beach!
The wedding procession then headed onto the designated restaurant for a carousal reception!
And that’s a wrap!
My name is Mostafa and I Shoot People (for a small fee)!
I went for an oceanic dip in my pocketed trunk the day after the wedding to unwind after a long day. I didn’t realize that my dear iPhone was in my right pocket. It went to a coma immediately. Rice bags did extract some moisture but the extreme humidity didn’t much to resuscitate the deceased. I had some amazing slow-mo footage of the wedding folks headbanging to a rock song, random snaps from ordinary Cancun street lifestyle, and many more. I didn’t have them backed up on the iCloud but they are ingrained in my mind for good, and for good reasons!