As photographers, we love to daydream about having a personal project besides our daily work. It is like a fantasy that very few can accomplish.
Back in 2011, Tamara and I were shooting together 100 weddings per year. It was an insane amount of work. We were not only shooting but also doing all the post process and delivery.
Chefs enjoying the ocean view from the resort rooftop.
I knew I wanted to start a personal project but didn’t know how to begin. I had zero time or energy to develop something new.
One day, shooting a wedding at a Cancun all-inclusive venue, Tamara and I arrived early and went to check out the locations for the reception. I walked into a ballroom and saw a scene that I will never forget. I found a group of 3 guys holding a ladder with a fourth guy standing at the top of it, changing a light bulb. It is important to mention that the ceiling was at least 6m (20ft) high. I wasn’t even ready to start shooting, but I took the picture. My aperture was only F2.2, and my shutter speed was 100. If you are not a photographer, these are very risky settings for almost any situation.
Four employees in a very risky task changing a light bulb.
It is one of my most favorite images, and little I knew it became the beginning of a project that has been in the making for nine years and I would love to go on with it.
Hotel employees moving loungers before beach ceremony starts.
The wedding vendors in Cancun
The wedding industry in Cancun is huge, and it supports hundreds of thousands of families’ economies, including ours. So I started taking pictures to celebrate the hard work of the people involved in these jobs.
Every opportunity I have, I document a scene, a situation, something that catches my attention with the vendors involved in weddings. I am so proud of all of them, of their dedication and commitment.
Wedding planner moving beach ceremony chairs' to an indoor location during heavy rain.
It is a project that doesn’t have my entire attention because when we are documenting a wedding, our focus is 100% on our clients and what is happening around them. But I’ve been able to catch some images that fit the stories, and I am very proud of them.
Planner1 employee setting up pool decor before ceremony begins.
Tamara and I make sure our dear couples receive these images too. As they know, when they hire us, we love to document real moments, and the vendors become an essential part of the day.
Kitchen employees staring at a dress hanged on a tree by the video team.
Are you ready to start your own project?
A personal project doesn’t necessarily have to take away all your time or requires your full attention. You can start creating small projects within your working station, during your walk to work, at any event, or at any time during your daily activities. It has helped me tremendously to stay inspired and focus on what really matters: people, their relationships, and their stories.