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Eyes up, heart open

Carla Ten Eyck

costa rica editorial beach wedding

What feels like years ago, but was in reality, only a few months back in the fine spring of this year, I had an opportunity to take a trip. Me, the one who said pretty loud and pretty proud that I did not really want to be what every photographer thinks they want to be at some point in their career: a destination wedding photographer.

Now, keep your skirt on- I’m not taking it all back- but- turns out I had some amazing traveling opportunities come round my way that left my head spinning and my camera shutter going at full blast for almost the entire month of April as I traveled the world over. Or so it felt!

Since that point, during my so called ‘off season’ (I would kill for that now!) I was in the throes of my ON season x like 1,000,000 and divided by 6!! Soooo…. I did not have time to sit down and post some of my favorite images from part one of our editorial shoot at Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica. I say this in ALL CAPS now so forgive my shouting BUT THIS IS NOT AN ACTUAL WEDDING, IT IS AN EDITORIAL SHOOT! And these are NOT PROFESSIONAL MODELS either, but just a couple in love, willing to spend a day with me and my crew whilst we did what we all love more than anything… we played together doing what we love and what we do best. Be it taking pictures, or doing hair and make up, or styling the scene or the people, shooting video, or making art out of local produce and plants from the rain forest, we all did it to have fun. And because we love it. Did I say that already??


Now, if you know me, you know I love putting things out there and stirring the pot a bit. Soooo….. why would today be any different? Maybe it’s late, maybe I’m feeling a little spicy? Who knows and who cares but I have to say a few things about Editorial Shoots or Inspiration to Reality shoots or whatever the name of the week is for them. Yes, I know they have exploded in popularity recently and it has been causing quite the online uproar. From chat rooms- where I even saw my name mentioned in connection to this- to photography networking meetings- to just idle chatter between colleagues in the industry… it’s been a topic worthy of discussion.

The talking points I have heard have been that some photographers are tired of looking at them. That because you have ‘models’ (please, let me wax poetic on this in just one second) and time to create a scene with a planner or dress shop owner or florist, that it is not ‘real.’ That it’s easy. That, well shoot- anyone could just come in and do this. Well I say Come on Down and Do it! See how easy you think it all is to not only coordinate, but to work seamlessly with other professionals who’s visions you trust implicitly… well when I put it that way, it sure sounds easy, right? I just work with the best team in the industry in every aspect of it- to be honest, so yes that part is a cake walk for me- but it’s not everyone’s reality on these shoots!

But the model part and the shooting part. That is not easy, I will be the first to tell you all this! As far as models go, well…. we don’t use them. We use real people. Every day regular people. Michelle here works for stayincostarica.com. Yes, she is stunning, but she is not a model. And the shooting part…. well, let’s just say I must have been doing a rain dance for the entire year because it seemed like every single shoot I did like this ended in a downpour! You all think THAT is easy? But it sure is fun. Just watch.

So why do these shoots, you ask. The better question, for me, is why the hell NOT? This type of shoot is my idea of pure, photography fun!! I get to work with some of, if not THE most talented vendors in the industry, who all love what they do so much that they would drop everything on a dime , stop what they are doing and coordinate a shoot so we can all play together (this has happened on many occasions) whether it’s on the beaches of Costa Rica, or the fields of Middletown CT…I get to push myself to be better each time because I know that everyone is putting all of their blood, sweat and tears into what we do and then turning it all over to me- I guess I love the pressure! It’s similar to a wedding in that way. Yes, I can work things to my liking, but ask anyone who has spent time with me on these shoots- I keep the energy high, and we keep it MOVING!! There is no time for dilly dallying- we like to keep them short and sweet, that way it stays fun! Does that sound easy to all of you? Well I am here to tell you it is NOT, but I love it and whether people are tired of seeing them or not, I will keep going with these as long as I have willing accomplices!!


speaking of, here they are:

Candice Coppola of Jubilee Events

Tony Palmieri of Datura a Modern Garden

Beth Chapman of The White Dress by the Shore

DD Nickel on hair and beauty

Mike and Erica Cyr of Buzz Media

Erik Maziarz of carla ten eyck photography

Rebecca Hales of Hales Studio

Greg Lewis of Greg Lewis Photography

Sara Code-Kroll of Growing Tree Photography

Diana Chouinard of Jubilee Events

one of my oldest friends in the world, Susannah

Magan Hunt of the MMH Group on PR

our chef Jose!

and the amazing amazing people at stayincostarica.com – Larry, Michelle (and Alejandro)


this was featured in several posts on Style Me Pretty HERE, HERE and HERE, check them out!

To clarify- if I ever do a shoot that is not a real wedding, I will always make note of it!

Without further ado… say a little ‘how do you’ do to Miss Michelle and her adoring, totally head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Alejandro…


Our buddy Larry from stayincostarica.com took a shot at playing with our amazing band…

My girl and creative partner in crime: Candice

Come on. Tony, Diana and Susannah played the role of happy guests very very well!!

Candice and Tony together are like the Batman and Robin of tablescapes!!!

Tony and his creative genius in all of its glory!!! Seriously. SERIOUSLY!!!!!

This was Alejandro’s actual surf board and … his actual surf board… Piko is his company!

I try to never let the rain get in my way and embrace it as much as possible!! I wouldn’t have gotten these shots if I didn’t!

HUGE thanks to every one for seeing our vision through

and thank you all for checking it out!!

XOXO

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