Flavors of Belize the heart of the September Carnival, Belize City

I don’t know how to really start to present this and I’m so eager  to share this experience, that I would be short on words, and just show away!

But before this, I really want to say few things:

The September Carnival from Belize City is the most expected public event of entire year. I never participate and I never saw it so, when Flavors of Belize (the book I photographed the making of…) told me that they will participate and what size shirt I need, I knew it was not a question if I’ll go or not: that was a must. An event I eagerly awaited and had no idea what to expect.

For those of you who are new followers, few words about what Flavors of Belize is. When you hear FLAVORS OF BELIZE, you think at 2 things: Flavors of Belize – The Cookbook and Flavors of Belize Magazine.

The Magazine, is actually the best guide of restaurants, bar, hotels from entire country. If you’re new in Belize (and even if you’re not) this magazine is a must as is updated yearly.

The Cookbook… best description: “An ancient history | Diverse Cultures | Exotic Food: Flavors of Belize”. You want to feel the taste of Belize, you NEED this cookbook. Is the Bible of all belizean cookbooks.. is not just a cookbook… is Everything. There is a saying, if you want to feel a country, you have to do it through the  food… and I can’t agree more. I am proudly part of Flavors of Belize team and I photographed the making of… Dang, that was an awesome experience! Click HERE to download the app ;)

Back to the CARNIVAL!

Flavors of Belize just came up with a new app and this was the decor theme of our truck! And that was WOW!!! When I arrived in Belize City and I saw the truck, my first words were “WHOA, this is AH-ma-zing!” Honestly, the most beautiful carnival float I ever saw. Knowing McNab, the owners or McNab Design… duh, I what should I expect?!

My story is a behind the scene from our group and through my photos I hope you to see what to be IN THE HEART OF THE CARNIVAL means.  I hope that I can convince you to participate next year. Is just WAY different, or at least, with McNab Design was way different than everything I was hoping for.

I arrive at the house, where the girls were getting ready… and the scene there was a total tornado… not hectic, but a lot of organized things were happening at once. Two professional makeup artists Kristen and Melissa Quan (they did ART!) and costumes all folded with names, a room full of makeup so whoever wanted to do their own makeup just pick whatever and DIY their faces. Suuuuper fun! Everybody was helping everybody to get jazzed up. I know I was just picking tons of glitter! 2014-09-13-Carnaval_017

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The mood and excitement was on… everyone, everywhere… and then, I saw a scene that stopped the time. Tanya’s grandparents, together, were staying on a side, outside the tornado, and were observing everything… they saw an entire crew getting on the truck loaded with buckets of beads, candies, flyers, flags, bandanas, beer, ice… A LOT of things.  The truck was carefully crafted to include tents for shade, showcase the app, highlight their clients, we had security and support staff for all the equipment on board to make sure everything went perfect. Everyone was running, doing their things… and they just looked at everything with a soft smile on their faces… I don’t know, but that scene really hit me. When you feel your life is getting crazy, look at someone who is at least 2 generations older and if you pay attention, they are able to stop the time for you, and see what you’re doing from a much higher point of view. So, I took them from their comfortable place and put them above the “tornado”… give them the feathers and YAY!!! :))) And this is how I started.

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I was not hired as photographer, I was not invited as a guest, I was part of the team, I was in the heart of the Carnival… I photographed what and when I wanted, and I had to sing, dance and drink as everyone else… What an AMAZING experience! The music was just amazing!

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So, not to brag, and not to talk about about anyone else, but our float was the most fun! We were dancing and screaming and jumping and laughing, throwing beads and candies to the crowds, NON STOP.. and this was happening for HOURS!!!!!!! Over 15,000 giveaways combined was on this truck!  The crew was also what made this truck the best ever, everybody came with great spirit and great energy! We all danced the day away and had the time of our lives!!!!!!!!!!

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Enjoy first of our photos from many more to come!

 

 

Down Syndrom kid rocked his Photoshoot!

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Once in a while, just because I want, I look through my fans and I offer a family photoshoot. I can’t say I have a pattern of who I offer what… is usually someone who really need it and for some reason or other, they don’t hire a photographer to do it… Many of my clients are shy in front of the camera, many of them think are not good looking enough to have their photos taken… I said it before, my photos are not about how perfect you look… my photos are always about how happy you are and how much you love life. This is what I capture… your essence and your spirit, your happiness and your emotions.. and this, this beat any perfect body or face.

This chapter of my work I call Charity, the part where I feel good about myself for doing it, probably, the most emotional part of my job.

I know Dalia from a while, a belizean woman with a lot of strength. I appreciate people who have a though life, but they never complain and they always try to see the good… So… I followed quietly on her page.. and I saw how much she loves her kids. So, I offer her a gift, my work. I know her eyes double in size when she saw my message and her heart start to race… I just know it. Here is what she told me “I am trying to tell u how special I feel…u know Elijah has down syndrome an an open heart surgery and  I don’t know how long God will leave him with me… these pics are really special…He is a gift. And I love my son and I wouldn’t change him. He’s my Angel… I like to think like this God said this one with sparkling blue eyes is for oli this cutie with down syndrome is for Dalia. :)” After I read this, I knew I did the right choice… and we start planning our shoot. My time is limited,  but I really wanted to do it so, Sept 10th, when Belize have a national holiday, I contacted her the evening before and scheduled the next day shoot…something simple, right next door to my house… 10 minutes after we start, rain start… and did not stopped.. I saw the dissapointed in her eyes and I told her “don’t worry.. we’ll do the most of it”. She had an awesome umbrella, we run from one side to other, put the umbrella down and kids on the flag and just have fun. I expected a hard photoshoot… with a kid who will totally ignored me but he… really liked me. I sang to him twinkle twinkle little stars and he paid big time attention… And every time I finished the game he was giving me my reward a big wide laugh and a very happy face…. and then is when I snapped those beautiful photos. Everyone was happy! His sister is amazing… she is only 6, but she NEVER complained of rain or mosquitoes (yes, is rainy season right now and mosquitoes are really bad on our island)… and they all have beautiful portraits. Enjoy!

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Down Syndrom: It doesn’t mean I’m down. It means I help people who are feeling down. My smiles are contagious. My laugh is medicine for the heart. My hugs are heavenly. My heart itself is pure gold.

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He always tried to blow me kisses!

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Family: We might not have it all together, but together we have it all.

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His mom fav. quote :)

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Beautiful Dalia with her beautiful kids!

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Simply, brother & sister with an unbreakable bond

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Thank you, aunt! You were a huge help!!!

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Nobody really cared that was really raining.

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Out of difficulties grow miracles.

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Let the smile be your umbrella on a rainy day.

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God is working all things together for your good. He has a master plan for your life.

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“Whoever loves his brother, lives in the light” Bible , John 2:10

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Sometimes, being a sister is better than being a princess.

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Yes, this month he will be 3 years old! Wish you many more to come!

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Will you marry me?! Just Asked at Las Terrazas Resort, Belize

Christian decided to start a new chapter in life by proposing his girlfriend and he chose to do this in Belize, right here on Ambergris Caye, #1 island in the world.

Things got out of hand with timing and they reach the resort minutes before dusk. She thought they’ll just have dinner on the beach, and he was extremely excited. He proposed classic: emotional, kneeling and very happy! She was speechless and totally surprised!

A lovely experience for both of them, an evening full of happiness and excitement. By the time I left, they already were talking about outfits and wedding and locations… and we told them “best place in the world to get married, is Belize…”

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Island Gliteratti Party: Fabulous 40.Friends.Laugh.Sparkle. Like a Boss. at Caprice, Belize

There is a saying that some girls are born with glitter in their veins and I’ll add that whatever they touch, it sparkles. This is exactly what happened with Piper’s Fabulous 40th Birthday Party! A background created from a game of colours, champagne and an amazing setting.
Piper had a few things marked well on her “must happen” list: she wanted her guests to have tons of fun, enjoy good food, lots of champagne, amazing photos and dance until their shoes break. That is exactly what happened! Lots of laughing, drinking, dancing, props, cake and candy; many memories were created that night and I was there to capture them as best I could.
The party was impeccably organized (Findley Halliday, you did a heck of a job!)! When I was asked beforehand what was most important for the photos I quickly responded “LIGHTS!!! Beautiful Beautiful lights.” and so when I arrived and saw how everything was set up, I was in awe. It was fairytalish and perfect!
A glittery 40th birthday celebration as glamorous as the birthday girl herself!

McNab design ROCKED!

I’m not sure if I ever presented you McNab Design, but this is the perfect time to do it! Every time I get an outstanding invitation to a party, I know mcNab design is behind this! Good! Fine! Creative! WOW! All those thoughts at once, when I think about this team.
Keep in mind, they provide the highest quality materials and designs so, if you aim for best image,   you need mcNab team! 
Are located in Belize City, but this does not mean that you need to go there… Super fast in emails and via phone, is easy to work with them! McNab Design Ltd. is Belize’s premier graphic design and print studio. I love love love their print products. Quality is just how I like it.
At Piper’s Fantastic Party everything was personalized: starting from the invitations (WOW!), the entire play on the #champagnelife theme, a superb glass table with the party theme printed at full 4 x 8 size in hot pink, life size banners – up to 7 feet high, photo booth design, glittered die-cut 40th numbers – (this is a must for _0 birthdays), personalized jars for candy and smaller banners and signs all over! 

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Will be continued with many FUN photos! Come back in few days!

 

 

A Laid-back beach Wedding in Belize: at Xanadu Beach Resort

Jordan & Travis… when I remember your day, I can’t stop smiling. This wedding was FUN!!! We laugh so hard the entire day, that my jaws were hurting. A fantastic group, extremely happy to celebrate this marriage and a perfect day. Xanadu Resort was as usual, top notch! Totally love this location! Start with boys getting ready and have tons of fun: cigars & beers, chit-chat and fun, and hilarious bicycle riding with boys   WED14_aug26_017-web

-WED14_aug26_060-bw-web WED14_aug26_075-web WED14_aug26_105-bw-web continuing with girls, champagne, flowers and laughing WED14_aug26_151-web WED14_aug26_182-web WED14_aug26_233-web WED14_aug26_255-web WED14_aug26_256-web WED14_aug26_262-web a superb ceremony on the beach WED14_aug26_327-web WED14_aug26_326-web WED14_aug26_331-web WED14_aug26_337-bw-bw-web WED14_aug26_341-web WED14_aug26_346-web a short bridal shoot around resort filled with fun Photos around resort, of course

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Destination Wedding: Belize!

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Just Married in Belize

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The Bridal Party!

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Beer & Fun and Friends!

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Family Photos

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a rasta hammock!

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Live for the moments you can’t put into words.

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You are as happy you decide to be! Just Married in Belize!

You are as happy you decide to be! Just Married in Belize!

d a very romantic evening at Aji Restaurant WED14_aug26_527-web

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Reception at Aji Restaurant

Reception at Aji Restaurant

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 (more photos from reception coming soon…)