Friday, March 14, 2008

Illustration Friday - Garden - March 14

Red hibiscus flower from my friend's garden, hand-painted silk 24" x 24"

Love in the Afternoon

Caye Chapel, what a lovely place. Located just minutes south of Caye Caulker, you pass it right before you reach Caye Caulker when you arrive via water taxi from Belize City. It always amuses me when the water taxi stops there to drop off workers, and the tourists say in awe and wonder... "Is this Caye Caulker??? WOOOWWWW!!! I didn't know Caye Caulker had a golf course. This looks way better than in the guide books."

Sometimes I quietly tell the person next to me that is it "Ahem... not Caye Caulker, its a private island. $1000 bucks a night here..." But most of the time I keep quiet and count one-onethousand, two-onethousand, three-onethousand, and usually by four-onethousand, the gushing has stilled because they have read the sign that says "Private Island" and have seen the security guards.

It is self contained with its own power plant, water plant, a golf course, club house, swimming pool, bar, restaurant, little mansions on the east side and casitas on the west side, plus a deep water marina for you to put your yacht in. Caye Caulker - I WISH!
(The young Belizean man in the foreground was an amazing and accomplished saxaphone player. For someone so young, he knew all the old sexy, slowdance, kiss me on the neck and hug me up songs. I was IMPRESSED)
I was surprised and pleased when I got the request for information on wedding photography. So I quickly sent them the link to my flickr photography site which I recently upgraded to a Pro account. If this all sounds like the lead in to a shameless infomercial, it IS. I would like to do more wedding photography.
So, I put on my "good clothes" and tried to not get dirty. It was difficult though, because the weather had turned what we like to call "cold" which means temperatures under 75 degrees F, and hard breeze from the west, so the water taxi dropping me off had to go on the east side of the island. On arrival, I literally slung my equipment UP onto the peir and crawled out of the boat as Harrison grabbed me and pulled me steady.
Those embarrassing moments are best met with humour, so I turned around and gave a curtsey and announced "Well that was fun" to the departing water taxi. I got a little bit of applause and cheers, plus some open mouth stares. Alway remember the rule your mother told you about wearing clean underwear, you never can tell who will be looking. I brushed myself off and checked for bird poop and walked to the golf cart and cold bottle of water waiting for me.

So my first wedding shoot there went pretty well, even though the photographer was more nervous than the bride, as usual. I've learned to accept it, I think it gives me my edge, which with art we all need our edge. The couple and their friends were so nice, and the staff at Caye Chapel, helpful and attentive.
I spent my conscious thoughts on trying not to sweat or hyperventilate, the shooting was easy, the conditions perfect. The weather gave us a break for a while. It was cool enough that the groom was able to wear his Scottish kilt and whole getup including daggar in his woolen socks and real brogue shoes. The bride was barefoot, of course.

Less work for me, I was thinking, as I did not have to scour the beach looking for stray trash that might interfere with the photos, or have to be airbrushed out later, the beaches are raked clean from dawn each day. I also didn't have to shoo any dogs out of the pictures, or quietly shoosh local children, but that is the charm of Caye Caulker. My thoughts strayed to the wedding months back where UNBaby (in her blue bathing suit) held the lace train still from the breeze, for a bride who was wearing a vintage 1970s dress from her mother in law while I photographed them sitting on the little rough bench in front of Tia Ilna's house. And now UNBaby is in school in aMerica, wearing shoes every day.
We put the FUN in the word FUNKY. The dogs, the drunks, bicycles, the kids, the rastas, the seagrass, the split, that is WHO WE ARE.