A few days after Agustina and Johann’s wedding, we jumped in a pickup truck with our guides, Joaquin and Dani, gas tank loaded on the back of the bed, and headed North. After two days of driving, we arrived in Uyuni, Bolivia. Llama farms dotted the countryside and locals sold hand woven fabrics along the road. After having a quick bite of local fare, we headed outside of town to the salt flats. This celestial terrain stretches for miles as far as the eye can see. The expanse of salt is remnants left over from what once was an ocean or sea.
On the dry cracked land, dressed in their wedding attire, I snapped pictures of the newlyweds. It was a beautiful setting for a couple that radiates. Thank you for having me along to document your wedding and experience Bolivia and Argentina!
A few Outtakes:Our guide Dani strikes a pose. He wanted to be a part of the portrait session. Dani and Joaquin smile for a photo.
Dani uses a stick and plastic tube to siphon gas into the tank. This was a first for me!
A little more than a year ago I met with Agustina for the first time in a small coffee shop in Lincoln Square. She friended me on facebook earlier when she say pictures from one of my trips. She mentioned she was going to be married in a Argentina the following year and was interested in having me photograph the union. Since then we’ve become great friends, so this trip to South America was extra special for me. Not only was I taking pictures and exploring Argentina and Bolivia (those photos to come in a few blog posts), but I was sharing the experience with two great people!
Argentina was stunning, full of joyful laughter, and inviting. Agustina’s family was incredibly warm and sweet. It was amazing to meet them in person after hearing so many stories!
Check back soon for Johann and Agustina’s day after session in Uyuni, Bolivia.
I thought I’d share a few images of the remarkable vistas just a short drive outside of Agustina’s hometown, Salta.
Salta is famous for traditional gauchos, cowboy’s who herd the native horses.
The Wedding Day:
On the way to the venue where Agustina was to get ready, a person driving beside pointed out a low tire on the vehicle. “Do you think I should pull over?” Agust asked. “I think we better. You don’t want the tire to blow out along the way.”
We pulled off at a small auto shop, where the mechanic said she’d need to change the tire. “Well ok then, but can you just try to do it fast because I’m getting married today, ” Agust said with a smile. Throughout the whole trip she referenced the Saltena lifestyle–a casual approach to things, especially schedules. For such a thing to happen in America might send the day in a tail spin, but Agustina just shrugged and carried on.
Agustina finalized the table arrangements for the reception while having her hair done.
Agustina’s grandma, Mamama, goes over last details for the day. She is an amazing woman, a classic matriarch with a big heart and impeccable taste.
Agustina had her one of a kind dress made in Salta, inspired by a dress worn Christina Applegate wore to the Oscars.
The church was overflowing with guests excited to see the couple married.
In Argentina, it’s tradition to follow the religious ceremony with a civil ceremony, which took place at the reception site.
When Agustina first came to America, she lived with The Borelli’s as their family au pair. Seven years later, they are all very close. Lisa and Mark Borelli flew in from Chicago for the occasion, to the delight of her family and friends.
Johann’s sister’s, Annie and Carina toasted the happy couple on behalf of their parents, who weren’t able to travel from Chicago, and their distant extended in the Philippines. Carina wasn’t able to hold back her tears, so Mamama, gave her a few hearty slaps to snap her out of the crying.
I’ve been in South America for the last 2 1/2 weeks where I photographed Agustina and Johann’s wedding and collected images from Bolivia and Argentina. I can’t wait to share the rest of the images once I’ve finished the editing. For now, here’s one sneak peek from the Agust and Johann’s post-wedding shoot in Uyuni, Bolivia. This stunningly stark location may look like a beach, but it’s actually miles and miles of salt, stretching as far as the eye can see.
I’ve known Amber since the days of TLC, Step-by-Step, and my baggy jeans phase. She is my sister’s best friend and like family to us. I’m so happy
for her and Sean! Their wedding is this August; it will be the second time I return to “The Good Life” (State slogan, but who can argue?) for wedding photography this summer. What a bonus-I get to return to my roots for a job I love to do! It’s going to be so special to see Amber marrying her love-who happens to be a GREAT GUY!
Love you both!
A few side notes:
1. I was nearly arrested during this session. Ok, ok, I wasn’t nearly arrested, just nearly ticketed for photographing on the tracks-an old school habit that didn’t use to be a big deal. Luckily Amber charmed the police officer and even got him to pose for a picture!
2. At the end of the session I gave Shawn a big squeeze. “Ah, you’re a hugger just like your sister,” he said with a wide grin. “Yep! It’s a Rife sister thing.” Sean, expect a hug come August!