Friday, April 30, 2010

Guest Editor: Adrian Tuazon

I am so pleased to introduce you to a fabulous new feature for our little blog. Our Guest Editor post will cover everything and anything our Boutique Wedding Guide members wish to share with you. 

Our very first Guest Editor means a lot to me; I have wanted to share Adrian Tuazon's photographic experience with you for some time. Especially since he went to Mexico and participated in the world renowned Jose Villas photographic workshop last year. If you are unaware of Jose Villa's work  you must have a look at his website, his photography is beautiful and has really set the tone for todays modern photographic wedding style. 

Enjoy Adrian Tuazon's story and stunning photography. 

I have been following and admiring Jose Villa's brilliant work for the past 3 years and ever since he started running his workshops in Mexico I had wanted to be a part of it. I always missed out due to my busy calendar. But in early 2009, before he had announced the workshop dates for that year, I contacted Jose and asked him to give me the dates and I registered straight away. I knew it was going to be a life changing experience. And it was more than that.
The magical setting for Jose Villa's workshop in Mexico is a 300 year old Hacienda called Hacienda El Carmen about an hour drive from Guadalajara, Mexico. The light in this part of the world is exquisite - perfect for natural light photographers. It is also probably one of the most beautiful places to have a wedding. The place is lush and colourful and almost softly and beautifully toned it's ready to be printed on photographic paper. There are horses, peacocks and butterflies adding to an already idyllic, calming and romantic atmosphere. I cannot remember being immersed in so many beautiful scenes all in one place. The ambience had an old world feel you can imagine being transported back into Mexico's colonial past. And the food was delish.

The workshop ran for 4 days consisting of 2 days of shooting and 2 days of class time and one-on-one meetings with Jose as well as the other workshop guests - Karina Puente, visual artist, Jill La Fleur - wedding planner and the wonderful Jessica Claire - wedding photographer. The meet and greet activity on the first evening was an elegant affair. We ate a three-course meal on a lavishly presented long table complete with decor, candles and handwritten name tags tied with white silk ribbons on the back of each chair. We were entertained with uplifting Mexican music and dancing. There were 12 attendees. I was the only one from Australia and the rest were from North America and a couple from Mexico.
There was so much knowledge and inspiration to take in - it was so overwhelming. And I loved every minute of it. Not only was it a learning experience for me but more powerfully I found so much value and inspiration in making so many new friends. It was great to be surrounded by artists, photographers and other people in the industry in such a spectacular environment. And of course, Jose's work and perspective was beautiful to experience.  It was such an honour to just watch him work. The input from the guest speakers were also invaluable.
Jose's work shines not just because of his expertise in his chosen field and that he shoots film but I believe mainly because of the person that he is. He is such an honest, gentle and humble person - it was such a gift to be in his presence. I have to say that my experience at his workshop will be one of the best times of my life as an artist.
I had to leave early on the last day as I had to be back in Melbourne to shoot a wedding. I was a bit sad as it felt so quick and I made so many new friends. Jose's uncle drove me to the airport. I told him that he must be so proud to have a nephew so respected and well known. He spoke very little English but I knew he understood me as he had a twinkle in his eye as he smiled and nodded -  I almost burst into tears.

The wonderful team behind the Jose Villa workshop:- 

Gowns by Claire Pettibone
Hair & Make up by Team Hair & Make Up
Styling by Matthew Johns
Head pieces from OhMyDeer
Wedding Planner was Jill La Fleur
Venue the amazing Hacienda El Carmen
Citro Modelos

Thank you also to the wonderful Jessica Claire, and special thanks to Joel Serrato, Lacie Hansen, Karina Puente and Brian Greenberg (Richard Photo Lab).

If this is something you think you would love to be part of, unfortunately 2010 Jose Villa workshop is already booked out. Which is not surprising with a line up of special guests like Abby Larson founder and editor of Style Me Pretty, Katrina Puente, Jill La Fleur and Joel Serrato. Maybe 2011 will be your year!

Thank you Adrian so much for sharing such a personal story with us. It sounded like an experience of a life time. 

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