Shifting Light: Antelope Canyon

The subject of many photographers’ images of the West, Antelope Canyon is a unique natural wonder in northeast Arizona. It’s a fairly new place—to the public, that is—only accessible since 1997. It is on Navajo land, and an only be reached by purchasing a ticket to a tour.

During our trip to Arizona, we made the trek to Upper Antelope Canyon, the most visited of the two canyons found on this land. Called Tsé bighánílíní by the Navajo, this canyon is “the place where water runs through rocks.

Summer is the perfect time to visit the canyon. Photographers love this “slot canyon” because of the way it manipulates light. From May 20–October 7, light beams peek down on the walls, hitting the floor of the canyon at high noon.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our trip to Upper Antelope Canyon.

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Do not let the masses taking pictures distract you from the beauty of this place. Best part is, most of what you’re taking picture of is above everyone’s heads!

Corkscrew.

Corkscrew.

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What to know if you go

We booked our tour Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours ($40 per person, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily). Make sure you arrive 50-60 minutes prior to your ticket time. You do not pay in advance, and they WILL give away your reservation. I did not read this part of the confirmation e-mail and when we arrived 40 minutes early, they had already given away our seats on the jeep. Luckily, they made room for us, but you may not be so lucky. Also note that you need to be with a tour guide at all times during your trip to the canyon. Reading reviews on Trip Advisor will show you that your experience is basically a luck-of-the-draw. Your tour guide may rush you, herding you though the canyon. Luckily our was very pleasant.

Places

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ, United States

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ, United States
http://navajotours.com/

The Shores of St. Lucia: Trash the Dress Photo Shoot

When we decided to go to St. Lucia for our “real” honeymoon, we knew we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful landscapes. You see, our dream was to be married on a beach—however, it didn’t quite work out that way. It’s pretty impossible to have a destination wedding with your family if your family doesn’t want to travel. So we decided that if we couldn’t have our beach wedding, we could at least have our beach pictures!

Having long since booked our stay at Sandals La Toc, we started looking into photography options. Sandals itself cost about a zillion dollars for photos, and wouldn’t take you off property. We wanted the dramatic Pitons in our pictures—which we later learned were over an hour away from the resort.

After some research, we stumbled upon Karay Media. I started conversing with owner, Ray, about the most beautiful picture, where a couple was out on this giant rock in the middle of the ocean, with the Pitons looming behind them. I wanted to recreate it.

Ray agreed to take us out for the day for only $450USD (photos included). Little did we know, it would basically be a tour of the island. He picked us up at our resort, and whisked us away to a quiet beach with a phenomenal view of the Pitons. Unfortunately, we didn’t get our rock shot, as it was raining off and on, and there was no boat to take us, but it was for the best. Ray didn’t mention he gets very motion sick (on land and sea!)—and I wasn’t anxious to leap from a tiny boat onto a huge rock anyway. I just wanted that great shot. Check it out on Ray’s site!

We got some beautiful pictures on the beach, and Ray decided to take us to Diamond Falls Botanical Garden—a tropical paradise! We got some incredible and completely unexpected pictures there.

Diamond Falls Botanical Garden

En route to our next destination, we ended up getting some shots from this fantastic vantage point. You’d never guess we were just pulled off on the side of the road!

Our ultimate goal for this photo shoot was to “trash the dress”—a trend in wedding photography. Typically the bride wears her actual wedding dress, and essentially destroys it. I’ve seen beautiful images of brides in oceans and lakes, but I’ve also seen shoots where the bride is hiking through the woods, playing with mud, or engaged in a lively round of paintball! Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on how you look at it—I wasn’t able to wear my own dress, as it weighed so much, I knew I’d sink to the ocean floor if I got it wet. So, I got a new dress, and played in the waves at Ti Kaye Resort—a private resort that Ray often uses for sunset pictures.

Ray was an absolute delight to work with, and took incredible photos. The day we spent with him was our absolute favorite in St. Lucia. We realized if it hadn’t been for him, we never would have gotten to explore the island. We would have only seen the Pitons from the airplane window, and we never would have gotten to soak up some local culture. Ray had all kinds of interesting stories he told us, from getting almost mugged on the beach during a photo shoot, to how he got kicked in the ribs by his pet goat the day before. It was amazing he made it through our session, what with his motion sickness and goat-related injuries!

I highly recommend Karay Media for any special occasion photography—or just as a great way to see St. Lucia and capture some memories in the process. Here’s my review and all of our pictures on KarayMedia.com.

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