Trash the Dress shoot with Del Sol Photography exceeds expectations!

Trash the Dress shoot with Del Sol Photography exceeds expectations!

Memories that Last a Lifetime—our full Trash the Dress with Del Sol Photography review


Trash the Dress photoshoot Mexico

Last month, I wrote a post about our Jungle Adventure with Del Sol Photography expressing just how great the experience was for us.  I got into some details because I couldn’t wait to share it with you, but I also promised that—when the rest of the photos became available—I’d write a more complete review of the time we spent with the Del Sol team.  Well, today we got an email from Ael, the photography company’s terrific Sales Manager.  She has been consistently friendly—and wonderfully patient—when dealing with our questions and she wanted to let us know that a slide show featuring over 40 of their favorite photos from our shoot was ready and was up on their website for us to finally see!

Del Sol Trash the Dress From the 4 sneak peak photos that they had let us see earlier, we knew that our memories were in expert hands but wow—did they ever exceed our wildest expectations!  Having satisfied customers should be the goal of any business, but what Del Sol has here is two ecstatic ones! For that we thank them and hope the rest of you enjoy our full review.  You can also view the full slide show on Del Sol Photography’s website along with other great photo shoots.

We came across the idea for Trashing the Dress while we were first planning our destination wedding in Mexico.  We came across these amazing photographs of bride and groom, dressed in their formal wedding attire, juxtaposed with unexpected backdrops like the jungle, urban areas, the beach and various cenotes in the Riviera Maya.  They were amazing and it seemed like such a far cry from the traditional wedding pictures.  We knew it was something we had to do and as we read more and checked out more galleries, we learned that Del Sol Photography was our first choice.  They started the trend of the TTD shoot—then perfected it—and, while others have tried their best to imitate their work and are good at what they do, it was clear to us that  Del Sol was still the best.

So, we knew who’s services we wanted to book, but just because someone is good at something doesn’t mean that they will be easy to work with.  Fortunately, it became clear to us very early on that this was going to be a pleasurable process.  The customer experience begins at the moment of first contact—many companies forget that it seems—and the entire process with them was a breeze.  From our initial email requesting information about their services to deciding what package to purchase to setting up the date and any follow-up questions, Ael was quick and on top of everything.  Even suggesting professionals for hair and make-up and—since our hotel was 45 minutes north of where the shoot was going to be—arranging for free transportation for us.

We wisely chose to have our TTD shoot 3 days after our wedding. Most of our guests had left already and we had a chance to unwind after the wedding.  Sara Tamargo, who is actually the sister of Sol Tamargo (she is one half of the team behind Del Sol Photography along with Matt Adcock) arrived at Excellence Riviera Cancun with an assistant at 8:30am.  After a brief mix up with hotel security—everything was arranged the night before but despite this, the pair were held up in the lobby and the issue of an outside vendor fee of $500 was suddenly brought up—which led to one of the funniest irrate-traveler quotes that I can remember in quite some time, “This is Excellence Club? This is not Excellent…it’s Mediocre at best!” But despite the hiccups, Sara did an awesome job and was done in no time.

Trash the Dress Del Sol

We met up with the shuttle driver outside the lobby—I wish I could remember his name—who was talkative and outgoing.  One thing that stood out was when he asked what the plans were for the day.  We happily answered that we were planning to do a cenote and the beach to which he replied with a, “Whew.  I hope you two are rested up…it’s going to be a long day.”  We arrived at the Playacar gated community where Del Sol is located and met with our photographer Debora and Arube Coronel, who would be assisting her for the day.  They both seemed casual and friendly and immediately made the vibe of the day a calm one.  As they loaded up the equipment, Arube asked us if we were ready for a “workout”?  We looked at each other for a second.  How hard could it be?  We walk around, get photos taken…we’ll be done in 2 or 3 hours tops.

The drive down to the cenote was fun.  We got to know the staff and they told us to help ourselves to the assortment of snacks, candy, chips, water, gatorade or cerveza that they had brought along for us.  Before long, we arrived at the cenote and got ready for the shoot.


Del Sol photo shoot trash the dress

First up were the jungle shots.  We chased sunlight beams as they filtered through the green canopy overhead.  The cab driver, who doubled as an second assistant, wafted incense in the air to create that magical, dreamy effect as the smoke passed through the rays.  We walked barefoot in shallow pools and relaxed on a tiny wooden footbridge.  We tried to lean on a tree but were warned to avoid the one with the black sap unless you wanted something that made poison ivy seem like a day at the beach.

We worked up quite a sweat wandering the jungle in our wedding attire and by the time we had wrapped that part of our photo shoot, the idea of jumping into the cenote sounded great.  Debora and Arube set up their expensive camera equipment—if felt like we were about to star in one of those underwater shows on National Geographic—and donned their wet suits and we were ready for business.

Del Sol Photography trash the dress

Climbing into the cold, fresh water of the cenote, surrounded by limestone cliffs and jungle flora, we were given our first lesson.  It might be easy to smile and look natural on land—but it’s a whole different ballgame to try it underwater.  Debora was helpful and patient as we went through multiple attempts of slowly submerging ourselves in the water—so that bubbles aren’t all over the place and we’re not disturbing the water—and opening our eyes—which was easier than in a pool because of the fresh water.  The toughest part was not scrunching up our faces.  This last part took a few tries for me to master but after some laughs and coaching, we got it down and felt like pros.

Trash the Dress photo Del Sol

We didn’t realize the amount of work that was involved in catching the right shots though.  Arube was busy lining up the underwater flash bulbs as Debora submerged and waited for us to descend into the water.  Each time, we had to be relaxed and calm, yet focused on keeping our arms and legs out of the way so they don’t block the shot or angling our bodies in a certain way.   This would lead to multiple takes for each shot as Debora tried to capture the moment in just the right way.  Also, floating up prematurely was a problem until Arube gave us a tip about exhaling completely before going down so the air wouldn’t make our bodies want to rise.  It was a simple little thing that he offered with a smile but it made a world of difference and the next thing we knew, we were amazing ourselves at how long we were staying under.

Del Sol TTD photos

The repetition could have been tiresome, especially when the sun went in for a bit and it got a bit colder in the water, but the enthusiasm and smiles that the photographers had on their faces as they reviewed the shots they were taking  was totally infectious.  They made us feel like naturals and stars and forget that the cenote was packed with local children who were off from school that day.

I’m surprised that we weren’t more tired than we were after over an hour in the waters of the cenote, but being in the middle of a freshwater pool in a jungle in the Yucatan was such a thrilling experience that we were still energized when Debora informed us that she had all she needed and was more than psyched about the results.  Everything was repacked and we all had a quick break before jumping back into the van to head to the beach.

We sat in the back in wet clothes—Shelley in her what we now call “indestructible wedding gown” and me in my 3-piece suit—sharing a water and a Corona while chatting with the team.  They made it so enjoyable, almost like hanging out with friends instead of the multi-hour photoshoot that it was.  Our final destination was a little nook of beach in Playa Del Carmen that they all claimed to be the most beautiful stretch in the area.  It took a while to get there, but they were right.

Before reaching this beach though, we had to turn off the main highway and drive down a narrow dirt road leading to the ocean.  We were working our way down when we came across a dog in the middle of the road.  Shelley—who loves all animals but cannot pass by a dog without running over to say hi—hopped out of the van to greet the local perro.  The dog was shy and went back onto his owner’s property and after greeting the man who was sitting at a table outside his home, he pointed out the crate with a litter of puppies that were a few weeks old!  It was a totally spontaneous moment but one that Debora took full advantage of and caught some precious shots that we will always cherish.

Del Sol Trash the Dress Perro

Reluctantly, we left our new friends.  We really thought about offering to buy one of the pups, but we still had 10 days in Mexico in hotels that didn’t allow pets and I wasn’t familiar with the Customs procedures for declaring a Mexican boxer-mix puppy that you bought at a home nestled in the jungle of the Riviera Maya.

We parked our car at the end of the road where a local man stood sentry charging a parking fee for access to the beach.  Apparently, Debora and Arube are the mayors of the area, because they seem to know everyone, and after a brief exchange in Spanish and a donation of a few pesos, we were led to one of the most amazing scenes we’ve ever witnessed.

The beach was pure white and the water had picture-perfect waves and water of an almost surreal turquoise.  The timing was right as well and we caught the sun setting behind us, giving amazing light for the pictures.  It was exciting to watch the team come up with ideas for the shots and to humor us as we came up with props or suggestions as well.  We continued for about an hour on the beach until Debora finally gave us an option—she said she had all she needed for the shoot but we could keep going if we wanted.  It’s the little things like feeling like the photography team is “into” what they’re doing that makes the long hours of posing seem worth it.  That, and the laughter and smiles that we, the newlyweds, had as we followed the team’s directions.  It was all captured on film—every smile, laugh and emotion.  Looking back, we should have kept going but they were right—it is a workout—and after 5 hours of playing models, we were more than happy to change into our dry clothes and jump in the back of the van.

trash the dress photography del sol

Even the drive back was memorable.  Us—thoroughly exhausted but feeling great—sitting in the back as they played music and sang and laughed.  Arube even wrote down the names of a few of the underground house songs that we liked (which we downloaded as soon as we got back home and still listen to with fond memories).

What more can you ask for in an experience?  We got more than we paid for: memories that create an even stronger bond with your loved one,  pictures that you can cherish for a lifetime, a unique experience and a chance to do something totally exhilarating and out of the ordinary and the chance to work with a group of people who you’d want to go out for drinks  with after it was all said and done.   The only thing we could ask for is the chance to do it all again!

Whether it’s for your wedding, portraits, a special occasion or to capture your very own Trash the Dress, we can give Del Sol Photography the highest recommendation.  The staff are all amazing to work with, the work will exceed your wildest expectations and you’ll have not just photos—but memories—that last a lifetime.

Del Sol Trash the Dress photography sunset

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