Sometimes, I have a pretty exotic and excellent job as a photographer. This year has taken me all around the world and last month, I was stoked to be hired to photograph an authentic Mayan Riviera Vacation Rental near Puerto Morelos, just 20 minutes south of Cancun.
“La Palapa” has been a vacation rental for over a decade, however the owners wanted all new, consistent and professional images so they could add the property to AirB&B. I had photographed the property before and the images were a hit! So, I finally found a week where I could squeeze the trip in between my crazy wedding season and the client’s full rental schedule. It was a very quick trip, with me flying down early Monday, photographing Monday afternoon and Tuesday, then flying out super early Friday to be a second photographer for a Cape Cod wedding. Phew. A whirl wind of travel, that’s for sure.
So, how in the heck did I get hired to photograph commercial photography of an authentic Mayan Riviera Vacation Rental in Puerto Morelos? Well, a family connection. My lovely Aunt Colleen built and owns the property with her partner Nora and they have done an amazing job capturing the lure and peace that is the Mayan Riviera coast. I’ve been down to La Palapa for 20 years or so and have seen the area expand and grow into a full fledged tourist area, with sprawl from Cancun reaching down to this sleepy fishing town on the coast.
Every 4 years, I tend to make my way down to visit and relax. This was my first time to really go down for work. The last time I was there was an impromptu photographer’s retreat and I did photograph a few rooms for Colleen. This was different, as I was specifically going down there to work and had a professional job to do. I brought down a good friend as a stylist, ‘margarita assistant’ and lighting assistant. Between her and Nora, they styled and set props in each room as I worked. Nora was also the chef, so it was a treat to have authentic Mexican meals at the ready, prepared by a local. On the final night of photography, Nora cooked on the grill and had a beautiful dinner of grilled veggies (including cactus!), salmon and margaritas by the pool over candle light and sunset.
The rest of the week was spent getting the images downloaded and having Colleen cull the images and mark her favorites. As a retired Photographer’s Representative from NYC, she sure works fast and has a laser focused eye for what works. I marveled at her ability to zero in on the perfect set of 24 images to set off her listing on AirBnB. It is a treat to have someone who knows about photography cull my images and an absolute flattering honor to be hired and praised by someone with such vast experience in the industry. Obviously, I wanted to make my Aunt proud, however this is a whole other level.
If you are on the market for a relaxing and authentic vacation in a warm climate, I highly recommend you check out La Palapa for your next vacation rental. It can sleep 6 easily, with plenty of room for all of your luggage, tons of books, several hammocks, a short stroll to the beach or town, a lap pool, two outdoor showers (my favorite part!) and an outdoor grill.