In a few weeks I will be heading back to Mexico. I cannot wait to be back in the land of Margarita’s, sun and to photograph another amazing destination wedding. I often feel completely at home whenever I go somewhere tropical and I’m looking forward to feeling that soft golden sand between my toes again. I was looking through photos from my previous trip to Mexico in May (for Jess & John’s Wedding) and realized I still hadn’t published a special shoot I did while I was there. After I arrived home, wedding season was in full swing and all of my personal shoots got pushed to the back of my editing schedule. A few weeks before the wedding in Tulum I posted a photo of a Corona- counting down the days to Mexico on my Instagram (If you aren’t following me come stop by and say hello @kimjamesphotography ). Anyways, the lovely Jennifer Jayde Photography commented on my photo and said she was also going to Mexico to shoot a wedding… Turns out not only were we two BC girls, heading to Mexico to photograph a wedding at the same time and we were booked on the same flights! What are the chances? We had never met before… Somehow we were both following each other on Instagram and it only made sense to take this opportunity to meet up.
Jen was staying in Playa Del Carmen and Matt and I were about a half an hour north of Tulum (the town) staying at the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum. We decided to venture into the town of Tulum and then we had plans to meet Jen at the Tulum Ruins for a walk through. After that we were planning to visit an amazing beach nearby that we’d seen photos. Sometimes when you travel things don’t go as planned. Matt and I decided to take the Collectivo (Mexican public bus) into Tulum from our hotel. There was no official bus stop… We just stood on the side of the highway and when one passed by the saw us and pulled over. It was an interesting adventure to say the least. The buses were small, rickety, and there were no seat belts. They also drove very fast. But they were cheap and we managed to arrive unharmed. We stepped off the bus in Tulum and suddenly realized it was not like other places we’d traveled to in Mexico. Tulum was definitely not the touristy town I had expected. I immediately felt a bit sketched out and we decided to not stay long. I wanted to pick up a sun hat from a local store, because my sunscreen didn’t pull through for me and my face was severely burned from shooting a wedding in the hot mexican sun. When inside the store I went to pay and realized that somehow the majority of the cash we’d taken out for the day was missing. We realized it must have fallen out of the small pocket in the backpack we were carrying. Not thinking that’d we’d need anymore money, I stupidly didn’t bring a bank card or a credit card. We calculated our remaining cash and realized we’d only have enough money to take the bus to the ruins and then take the bus home from there. We’d have no extra money for anything. No hat, no drinks, no visiting the Tulum Ruins (The entrance fee to the Tulum ruins is only something like $5… that’s how much money we didn’t have). It was a huge disappointment. We contemplated going straight back to the hotel, getting more money, and then going back out. We weren’t sure how long it would take though. We didn’t have our cell phones with us (or a plan for out of the country) and we knew that Jen didn’t have hers either. The last thing we wanted was for us to be late and leave Jen wondering if we were alive or if we stood her up. So we sucked it up, got on the bus and headed straight for the ruins entrance. We didn’t realize how far of a walk it would be from the side of the road to the ruins entrance. It was about a 2km walk to the entrance meeting point. Along the walk Matt’s sandal broke and he had to hobble along the way. At this point we were extremely hot, grouchy and frustrated at what had happened that day.
When Jen arrived she was an immediate burst of rejuvenation. I don’t like meeting new people when I’m in a bad mood, but she instantly turned that around. We decided to skip the ruins and just head straight for the beach. The public beach is about another 2 km walk from the entrance to the ruins. It was sooooo hot and so humid. My hair looked like I’d been in a tornado and almost all my makeup had melted completely off my face. When we arrive at the beach it was like heaven and everything else no longer mattered. The beach completely lived up to my expectations from the photos. It was paradise. To our left we discovered that there was a tiny makeshift beach pub with a few tables. Jen offered to buy us a nice cold drink (on a hot day like that the beer tasted like the best thing I had ever drank.) I just sat there looking around in awe of where we were. After relaxing for a bit we decided to start photographing each other. The soft golden light looked absolutely gorgeous on Jen’s skin. I had so much fun photographing Jen. Her positivity, friendliness and beauty made her the perfect subject to photograph. I felt like she was an old friend that I had known all my life. Jen has that special “it” factor to that will make her very successful in life. We walked to the end of the beach and up a rocky/path cliff staircase. At the top there was a broken fence and we caught a glimpse of the ruins. We easily could have walked over the fence and possibly snuck into the ruins… but we didn’t. We took photos until the sun set. It was such a great afternoon. Thank you Jen! You are such a beautiful person on the inside and out. It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope we have the chance to see each other again soon. If you are planning a destination and looking for a photographer to come along please email me for special destination package rates: firstname.lastname@example.org :)