This past spring as I was chatting with Makini + Jason about their upcoming engagement session I had the craziest thought. “So, don’t you want to shoot your engagement photos in Havana, Cuba? I casually asked. (Of course thinking they would laugh at my suggestion) But to my surprise with no questions asked they said ‘YES’!!

::GULP::

And just like that we were headed to Cuba! I’ve been asked by many what was the process to get there and honestly it was pretty easy. We flew JetBlue from JFK to Nassau and then on Bahamasair from Nassau to Havana. You get your Cuban tourist Visa ($25USD) from the ticket counter in Nassau and yes your passport will get stamped once you make it to Havana. Of course since I flew with a lot of gear I did get questioned by the Cuban officials in which I flashed my big smile and told them I was there for journalistic reasons and they nodded and let me through. ? We converted our cash to CUC at the airport. Be advised they don’t accept US credit/debit cards anywhere so bring honestly about $100-150 spending cash per person per day that you are there. We stayed at the most amazing AirBnB with the most gracious hosts Eli, Adriana, and Greydi and seriously if you are planning to go I highly recommend this place! If I could have given 10 stars I would have. <3

Experiencing Havana was the highlight of all my travels. The cities energy was so inviting, friendly, colorful, authentic, and humbling all at the same time. I have never felt more safe walking the streets of a foreign land than I did there. The locals were enthusiastic to have US in their city as we were welcomed with smiles + hugs from total strangers. They were so eager to learn all things America as we were to know about all things Cuban.

As a photographer it was paradise. Even abandoned rocks on the ground were stunning! We wandered the streets for hours and not once did we get bored. Not having constant access to internet was a surprisingly a pleasant experience. We found ourselves talking constantly, laughing hysterically, sharing meals, and simply just connecting with each other.

There was so much ground to cover that a one day shoot simply wouldn’t do us justice. Over the course of 3 days we made some serious #melaninmagic. Nothing was really planned we simply let the city naturally guide us along. I can’t thank Makni + Jason enough for not batting an eye in 90* heat when I suggested just one more location or to stop right here because the lighting is amazing. We shot all around Havana Veija, took a tour in an old Chevy around the coast, channeled our inner Jay+Bey at La Guarida, and most importantly danced like no-one was watching. 🙂

 THANK YOU to Jean, Lauren + Sabrina we seriously could not have made this happen with out your help with glam, wardrobe, and carrying our bags.

I hope through the photos you are inspired to take a trip yourself to Havana.

If you do i’ll be happy to tag along with you!! 🙂

xoxo

Makini + Jasons love story is featured on the blog and upcoming F/W16 print issue of Munaluchi Bride

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

Havana Cuba Engagement Session of Makini Regal Design by Amy Anaiz Photography

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As a Prospect Heights New York engagement photographer it was an absolute delight spending the afternoon with Joanne + Aundree. They are high school sweethearts and wanted the theme of their engagement session to be based around where they first met, Brooklyn Tech Highschool. Since they still maintained a friendship with some of the faculty of the school we were able to use one of their old classrooms as backdrop. How romantic is that!!?? Their romance all started with passing note in class.. So it was only right that we included that as part of the story. We also took advantage of the beautiful day and walked around their old stomping grounds as there reminisced about all the memories they share there.

I am so excited for their September 2016 wedding!! Enjoy!!

xoxo

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

Brooklyn Tech Prospect Park Engagement Session in New York City

In a 2 of if this 5 video series entitled, “PulledTogether”, I teamed up with some of the best industry professionals to show you how to you can “PullTogether” a special valentines day for your honey.

Click here to see Part 1 incase you missed it!

Whats up next? How to set the mood with a beautiful table!

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Featured on: Munaluchi Bride follow them on instagram – @munaluchibride

 Cinematography: MaeBFilms  follow her on instagram – @maebfilms

Florals: Phileanor  follow her on instagram – @phileanor

Table Design: pop! by Yaz  follow them on instagram – @yazatpop

Culinary: PulledTogether  follow them on instagram – @pulledtogether

Calligraphy:  Jenny  follow her on instagram – @jennyh1981

Makeup + Hair Artist: Sabrina Gilbert follow her on instagram @sabrinagilbert_nyc

Models: Shequeita Orr + Rashad Frazier

Amy_Anaiz_PulledTogether_Valentines_Day_007From Yaz:

I founded pop! by Yaz to fully unleash my creativity and passion, and to share the breadth of knowledge and depth of experience that I’ve gained over the last 17 years working in the marketing and events industry, with some of the most luxurious and sought after brands such as The Macallan, Moet, Louis XIII, Benjamin Moore, Verizon, Patron and Vogue just to name a few. I translate my experience with brands into fully immersive and unforgettable experiences for brides.

In producing an intimate event of this nature, I wanted to ensure the tabletop reflected the couple’s personality. Rashad has a cool, classic approachability; while Shaquita’s femininity and softness purred the moment I met her. I wanted to blend both personalities into a look that was soft, romantic, but still very clean.

While Valentine’s signature color red is beautiful and striking, it’s also expected.  I wanted to be spontaneous and romantically adventurous utilizing colors which already existed in their home with pops of unexpected hues.  I first started off with the colors of the flowers, which were stunning. The soft lilacs felt feminine, while the orange hues provided the fresh take on the centerpiece. Their basil green love seat was a perfect addition to the table lending warmth and closeness for the couple. I am all for sitting next to your beau. I then layered on this lavender soft sateen table cloth, which provided a soft and pretty canvas for the tableware.  I used his existing modern, white dinner plate and accented with an antique sterling silver charger and an antique silver rimmed china bowl. I brought back in the modern by using streamlined stainless steel flatware and classic glassware. Burlap wrapped votives and a chrome urn with candles and vines were the perfect finishing touch.

A Romantic Table for Two from Mae B. Films on Vimeo.

  1. Lay the tablecloth on the table, ensuring it’s straight and even on all sides
  2. Place your charger plate and center it about half an inch from the edge of the table, ensuring you have enough space to place your silverware and glassware
  3. Top with the dinner plate and then the salad plate/bowl
  4. Place the dessert spoon above the plate facing left.
  5. Place the salad fork and the dinner fork on the left side of the plate
  6. Place the knife and spoon on the right side of the plate
  7. The drinking glass and wine glasses to be placed to your right, just above the knife.
  8. Decorate the table with additional decor such as candles and wah-lah! Your table is set.

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Tune in for Part 3!

 

xoxo

Louie + Kendra

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