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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Alyson and I go way back. We met at U.C.F and were roommates for a year.  Through the years our friendship has stayed strong and I can always count on Aly for a good laugh and sound advise. She’s wise that way…I have watched her beautiful daughter  Sydney grow up and  have photographed some of her most important moments the last being her wedding to Jervis in March 2012.

Aly messaged me and let me know that it was really “early” but to let her know the next time I came down to Miami because she needed a shoot for an “announcement”. Of course because I know my dear friend so well I knew exactly what she was was saying. 😉

 SURPRISE!!!

Sydney’s only child certificate will expire in October 2014!!

I can’t wait to meet the new little one!! 🙂

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On my last visit to Atlanta, Georgia I got to hang out with the Taylor family. You might remember their wedding a few years back at the Eden Roc in Miami, Florida. Since then that have added a new addition to their family.

I had been waiting to meet Colin since he was in womb. Cheri and I tried to coordinate a few shoots but decided that his first birthday would be the perfect moment.

Meet cute little Colin.. 🙂

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I couldn’t believe it had been almost 3 years since I last visited and photographed the Wilson Family. Gracious time flies! When I met Talia she was just going into high school and little TJ was only 4, sigh… They make me feel like an old lady…  Alot has changed for this awesome family.. Talia is going off to college, TJ turned 7 and surprise they are having another baby! 🙂

The last session was so AMAZINGLY beautiful I couldn’t  imagine that we could pull off another but of course we did.. 😉 I always get so excited and inspired when I am told “Amy we trust you, do your thing.”  We shot most of the session at the Lake Lanier Marina.  The weather was a little chilly but this bunch as I like to say are pro’s…I want to say we did the bulk of the session in record time.. Like 30 mins or so since Troy had to get to work… 🙂

Demitra you are so stunning! Thank you for trusting me when I ask you to stop the car and sit in the middle of a field of weeds because I have a “vision”.

Love you guys to pieces!!!

Can’t wait to meet the little guy!!

xoxo

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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