BIO: I'm Luz Maria Avila. A Wedding and Family Photographer based in Cancun, Mexico. I've been shooting weddings for over 10 years. My goal is to capture the most memorable photographs and never stop searching for the perfect shot with an artistic composition. You can know me better in this interview. Thanks!
I live in one of the best places for destination Weddings, this already is a great benefit. I started off as a long distance second photographer, which helped me get involved and introduce myself into the world of destination Weddings. At the beginning of my journey in the wedding world, I applied to a photography Forum, where I found a lot of inspiration simply by admiring the work of my colleagues.
I started attending the largest weddings congress in Las Vegas WPPI, I trained with various famous photographers in the wedding industry, and I continue doing, learning, developing and searching for inspiration.
There is a lot of investment to be put into a celebration like a wedding: the dress, the flowers, the shoes, the place, the banquet, the drinks, etc. and everything has its importance, everything helps our job stand out. Each right choice of each one of the suppliers is very important in order to entertain all the guests. Of course, making the right choice when choosing a photographer will mean years of remembering the best memories of the event which took months to plan.
The best advice I would give to a bride who is searching for a photographer is that the person must be someone from that area, who is able to work in extremely hot and humid conditions, who knows where the wedding is taking place, who will take into account the entire event, and who will be comfortable working as a shadow during several hours of the day since they are committed to capturing the best moments and emotions of that day.
The flowers, the food, the drinks, the music, they will all enjoy this, but the best is that they will be able to keep the photo which they can show to future generations, to relive and experience again all the emotions each time they shake the bag of memories and remember what was it that made them so emotional.
Generally the whole state of Quintana Roo has great beauties which allows the creation of excellent images: the beaches, the ruins, the sinkholes, the estates, the great hotels and intimate boutique Hotels, the kind people… All that makes Mexico, especially Quintana Roo, a magic place which I always want to return to in order to do what I enjoy most… using images to create stories.
Every part has its own magic. I love the feeling I give to the bride when I arrive early and seeing happy faces everywhere. But without doubt the happiest moment is when I finish and I sit down to look at the whole line of photographs telling a story, seeing incredible people, tears of happiness, hugs, kisses, heartfelt emotions, a Dad with sad eyes handing over his daughter, a groom anxiously waiting to hold the hand of the bride, a mother blessing her daughter, families in harmony, laughs everywhere.
To see people reunited and toasting to the couple and everything working out really gives me a lot of satisfaction: that there is magic in each image, that the euphoria is over but that I will be able to hand over the best memory ever.
The competition is every time tougher, there are many good photographers who have recently entered in their career and who wish to take in the whole world. The technology reaches these people every time more, however not everything is about being in a team and being young. They have to be very alert when searching for the truthful moments, those which are real and which are only found when one loves what they are doing with passion and dedication.
I think ‘style’ goes a little further than just discovering myself and what I like and don’t like doing. Personally, I incline myself more towards documenting what happens on that day, without forcing situations, without wanting the perfect photo. For me it is better to have it naturally and honestly, with spontaneous emotions, creating real images which show feelings projected into reality.
With the couple I try to make them feel at home, to forget that they are being observed through a lens, to make them feel free to express and reveal their feelings. Generally the brides don’t know what to do in front of a camera, so I try to advise them to let their emotions flow. I send them a message early on telling them something uplifting so they feel like the prettiest and most radiant bride in the universe.
One funny fact about me is that I've attended so many weddings, but I have never been the main character of one. I have lived with my boyfriend for 21 years, husband, life companion and father of my daughter. I think that the dream of many women when we were young was to get married, but I have never visualized myself as a bride. Yes, to have a boyfriend and to be a mother at 27 years old of a beautiful daughter is all I wished, and God gave it to me.
Something which really moves me to tears is to see a father hand over his daughter at the altar, with the purest and largest love and dream of that moment to see her happy and accomplished. As a hobby and personal project, I could say that I love cooking. I do it every time I can and want to, and I have always wanted to do a book of my recipes, with photos of my dishes and photos of the people with who I shared them. For me it is very entertaining to reunite family and friends just to enjoy good food, good wine and pleasant company.
Thank you so much Luz Maria Avila for your time and kindness. Hopefully all your projects will succeed and you will continue being able to share your amazing work with us.