CDMX | 30

I marked my 30th birthday by flying out to Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico, CDMX for short) I chose CDMX because of the affordability, culture and Frida Kahlo. My cool and cultured partner and travel companion, Kwame joined me on my journey. We spent three full days in the city and there was so much more to see and do that we both agreed to return.

Day 1

Breakfast at El Beneficio Cafe (Coyoacán aka Land of Coyotes) - My first and favorite breakfast of the trip Chilaquiles and a waffle with fruit. I also had one of the most delicious lattes here.

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Frida Kahlo Museum - Casa Azul. The Frida Kahlo museum was everything I thought it would be. It was grand, majestic and green. What I admire most about Kahlo is her use of pain in her artwork. She’s raw and inspiring. Being in her and Diego Rivera’s estate was a real privilege.

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I’m out of focus here. Unintentional, but it works.

I’m out of focus here. Unintentional, but it works.

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Mercado Coyoacan - a beautiful market full of independent vendors selling produce, trinkets and clothing. During a taco pit stop a young girl and her mom kept staring at us. I was carrying my Canon AE-1. Although they didn’t speak english they expressed that they wanted me to take their photo. So of course I did. One on my phone and one on film. Aren’t they beautiful? After I photographed them, we all took selfies together. Taking selfies with Mexican locals will be a theme of this trip. This happened pretty much everyday we were there.

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Biblioteca Vasconcelos - a beautiful modern library designed by Alberto Kalach. Holding over 106,000 books, all in Spanish. I didn’t do any reading but it was quite the site to see. Equally as lovely was the outdoor garden. I saw couples lounging and people practicing yoga. Peaceful indeed.

Biblioteca Vasconcelos

Biblioteca Vasconcelos

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Backyard goals

Backyard goals

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Alameda Central - I didn’t take any photos at Alameda but it reminded me of Washington Square Park in NYC. The people in this park all seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. Children playing in the fountain, couples stealing kisses, elderly people engrossed in lively debate. It was a great people watching location.

Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

Gross Restaurant - I won’t say the name of this restaurant (if you zoom in close enough you can see) but I should have known something was up when one of the servers sold us grilled onions as an appetizer. Also, the menu was in english, not Spanish. Both bad signs. Beware of extremely flattened chicken and steak in CDMX, it’s a thing and it’s wrong!

El Churreria Moro - 2nd reason I came to Mexico City, churros! Specifically churros from Churreria El Moro. I ordered the mini churro ice cream sandwiches.

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Day 2

Journey to Teotihuacan Pyramids - the Pyramid of the sun is the third largest (not tallest) pyramid in the world. Taking a day trip to the Teotihuacan pyramids was absolutely necessary. Getting there wasn’t easy because of the language barrier. Thankfully there were friendly strangers nearby at the perfect moments. Two buses and almost two hours later we arrived.

Sis is tired, but I couldn’t miss a photo op with these beautiful cacti.

Sis is tired, but I couldn’t miss a photo op with these beautiful cacti.

Outside of the Camino Real Hotel

Outside of the Camino Real Hotel

I didn’t take a photo of every meal because I ate the same three things while in CDMX - flautas, tacos and fajitas. The only meat I have is chicken so my options were somewhat limited.

Chapultepec Castle - the only royal castle in the Americas.

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School girls. Idk who they think we are but I enjoyed the star treatment.

School girls. Idk who they think we are but I enjoyed the star treatment.

On the steps inside the Chapultepec Castle. Photobombers are always welcome.

On the steps inside the Chapultepec Castle. Photobombers are always welcome.

After Chapultepec we took a quick uber to Casa Luis Barragan. Luis Barragan was an innovative and controlling architect. His house is beautiful. So beautiful that you have to pay to get in and pay for a photo permit. I didn’t pay for a photo permit so I took mental images. I relied on my memory and paid close attention to the tour guide. This home is simple, modern, colorful, bright and minimalist. It inspired me to simplify my living space a bit.

Casa Luis Barragan. Photo from  Architravel.com

Casa Luis Barragan. Photo from Architravel.com

Femme Photo Walk

Better late than never. Just sharing some photos from the First Femme Photo Walk that took place on April 14, 2018 at Edgerton Park. I co-organized this event and I'm so proud of the work that Kolby and I did to bring this event into existence. About 40 ladies attended the meetup and I was overwhelmed by the support! Hopefully there will be more Femme Photo Walks in the future. We have to carve out our space in photography. No competition, no ego,  just collaboration and support for the ladies. 

Out and About: Unplugged in Vermont

Out and About: Unplugged in Vermont

I had the privilege to attend the Activation wellness retreat in Burlington Vermont and spend some time on a farm. The retreat was open to female entrepreneurs and it included yoga, vegan food, journaling and many tears. I stayed at Four Springs Farm in Royalton Vermont. It's a small farm and campground in a very rural area of Vermont. Actually all of Vermont was pretty rural to me. There was no phone service, wifi or electricity in my cabin so I really had time and space to relax (or allow paranoia to keep me awake). 

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Why I Became a Photographer

A girl with her Canon in nature

A girl with her Canon in nature

I realized photography was more than just a friend when I was in elementary school. At a church Christmas party I received a white polar bear holding a red 35mm film camera. This is one of the only childhood gifts that I still remember, and the one I still wish I had. The other would be the Barbie Password Journal - where I held captive all of my photos and 12-year old secrets. I've always been very creative-minded. I struggled with math and science but literature and art were very natural to me.

As I got older I kept asking myself, what am I doing? Why am I doing this? Photography was something that I've always done without giving it much thought. My father is a photographer and all of my computers had photoshop installed. I got an Olympus camera digital camera in high school. I used it to create the dopest Myspace profile pics. It was fun for me to play around with gradient maps and backgrounds in PS.

As I got older my cameras got better and my PS skills improved. I never gave up on my hobby because I truly enjoy photography. And if I didn't get paid a penny; I'd still do it. I like pretty things! I'm a girly girl, don't let my laid back appearance fool you. Creating visions is a blast for me. And I love the feeling I get when a client tells me that they enjoyed their shoot. I think photography is about the experience. If you feel beautiful and fun during the shoot, it will translate on camera. I'm just glad that I can share my passion with the world and get paid while doing so. 

I hope my story inspires you in some way. If you're interested in more content please subscribe to my newsletter for email updates for more posts like this. 

xo So

 

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Picking A Wedding Photographer

So, you're newly engaged. They popped the question and you couldn't be more thrilled. You've shared the great news with your family and friends. Now folks are starting to ask, so when's the wedding? Where will it be? Destination wedding? Etc. It can be overwhelming to say the least. A lot goes into your special day - catering, cake, the bridal party, and the dress. Cannot forget the dress. Weddings are a real investment, but your marriage will last a lifetime. Your wedding day is going to fly by quickly and you want to remember it exactly the way it is. Wedding day photography is one of the most important aspects of wedding planning. Your wedding photographer can make or break your big day. Here are some tips on picking a wedding photographer

1. Define your budget - The average U.S. wedding costs $35,000. Your wedding might not be $35,000 exactly but it is important to allocate part of your budget to find a good wedding photographer. Most wedding photographers are working the entire day, with one or two assistants. They are using expensive equipment and completely dedicating themselves to you and your family for the entire event --with that said, you get what you pay for. Most wedding photography packages start at $1500, depending on your location. 

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2. Try an engagement session with a photographer you're interested in - The great thing is that most photographers would be happy to arrange an engagement session with you. It helps you see if your personalities mesh and how you like their photo style. Another plus is that even if you decide not to choose this photographer for your wedding, you've got some great photos for your save the date or bridal party invites.

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3. Think local - local photographers have familiarity with the area. They know about that secret spot with the weeping willow tree that looks amazing in August. They know what areas to avoid. They have connections with local businesses. Consider choosing a photographer that is familiar with the town or state where your ceremony and reception are taking place. 

4. Look at all of the photos in their portfolio - weddings are beautiful displays of love and communion. Take a look at their wedding photos but also consider some of their other work. If you like their style - reach out and ask for more samples. Some couples do not agree to have work posted publicly, but if you ask the photographer directly, they may be able to provide some more samples of work. 

Those are some of my tips for what to expect when choosing a wedding photographer. My name is Sonique and I am a wedding, event and portrait photographer from New Haven, CT. I'm a New Haven County native and UCONN graduate. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about picking the right wedding photographer. 



Best, 

Sonique 

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