Category Archives: Travel Photography

Lina & Ankush’s Wedding in New Delhi, India

One busy afternoon about a year ago, we received a phone call from a very excited newly engaged couple in Tampa, Florida. They were in the process of looking for the perfect photography team to document one of the most important days of their lives together. As we got to chatting, Ankush told us all about how he met and fell deeply in love with his dream girl and soul mate. It was really a cute and funny story, as we listened on speaker phone. It felt like fate had chosen us to meet each other.

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Ankush is a Mechanical Engineer and Lina is a Food Engineer. In the bakery where Lina worked the Oreo cookie machine was giving them problem after problem. Much to their dismay no one could fix this troublesome machine! Lina laughs back at it now, but she was not in the best of moods while this little issue was holding back production!! Like a knight in shining armour… Ankush arrived. The handsome young man, designed a part to fix the machine for good and solved a big headache for Lina and the bakery! A little over a year later they were on their way to the other side of the world be married in exotic New Delhi, India. They really wanted to find photographers that knew how to capture their love for each other to last for eternity.

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They told us how they scoured the web, high and low, in the USA, India and beyond and that nothing quite clicked until they saw our work! We were so honoured and humbled that they felt this way about our work and the vision we have with our couples. It means so much to us because we really put our heart and soul in to each wedding we photograph. We know how much these images mean to our clients, as wedding day images represent so many different things to you. Not only is it one of the most important days of your lives together, but it also captures so many important moments of your dear friends and family all together in celebration.

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When we arrived in the Delhi airport, Ankush’s dad arranged for one cool looking government vehicle to drive us to the guest house we were staying in. How cool is that!?! We felt like the president ~ lol!! Ankush and Lina were so amazing and accommodating to us, we couldn’t have asked for better clients. They really made us feel like close friends and made our experience so memorable.

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The following day, after the beautiful mehndi and ladies ceremony, we were prepping for the wedding. Lots of rest to get over the jet leg and lots of amazingly delicious Indian food that really made Dave and I consider staying a bit longer in India… I’m telling you it was fabulous! As we finished photographing Ankush’s pre-wedding Hindu ceremony with his friends and relatives we made our way outside. I grabbed this shot of the men getting ready to light the way for Ankush on his horse- incredible.

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One really good thing about Dave is that he is 6″4 so he can get these crazy overhead angles like in the shot below. We’ve had so many people swear that some of our shots are taken on with a ladder… haha, no, Dave’s just really tall!!

The day of the wedding was a visually stunning event! A marching band played big-band music that filled the air as Ankush made his way on the white horse. Drums, trumpets, saxophones, tubas, trombones, you name it, they played it! They danced to the beat of the music and you could just feel the love they had for the groom to be. What an amazing time we were all having.

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Here is Ankush with his sarbala. It’s usually a nephew or cousin of the groom who accompanies the groom during a Hindu wedding ceremony as his protector. Pretty cool huh? I think that his little cousin quite liked all of the attention, who wouldn’t, I’m sure you feel a bit like a celebrity up there with all of the singing, dancing, cheering and lights!

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I love this shot! All of the Aunties watching as Ankush rides by. This was one beautiful display!

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Don’t try this at home kids… This one really caught us by surprise, lol!! One of the band members lit fire crackers to help in the celebrations… I have to say I was sweating bullets when Dave shot this one… Sure it looks dangerous setting off fire crackers in the middle of a 4 lane road with cars and mopeds driving by, but I guess it’s just more laid back in India πŸ˜‰

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I now know how I want to arrive to our wedding (insert sound of jaw dropping)!!! Have you ever seen anything like it, how awesome!!! Lina looked sooo elegant, nothing short of royalty. I absolutely LOVED her Sari as well. It was so opulent and beautifully detailed. It was covered, head to toe with natural pearls and crystals. So stunning…

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I can’t begin to tell you how amazing the aroma of flowers was when we arrived. The entire outdoor wedding reception was covered with jasmine flowers, marigolds, rose petals, you name it, they had it!

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We followed Lina as she made her way down the aisle. As we rounded the corner, we were speechless! This was bigger, better and more beautiful than any celebrity wedding I’ve seen! There must have been 1000 people there. They had food stations set up all along the outskirts of the grounds. Chefs prepared food from almost every country right before your eyes! They had Mexican, Italian, French, Mediterranean, Continental, Asian, Indian and then the desserts… ohhhh the deserts!! The food stations must have gone for 300 metres, no joke!

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I love this shot below… The band taking a break. Everywhere you looked fairy lights hung in the trees, sooo magical!

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After Ankush and Lina, greeted all of their loving friends and family. We headed inside to begin the beautiful Hindu Wedding Ceremony.

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Indian weddings are so visually stimulating. The way the bride and groom sparkle and shine when the light hits them. We love the beauty and traditions of the Hindu wedding ceremony. Each little moment holds so much meaning.

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After seeing all of the dolla-dolla bills (or rupis) Ankush was receiving around his neck, Dave quickly noted to me that he wanted to have an Indian themed wedding… hmmm

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All I can say is WOW! What a stunning ceremony.

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Ankush’s Grandmother looked on with so much love in her eyes for the couple. I was getting a bit choked up myself watching her hold back tears of joy.

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The fire under the Mandeep was blowing smoke into Lina and Ankush’s eyes… hehe. I’m not sure if they were tearing up because they were laughing so hard or if it was from the smoke… too cute!

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After they were officially man and wife… YEY Ankush and Lina… we took them outside for some time alone together. It means so much to us to be the first photographers to capture such an important moment for them. Still glowing from their wedding vows and so happy and in love!!!

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Isn’t Lina GORGEOUS???!!! What a classic beauty. I couldn’t resist taking full advantage of her big brown eyes in this shot. I love our Canon EF 50 mm F1.2L USM lens it makes everything pure magic. Look at the way her Sari sparkles in the light, gotta love it!

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It was a trip and wedding of a lifetime for Dave and I. We can’t even express how thrilled we are that Ankush and Lina searched the globe for their photographers and chose us to document their day. We will always remember this trip and their incredible Indian wedding in our hearts, we can’t wait to go back to India again soon.

Ankush, Lina and little Mariana, we know you will be our friends for a lifetime and wish you all the best as you continue on your journey together.

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Before we sign off, I wanted to share a beautiful note that Ankush and Lina sent to us soon after the wedding, it really touched our hearts…

Hello Dave and Charlotte,

How are you guys doing. Hope exploring the world full of colors and happiness.

News from our end is that we are doing fine—Lina watches her pictures online 10 times a day, Mariana gets excited to see herself and asks for you.

You guys have changed our spectrum of life—from being realistic and practical—for the past few days we have predominantly imaginative and would like to relive our moments spent in India again. We have been able to share the photos with friends and family and the response has been immaculate. People are stunned and so are we. Not to mention that the idea to be able to see the photos online on your website is wonderful.

We are very satisfied with the quality of the pictures shot and they are just magical moments frozen in time. The level of work is just beyond our expectation and feelings.

Both of us spend our weekends choosing which will be the best suitable ones for our albums and to be honest with you guys it has been a challenge to select the best from the list of best—but we will put together a list for you guys soon.

On a personal note, I feel you guys are a amazing couple. The way you handled your trip to India with patience, enthusiasm and immense hard work is not only truly touching but very professional.

We appreciate every effort that you have made so far and will be making in the future to keep our memories wonderful and unforgettable. Hats off to you guys and CHEERS!!!

Have loads of fun and spread the fragrance of your talents everywhere you go.

Lina and Ankush—with a small and tiny Mariana.

Ankush & Lina’s Mehndi Celebrations

We are so excited, it’s finally here!! The blog posts from Ankush and Lina’s amazing, extravagant, incredible wedding in New Delhi, India!!! What an awesome time we had away with them. We were soo stoked to get the blog post up right away but with soooo many fabulous images to choose from it was not an easy task. Plus you through wedding season into the mix and selecting our faves was even more difficult.

We figured we’d sit down Thursday night for a few hours to go through the shots before we left Friday for Jay & Audrey’s wedding at Taboo in Muskoka and then Jessica & Faruk’s wedding at Graydon Hall back here in Toronto on Saturday!!

The wedding was so much more than we ever could have imagined in our wildest dreams and we’ll get to that post next. The celebrations started off with a mehndi ceremony for all of the ladies. Mehndi is made out of Henna and is used to create gorgeous designs in celebration of the couples soon to be marriage. They say the darker the pigment gets, the more your Mother-in-Law loves you πŸ™‚

All of the ladies along for the ceremony were given unique designs for their palms and for some the back of their hands as well. Even I had a chance to have a little mehndi done!

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Ankush and Lina’s little sweetheart Marianna, kept us giggling through out the party. She was so careful not to smudge her design. It just looks so cute on little fingers, doesn’t it?!

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Lina waited patiently for hours as she had her wedding day mehndi application done. It was so perfectly applied, it really is a work of art. It was so beautiful and she had it applied to her arms and legs for an absolutely stunning result.

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charlotte getting her hanna done

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After the mehndi party, we made our way to the Ladies celebration. There were so many colours and so much fun, singing and laughter- A true celebration for the couple!

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Ankush and Lina’s friends and family, including their Mothers, Aunties, Grandmas, Cousins and Nieces took part in welcoming and blessing the new marriage.

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They acted out humourus skits for Ankush and Lina, danced and sang. Everyone was having an incredible time!

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I love this shot below. Hindu ceremony’s are so beautiful and every ritual has such meaning.

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After the Ladies Ceremony Ankush and Lina had a good time with everyone partying to the music and even asked Dave and I to join them for some dancing to celebrate! We had a good laugh at our rusty dancing skills. It was so like Ankush and Lina to ask us put our cameras down and join in for some of the fun! They were always so accommodating making sure we had everything we needed and welcomed us like a part of the family. Such a sweet couple, they truly have become our friends!

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You can see a bit of Ankush’s sense of humour here. He was always getting a giggle out of Lina and such a charmer with those dance moves!

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At the end of the celebration we took the couple outside for a few quick shots on the grounds of the reception hall. Little fairy lights were swinging in the palm trees, so romantic! It was a nice chance for them to have a bit of time together before the Hindu wedding ceremony the next day.

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Check out the blog tomorrow for Ankush and Lina’s gorgeous wedding in New Delhi, India.

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Paris & Greece!!

As professional wedding photographers, Summer is a CRAZY time of year. Although Charlotte and I photograph weddings all year, in Toronto the bulk of our commissions take place from May through October. This often means we may only spend a few days at the cottage all Summer. So this year we made a plan – book two weekends off and see some more of the world.

We’ve both been dying to see some more of Europe for a while… and as we began planning our adventure, we realized that some photogra-friends of ours – Jerry & Georgina Ghionis – were going to be in Paris during our vacation period. We’d attended one of Jerry’s workshops in Washington DC last year and had an absolute ball, as well as being totally inspired. So we dropped them an email and were very excited when they asked us to model for Jerry in Paris! Of course, there’s nothing I love more than modeling (ahem), but to be photographed by Jerry is an amazing opportunity – both to learn what it’s like to be on the other side of the lens as well as to have some absolutely incredible images of us in the city of love.

So we planned the first 10 days of our vacation in Paris. Upon touching down we quickly felt at home in the city… the people were very friendly and the workshop attendees were a lot of fun and a very down to earth bunch. We felt very blessed to get to know Alex & Hazel, a sweet couple from Miami who like ourselves run a wedding photography business together. They were fortunate to have their wedding photographed by Jerry last year (they’re in this promo video on Jerry’s Ice Society site), and I kid you not, their album will probably win best wedding album of the year at WPPI and PMA this year.

We will definitely post some of Jerry’s photographs of us when we’re able to, but in the meantime we’d love to share some of our travel photos with you… mum, please forgive me for not taking more photos!!! It’s a vacation after all!

We spent a full day at The Louvre and only scratched the surface… Check it out.

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Isn’t this a cool shot? Charlotte saw it before I did! She’s a sneaky one!

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The Nike sculpture was spell binding – we spent 15 or 20 minutes circling it and enjoying it’s power and majesty.

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Charlotte took those very pretty shots!

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This next painting was another wonderful work, and we felt inspired to do something similar with future photo shoot… Which is where the concept for this watery engagement session was born.

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I know you probably don’t want to see Charlotte and I kissing, but I loved this shot so much that I felt compelled to share it.

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We had such an amazing week in Paris. We made some really cool new friends – like Alex & Hazel – and thoroughly enjoyed the amazing food, wine and deserts… then we jumped on a plane and were off to Greece!

We landed in Athens and caught a ferry to the quaint little island of Naxos. The island is known for the famous doorway to a Apollo’s Temple, called Portara. You can’t miss it as you hope off the ferry. Apparently it faces the birthplace of Apollo… All I know for sure is that it faces west and we had the pleasure of watching a full moon rise over the horizon through it! We spent several sunsets there enjoying the beauty of the spot and also loved our charming little hotel that faced the gorgeous St. George beach!!

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We created a panoramic image by taking about 10 photographs and stitching them in photoshop. Have a look.

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Doesn’t this look like a toy boat?? So cute.

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One one of our days, we rented this little beast and cruised the island (we did it in a dune buggy another day!). How cool is this white marble mine? It looked so beautiful.

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There were tonnes of cute villages along the way where we got out and acted like real tourists, snapping away like everything was about to vanish!

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There were some mind blowing vistas along the drive… this temple below was well worth a long drive on dirt tracks to get to.

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We created another beautiful panorama when we found a lookout that couldn’t be passed up…. Check it out.

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Signing off for now… Our destination wedding in New Delhi, India post is almost ready… will post it tomorrow πŸ™‚

Josh & Amanda : Love in the Greek Islands

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It’s been about a week or so since we last blogged… We seriously have to get a full time blogger on staff lol, especially since we have well over 40 weddings booked for 2009 (no joke!!!) The summer heat is HERE!! We are super stoked to shoot all of the AWESOME weddings we have lined up. We have so many amazing couples that we’re photographing and we’ve become really great friends with them all along the way, it’s sooo much fun, we honestly have the best job in the world. In ’08 when we started booking up fast and we thought… hmmmm, we better pop a VaCa in here somewhere or we’re gonna get cranky!

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Europe was the first thought that came to our mind… beautiful architecture, gorgeous scenery, amazing food and the romance… Oh la la! We really wanted to meet up with friends Jerry & Georgie Ghionis and take part in the AWESOME Paris photography workshop Jerry was running in France. We were so lucky to be invited along as models and get some incredible shots of us in front of the Eiffle Tower, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, and the quaint and romantic streets of Montmartre (where the movie Amelie was made). To have them all taken by the Master Jerry Ghionis… what more could you ask for??! After our incredible time in Paris, we hopped on a plane to Athens and missed our ferry to the Greek Islands by literally 15 minutes… COME ON!!! Don’t feel too sad for us, we had the most mouth watering-ly delicious meal when we were stuck there for the night. We had never felt our taste buds dance like that before, pure heaven! Greek food is insanely good… yum! The next morning at 7am, we were on the high speed ferry to Naxos… Yeah baby!

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No one, not even us, travels more than my little sister Tricia. Right now as we speak, she and her boyfriend Kris are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, this after camping out in the African jungle for 2 weeks, talk about adventure seekers… sorry guys, lions and tigers and bears… eeek not my cup of tea, lol!!! Anyways… when she recommended to us that we hit up Naxos in the Greek Islands, she knew what she was talking about πŸ™‚ What a dreamy perfect piece of paradise!! The great thing about Naxos is that it has all of beautiful scenery, great culture, ancient ruins, and the beauty and charm of the Greek Islands but not quite as busy with tourists in the summer months.

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When Dave and I arrived into Naxos, we fell in love with the island in an instant. We couldn’t believe how incredibly nice all of the people were, so genuinely sweet and generous. I seriously want to move there, or at least visit every year for the rest of my life.

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The day after arriving, Dave and I wanted to get out and explore the island. We rented the cutest little lime green convertible (I can’t remember the name, it looked like a VW beetle sort of) and cruised around. We went into the villages and got lost in the winding hills of the island. We saw the most gorgeous white and blue churches that popped against the royal blue sky. The drive through the country-side was so mesmerizing, and the panoramic view of the town and Mediterranean Sea was a feast for the eyes.

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We headed into the little village of Mino for lunch. We walked around for a bit checking out the small shops and cafes. We were drawn to a little restaurant in the town with the most appealing dishes. Dave noticed a family sitting across from us trying to take one of those self portrait/family shots we always see people doing lol!! Being the sweetie that Dave is, he offered to take a shot of them after they enjoyed their fantastic lunch. Once we started chatting, we realized we were talking to Aussies. It was so nice for Dave to chat with a few Australians again, it made him feel like he was at home, well for a few minutes anyway.

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We found that Josh and Amanda, like us, were enjoying the Greek Islands for a little vacation time as well and we got the itch to do a couples shoot with the beauty of Greece as our backdrop.

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I love the Panorama we set up at sunset… The sky turned purple and pink, just breath-taking!

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After the sun went down for the day we set up some lights and Amanda and Josh took a dip in the warm sea water for a few shots!

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I love the texture of the sand and the way the turquoise water looks when it’s lit, Cool huh??!?

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I love this last shot below so much, super sexy! Great work guys, your such a gorgeous couple and we had a blast photographing you. Hope you both enjoyed your time away in Naxos and Santorini!!

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Discover Peru With Us! Travel Photography Workshop

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Dave and I have been traveling so much lately that all of this scooting around the globe has almost made the countries we have visited feel like home to us. We’re in Paris right now and leave for the Greek Islands tomorrow… It’s hard to believe we were in India less than two weeks ago photographing Ankush and Lina’s opulent Indian wedding at the air force base in Delhi… Incredible wedding pics soon!! It seems that we’ve been bitten by the travel bug now and we love our amazing clients that trust our work and vision enough to fly us all around the world. Our photography has taken us to so many different countries and on so many adventures, we’ve really developed a love for documenting our memorable journeys. With some of the awesome landscapes we’ve seen abroad like the stunning beauty of Western Australia while photographing Jasmine and Louis’ wedding last December. We were so excited to have the chance to showcase some of our travel works for our sold out Terra Australis Contact Photography Festival Exhibit.

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Well don’t unpack your bags just yet! We have some even more exciting news! The #1 winner of the ‘Best Adventure Travel Company on Earth” (as voted by National Geographic Adventure magazine) G.A.P. Adventures, has asked us to combine forces and put together an amazing photography workshop in Peru. Dave and I are absolutely thrilled to teach our award winning photography techniques to educate and inspire the group of travel photography enthusiasts that make the journey to discover Peru with us. The photography workshop in Peru takes place October 17th-24th, 2009. The flights, photography workshop, food, tour guide, accommodation and transfers are included for one awesome package. All you’ll have to think about is how to get your images from so-so to OHHHH YEAH!!!

We’ll grab our cameras and take the train to explore one of the 7 Man Made Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu (as seen above). This is a must see in Peru, set at around 8,000 feet in the Andes Mountains. As we make the journey to the town of Cuzco, the archeological capital of the Americas, we’ll encourage you to use the photography fundamentals we teach to capture photojournalism at it’s best. You’ll photograph all of the beautiful buildings, people and colours of the town of Cuzco while developing a style that’s all your own. We’ll provide you with the photography skills and knowledge enabling you to create amazing travel photography for all of life’s destinations.

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We know that we’ll all cherish this incredible time in Peru and capture images that we’ll all hold on to for a lifetime. If you’d love to work on your photography skills and learn how to create some breath-taking imagery, join us for our “Discover Peru with Dave and Charlotte” photography workshop. Sign up HERE or call G.A.P Adventures South America at 416-260-0999 ex 1183. We look forward to meeting you all in Cuzco October 17th 2009!!

A Trip To The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World – and it’s no surprise. Spectacular – Incredible – Awe Inspiring. I can’t explain the feeling you get as you approach through the south gate… but of course, I’m getting ahead of myself.

First things first – It’s Tuesday of last week. It’s HOT. Really hot. We’ve all woken up early to make the drive out to the Taj, do some shopping, then get back in time to make out 11pm flight. We’re all very excited – albeit tired from a busy few days of gorgeous wedding ceremonies. Ankush and Lina arrive to pick us up looking bright eyed and bushy tailed (that may be an Aussiism!?). Charlotte and I on the other hand were still trying to re-align our body clocks to Indian time.

The roads are very clear early in the morning, so the drive to Agra went smoothly, with just a couple of stops – one to pick up fresh cut bananas and another for breakfast – Mmmm… We ate these amazing – non-spicy – paratas… the equivalent of a pancake lightly filled with mashed pieces of potato… I chose to spread jam on mine (hey, it’s breakfast right?) and it was goooooood.

Check out this cutie who danced while her brother played a citar style instrument. So sweet.

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While the others were buying bananas, I nabbed this shot. We’re both big fans of trying to keep the environment healthy so it was a bit unsettling for us to commonly see this much litter piled up in places. So much of it was plastic water bottles.

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With of population of over a billion people in a country that would fit 3 times into Canada, it’s no surprise that there is a waste problem (fellow Torontonians know what I’m talking about with our city workers union on strike this week!). I’m not sure how issues like this are dealt with in the long term, but I certainly hope there is a clean up at some point.

As we were traveling on the highway, we captured this rather endearing image of a little girl looking comfortably wedged into a taxi riding on 3 wheels… hold on everyone! Just amazing.

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We got a giggle seeing a bullock going through the toll gate! He wouldn’t have to pay on the 407 ETR unless he’s got a transponder somewhere.

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We also captured some pretty cool “happy accidents” along the way. I love this one Charlotte took. Cool composition!

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And this interesting character… awesome right?!

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This is what you call a traffic jam or “pile up” on the highway. Faster cars, mopeds, 3 wheeled taxis would just weave in and out, around them and give them a little honk.

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As the driver was paying some type of toll, there was a monkey performing tricks for us. I have to say, we were pretty impressed with the backflip. He seemed like he was having a great time doing those tricks and got a bite of a banana for his effort :).

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Around the Taj Mahal, there is a no vehicle perimeter now to prevent further discolouration of the white marble. We all jumped in rickshaws and headed in to check it out. It was a downhill run going in, but coming out was a tougher trip. It was hot and he worked so hard we were happy to give him a huge tip!

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As we entered, we were provided an English speaking tour guide that gave us an amazing synopsis of the incredible story behind the building of the Taj Mahal. I will surely mess up the facts slightly, so will quote Wikipedia instead:

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

The Taj Mahal is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.”

While the white domed marble mausoleum is its most familiar component, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. Building began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, and employed thousands of artisans and craftsmen.[3] The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision including Abd ul-Karim Ma’mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri,[4][5] although Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer.

And it’s quite a feat of architecture indeed.

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Charlotte grabbed this amazing shot as you walk through the gate shown above, you get THIS view……….

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When we arrived through the tunnel she grabbed this shot too… What an amazing power this place has!

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We were snapping shots of each other there too, and the gardener offered to take one for us – how nice was that?

17india-the gardener took some photos for us - hilarious

Hey, he knows how to use my 5D Mark II… who knew ;)??

18india-ankush, lina, mariana, charlotte and dave at the taj mahal

20india-looking up at the impressive taj mahal

21india-charlotte grabbed this - possible the best photo of the day

22india-looking up at the back entrance to the taj

23india-charlotte and I hanging out at the taj

This is Lina’s cute little girl, Marianna she was so much fun and kept Charlotte and I laughing while away. Isn’t she adorable?? I grabbed these while she was playing tag with me, you can almost hear her giggling!!

24india-mariana was chasing me around and I took these photos from the hip

This is the view from the grounds of the Taj. If you look really close at the shot below you can see some cattle crossing the river, pretty cool eh?

25india-the yamuna river as soon from the taj

26india-charlottes great sillohette shot

On our way back from the Taj, Ankush took us to a great joint on the side of the road, nothing fancy, but boy was it good!!

27india-this was the guy who cooked our lunch on the way home

As the sun set, we headed home and grabbed this one on the way back. I love this shot of the baby riding along shotgun! Something you don’t see everyday… Thanks to Ankush and Lina for the great trip to the Taj, we had a great time. More pics of India and of course their amazing wedding shortly.

28india-dunno how safe this baby seat is