Adventures

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Currently I’m sitting on a bed in Rockford, IL. It’s not a bad way to live right? I mean traveling around the country to take pictures & such sounds so glamorous and wonderful. In theory…

I’m just going to put this out there. I’m a homebody. I like being in my space, with my bed, in my little happy routine. I was NOT born with a wanderlust like so many photographers I know. Does that make me a traitor to my trade? Maybe…but getting a good night’s sleep is way more important in my book.

So here are some Mabyn travel confessions:

#1 – Although I have it down to a science, I HATE packing. I put it off for as long as possible and 9 times out of 10 I forget something. Like the shirts you were planning on wearing get left on the drying rack…or in my case the washing machine…Those are going to smell great when I get home.

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A light saber is all you really need…right?

#2 – I’m not one of those people who can sleep anywhere, and I like my sleep. There is no quicker way to a cranky Mabyn than a sleepy Mabyn. Just ask my past roommates. Sadly, I can’t take my bed with me wherever I go and it tends to mess with my sleep habits. Why is it that other beds are just not as comfy as mine?

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Bringing along my own pillows is almost like having my bed with me, and by “almost” I mean not at all.

#3 – I’d rather be driving. If I can drive it in a reasonable amount of time, I’ll choose that over flying any day. Yes it may take me longer to get to my destination but at least I’m the one who has the control (most of the time). There are too many factors to flying that just drive me crazy. Give me an open road, a book on tape, and some iced coffee & I’m good to go!

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Stay in the lane buddy! RAWR!

#4 – Another reason I’d rather drive is because I CAN’T pack lightly. It is a very rare trip where I don’t have to bring along my camera gear or essential oils kit. Those add on two suitcases alone! Then add in your normal assortment of travel items and forget about it…I’m a hopeless case. Bags EVERYWHERE!

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Too bad I left my pack mule at home…

#5 – I binge on junk food way too often when I travel. It’s not easy to eat a salad when you’re driving, so I tend to plan all of my pit stops around Starbucks & Chic-Fil-A. Oh and don’t forget to throw in my gas station bag of Cheetos…I can’t hear you judging me right now…and I’m okay with that.

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Oh golden nuggets of tastiness! Why are you so terrible & yet so good?

So if you’ve made it this far, tell me some of your own travel confessions. What’s your guilty pleasure song you listen to when you drive? Must have drink to stay awake during the long haul? Best packing trick? Comment down below!

Until next Monday!

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

Mabloggyn – Travel Confessions

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Wedding

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Let me preface these next 3 blogs with a statement. This wedding was epic…so these blogs will be epic….epically long that is! So be ready!

Three years ago, when I was just starting my wedding photography career I met a couple. We chatted and laughed and they booked me for their wedding. Between their You + Me session and their wedding day I had a wonderful time getting to know Lindsay and Russell…yes, this story starts with another couple. I have to give credit where credit is due. If it weren’t for Lindsay and Russell, I never would have met Amanda and Art! What’s the connection? Well you can probably tell by the pictures, Lindsay and Amanda are sisters. So when it came time for Amanda to book a wedding photographer, her first thought was of me! How honored I was to even be considered! But guess what? It gets better! When Amanda and I initially chatted about her wedding plans she told me she was getting marred in St. Thomas and then having a reception back here at home. She wanted me to shoot the reception. Me: “Of course! I would love to!….Who do you have in St. Thomas to shoot your wedding?” “Amanda: “We’re not sure yet, I’m still looking around.”  Me: “You know I travel right?” Amanda: “REALLY?! I had no idea!” and from then on it was destiny!

When October finally rolled around I was beyond excited…even if I had to get up at 3am to make my 5am flight….it was SO. W.O.R.T.H. IT!!!! When I walked bleary eyed into the airport and saw the whole Smith family there all smiles and laughs I just knew it was going to be a good trip! We flew into St. Thomas and as soon as I stepped of the plane the view took my breath away! Crystal clear water on one side lush green mountains on the other! And the smell…ohhh can I tell you the smell? It was a beautiful mixture of sand, salt, and coconuts. Not the suntan lotion smell…but REAL coconut! Let me take a brief moment to say that I am not necessarily a beach person. I can appreciate it, but I’ve never been “wowed” by a beach…until NOW!

Amanda greeted us at the airport with smiles and giant hugs and then we took the 20 minute car ride around winding roads and more breath taking views. My eyes just couldn’t get enough!  Or at least I thought so, then we made it to the Sand Dollar Estate….I didn’t realize we were staying at the villa where President Clinton stayed while he was in office and some of the USA olympic teams have also been residents there. After staying for 3 days I can honestly see why! It is by far one of the nicest places I’ve ever been and that’s just the villa itself, I haven’t gotten to the part about the private beach in Megan’s bay where you can see schools of barracuda from the deck…yeah…what?!

Ok, I’m sure you’re all sick of me blathering on, but I just can’t help myself! I’ll get to the part of the story where I actually show pictures here in a just a few more lines!

The day after I arrived, was bachelor and bachelorette time! So the boys went off to explore while us girls stayed at the villa, caught up on our tan, did some yoga, and went on a scavenger hunt! Well…Amanda did…we all followed her around laughing and helping her to find all of the clues. In the evening, though there was a passing shower or two we had an impromptu rehearsal ceremony and then a delicious dinner where the conversation, toasts, and drinks kept flowing.

The next morning we all awoke to bright sunny skies and butterflies in our stomachs! It was finally time!

The next blog will be where I really get going, because I get to talk about the exemplory people I got to spend 3 fulls days with. I have to hold myself back now because I just want to keep going and going and going! But that’s for tomorrow. Tonight, enjoy a few shots from the scavenger hunt and Amanda’s getting ready photos!

Next to creating epic formal shots for my couples, the getting ready process is my favorite. There are so many little stories going on at once. One of the perks of being on site all 3 days is that I got to sneak around getting the details and those great little moments. Enjoy and come back tomorrow for part 2!!

xoxoxo,
Mabyn

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

The Sand Dollar Estate, Magen's Bay,St. Thomas Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Amanda & Art’s Love Story – Part 1