tristan & charmaine - the ceremony & portraits || second shooting with pilar tuason

a long pause between this post and the getting ready shots of tristan and charmaine’s wedding! sorry friends!

this wedding was abosolutely wonderful on all fronts..i had so much fun second shooting with pilar… :)

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their stunning reception at Angel’s Fields in Tagayatay is coming up next… :)

fly, so high, in the sky...in turkey || travel photographer

when i first was in turkey the first time, part of my gig was to do a hot air balloon ride for the article.

maybe i’ll just take photos from the ground”. except i realized the cost of it, that the company was paying for me to do, so guilt quickly set in. i HAD to do it - it was expected i was going up.

CRAP.

so i bundled up at 4 am with warm clothes and all the courage i could muster and then began one of the most amazing experiences of my life….

 it starts early… REALLY early. why? well…early morning is to be the calmest, if no wind, to fly hot air balloons..marry that with watching the sunrise…. ya i was anticipating…

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it really blew my mind the amount of balloons there were!

and how quiet it was…all you heard was the hot air being blown up into the balloon..craziest thing.. and when the sun began to creep over the horizon…wow. NOTHING like it. and it didn’t even feel like i was FREAKING high. it was so smooth. it was so very surreal.

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yes…i was glad i gave in and got a little courage. it was one of the most divine experiences..so magical..so beautiful. i definitely recommend it. :)

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want to fly high in turkey? am leading a biblical historical tour through out turkey this coming septemeber. check the details HERE… you wont want to miss it!

xotracey

venice...you still have my heart || travel photographer

these are some of my most favorite photos i’ve taken in venice - from my first trip back in 2008.

and until today, i thought i had lost these forever. so when i happened upon them in my time machine’s backups, to say i was thrilled is an understatement.

venice, you will always have a piece of my heart. i simply cannot wait til the next time…

xotracey 

tristan & charmaine - getting ready || second shooting with pilar tuason

 the first installment of tristan and charmaine’s gorgeous out-of-town destination wedding in tagaytay at angel’s fields, that i second shot last year with my dear friend and amazing photog, pilar…

xotracey

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stay tuned for the next post - their beautiful ceremony & portraits… :)

a wave is coming || travel & lifestyle photographer

no, no…not a tsunami.. :)

a wave of blog posts - i have SO MUCH STUFF to blog… and i’m getting it all ready to blog in some scheduled posts..

so beware! you may get soaked. ;)

xotracey

coming up next - the wedding of trish & charm…a second shooting gig with my beloved friend pilar..here’s one to keep you satisfied. :)

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flavors of india || travel photography

i recently went on a quick trip over to india from the philippines. 6 days actually. and in those six days i took 7 flights, stayed in 3 hotels, drove by bus, van, taxi, auto (3 wheel trike), train and walked a ton.

the trip was for the main purpose of documenting for an NGO that will be opening a girls home/orphanage sometime this year, outside of chennai, tamil nadu.

then we went to mumbai for 2 days and then to nagercoil fro the last two.

what i didn’t know is that my world would be completely rocked in mumbai.

mumbai 10:30pm – i have no words to describe what i saw. all i know if that i will never be the same. and i will not be silent.

driving through the infamous “cages of mumbai”,  in amongst pimps by the hundreds, lie dozens of streets upon streets of what look like residences. except they are not. we are in amongst the biggest known brothel of the world. women and children, stolen & bought into sex slavery. they say there are over 200,000 people living in this area.

when my eyes wandered thru the crowds as we slowly drove thru this hell on earth, I saw one–one young lady sitting, waiting. and as we drove past her, I saw her eyes meet mine and all there was was dark loneliness screaming for hope, or someone to love them. as we drove past and onto the next street, a couple of young children no older than 5 playing at 11pm at night in the streets, in the middle of this hopeless death.

I am only one. and I am not sure what one like myself can do. but I know I came here for a reason. more than one reason. and I, in my own brokenness and frailty, will now begin to search out where it is I fit in all this…because I know one thing–I cannot be silent after what I saw tonight.”

i have always had a heart for india. and in recent years been more and more aware of the the reality of the sex slavery that goes on in our world in this day and age.

i loved every single moment i spent in mumbai. those two days solidified something in my heart: i could DEFINITELY live here, smog and all.

and so as i am back in my home in manila, philippines, i see those girls in my dreams, i see them daily. and i anticipate the days ahead when i can go back…and do more.

xotracey

ps - here are a few of the snaps i took from the trip :)

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victoria & cardo - reception || second shooting with Pilar Tuason

The third installment of Victoria and Cardo’s wedding will be their lovely reception! Held at the Blue Leaf Pavillion in McKinley Hill,  near the Fort, it was the perfect background for this lovely affair… Enjoy their celebration!

xotracey

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Victoria & Cardo - the portraits || second shooting with Pilar Tuason

the fourth and final installment of victoria and cardo’s lovely wedding.

we had a good lot of time to take their bridal portraits. and the venues were divine - outside san antonio church in forbes park, makati and then at the home of cardo’s parents, also forbes park.

these two are simply stunning! and you can see their adoration of each other in their photos. so awesome to photograph couples like this!

enjoy!

xotracey

 

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PUGLIA, ITALY - Oct 26 - Nov 2, 2013 || why you should come :)

so i decided to scout out the interwebs and give you a list of all the REMARKABLE reasons WHY you should come to PUGLIA, ITALY this coming OCTOBER 2013.

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taken from LONELY PLANET:

Puglia is sun-bleached landscapes, seascapes and silver olive groves; hilltop and coastal towns; factories and power stations; taranta (mesmerising local folk music); fields polka-dotted with spring flowers; cigarette- and people-smuggling; elderly men on benches and bicycles; elderly women on string chairs outside their houses; summer carnivals; immigrants arriving by boat; and dialects that change from town to town.

that sounds fantastical! talk about experiencing ITALIAN culture!! let’s read on…

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Italy’s heel has the country’s longest coastline – 800km of it. Two seas meet here: the Adriatic to the east and the Ionian to the south. It’s legendary for its foodstuffs, in a land where food is all-important. The region looks out to sea and bears the marks of many invading overseas visitors: the Normans, the Spanish, the Turks, the Swabians and the Greeks. Puglia feels authentic – in some places it’s rare to hear a foreign voice. In July and August it becomes a huge party, with thousands of Italian tourists heading down here for their annual break.

Italy’s heel has the country’s longest coastline – 800km of it. Two seas meet here: the Adriatic to the east and the Ionian to the south. It’s legendary for its foodstuffs, in a land where food is all-important. The region looks out to sea and bears the marks of many invading overseas visitors: the Normans, the Spanish, the Turks, the Swabians and the Greeks. Puglia feels authentic – in some places it’s rare to hear a foreign voice.

ok seriously?? is this place for real???

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then i headed over to an article posted in the UK’s TELEGRAPH:

…you’ll find yourself among the huge olive groves (Puglia produces almost half of all Italy’s olive oil) that cover low, fertile hills rolling down into the sparkling blue-green Adriatic Sea. On a clear day you can see across to Albania.

Wine lovers will enjoy tasting the local grapes - the region was once known as “the wine cellar of Europe”. Castel del Monte is produced in the north, and in the south, full-bodied reds such as Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera are popular. The local whites are lighter and include those from Locorotondo and Martina Franca.  

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The empty beaches provide serious chilling space. There is shale rather than sand underfoot, but the water is clear and warm. Private beach clubs abound along the coast, and some will let you join for a day to take advantage of their sunbeds, cafés and showers.  

Puglian cuisine is a happy revelation: dig into the simply cooked fresh produce - including an abundance of seafood - and try the local pasta, orecchiette (which means little ears).  
 

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from my own personal EXPERIENCE, olive oil tasting is RIGHT up there with wine tasting - for reals…fresh bruscetta and olive oil, with wine?? come on! this very well could be HEAVEN ON EARTH here people!!


ciao!

xotracey

 

all photos courtesty of max brunelli :)

next stop: INDIA

in just 2 days i will be getting on a plane and heading for INDIA.

it will be my first time in india. and the primary focus of the trip is NOT for travel pleasure. no infact it is to “scout” some land and building that was given to my inlaws, the founders of Gentle Hands here in Manila, to start a new work in India, a Gentle Hands India.

using my skills as documentary photographer, i will be going with one primary goal - to photograph everything about everything. :)

i am bringing but a small bag and my little backpack will house my camera and 2 lenses. it will be my “lightest” trip yet - i’m kinda excited about that!

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so i will have a few blogs scheduled while i’m gone. but if you would like to see my instagram feed which i will keep up to date while in india, my IG handle is, none other than, traceylheppner.

namaste!

xotracey