Our first trip to Israel

Well, it’s been a bit more than a month since our trip to Israel and I’m excited to finally share photos from this trip. A lot of people were asking us what made us want to go here. The trip was sort of spontaneous but it’s somewhere we have always wanted to go. My grandfather is from Israel and so I have a lot of family still living there. The country also holds a lot of historical and biblical importance and so as Christians, it’s somewhere we felt was significant to visit for that reason.

Upon arriving in Israel, my husband and I were greeted by someone the most hospitable and warm people I’ve ever met; my family. I have about 40 relatives living there and we were greeted with an immeasurable amount of hospitality. The first night there, we were treated to an amazing traditional Friday Sabbath dinner. It was amazing and I will forever be grateful to my family for hosting us and giving us the most memorable experience our first time in the country.

There are so many things I can talk about from this trip but I will try not to make this post a small essay. To keep is short, Israel is amazing!!!! There is so much to do and see, and because the country is pretty small, you can do a lot of it in a week. My husband and I stayed in Haifa for the majority of the time and made day trips to places like the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, Capernaum, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, the Dead Sea, and Masada. Because we were able to stay with family, we did not do group tours. Instead, we rented a car for the week and drove on our own. Israel is a very easy country to drive in as they drive on the same side we do. We did get lost but only a few times and never badly lost. I would highly recommend renting a car rather than doing group tours as you set your own schedule and pace. (I will also add that Israel is very safe contrary to what many people may think. My husband and I spent the majority of our time traveling alone with no issues.)

The highlight of the trip for me was definitely the biblically historical places. Actually visiting places like Nazareth, Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, places where Jesus walked during his ministry was so surreal. Let’s just say I can never read the Bible the same way again. I actually got to see the places that are referenced which were so meaningful to me in many ways. We visited the Garden of Gethsemane (the garden where Jesus prayed in just before he went to the cross) in Jerusalem which was intense but also gave us a chance to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Jerusalem itself is such a treasure, especially the old city. It feels like you are being transported through time as you walk through the market and the many other historical gems. There is so much to do and see in the Old City, you could easily spend two days there. The Western wall, mount of Olives, Tower of David, Absalom’s Tomb, and of course the Market are all located there so you’d definitely want to give yourself time to walk around and just wander a bit as you see these places.

One of my favorite things about Israel is the different landscapes. You could be driving along a highway and suddenly you will be in the desert surrounded by huge mountains and then a few miles later you’ll reach the countryside and may possibly spot some Shepards with herds of sheep or camels. Growing up in NYC, I had never seen such different landscapes before.

Tel-Aviv was our last stop on the trip. There we met up with some client turned friends of mine and had a great night out. Tel-Aviv is filled with coffee shops and restaurants. I’m not kidding when I say I felt like I was in Brooklyn. The vibe is the same. A lot of young people, artists, bike riders. It was great. Tel-Aviv is for those who really enjoy the nightlife. My favorite place in Tel-Aviv was definitely Jaffa, an old city by the water. There is a lot of artist shops here and it was just really beautiful to explore.

Of course, we ate a lot of food (not pictured because like always I forget to take a photo). We ate some typical dishes; falafel, shwarma, baklava, and so much more that I can't remember the names of. All I can say is that you will love the food regardless. My husband doesn’t eat meals without meat and he ate several vegan meals *gasp! but it was sooo good!

Israel will always have a special place in our hearts for both of us. It is a country that we will definitely be retuning weather alone or with my parents. I am sure there is so much more that we could do, but seeing as we were only there for a week, we wanted to get the most significant places checked off of our list. I can only imagine what Israeli’s do in the summertime! If you are planning a trip to Israel and have any questions, I would be happy to answer them! That’s all for now. On to my next adventure!

My First European Destination Wedding

As a wedding photographer, I think it’s safe to say that every wedding photog dreams of shooting a wedding in Europe. It is #goals for pretty much anyone in the wedding industry. But to be honest, I didn’t expect it to happen to me in only the second year of my business, and here we are, it’s 2019 and I’m blogging about my first European destination wedding.

My friends Lisa & Richard were long distance dating for about a year. He lived in London while she was here in NY. One week he came to visit and we all went out for dinner, and I jokingly said that if they do get married and have their wedding in Europe I’d totally be their photographer. I had no idea that Richard (who is actually from Hungary) was planning to propose a few months after I had said that. And later that year in December I found myself on a flight to Budapest for the first time ever. It was everything I could have imaged.

The venue was an old mansion that belonged to an old Hungarian family that goes back to the 18th century. It was converted into a hotel but still retained some of the rooms as part of a museum. It was full of treasures left behind from the family including personal items, clothing, typewriters, etc. This wedding was special because I am actually really good friends with the couple. Lisa is by far the goofiest bride I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I especially loved her request for a goofy shot before the first look which I’m sure you’ll catch below. But she was such a beautiful and classic bride. As for Richard, he was as dapper as could be. Lisa was walked down the aisle by her son Justin who also shared a teary-eyed first look with his mom and her maid of honor was her gorgeous daughter Juliana. Everything from start to finish was so special and beautiful. Because it was a destination wedding, it was intimate with only the very closest family and friends in attendance.

This wedding will be forever special to me and my career as a wedding photographer. It has given me a desire to experience more weddings abroad as well as the cultural experiences that come with shooting in different countries. I know this career of mine will certainly continue to take me places. Congrats again to Lisa and Richard and a huge thank you to them for giving me the honor of capturing their fairy tale wedding!

P.S Did I mention they’re expecting their first child in September! *Gasp!!! Congrats to them!