Sony & Hilliard Wedding in Jamaica

Visiting a place that is far from anything I usually experience, gets me inspired. When time is limited I have to make the best of it, and I found Jamaica to be an incredible place containing great beauty and poverty. Sometime mid-July I got a phone call. My former boss Hilliard, and his fiancee Sony asked me to be their photographer for their wedding in Jamaica (November 3rd). The realization that I could have an all-expenses paid for the trip, something I’ve never experienced, and traveling with my family got me very excited! Passports arrived about a month later, and a couple of months after that we arrived at the Riu Palace resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Overview of Riu Palace

Below is a preview of my architecture series, Riu Palace, Montego Bay Jamaica

Riu Palace in Jamaica

Visiting Riu Palace Resort in Jamaica. This was taken in the early morning before the wedding.
RIU Palace Resort in Jamaica, no.22

The view outside of our bedroom the evening Jen and I (and Elon) arrived.
RIU Palace Resort in Jamaica, no.5

Riu Palace at night. I took this stepping outside of the rehearsal dinner in the Palace’s amazing dining hall.

This trip would not have been possible if it weren’t for Sony & Hilliard paying us for our travel expenses.

One of the reasons Jen and I were chosen to be their wedding photographers was because I did their engagement session.

Sony & Hilliard’s Engagement Session

This is a callback to this post about their engagement photoshoot in Detroit.

One of our favorite shots, taken just as the sun was setting.
Sony & Hilliard, taken inside their beautiful home in Detroit.


Detroit to Atlanta


With a printed off-boarding information in-hand, here we are at 6 am arriving at the Detroit Metro Airport the day before the wedding. This was my first time booking a vacation with a travel agent. Tina Mifflin, located in the Detroit / Metro area, made the whole thing really easy to understand.

Leaving for three nights

Looking out of our plane window as we were about to depart.

Elon sleeping on the airplane!
Atlanta Airport Metro
Atlanta Airport Metro. I took this from the back of the subway train after we arrived at the Atlanta airport, about to board the plane to Jamaica.

Atlanta to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica

The first thing that hits you even after just getting into the airport is the heat. Jamaica is a very hot place, even in November.

Our selfie picture as we arrived.

The following series is part of my series Roadside Driveby and Street Portraits in Jamaica on

Snapshots while driving to Riu Palace, no.2
Snapshots while driving to and from Riu Palace, no.14

School children photographed on the way to Riu Palace


Arrival at Riu Palace

Once Jen found out there was going to be unlimited food and drinks at the resort she went from excited to very excited!

Jen following bellhop with our luggage to our room at Hotel Riu

In-between our arrival and wedding to photograph the next day, we spent the rest of our time eating food at the luxurious all-you-can-eat buffet and putting Elon down early that night.

Jen and Elon lounging at the Riu Palace resort beach

Jen and Elon at the Riu Palace cafe


Selected Images from Sony & Hilliard’s Wedding Day

Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 07
Sony and her Bridesmaids
Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 04
Hilliard and his groomsmen
Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 13
Sony walking down the aisle
Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 15
Sony and Hilliard at the alter
Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 16
Sony and Hilliard exchanging rings

Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 18
Just married!
Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 21
Wedding party group shot

Group shot at the beach

Romantics in Montego Bay

After the ceremony and some dinner, I headed out to photograph some romantics. Hilliard previously had arranged a cab to show us some good local spots. Our driver knew what was up and took us to four very interesting and beautiful places.

Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 24 Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 25 Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 27 Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 29 Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 31 Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 33

This last selected romantic was taken in an abandoned cafe. I have more images of this abandoned cafe here.

Sony and Hilliard Wedding Selects 36


Excursion after the Wedding

The next day we headed out on an excursion. Our boat tour was complete with snorkeling, swimming under a cave, and cliff jumping from Rick’s Cafe. We had some time, so we went for a swim. This was Jen and Elon’s first swim in the ocean.



Scuba Caribe 05
Everyone waiting to go out on the Scuba Caribe. Heading out for some snorkeling.
Sony & Hilliard wearing their scuba gear!

Jen in her snorkle gear

Below are some of my favorite landscape scenes I captured before we headed to Rick’s Cafe. As we cruised along, I was only paying attention to getting great shots from the side of the boat. A storm really was brewing, and fortunately for me, it made for some epic clouds, which of course is why these look so dramatic.

4-Backflip Composite near Cafe Ricks in Jamaica
Locals jumping off the cliff as we made a stop. The local boys jumping from the cliff made it seem so easy, which is why I thought it no harm for both myself and
Jen about to jump
Jen to take turns jumping from Rick’s Cafe.
Jen's Broken Wrist just out of water Jen's Broken Wrist just out of water
The guy next to Jen only told her to jump to the side, otherwise, she would hit the cliffs. I think this was partly the reason for what happened next. She wasn’t thinking of the landing, no, she was thinking about the cliff! I jumped before this by the way, and there was no way you could hit the cliff… maybe next time dude, let people know how they should land.
Jen being wheeled in the hospital, not exactly very happy at this point.

This whole group was so supportive to us and just awesome to work with and get to know.

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