Charli and Joe’s Wedding – Estepona, Spain

July 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

To say that this couple is AMAZING would be a huge understatement!

Charli&Joe (23 of 156) We met Charli in another lifetime when we toured with Disney on Ice as performers. In fact, that’s where she met her other half, Joe! These two people are probably a couple of the most gracious and beautiful people we have met and we were truly honored when they asked us to capture their special day for them!

They held their special day in Estepona, Spain at El Cortijo de los Caballos. We couldn’t believe how gorgeous this gem of a venue was! All of the beautiful trees, a stunning pool, and well manicured gardens surrounding all the rooms… It was truly breathtaking!

The wedding looked like it was straight out of Disney movie! Glittery heels, shiny rings, magnificentfloral arrangements,  extravagant bridesmaids/junior bridesmaid/flower girl dresses…

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And the bride’s dress… Absolutely STUNNING. Charli’s dress came from Lula Ann Bridal and she had such a timeless classic look to her as she seemingly floated down the aisle!

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The most amazing thing to see was the amount of love they have for each other and the amazing relationships they have cultivated with so many people in their lives. They are such wonderful people and  you can see how close they are with all those they meet. The location of their wedding was not only a destination location for their guests, but also for them. When you look at how many people were able to make it out to their wedding, people from all over the place (Canada, USA, Japan, Australia, and Europe), it was clear how loved they are. Even Joe’s grandparents and family who haven’t travelled in long time made that long haul from the US to Spain to join them in celebrating their big day. That speaks mountains about this truly amazing couple.

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The wedding day went so smoothly and it was so great to work with such an amazing team of vendors!
Event Coordinator: Becky with Rachel Rose Weddings
Venue: El Cortijo De Los Caballos
Florist: Flor Valentin
Bridal Gown: Lula Ann Bridal
Hair Dresser and Makeup: Ella Megan Makeup Artist
Caterer: Sana Catering Marbella

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We had such an amazing time photographing this amazing day!!



Learning to Let It Go

October 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Last week, we got to go to the Zac Brown Band concert thanks to a really great friend of ours. I had been looking forward to this concert for a while because they are my favorite band since my first love, *NSync (yes, I was a teeny-bopper. Don’t judge :))

Aside from being insanely talented vocalists/instrument players and truly loving what their doing, their songs hold quite a bit of meaning and have very deep underlying messages. One song in particular strikes a cord with me: Let It Go.

I wanted to write about this today for a couple of reasons:

- There have been some things that have been weighing heavy on my heart lately.

- I think many people can relate to what it feels like to be burdened by certain situations.

I know this song definitely helps me settle my mind and put some things in perspective, so I hope that by sharing it and writing about it, it can do the same for you.

“Keep your heart above your head and your eyes wide open so this world can’t find a way to keep you cold. Know you’re not the only ship out on the ocean. Save your strength for things that you can change, forgive the ones you can’t. You gotta let it go.”

Thanks to these helpful lyrics along with the words of my close and dear friends around me, I have learned that there are certain things in your life that you will come by that you have no control of, people who will do you wrong, and people who’s true colors show when different circumstances arise.

Although the message is clear and simple, it is in no way an easy task. Being an incredibly sensitive soul, I can honestly say I can get very affected and hurt even though it may or may not be my fault. Thanks to those who care for me and are truly good people, I am able to  calm down a bit and understand what I need to think about.

In the end, you cannot control some people’s actions, you cannot change somebody unless they want to change, and you cannot stop life from happening. So, there is no use in worrying about the things you have no control over.

There’s simply only one thing you can do to free yourself from that burden of stress and anger:

 Let It Go

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Photo taken with my camera phone at the Zac Brown Band Concert at Gexa Energy Pavillion. We had great seats and I couldn’t say enough about how awesome they are in concert. Even if you’re not a huge country or southern rock type music listener, they are insanely talented musicians who have succeeded because they do what they love!


Monday Motivation – Leadership

September 22, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Happy Monday Friends :) I wanted to share this little Monday Motivation quote with you because it is something that I find myself wanting to strive to be in my own businesses.

As a photographer and a skating coach, I see how important leadership is not only to my clients and students, but it is important amongst my peers.

Today, we often see people placed in “leadership” positions, but display actions that would suggest otherwise. Rather than leading, these people act more like “bosses” in that they would rather dictate than show, blame rather than accept, and take individual credit rather than revel in the success of the team.

I personally view a leader as someone who rides alongside their pack, creates unity within their team to accomplish a common goal, and inspires people to join in their cause.

Becoming a better leader is who I truly wish to become and in my journey towards that, I hope to inspire others to be the same.

Leadership
I took this photo while walking through an older part of Boston. One of the most fun things to do while we were on tour was explore all the cities we had shows at! Boston was definitely an awesome location full of history!


Accepting Your Direction – How To Figure Out Your Path

September 18, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I have learned a lot about myself in these past couple months of not really having a typical job, and not really knowing what direction I’m going towards in the future, career wise. There have definitely been some stressful times when I think about finances and what will are we ever going to do if we have a kid. The thoughts that keep running through my head drive me off the wall and gets me more emotional than I need to get.

Thanks to Google, you can find anyand every bit of advice you can possibly imagine out there. I recently dove head first into the world of photography without really knowing which direction I want to go in terms of what I want to focus on. I also recently started this blog to try and share my thoughts and experiences as a photographer. I also have really finally tried to dive back into becoming a skating coach as well even though I still have no idea what I want to focus on.

When I feel lost, I usually turn to my husband or my sister to guide me. Oh, and also my good friend Google… boy let me tell you… if there is anything that can confuse you more than you already are, Google, and the multitude of opinions out there sure can throw you into a tornado of confusion. The major bit of advice I got about being an entrepreneur and the only way to be successful at starting my own business was to “pick your focus” and decide which area in your field you really want to hone in your efforts… GREAT.

Now if you know me, trying to figure out “what I want to be” or deciding which type of photography I want to do, what kind of skating coach I want to be, or what kind of things I should write about on a blog is damn near impossible.

All the advice I gathered from all my research was that not picking a focus and saying you do it all is a clear indication of “being new to the industry” or it gives of an aura of being non-committal.

If anything, reading all this advice has given left me even more bewildered. Truth be told, I am all over the place and love doing more than just one thing, just ask my husband :)

One day while driving in the car, Brent and I were discussing our careers and I, once again, felt so lost. Trying to figure where in the world my passions lie, what the heck I need to write about in my blog, where was I going with coaching.

Then a simple yet thought provoking question came to mind… Why the heck do you need toonly focus on one thing? Who says that’s the only way to be successful? Does one formula work for all?

The answer is: NO.

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This photo was taken in while on a drive through some back roads in McKinney, TX. The clouds made for some awesome lighting and the scenery just begged to be photographed :)

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some people who find their passion in one focused area, and that works for them… If you’re like me, you love doing more than just one thing. You have more than just one topic to love writing about. You don’t want to do what everybody else does… And it took me a while to realize that it’s OK. This is who I am and there lies my strengths.

Going back to a previous post I wrote about remembering your why, I just had to bring myself back to that. If I just do what I love and remember why I’m doing it, success will come. Passion will arise from the hard work I put into it…

So I have given myself a break. I’ve decided to just go with what I’m good at and what I enjoy doing. I love photographing life around me and capturing truth and pure emotion and allowing people to relieve those moments for years to come. I love passing on the knowledge and experiences I have gained over my many years of competing in the world of figure skating to the upcoming generation of dreamers in hopes that one day they can be a champion. And lastly, I love writing all of my experiences (not just in photography and travel) down and sharing them with my friends and family in hopes to INSPIRE, to LEAD, and to bring HOPE. To allow my readers a place to feel like they are not alone.

In the end, people may think that not focusing in one aspect of any of the fields I work in is self-destruction. I don’t believe it for one second (at least not anymore).

When is life EVER going in ONE direction? I don’t think that in this life-time or another, will we ever go in one direction. When we find our “calling” it may not just be ONE thing.

After much time and thought, I now am a full believer that our “calling” is not to be the best at one thing like we are lead to believe. I believe our calling is to make the best of what we have, adapt to the changes that life brings us, and to be the good we all expect others to be. There is no ONE path to success. There is not ONE formula that has proven to be.

So GO. Follow those who do good and lead those who want to learn. You don’t need to another writer, photographer, or coach to tell you what you love and what you don’t. As long as you remember why you’re doing it in the first place and that it comes from a good and honest place, success is right around the corner.



A Paralympian Passing the Torch to a New Generation

September 10, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

As a photographer, you take thousands and thousands of shots hoping to capture that one magical shot that speaks louder than words ever can.

I had the priveledge of being the photographer this weekend at the Dr Pepper Starcenter Farmers Branch for one of the most inspiring events I’ve done in a while.

The Dallas Stars Foundation hosted this event alongside the National MS Society and the Southwest Wheelchair Athletic Association where they had Dallas Stars players, Jamie Benn (2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games Gold Medalist) and Tyler Seguin, and the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games Gold Medalist, Tyler Lipsett, play sled hockey with young children who suffer from different disabilities. 

Although I took hundreds of pictures at the event, there is one in particular that I am truly proud to share.

An inspiring athlete who worked against all odds his whole life to achieve greatness in his sport and proved beyond measure that nothing is impossible…

Here, I am proud to share a beautiful moment that one quick snap of my camera caught.

The passing of the torch to the new generation.

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“This picture sums up what being a Paralympian is all about to me! Traveling the world has been amazing! Developing life long friendships is irreplaceable! And winning Gold Medals is a dream come true! But to be able to pass my dream on and inspire a generation of adaptive athletes coming behind me is something that has a much bigger impact on this world, and this picture sums that up!” – Taylor Lipsett

 

To see more photos from this incredible event, go to my website JoanCristobal.com under “Special Events.” 

I truly hope that it inspires you to believe in yourself… To never believe that you have limits…

To always have the strength to tell those who say it can’t be done, that NO was never an option.


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