Everyone remembers their first time. Mine was in the Riviera Maya, Mexico for our 6 year wedding anniversary. It was our first trip out of the US as a couple and my first trip out of the country period.
Because it was our anniversary we wanted to splurge a little and choosing to go to Mexico was a great decision. We booked our trip through a AAA travel agent and stayed at the (now closed) Secrets Capri resort. They had a nice hotel with an assortment of restaurants and activities, the room was pleasant with some fun furnishings we could play with for photos, a good pool, and decent food with options for food sensitivities, and the booze was pretty great too.
The weather wasn’t the best as there was a tropical storm off the coast so it rained off and on the whole time we were there. We made the most of it anyway and still spent a decent amount of time hanging out by the pool or on the beach. We even made a trip to see the ruins at Tulum!
I had just gotten my first camera, a Nikon d3300, before this trip and hadn’t had the chance to really break it in with a proper shoot. I did learn most of the basic functions of the camera before we left, specifically, how to use aperture priority mode but there were a lot of features I still needed to figure out.
My wife knew during our vacation I wanted to take pictures so she packed accordingly.
After a morning spent relaxing by the pool, sipping fruity frozen drinks, and enjoying the sunshine we headed back to the room once the rain returned and broke out the camera and lingerie.
Starting out we took pictures with a bra and panty set on the bed. After moving through several poses we slowly transitioned to some implied nude shots. Following a wardrobe change we moved on to some sitting and kneeling positions using a chair. The bed was a very nice four poster and I was sure to use one of the posts for some shots too. To finish things off I had the idea to have her sit in the pass-through window with it framing her and the image turned out to be my favorite of the whole shoot!
I'll admit, I was nervous when we first started. I was thinking that if I didn't do a good job she would hate the idea of doing another shoot in the future but after taking some of the first photos and showing them to her I could tell that I didn't need to worry about that anymore.
What I did Right
Used a prime lens with aperture priority mode. I wouldn’t have gotten the photos I did if I had been using the kit lens that came with the camera due to its slow aperture speed.
Used the room. I made use of the entire room to take photos, from the chairs and the bed, to the pass-through window between the bedroom and bathroom.
Had Fun. We had a lot of fun with that first shoot and it has led us to do many more over the last few years.
Mistakes I Made
I didn’t have a shot list to help with posing. Looking back I wouldn’t change it though. Would I have gotten better shots? Yes, but the experience wouldn’t have had the same feel.
I didn’t use the bathroom. I really wish I would have taken advantage of the shower with overhead lighting and the huge tub we had access to.
Made all the rookie mistakes. I cut her hands and feet out of the frame, didn’t keep the camera straight, and had very little thought as to overall composition. In the long run messing up wasn’t a bad thing because I learned a lot from this session.
In all, that first shoot put me on the path to where I am today and I am forever grateful. My wife was a good sport and has been a constant supporter of my photography since. Including letting me post some of our pictures online so I could get feedback on them. But that is a story for another time.