Viejo San Juan Cemetery – Double Exposures

Viejo San Juan Cemetery – Double Exposures

This past weekend I had a photo-session scheduled for 8am in Viejo San Juan. There were several large events scheduled in the San Juan area that morning creating unbelievable traffic, I was already in the city early to scout the location for my portrait session so I missed the traffic, but the couple I was supposed to photograph got stuck in the middle of it. We decided to reschedule the photo session for sunset the following day. If found myself in San Juan with my camera and lenses on a bright sunny morning and decided to take a photo walk.

One of my favorite places to photograph is the Cemeterio Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis. It is a beautiful cemetery nestled at the foot of El Morro with the caribbean sea as its back drop. To get there you go through a tunnel that is covered in graffiti. The whole place is so rich with metaphors, to me I don’t get a creepy sense being down there, things just feel peaceful. Last January I did a really interesting self portrait photography series there using my infrared camera. I love getting to revisit different locations. There are so many ways of photographing the same place. This time I did some experimenting with double exposures using the cemetery statuary as my models.

The Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery is located in Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is a great place to take photographs and has an amazing number of cemetery statues.
The Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery is located in Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is a great place to take photographs and has an amazing number of cemetery statues.
All over San Juan there are these 'garitas' or look out towers. The shape and texture of them is iconic to Viejo San Juan. I can just imagine in the past someone looking out through those tiny windows watching the horizon for sail ships coming in on the trade winds.
All over San Juan there are these ‘garitas’ or look out towers. The shape and texture of them is iconic to Viejo San Juan. I can just imagine in the past someone looking out through those tiny windows watching the horizon for sail ships coming in on the trade winds.
A view of the viejo san juan cemetery from afar.
This view of the cemetery is from the lawn in front of El Morro. There are so many different angles and vantage points to photograph this place from.
To get into the San Juan cemetery you need to first pass through a tunnel. The tunnel is covered in graffiti and always feels a little creepy to go through, even though during the day it is very safe. Going through the tunnel to reach the cemetery always makes me think of
To get into the San Juan cemetery you need to first pass through a tunnel. The tunnel is covered in graffiti and always feels a little creepy to go through, even though during the day it is very safe. Going through the tunnel to reach the cemetery always makes me think of crossing over into the after life.
The cemetery itself is named for the nun, sister Magdalena de Pazzi of Florence Italy who lived from 1566 - 1607. She is most remembered as a somewhat eccentric woman who was given to raptures and profound ecstasies through much of her life. When she first joined the sister hood she became very ill and professed intense revelations while in an altered state on what everyone though would be her death bed. She survived the illness and continued to have visions and reevaluations through out her life that her fellow sisters helped write in a series of five books. Her connection to the spirit world and her fiery personality make her a very fitting namesake for this cemetery on the caribbean sea.
The cemetery itself is named for the nun, sister Magdalena de Pazzi of Florence Italy who lived from 1566 – 1607. She is most remembered as a somewhat eccentric woman who was given to raptures and profound ecstasies through much of her life. When she first joined the sisterhood she became very ill and professed intense revelations while in an altered state on what everyone though would be her death bed. She survived the illness and continued to have visions and revelations through out her life that her fellow sisters transcribed in a series of five books. Her connection to the spirit world and her fiery personality make her a very fitting namesake for this cemetery on the caribbean sea.
The variety of tombstones, cemetery art and statuary in this cemetery is breathtaking. Many common symbols are angels, crosses and figures of Jesus Christ or the Mother Mary looking over the tombs. In addition to these symbols there are also many mourning women and angels. One of the tombs even has statues of the surviving family members mourning around the outside of a casket. Some of the headstones are in better condition than others. The cemetery is maintained to an extent and family members still come to place silk flowers on the graves. A portion of the cemetery is currently under construction.
The variety of tombstones, cemetery art and statuary in this cemetery is breathtaking. Many common symbols are angels, crosses and figures of Jesus Christ or the Mother Mary looking over the tombs. In addition to these symbols there are also many mourning women and angels. One of the tombs even has statues of the surviving family members mourning around the outside of a casket. Some of the headstones are in better condition than others. The cemetery is maintained to an extent and family members still come to place silk flowers on the graves. A portion of the cemetery is currently under construction.
This is my favorite statue in the cemetery. The posture of the woman is so beautiful and the emotion is so sorrowful. This statue was created by a very skilled sculptor and continues to endure the test of time. I have photographed this sculpture several times and look forward to seeing it in a new light every time I visit.
This is my favorite statue in the cemetery. The posture of the woman is so beautiful and the emotion is so sorrowful. This statue was created by a very skilled sculptor and continues to endure the test of time. I have photographed this sculpture several times and look forward to seeing it in a new light every time I visit.
This double exposure is of a tombstone and the view of the coastline from the western part of the cemetery. There is a community in Viejo San Juan called La Perla that you can see from the cemetery.
This double exposure is of a tombstone and the view of the coastline from the western part of the cemetery. There is a community in Viejo San Juan called La Perla that you can see from the cemetery.
One thing I love doing with double exposures is playing with the orientation of the images. The flipped city scape against this woman's face is an interesting perspective.
One thing I love doing with double exposures is playing with the orientation of the images. The flipped city scape against this woman’s face is an interesting perspective.

Rincon_Images_Wedding_Photographer_Blog_Puerto_Rico_Cemetery-10 Rincon_Images_Wedding_Photographer_Blog_Puerto_Rico_Cemetery-11

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Viejo San Juan Engagement photography session – Wedding Photographer Puerto Rico

Viejo San Juan Engagement photography session – Wedding Photographer Puerto Rico

Jerod dips his bride to be on the romantic cobble stone streets of Viejo San Juan. Photography by Rincon Images wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
Jerod dips his bride to be on the romantic cobble stone streets of Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico.

When did you and your fiancé first meet?

Jerod and I met about 6 years ago. He did some training for a few months in one of the clinics I worked

in before transferring into the operations department. We both work in healthcare administration. We

both shared that passion for working for the underserved community. We would see each other a few

times a year and developed a friendship. Since then we no longer work for the same company, but

similar companies. We both work for health centers to serve the uninsured, low income part of the

community, adults and pediatrics.

This couple had a blast during their Viejo San Juan photography session. I love using this particular street in San Juan, Puerto Rico to photograph wedding and engagement sessions, it has beautiful colored buildings and almost no cars. Photograph by Rincon Images wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
This couple had a blast during their Viejo San Juan photography session. I love using this particular street in San Juan, Puerto Rico to photograph wedding and engagement sessions, it has beautiful colored buildings and almost no cars.
Gorgeous photograph of a couple in Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico. The cobble stone streets and shoes look beautiful in this photograph. Photograph by Rincon Images wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
Gorgeous photograph of the couple in Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico. The cobble stone streets and shoes look beautiful in this photograph.
I absolutely loved the colorful shoes that Heather was wearing for our photography session in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The tropical colors looked fabulous next to the cobble stone streets. It really is all about the details! Photography by Rincon Images wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
I absolutely loved the colorful shoes that Heather was wearing for our photography session in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The tropical colors looked fabulous next to the cobble stone streets. It really is all about the details!
I love using this banyan tree in photographs. It is a great location right on Paseo de la Princesa. The tall tree provides lots of shade to keep things cool, and the long branches make beautiful patterns of light on the ground. Its a great spot for wedding and engagement photography in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photography by Rincon Images wedding photography Puerto Rico.
I love using this banyan tree in photographs. It is a great location right on Paseo de la Princesa. The tall tree provides lots of shade to keep things cool, and the long branches make beautiful patterns of light on the ground. Its a great spot for wedding and engagement photography in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Tell us about your first date…

Our first date was at the yummy Mexican restaurant, that we go back to ALL the time. It was then

followed by a movie. Typical date! We watched the movie Ted and we laughed so much together. I think

we even ended it with ice cream for dessert. We literally repeat this date all the time. Dinner, movie, ice

cream.

This photograph was taken right in front of the red doors on Paseo de la Princesa in Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico. This kind of architectural detailing is iconic of Viejo San Juan, and is perfect for wedding and engagement photography sessions. Photograph by Rincon Images wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
This photograph was taken right in front of the red doors on Paseo de la Princesa in Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico. This kind of architectural detailing is iconic of Viejo San Juan, and is perfect for wedding and engagement photography sessions.
Natural light can really make for fabulous photographs. Knowing where to be at what time of day is what made the beautiful light in this photograph possible. I love photographing new locations, but getting to know a particular area makes it really easy to nail certain shots. Photography by Rincon Images Wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
Natural light can really make for fabulous photographs. Knowing where to be at what time of day is what made the beautiful light in this photograph possible. I love photographing new locations, but getting to know a particular area makes it really easy to nail certain shots.

How did he ‘pop’ the question?

Jerod had taken me to look at rings a few weeks before he proposed. Actually I think it was about 2

months. I already knew we would be together forever so I knew it was coming. I would think to myself I

wonder how hes going to do it. I am very vigilant and would probably figure it out. So he did it when I

least expected it. I was in the middle of an ab workout when he popped the question! Let’s just say I was

definitely surprised and not expecting it at all!

I love using natural elements when doing wedding photography. The rich lush green color of this aloe plant really makes the purple hues in the amethyst ring pop. Photograph by Rincon Images wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
I love using natural elements when doing wedding photography. The rich lush green color of this aloe plant really makes the purple hues in the amethyst ring pop.

I love the photograph I took of your ring, can you tell me what its made of and where it came from?

My ring is one of a kind. I knew I always liked color and I am not too into silver or white gold, although it

is pretty. When Jerod took me to look “just in case” he asked me “If I could have whatever I want, what

would it be?”. I chose a 14k rose gold band with diamonds on the side and around the middle stone. The

middle stone is a pink amethyst stone. When I told the lady at the store what I wanted, she was a bit

puzzled, since every girl is supposed to want a huge diamond. Well, not me. I like simple, elegant, yet

pretty things. What she put together was just what I envisioned. Thanks to Jennifer at Diamonds Direct

in Austin for making my dream ring come true!

I love using a lens flare in this kind of location, it really adds to the romantic sunset mood. This particular location in Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico is on Calle Norzagary.  Photography by Rincon Images wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
I love using a lens flare in this kind of location, it really adds to the romantic sunset mood. This particular location in Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico is on Calle Norzagary.
My off camera flash made this moody El Morro photograph possible. Having a variety of techniques and a selection of photography equipment makes it easy to have fun at any location any time of day. Photograph by Rincon Images wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
My off camera flash made this moody El Morro photograph possible. Having a variety of techniques and a selection of photography equipment makes it easy to have fun at any location any time of day.

What are you most excited about when you think of spending the rest of your life with your partner?

We are excited for the laughter, peace and love that we will have with each other. Jerod and I do truly

like spending time together. We haven’t gotten into that phase yet where we need our own space and

get annoyed at each other when we spend to much time together, hopefully that day doesn’t come. We

are excited to start a family. We have talked about adopting because there are so many children in this

world that need a stable home! And we are excited for more traveling together!

This was the last spot we stopped during Heather and Jerods engagement photography session. I'm so happy they were up for just a few more photographs. When the sun goes down in Viejo San Juan the city lights come up and make for wonderful photographs. Photograph by Rincon Images wedding photographer Puerto Rico.
This was the last spot we stopped during Heather and Jerods engagement photography session. I’m so happy they were up for just a few more photographs. When the sun goes down in Viejo San Juan the city lights come up and make for wonderful photographs.
Long exposures and Creative Self Portraits – Viejo San Juan Roof Tops

Long exposures and Creative Self Portraits – Viejo San Juan Roof Tops

Check out my portfolio 🙂
I spend most of my time by the sea on the west coast of Puerto Rico, soothing ocean waves and calm breezes. Every so often though, I get the chance to play in the big city. Trips to Viejo San Juan always help recharge my creative batteries. Its important especially as a photographer to give yourself a change of scenery from time to time, it helps keep the eye fresh. On this particular trip I stayed at Da House. A cute boutique hotel above the lively Newyorican Cafe.
The rooftop patio of the hotel is cozy and there is a hot tub. I opted against dragging my lighting equipment up the four flights of stairs to the roof and just used my tripod and a little bit of fill from my on camera flash.  I created a few images around the sky light above the stair case. Those tiles at the bottom of the stairs are quintessential Viejo San Juan tiles and the iron work is iconic of Viejo San Juan as well. The last picture is a long exposure of me playing with an LED hula hoop. I love hooping… after photography it really is the other great love of my life.  I like to use a similar technique when I’m doing wedding photography. I do long exposures during the reception to create trails of light around dancing guests.
Photograph lying above a skylight over a stair case. I love the staircases in viejo san juan… they can be troublesome if you have a lot of luggage but I love the character and old world feel they give to the buildings there.
Photograph lying above a skylight over a stair case. I love the staircases in viejo san juan… they can be troublesome if you have a lot of luggage but I love the character and old world feel they give to the buildings there.
Behind me you can see the lights of Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan). My skirt was blowing in the wind and because of the long exposure its blured.
Behind me you can see the lights of Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan). My skirt was blowing in the wind and because of the long exposure its blured.
Led Hula hoops are too much fun for photography! I like to use a similar effect when I'm shooting wedding receptions. The long trails of light add a sense of excitement and mystery to the photographs.
Led Hula hoops are too much fun for photography! I like to use a similar effect when I’m shooting wedding receptions. The long trails of light add a sense of excitement and mystery to the photographs.

Old San Juan Wedding and Portrait Photographer4