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The Enamored Couple- Trash the Dress in Curaçao

Category: , | Published on: March 27, 2019 | By Jyona Jacobs

On Saturday the 23rd of February, I had the honor of joining Nestor G. Zavarce, the wonderful wedding photographer, on a Trash the Dress in Curaçao photoshoot. My name is Jyona Jacobs and I am the Marketing Officer for Curaçao Activities; a local tour and activity provider.

 

Nestor G. Zavarce

Our small island has been fortunate to have gained a brilliant, talented, artistic, and professional photographer. Nestor G. Zavarce has been a photographer for twelve years, first, he was a fashion photographer in Venezuela where his focus was on pageants. His connection to Curaçao came from the fact his wife got a job offer here and together they decided, “let’s do it!” The switch from fashion to weddings came from the fact that pageantry is not that popular here compared to Venezuela. Thus, for four years Nestor has been a wedding photographer and is considered one of the best wedding photographers on Curaçao. He even won a reward for Best Photographer in 2018 by Amigoe Express.

I asked Nestor why couples should do a Trash the Dress in Curaçao. For those who don’t know Trash the Dress is a photoshoot event that takes place after the wedding, where you take pictures in your wedding attire and potentially do something different in the attire. The ‘trash’ element comes from the fact that couples, in their wedding attire, take pictures without concern about ruining their attire. On the wedding day, brides are focused on maintaining their wedding dress and ensuring the dress remains pristine throughout the day. The ‘Trash the Dress’ shoot can happen whenever the couple feels like it. There isn’t a set time for this trend and it’s sometimes a few days or years after the wedding. A whole day of pictures can lead to 50 or more pictures.

 

The Newlyweds

Flamur and Silvana were married on the 16th of February at the picturesque Santa Barbara Beach Resort located on the East side of Curaçao. At the time of the photoshoot, they have been married for a week. During the wedding, it was difficult to take pictures and the couple wanted wedding pictures of not just Santa Barbara but wanted to see Curaçao back in their pictures.

The couple met in the Netherlands when Silvana was a student. A mutual friend introduced them and they have been together for 14 years, as well, they have two children together. 14 years! Flamur came to the Netherlands in 1993 as a refugee from Kosovo and he told me that he is “living his dreams and has nothing to complain about.” As a child, as a refugee, he never could’ve imagined achieving his dreams and to be able to overcome the hardships of his youth.

I asked both Flamur and Silvana when they knew that they loved each other, their answer was endearing. Apparently, very early on in their relationship, within the first few months, that they were in love. Silvana told me that she knew “after a few months… he was so caring.” Her mutual friend introduced her to Flamur after she told him she was looking for a real man and so she got Flamur’s number. After three months of talking on the phone, Flamur knew he loved Silvana because of “her laugh and voice.” It led to him wanting “to hear it more, to wanting to talk to her for hours” that was it for him. For their wedding and successively the photoshoot was planned by Flamur. He “did everything for Silvana” but when “their children walked down the aisle, as Silvana walked down the aisle Flamur fell in love again, “I didn’t expect it as it was all for her… to make it special for her.”

 

Why Curaçao

I asked Nestor why couples should pick Curaçao as their wedding destination or why anyone should come here. He said it is all about the water and the clear ocean that we have here on Curaçao. That “you don’t get it anywhere” and as a “tourist in the water, with your goggles, it’s clear. You can see so much. It’s not something you get in Spain or the Netherlands.” He went on to explain that the culture or atmosphere here on the island is calm and relaxed, “this is something everyone wants.” Furthermore, it is warm here on our tropical island and “most people are warm”. What is even more important is that Curaçao is a stunning place for pictures, even “every sunset is amazing, always different, and even when it rains,” which is something Nestor believes.

Flamur has traveled all over the world for work and Curaçao is where he decided to settle. He shared with me that “Curaçao has all the ingredients to be extraordinary and has the scars, the signs of life.” Together with his family, they have lived here for four years. Silvana shared with me that they both wanted pictures of Curaçao, to cover the highlights of the island, and carefully selected each location or places important to them.

 

Punda, Willemstad

Once on the famous Queen Emma Floating Bridge, as it rocks with the current, Flamur and Silvana held hands. As soon as their eyes lock, they are smiling, completely enamored with each other. It was endearing to watch Flamur and Silvana get lost in each other, no matter the pose, or where they were standing. In these moments it is clear as day how much these two love each other. During the photoshoot, wherever we were, people walking or driving by stopped to offer their congratulations. It was memorizing to see Nestor in action, he has a great trained eye and could tell from the location what would be a great shot.

Silvana and Flamur picked Punda as a stop for the photoshoot as it truly represents Curaçao with the colored houses everywhere. Our stop in Pietermaai was at the iconic blue Scuba Lodge, which is a favorite spot of the couple. The final stop in Punda was the artistic and vibrant Scharloo. This part of Punda is known for its magnificent and breathtaking street art. I could not take my eyes off one of these artworks that was on the side of a building. It was of a son sitting on his father’s shoulders, with these blue colored fish surrounding them, each holding a fishing rod, and a bright sun was shining down on them. It was beautiful and this was the first time I ever saw it! Flamur and Silvana got a chance to take a fun picture with this as the background.

Hato Caves

After leaving Scharloo, Punda we headed North towards the airport as our next stop was the Hato Caves. Flamur had a true desire for unique experiences and wanted to take pictures in the caves. The Hato Caves represent a different part of Curaçao; as they symbolize the natural and rugged terrain of the island. When they first visited the truly impressive cave, it left a great impression. Flamur felt that it would make an impressive background for the pictures. This was my first time visiting the immense cavernous Hato Caves and I couldn’t agree more with Flamur, the caves left an impression. Within the cave are several large cavernous chambers, with tall high walls, dripping rocks that are formed by the water coming through them, and it was amazing to see Nature’s design. Nestor was very excited for the opportunity to take pictures in the Hato Caves, as it was also a dream of his.

The caves were humid and dark inside, which made taking pictures difficult in the sense of getting the right lighting and angle. The work that goes into taking these winning shots was immense! Nestor is passionate and it was clear he was excited to be taking pictures in these caves. The caves speak for themselves and the results were amazing with the effects of manipulating the light.

 

Wacao

After leaving the Hato Caves, we headed straight to Wacao Shooting Range. My first impression was that the view was stunning! In the distance, to my left, I could see the white foam of the waves and to my right was the bay which was scenic. You could hear the power of the waves, feel the strength of the wind, and smell the salt of the sea. Continuing with the theme of this photoshoot, to take pictures in unique locations, Wacao was perfect. As Flamur said “it’s an area never used by others. It’s private, with limited access. That makes it unique to us.” As we moved to the other side of the bay, closer to the wild coast, where we could see the sea crashing into the cliffs, the strength of the waves was insane. As we were leaving the range, we passed this meadow, full of vibrant and vivid green yellow bushes as far as I could see. Nestor instantly stopped and said he wanted, no needed, to take pictures here.

 

Blue Room and Santu Pretu

The last location of this extraordinaire photoshoot was the enchanting Blue Room Cave, hidden in the South West Coast. We drove to the cave by going into the private property of San Nicolas Abou and drove down the off-road paths to the coast. We first stopped at Boca Hulu with its stairs heading down to the shore. At the bottom of the stairs is a small beach with soft white sand, turquoise blue water, and coral reefs. The only sounds I could hear were the birds and waves, it was so serene here.

We headed to Boca Fluit, which is otherwise known as the Blue Room. The Blue Room was as enchanting as I remembered. I will never forget how the cave lights up it creates an ethereal quality to the Blue Room. It is like being transported to a whole other dimension. After over an hour of taking pictures in the Blue Room, we headed straight to Santu Pretu (Black Sand), which is a beach of small black rocks and here we watched the sunset. Silvana and Flamur entered the water to pose once again, for the last time today, to take captivating pictures with the sun setting right behind them.

 

End

At the end of this Trash the Dress in Curaçao I got to see how Silvana’s dress endured all the dirt and sea water. The dress in the end while wet was still stunning, and back to white again with only a few black pebbles on the hem. My final question for the day was “how was trashing your wedding attire?” Silvana felt it was “super cool” and Flamur thought it was “wonderful, unique, great day and fun! Absolute.” For Nestor it was “something I have never done before [the caves].” This photoshoot created many unique and memorable experience for everyone involved: the couple, photographers and me, the writer. It was everyone’s sentiments that it was a perfect but a long day.

The best moment for everyone was when we were in Wacao, in the meadow of light green bushes, Nestor so into the shot that he went to lay down on the bush for that perfect angle, well he wanted to but ended up falling in a hole instead. Reminiscing about this moment made everyone laugh and smile.

All good things must come to an end and so must this epic photoshoot. The pictures that were taken highlighted all the elements that represent Curaçao. From the picturesque Punda, to the impressive Hato Caves, the wild coast of Wacao, to the natural beauty of the South West Coast, and to the magical Blue Room. This was an experience I shall treasure, moreover, it was a privilege to get to know Flamur and Silvana and to tell a piece of their story.

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