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.
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.”
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.
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.