Sarah + David by Clarita Castro

If you could freeze time and go back to a moment, a different season of life, just to relive it, would you? I think most of us have a favorite memory,  a favorite moment perhaps, in which we would give anything to go back and simply just live it again. Photography is that way. I choose to be a photographer so that others may re-live moments buried in the past. 

We arrived in Santiago, Chile more than a year ago, like I had mentioned in our Friday introduction post. What I did not mention were the people that welcomed us to help us get started and situated in our "new home". Everything was new for us but people like David and Sarah (Sanchez) helped us get around Santiago so that we wouldn't feel completely lost. When we arrived, the Sanchezes had already been here for a full year. We knew our time with them was limited so we took advantage of what was left of  their term. Together, we did ministry, had meals, walked around the city, laughed... you name it. When the time came for them to say goodbye we knew that we were going to miss having a couple our age to hang out with. When Sarah asked me for her last request I couldn't deny it. What's more, her idea for this photoshoot captivated my heart. She simply wanted to walk around the city she grew to love and capture the feel of Santiago. The Metro, la micro, Providencia, Santiago centro, these are words that will never be forgotten; these are words that were expressed through this photo shoot. 

These were taken back in April ya'll. And yes, I know I'm late, but here's my point...When I saw these pictures again so that I could edit, I couldn't believe what I was feeling. Through my editing I kept on telling myself, wow... this is like going back into the past. This is what I want for my family and I! With joy, I gave them my best. I hope that Sarah and David get to feel Santiago through these pictures. Viva the Sanchezes, Viva life's good memories. 

Friday Introduction by Clarita Castro

Hello! My Name is Clarita Michel Castro, but friends call me Michel (pronounced as michelle). I am 29 years old, 8 months pregnant, and have a wonderful husband named Brian, AKA my partner in crime. This December we will be married six years! Woot woot! We are a husband and wife team, willing to get creative with our clients in order to reveal the extraordinary.  

 

It’s been more than a year since we have last introduced ourselves. When I say “we” I mean my husband and I. But, as many already know, we are adding a new member to the family: our beloved Jovie Grace. She is due November 14, and we cannot wait to meet her!

Today I want to Introduce myself to those who may not know anything about us, or those who simply haven’t heard from us directly for quite a while. I am excited to write a small summary about what has been happening in the last two years, along with sharing some of my maternity pictures that my awesome husband took of me the other day. 

 

THREE YEARS AGO: 

About three years ago, we started the process to become missionaries. We did not know that it would be to Santiago, Chile. Yet, after much prayer, we believe that God showed us our next step. We were to work amongst university students in the heart of Chile. We took this step of faith and gave it our all. You can click here to read about our work in Santiago. Then, after getting approved and raising our budget we headed to Central America in January of 2016 for language training. We lived for about eight months in San José, Costa Rica. Brian and I learned so much during this time. We spent much time in prayer, preparing our hearts for Chile, and learning how to improve our language in order to be effective in our ministry. Two trimesters flew by and it soon became evident that our lives were going to change yet again. Adjusting to a cultural setting (even for an immigrant as myself) was hard to get used to! There were days where we questioned our motives, were we asked, “Is this where we should be?”. Oh but how wrong we were to ask such questions. God had directed us, and with that, our trust in Him increased as time went by.

 

OUR CURRENT TERM:

We arrived in Santiago on August 14, 2016. It was a very cold morning, very different from the tropics of Costa Rica. Our lives had changed again. It was another time of transition, cultural adjusting and new experiences. Pretty soon we had a schedule and met new friends. We were part of a team that consisted of other missionary couples/ families that had left everything in order to serve Jesus. Though physical family was far away, we found a spiritual family willing to love us and teach us along the way. During this past year and a half we have ministered to college students and have been involved in a city church plant. There have been highs and lows, but overall our time in Chile has been full of JOY. Then January 2017 came, and we began to think more about children. What if? We would ask. And so we decided to try and voila, we got pregnant pretty fast! March 11, 2017, we found out that the Castro family was going to have a new addition. By mid June, we found out this new baby was going to be a girl. After a long process of deciding on a name (it was difficult) we named her Jovie Grace. Jovie, because her name means cheerful, joyful, jovial. Grace, because we believe (and pray) God’s grace will follow her wherever she goes.

During this term of two years we have still kept in touch with our photography. It just looked a little different. Instead of constant families, weddings, engagements, we ventured into street, nature, and landscape photography. Along the way, we were able to bless families and couples with pictures as well. All of this with no profit gained. Our “clients” would bless us with food, a nice warm meal, a nice cup of coffee, and this just made our heart cheerful. Yet, during this time we missed our clients. We missed our photography. This was a GOOD different, but we knew we wanted more. Hence, we have decided to return to the States and pursue photography. 

WHAT’S NEXT?

Brian and I plan to return to the States by January 2018. If everything goes as planned we will be prepared to start accepting weddings February 2018! We have big plans coming to our photography and a possible side business (more of that next year ;) ). If you are a couple who is looking to get married in the year 2018, please reach out to us…we would love to have you as our client on our “return” back to the states. Please check out our portfolio and the different categories we have. To contact us, simply fill out our connect page form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

It is never too early to start choosing your wedding photographer! We hope to be part of your story…

Now to share my baby bump! Since we have been a tad busy lately we did not have time to hire another photographer, and well time is running out! Sadly the hubs is not in the pics, but I give all the credit to him, since he listened to my every request and picky comments! Here I am eight months pregnant! 

 

 

 

 

 

Constanza + Francisco by Clarita Castro

Kona (short for Constanza) and Pancho (short for Francisco) got engaged on the first day of this year, right at 12am. You can imagine how special it was and of course, it doesn't come as a   surprise, that this is what they had been waiting for all their lives. This November Kona and Pancho will be getting married on the outskirts of the heart of Santiago, Chile. For their engagement session Kona wanted something special. The awesome thing about living in the southern cone is that we can have snow in July. Our winter, is your summer...

For this occasion we drove about two hours outside of Santiago to get as close to the Andes as possible. El Cajon Del Maipo was a perfect location for this small adventure. On this day, the high was around 50 degrees, and towards the evening we got close to 16 degrees Fahrenheit. It was not below zero, but we definitely got a small taste of what it would feel like! Kona and Pancho were awesome models, attracting the beauty around them to their own surroundings. This has been one of the most epic sessions we've had. It left us wanting more...

As you guys in the states prepare for the fall, let this snowy session introduce you to this holiday season...

Verito + Martin by Clarita Castro

This year we had the privilege to photograph three weddings. It’s not at all what I expected, but it also wasn’t what I was used to. For the past two years we placed our photography on hold for mission work in Santiago, Chile. For the past two years, our lives have been devoted to others. Photography was booming for us back at home, yet we chose to leave it all for what we think matters most: Jesus.

 

Martin and Verito happened to be our third Chilean wedding, and what an honor it was to photograph it. In two more months, we will be in Santiago for a year, and now with our baby girl on the way, we have had to rely on our Chilean friends more than ever. What a joy it was to find that these friends include this amazing couple. Inside and out, they are genuine to the core. We hope to learn so much more in the last few months we have left in Santiago, but this wedding was by far a dream come true. Golden light, a beautiful couple, and lots of love.  You’ll just have to look at the images to see what I’m talking about ;) . 

Barbarita + Eduardo wedding by Clarita Castro

There are different types of clients you face throughout your career. There’s the normal client… who just simply needs you to do the job and we gladly do it. There’s the pinterest client, who wants you to recreate something that is probably not your style. And then there’s the ideal client…the one who lets you do whatever you want. Yet, there is even another type I would add. This is the “personal” one. The client that reaches your heart. The client that won’t let go of you, making sure that they are also serving you for the service you are providing. This last example describes Barbarita + Eduardo. We did not just attend a wedding, but we attended a friend’s wedding. We were not just photographers but somehow we became family.

For this wedding we traveled six hours south of Santiago to a city called Concepción. La Escondida, the venue, was just about 45 minutes away from the city; its name was truly fitting since it was very hidden in the middle of woods. That day everything that could go wrong, DID go wrong. In the morning, Barbarita found out that her grandmother had fallen and injured her knee and was taken straight to the hospital. The grandmother, we heard, was in tears since she was going to miss the wedding of her beloved granddaughter. Time was running against us but Barbarita decided that it was important to at least go visit her in the hospital, taking the risk of her possibly not being let through. However… we did it! In the following pictures to come you will observe joy and love. This day taught me that in the midst of stress and uncertainty it is important to keep on smiling. That’s exactly what Barbarita and Eduardo did on February 11th.

 

God bless them.