Kristine and Jim | Melia Caribe | Punta Cana | Destination Wedding Photos

My job includes working vacations, shooting destination weddings. It’s a tough life for a wedding photographer! Five days that turned into seven at a super luxe resort.
So I’m flying to the Caribbean to this fab resort, the Melia Caribe in the Dominican Republic (Google maps link). I’m imagining the fabulous beach shots, especially at sunset. As we’re coming in for our landing, I’m noticing that we seem to be heading for the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola (where Columbus first landed btw) and my heart is sinking as I realize that we’re on the north side of the island facing the north Atlantic Ocean. So what’s the dig deal with being on the north side of the island? They put the beach on the wrong side of the island! I won’t get any strolling-toward-the-ocean at sunset shots. Errggghhh! Instead, I’ll have the sun disappearing behind the hotel property and some trees. This is a fact of life for a photographer. You simply have to adjust and compensate. No matter what the setting or time of day, you still have to find the great moments, the great shots.

The Melia Caribe is huge. Getting to the beach means riding a “train mobile,” and I have to say that these guys must have been trained at Grumpy University. Somebody please tip these guys so they’ll be happier. It’s paradise guys! Cheer up, ok?

I find an area near the lobby that is an obvious setting for photographers, that is if they’re traditional photographers. There were charmingly arranged ponds and pink flamingos (with clipped wings, poor birds!). But I’m looking for something not so “Disneyland.” I’m walking the property in a search for a combination of architecture with its angles, shapes, curves, plus sky and trees, color and light, but unfortunately there was not much of the architecture part. I suppose I’d have to call the architecture “soft.”

Most of the resort is actually a delightful combination of a blue sky and palm trees and that is what I had to work with. Mostly. Don’t get me wrong; the resort is amazing and has a lot going on, plenty of adventures to explore. I’m just giving you a through-the-lens take on the place. I’m looking at it in terms of, “Where are my best opportunities for good shots?” Background, light, the whole ball of wax.

My bride and groom, Kristine and Jim, live in Michigan, so as with some of my clients, I didn’t get to meet them before heading off to their destination. All I had was a photo to find them. Kristine did things by the book and already had her veil on when I came through the door. When you’ve got a whole group of women in one room, all dressed up, the wedding veil helps a lot in finding the bride. Thanks, Kristine!

I had a blast working with Kristine, Jim, and their family. And the whole wedding party. Everyone was simply the best. I’m so lucky; somehow I get the best clients!

And thanks to bad weather in New York (everyone say, Ahhhhhh too bad!) we couldn’t get a flight off the island, so I got to stay two extra days at the resort. I used the time to work on their photos in the pool. Were the photos in the pool, or the bride and groom, or me? You’ll have to check out the photos to find out. The engagement photos are first, followed by the wedding photos, and some real Trash the Dress shots. Enjoy!

  • Marcie (Beach Bum) - March 8, 2009 - 3:42 pm

    These photos take my breath away!! I feel like I was there. Jim and Kristine, you look SOOOO beautiful. I’m so blessed to have been a part of such a fabulous day!! I think the photog’s job is a bit better than mine, since I don’t get to go (wink!). Congrats again and amazing!!

  • qing qing - March 9, 2009 - 12:58 am

    oh, love the last one! a very good surprise! like a little mermaid story…
    btw, you have totally surprised me in your last message (you know what i mean?), blink blink…
    i’m dying to go to tropical places myself, it’s raining here non-stop
    greetings from daniel as well!

  • Jennifer - March 9, 2009 - 2:17 pm

    Joseph – amazing photos! Love the “Thank You” shot – that’s a good idea. These pictures make me even more excited about our engagement photo session this week!

  • Joseph Kohn - March 9, 2009 - 2:24 pm


    Thank you for your help with my travel arrangements!


  • Joseph Kohn - March 9, 2009 - 2:25 pm

    Are you excited? Me too! Looking forward to “Jumping from the Bridge photos” you so much wanted!

  • Leigh - March 10, 2009 - 4:28 am

    Kristine sent me the link last night and I just got to check them out this morning…absolutely breathtaking photos!

  • Jeannie - March 10, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Wow! Kristine and Jim.. once again Congrats! And aren’t we luck to have found this unbelievable photog? After looking at some of your amazing pictures here…just makes me want to have my wedding tomorrow. Heehee. My wedding site will not be anywhere close to Melia Caribe Resort, but I know Joseph will do a spectacular job and I cannot wait!

  • todd pellowe - March 23, 2009 - 10:06 am

    love the beach shot at dusk. you nailed it.

  • Joseph Kohn - April 4, 2009 - 9:03 pm

    Okay, I was able to sneak into Kristine and James theKnot forum page and know everyhting what is going on there behind my back…
    Copied and pasted. Couldn’t restrain myself…

    Your pictures are amazing. You look so beautiful and it looks like it was an awesome time. Congratulations!!

    Wow, I love your TTD pics! And the picture of (what I can assume is) your stepson staring at the cake is really funny :)

    they are amazing! :)

    Beautiful pics! I bet you can’t wait to get the rest of them!

    wow, those are amazing!!


    Those pics are awesome Kristine! You look beautiful and I LOVE the TTD photos too. I really like how the kids are in some of the pics with you.

    I got chills looking at those pics! SIMPLY AMAZING! Not only was the photograhpy superb, but your resort looked fabulous! CONGRATS!

    Wow your pictures are GORGEOUS! I’m envious!

    Too funny- I just noticed that one of your guests is wearing a dress that I also purchased to wear on our trip!

    Your pictures at fabulous!! Your photographer did wonderful work, you look beautiful and the resort looks amazing. The restaurant on the beach where you had your reception looks so cool!

    oh gosh, Kristinemarie! There are so many things I could say about your PHENOMENAL pics- they are truly some of the best I have seen. It looked like it was the best dam* wedding EVER!!! wow…………….

    Your pictures are amazing!!!

    Those all look amazing! It looks like you had a wonderful time:)

    wow those are some gorgeous photos! your photographer is seriously one of the best i’ve seen.. wow!

    They look sooooooooo good!! Congrats!

    It looked like in one of the pics that you had a slide show presentation going…how did you arrange that ahead of time with the resort?

    OMG those are amazing photos!!! Your photog took some very unique shots. Simply beautiful!

    Your pictures are great!!! Everyone looks like they were having a blast!

    Wow…the pics are gorgeous!!

    Wow, those turned out amazing! You looked wonderful, and so happy :) Congrats again.

    Your photographer did an amazing job! Great pictures. You guys look amazing!!

    Wow! Your pics are fabulous Kristine! I love the b/w one of you and Jim kissing with palm trees in the background. Stunning! =) Can’t wait to see more!

    Great pics! I haver never seen a lobster that big :)

    Your pictures are freaking amazing!
    Honestly, some of the best pictures I have ever seen. They are beautiful, and you guys look so happy and wow, I am just really impressed. Love your photographer!

    Kristine, you wedding could not have been any more beautiful!! You must be sooo happy! Your photog got some amazing shots.

    Wow those are freaking awsome…I may have to add some of those to my must takes!

    WOW!!! Your pictures are fantastic!! Your photog did an amazing job!

    Everything looks amazing! Looks like everyone had a great time. Those pictures are making me so excited for my own wedding :-)

    Those pics are amazing and you look beautiful! I can’t wait to see more =)

    Now I know what is really going on hehe….. JK

  • Pammy - June 11, 2009 - 8:36 am

    Thanks for sharing these amazing photographs. It must have been a perfect wedding.

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