A talented wedding photographer must be an expert in telling a story. From the couple's most intimate stares, to the guests' laughters and tears, Adriana Rivera knows how to capture the important moments of a couple's ultimate love story.
Adriana's love for storytelling was born from a young age inspired by her great-grandmother's love for travel and antiques -- she has been nurturing it ever since. Read on to discover how her journey began, her favorite destinations, and her tips for ideal lighting and compostion.
Tell us about your introduction to the world of photography? What inspired you to start on this journey?
My great-grandmother, with whom I had the privilege of growing up and living next door, had an immense influence on my journey. She was a remarkably eclectic woman, radiating the best energy, sense of style, and passion for the arts and travel. I was mesmerized by all the items she collected from her travels, her photo albums, the stories she would concoct to ignite my imagination, her kitchen's black and white checkered floors, and her room adorned with infinite mirrors, musical instruments, and antiques. She allowed me to develop a profound appreciation for living creatively.
I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a double major in Photography and Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010. Shortly thereafter, I relocated to New York City, where I spent five years working with some of the most talented creative directors and photographers in the commercial fashion photography industry. Today, I am a destination wedding photographer, dividing my time between Latin America, the American coastlines, and the global destinations of my couples' events.
- What is your favorite destination for a Summer wedding? And for Winter? Tell us why!
- When it comes to a summer wedding, my top recommendations would be the picturesque landscapes of the south of France, the captivating charm of Greece, or the timeless allure of Italy. These destinations offer stunning natural light, the best energy and an undeniable romantic atmosphere that envelops you in its magic.
- For a winter wedding, my heart goes to Paris – a city that becomes even more cinematic and nostalgic amidst the twinkling lights of December. And for those seeking the breathtaking beauty of snowy landscapes, Aspen steals the show with its majestic mountain views. The mountaintop wedding deck at The Little Nell is truly unparalleled in its grandeur.
From a photographer's standpoint, what should couples look for when choosing where to take their couple photos?
I love this question! I recommend selecting a destination you both have longed to explore together, allowing you to craft a beautiful memory in that special place. Alternatively, opt for a location that already holds significance in your relationship. The location should genuinely excite you.
In terms of the aesthetic and the vibe you're looking to create, it’s important to note locations and outfits go hand in hand. The environment brings a climate, background, and feeling that you need to consider. What you wear should complement that. It should all come together to align with your history or the life you want to create.
I recommend selecting a destination you both have longed to explore together, allowing you to craft a beautiful memory in that special place.
- What is your favorite time of the day to shoot weddings?
- In the morning during the getting ready period of the day, as well as during golden hour, which falls approximately an hour before sunset, both times provide ideal soft, glowing, beautiful light.
- The best advice I can give my couples to maximize their wedding photography timeline and have the best light would be to plan to have a first look. A first look is extremely important in creating a wedding day where you can enjoy the natural flow and rhythm of the day from one moment to the next. The first look allows all portraits (couple, family/group) to be taken prior to the ceremony, which in turn allows you to stay in the moment (physically and mentally!) after saying ‘I Do’ to enjoy post-ceremony celebrations such as cocktail hour or a special first toast with your guests.
- As cocktail hour winds down and guests prepare to head to the reception for an evening of celebration, we’ll sneak away for what is often one of many couples’ favorite moments too — the golden hour portraits.
- You photographed our founder Federika’s wedding in Antigua. What were some of your favorite moments you captured?
Federika is truly a joy to be around, you can feel her immense heart when you're around her. I thoroughly enjoyed capturing the intimacy she shared with those nearest to her heart, her family. I loved documenting her gorgeous custom gown by her close friend, Angel Sanchez, and the moments they shared together during the getting ready.
Antigua, Guatemala, possesses an enchanting energy that always captivates me. It was a dream to photograph them amidst the city's awe-inspiring architecture. Their guests exuded extraordinary energy that left a lasting impression on me; I vividly recall capturing that unforgettable exit shot. Equally treasured were the quiet moments we shared as they wandered the streets of Antigua together at night. And their reception was just something else! It radiated warm exciting hues and beautiful local accents.
A first look is extremely important in creating a wedding day where you can enjoy the natural flow and rhythm of the day. The first look allows all portraits (couple, family/group) to be taken prior to the ceremony, which in turn allows you to stay in the moment (physically and mentally!) after saying ‘I Do’.