First Video!

I’m excited to share my first video for class! This isn’t something I’ve ever done before, so I’m pretty happy with it :) Thanks for taking a look

Mayan Village At Tulum

 

My final post about my cruise includes my most favorite part of this trip, the traditional Mayan village where we toured and had lunch. This was tucked away in the rainforest and was some of the most peaceful and beautiful land I had ever seen.

These villagers are descendants of the Mayans who lived at Tulum and other places in the Yucatan. They were given the land by the government but have some conditions they abide by. First off they are not allowed to sell any of the land, and they are responsible for upkeep and tending to the land. Another interesting stipulation is that they must replant anything they take from the land to keep it sustained. I found this to be a very responsible and ecologically sound way to live.

These villagers still live in the Mayan traditions, with only the children and a select few speaking Spanish. Most of them still speak Maya and have never been outside of the village unless for an emergency. The children are required to go to school and have learned Spanish from there, but are still raised in the Mayan culture.

We were treated to a specially prepared lunch that included roasted pork and chicken. I am a pescetarian and have the practice of only eating meat if I know who killed it. I was very happy to find that the chicken that was served was raised in the village in a very humane way. I also sampled the pork which was some of the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted. We were delighted to find homemade tortillas on our tables and left the meal filling stuffed and happy.

One of the most special parts of our day was being allowed to see inside one of the villagers’ huts. The mother was taking care of her own children as well as watching over some others. They truly believe that it takes a village, and are very willing to help all of those living in the complex. These sweet young children were so friendly and eager to show us around their one room hut. It is indeed a simple way of living, but one that they love and flourish in.

I was so impacted while at the Village and it is one of the most rewarding and eye opening places I have travelled to. I hope to visit again and spend a bit more time with these wonderful people. If you are weary of going to Mexico I would suggest taking a trip to the Yucatan. I was amazed at the scenery, food, and people. Truly a magical place in our world.

Valentine’s Minis

Valentine’s day is right around the corner! This is one of my favorite holidays because I love celebrating love. In the spirit of the day I will be offering a limited number of mini sessions for a discounted price.

There will be two types of sessions offered, Boudoir, and Couples. If you choose to schedule a boudoir session the location will be private and photos will not be shared publicly unless you choose to. Couples sessions will be at an outdoor location of your choice.

 

Valentine’s Mini Sessions – $100

What do I get?

30 minutes of shooting time 

10 final images 

Online proofing gallery with digital download of all images

All printing rights

 

Boudoir Sessions Only: 

Up to 3 outfits

 

Please email livlyszykphoto@gmail.com to inquire about scheduling

 

 

Tulum Ruins

 

Tulum is absolutely amazing. I can’t even begin to explain to you how incredible it is to stand in the same spot as the Mayans did so many thousands of years ago. Tulum is the only excursion we chose to do through Carnival. I am so glad that we chose this particular excursion because it gave us enough time to enjoy Tulum but also let us visit a traditional Mayan village to eat lunch (I’ll be blogging about that next!).

Tulum is located in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and is one of the most popular based purely on it’s location next to a gorgeous beach. Tulum sits on a cliff and boasts spectacular views of the reef below. The Mayans even were innovative enough to carve out part of the reef, allowing small boats to reach their shores. I was particularly impressed with how well kept these ruins were. I know sometimes people visit ruins that are just piles of rubble and don’t really resemble the structures they once were. The main temple of Tulum, as well as many other important buildings, are in pristine condition based on their age.

Our tour guide Paco provided us with so much knowledge of the traditions of the Mayans and how important nature and the cycles of life were in dictating their way of life. I am very interested in the moon cycles as well as how nature plays into my spirituality so the information I learned really resonated with my beliefs. We also were reassured that the Mayans never predicted the end of the world, so no need to stock up and build a bunker anywhere ;)

 

Playa Del Carmen

 

Playa Del Carmen is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world, and it is no surprise why when I saw the beach and sunset here. We were traveling to Tulum and stopped in Playa Del Carmen on our way. Our amazingly knowledgable tour guide Paco informed us that even just 15 years ago there was very little on the pristine piece of the Yucatan.

These days millions of tourists visit the playa each year, they are enticed by the white sand, warm sun, and lots of tequila. If they had the experience I had while there then I know why they aren’t disappointed. The sunset we saw while on the playa was absolutely gorgeous. My mom and I had been trying to catch a sunset while on our trip and the weather never really cooperated, so this was well worth the wait.

I was so fortunate to be there on such a beautiful day and I am already making plans to go back soon, I never would have thought I would have fallen in love with a place so quickly. I encourage everyone to try and make it to Playa Del Carmen at least once, if my short visit was any indication, I know you won’t regret it!

Grand Cayman

 

I was lucky enough to go on a cruise with my mom this last week and I am so relaxed coming back! Our carnival cruise took us from Tampa to Grand Cayman, and then Cozumel. I will be posting photos this week from our stops and first up is Grand Cayman.

We didn’t have an excursions planned for this stop so my mom and I decided to get off the boat and explore a little. The port of Grand Cayman is not super big, the island itself is quite small and most of the parts that are prettiest are a short taxi ride away. We decided to stop at a outdoor bar along the shore and while we were headed over there I stopped to photograph this fisherman. When I asked if I could take pictures he was so nice and friendly. The main catch for the day was red snapper, a delicacy in the islands, the bright fish made for some very beautiful images.

I will be posting sets from our trip throughout the week so keep checking back for more photos! I am so excited to share my experiences with you, especially since it started snowing here in Michigan today. We can all warm up a little just by looking at these photos.

Collaboration with Spectrum

 

This project was a collaboration with Spectrum Innovations and photographer Kaylee Dall. We were tasked with capturing the essence of this prototype and we had so much fun doing it! I’ve never really worked with product photography at this scale before so it was a welcome challenge. I hope that the innovators at Spectrum Health are just as happy as we are.

Balkema Family

 

The Balkema’s are long time family friends and I was so excited to work with them to surprise their dad Chris with these photos! We went out on their beautiful property and had some fun with the animals. As you can see we had a great time! All three of them were so easy to work with and have some of the most radiant smiles. I’m so glad that I can finally share these wonderful images with you, they are most definitely some of my favorites!

Thankful

It has been a little while since I’ve been on here to update you all on things. Life has been hectic, with working, clients, school, and trying to find time to relax. I am heading into the slow season, which will bring a much needed time of relaxation and rejuvenation. I absolutely love what I do, but everyone needs a break.

School seems to be taking up most of my time these days. With 3 studio classes my time is stretched thin with multiple projects going at the same time. However, I am very happy with the work I’m producing and can’t wait to show you what I’ve been doing these last few weeks.

One of the most exciting projects was for my Studio Photography Class. I was given a food photography assignment and decided to go with the idea of vegan thanksgiving. I love thanksgiving food, and with many of my friends being vegan, and me trying to be more mindful with what I consume, I thought this would be a perfect subject.

All of the food was delicious and cooking it helped give me time to reflect on all that I am thankful for. I am so lucky to be living in a city that I love, with people that I love, and going to a school that I love. Not many people are that lucky, and for that I will always be thankful.