Nature Photography in my Garden, Manuel Antonio Costa Rica

Over my years here in Costa Rica, I have hiked into the rainforest countless times, but to tell you the truth I see so much wildlife right here at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love being out in the undergrowth, listening for rustles in the foliage, armed with my trusty camera. But there s something spectacular about being able put down my coffee and get photos like these, from the comfort of my balcony, and being able to share the experience with my family.
This is a collection of photographs I have taken over the last 2 weeks from my home in Manuel Antonio.
Two toes Sloth – Mother and baby travelling between mango trees
Squirrel Monkeys (Mono Titi) – with babies, eating mangoes and relaxing
White-Face Monkey (Capuchin)  – Mother and Baby on the move
Orchid Pollinator Bees – Only there for an hour on one day.
Golden Naped Woodpecker – looks like a pair are building a nest in a dead palm tree.
Chestnut Mandibled Toucan – Back for the rainy season
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – Been round for a few weeks
Scarlet Macaws – permanent residents, thanks to the local rehabilitation and release program
**Please note that all photographs were taken with a telephoto lens (apart from bee photos), so not to disturb the wildlife.
Enjoy and Pura Vida!

Rainforest Elopement – Manuel Antonio Costa Rica 2015

This adventurous couple love getting off the beaten path, and decided to get married in the rainforest of Costa Rica. They had a dream of getting married by a waterfall, and after bouncing around few ideas we decided on the private rainforest reserve of Rainmaker. I met the bride and groom at their hotel, The Mansion Inn, were Monica was just finishing the bride’s hair and makeup. We took a few photos with the spectacular view from the Mansion, then a quick stop at the beach to get just a few photos there, before heading into the rainforest. The ceremony took place be a beautiful waterfall and we got fantastic photographs of the bride and groom on Rainmaker’s hanging bridges, surrounded by nature. A memorable adventure for a wonderful couple…

Wedding Officiate: Rodrigo Campos
Hair and Makeup by Monica

Quepos Billfish Cup – Marina Pez Vela, Costa Rica – February 2015

My latest photo project has been covering the Quepos Billfish Cup, at Marina Pez Vela in Quepos. The tournament is a three-day billfish team event, and a big one, as it’s a qualifying event for the Offshore World Championship, which is taking place here in Quepos in April.
There were 13 boats taking part, made up of fishing teams from the area, fishing primarily for  Billfish (Sailfish or Blue, Black, or Striped Marlin). There was also a category for meat fish (Dorado, Wahoo or Yellow fin Tuna) to get the biggest fish. There was great excitement and anticipation as the boats left the dock on the first day, there was amazing fishing, just look at the results board. On the second day of fishing I got to out on the Billfish with the team from Premium Marine Propellers. What a great day, the energy on the boat was electric, and I was lucky to see 23 sailfish brought in! I was pleased to see with how much respect the fish get treated. The tournament is played to IGFA Rules (International Game Fishing Association) which stipulates good fish practices like not bringing the billfish onto the boat which adds stress.
There were lots of activities on land too, for fishers and the local community. The final awards party was a great night with lots of prizes, music, and belly dancers!! Thanks for letting me join in the fun!

Rainforest and Beach Engagement Photography in Costa Rica – March 2014

This adventurous couple were vacationing in Costa Rica, and wanted to get some memorable engagement photos. I picked them up at their hotel in Manuel Antonio and we drove 30 minutes to Rainmaker. Rainmaker is a private nature reserve, and one of my favorite “hidden gems”. They have beautiful trails through primary rainforest, the park has many waterfalls and hanging bridges…perfect to get some amazing jungle portraits. We then headed back to Hotel Mariposa for a quick change and then off to the Manuel Antonio beach for some gorgeous sunset photos. We had a great day and a lot of fun!

Congratulations to you both…and who knows might see you back in Costa Rica for your wedding!

Locations – Rainmaker, Hotel Mariposa and Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica


Sunset Sail Engagement in Manuel Antonio – February 2014

What an unforgettably romantic proposal!
This couple was vacationing in Costa Rica, when the boyfriend decided to surprise his girlfriend with an amazing sunset proposal. Sunset Sails offer beautiful coastal trips around the islands of Manuel Antonio, they have several different size boat and we were on one of their gorgeous sailboats. We headed out from Marina Pez Vela in Quepos during the afternoon and enjoyed the vistas of Manuel Antonio’s rocky coast with hidden sandy beaches. Dolphins played in the waves at the bow of the boat and at sunset Adam went down on one knee and proposed. It really was a magical trip!

Just in case you were wondering we had to make up quite a detailed story as to why I was there…and it worked! Congratulations and I hope to see you back in Costa Rica for your wedding!

Hasta Pronto!

Architectural Photography – Casa Bamboo Costa Rica 2014

I recently photographed a gorgeous house called Casa Bamboo, the owner wanted some good photos for vacation rental marketing. This luxury villa is located in  a small village called Dominicalito on Costa Rica’s central Pacific Coast, between Dominical and Uvita. The villa has outstanding ocean views, I love the windows in the living room fill the house with light. This house is really interesting with it’s many angles and balconies pointed towards the ocean.
There are many beautiful vacation rental houses in Costa Rica, so good professional photographs can really make a huge difference in the marketing of your vacation rental. Your potential renters can really feel the essence of a vacation home and imagine themselves sitting on the terrace or by the pool watching the sunset and listening to the sounds of the jungle.

Please go to my website to see more examples of architectural photography in Costa Rica

I am now on pinterest too – check out my new photos.


Architectural Photography – Villa Ambiente Costa Rica 2013

I have recently been working on an architectural photography project of Villa Ambiente. This eight bedroom luxury villa is located in  a small village called Dominicalito on Costa Rica’s central Pacific Coast, between Dominical and Uvita. The villa has outstanding ocean views and a beautiful outdoor living space to them.. The cocktail bar looking over the ocean is amazing. The eight bedroom are all set off an plant-filled inner atrium ..tropical living at it’s best!

There are many beautiful vacation rental houses in Costa Rica, so good professional photographs can really make a huge difference in the marketing of your vacation rental. Your potential renters can really feel the essence of a vacation home and imagine themselves sitting on the terrace or by the pool watching the sunset and listening to the sounds of the jungle.

Would you like to stay here? Look here for information on renting Villa Ambiente.

Rainforest Wedding Photography – Rainmaker Costa Rica 2013

This newly married couple tied the knot back at home and decided to bring their wedding gear on honeymoon to Costa Rica get some unique jungle wedding photos. We headed to the rainforest reserve of Rainmaker to get some fantastic photographs of the bride and groom in jungle waterfalls and on Rainmaker’s hanging bridges….love and nature entwined!

Location – Rainmaker, a rainforest reserve located just north of Quepos (between Parrita and Paquita) on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica

Wedding at Hotel Parador Manuel Antonio Costa Rica August 2013

This destination wedding was held at the beautiful Hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. The Parador has beautiful grounds and amazing views of the Manuel Antonio coast. This intimate wedding took place in the morning on one of the hotels private ocean view terraces. A morning wedding is a great choice for the rainy season, as mornings tend to be beautiful blue skies and sunny. After the wedding ceremony the wedding party enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the hotel. Then I took the bride and groom headed to the Manuel Antonio Beach for some romantic couple photos…a great day!

This wedding was organized by the wonderful wedding planning team at  Hotel Parador.

Wedding at Villa Caletas, Costa Rica July 2013

An ivory rose petal aisle over looking the Pacific Ocean, was the scene for this beautiful wedding at Zephyr Palace in Villa Caletas, Costa Rica. The guests were seated in see-through chairs..perfect not to interrupt the ocean view. The bride looked stunning in a gorgeous ivory gown whilst the bridesmaids were in colorful silks. The wedding party then had a wonderful meal the tables decorated in colorful mix of purple and topical oranges. The party then kicked of with music and dancing until late…a pleasure to photograph! Another great wedding organized by Weddings Costa Rica.

Wedding Planner – Weddings Costa Rica
Location- Villa Caletas

Punto de Vista Wedding – Manuel Antonio Costa Rica 2013

What a spectacular location for a wedding, Casa Punta de Vista in Manuel Antonio really is breath-taking. The whole house was decorated in beautiful cream and orange floral displays – another stunning wedding arranged by Weddings Costa Rica! The wedding ceremony took place on the upper level which has a view of the Pacific Ocean looking towards the Manuel Antonio National Park.  Casa Punto de Vista has five levels with views from all the bedrooms – luckily for the guests (and me!) there is an elevator. The reception dinner was held on the level below and dancing was in the ballroom on the ground floor…the band was fantastic!!

Wedding Planner – Weddings Costa Rica
Location – Casa Punto de Vista, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Exciting news is that my Brand New Website is online, please take a look at , also visit my Facebook Page for my latest news. Hope you had a great weekend, John

Beach Elopement – Manuel Antonio Costa Rica January 2013

A sunset beach elopement in Costa Rica just could not be more romantic. This wedding took place on the Manuel Antonio Beach, on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. The weather was looking a little rainy which is very unusual for the dry season, but the weather was on our side with only a little shower after the intimate ceremony.

This beautiful wedding was planned by the wonderful Erin from Oasis Weddings in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

Wedding at Villa Caletas Costa Rica December 2012

Villa Caletas  is spectacular venue for a sunset wedding on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast, the views and the ambiance are hard to beat. This beautiful wedding was organized by the amazing team at Weddings Costa Rica , their attention to detail and creativity once again made a perfect intimate wedding ceremony and celebration. The wedding ceremony took place at sunset on Villa Caleta’s private terrace and the wedding reception dinner was also at the hotel.

Wedding Planner – Weddings Costa Rica

Location-Villa Caletas

Beach Wedding – Manuel Antonio Costa Rica November 2012

A sunset beach elopement was this families pick for their Costa Rican wedding. The bride and groom and their two young boys love the beach, so what better place to get married. We took a few photos on the beach first (incase the boys got covered in sand!) and during the romantic sunset ceremony the boys played on the beach. Erin from Oasis Weddings organized a babysitter and had treats on hand for the little ones, so that Mom and Dad could enjoy their romantic wedding….and get some fantastic photographic memories too.

This beautiful wedding was planned Erin from Oasis Weddings in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

It’s been a busy beginning of the season, lots more weddings, house shoots and nature photos to come.

10 Things I Love about Costa Rica

On my walk this morning I was pondering to myself all the reasons I chose to live in Costa Rica. Having been away for several months, I can see with a new perspective the natural beauty around me as they say “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”

1. Connection with Nature – I can step out of my house in Manuel Antonio and go for a walk in the Costa Rican rainforest, being close to nature is so good for the soul. And not having to get into a car to do exercise is better for the environment and plus it’s easier!

2. Abundant Wildlife – As I am writing this on my balcony, I have a troop of White Face monkeys passing by. Yesterday morning there were 4 toucans in the tree outside my house, being able to share these impromptu experiences with my daughter is priceless.

3. Fresh Fruit at great prices – The day after we got back from travelling we went to our local market and stocked up on tropical fruits and vegetables. We had tons of stuff for smoothies and stirfries for the whole week and did not break the bank.

4. Diversity – Costa Rica is the most incredibly diverse country: geographically  you can find beaches, rivers, valleys mountains, volcanoes, within a couple of hours drive? There are so many different habitats, such as  cloud forest, tropical rainforest, tropical dry forest, mangroves. This give so many wild and wonderful creatures…sloths, monkeys, toucans, iguanas, leaf cutter ants…incredible.

5. Good Honest Slow  Food – Food here in Costa Rica is cooked from scratch, go to a “soda” or a local cafe and the food might take a while but there is no processed food full of additives and hidden preservatives. In our first week back we went to one of our favorites in Quepos “Esquina de Sabor” and my love for the humble casado (typical plate of chicken, meat of fish with rice, beans and a veg) is BACK!

6. Value – The day after we got back one of my cats cuts himself and I had to take him to the vets to get fixed up.  Anaestisa, stitches,  antibiotics, iodine and a cat of cat food was $25… you can’t beat that.

7. Freedom – Being able to trek to waterfalls and pools in the forest without having to sign a waiver is so refreshing! I love the fact that is Costa Rica you can explore and discover. Even though there Costa Rica is becoming a popular destination you can still easily get of the beaten track.

8. Friends – I love the mix of people here, I have good friends from Costa Rica and from all over that have settled here –  We are, as the ticos would say, an Ensalda (Salad) and it makes an interesting mix.

9. The Beach – Costa Rica has over 800 miles of beach, all of them different and beautiful. My local beach, Manuel Antonio is stunning. We were they yesterday afternoon, in the shade under some almond trees, my daughter was running about getting excited making sand castles and jumping waves…good natural fun. And so beautiful, that’s why so many people choose Costa Rica for their weddings.

10. A Healthy “Pura Vida” Life Style – It is easy to be healthy here, food choices are healthy, activities are energetic (in my first week back I have been snorkeling, walking on the beach and in the jungle, swimming and lots of playing with my little girl) Admittedly I have been to a couple of sunset happy hours, but drinking an ice-cold beer with good friends in a bamboo rancho surrounded by plants with an ocean view has got to be good for you somehow..right?!

Anyway I hope you enjoy my ponderings on this lazy Sunday, a little rest before the crazy summer photography season starts here in Costa Rica.

Double Vow Renewal – Discovery Beach House Manuel Antonio Costa Rica August 2012

These two ladies thought they were just coming on vacation to Costa Rica, little did they know their husbands had also organized a renewal of their wedding vows! Randy from Celebrations Costa Rica helped the two gentlemen organize a small romantic ceremony which took place under the palm and almond trees on Manuel Antonio Beach. Both couples were staying at the Discovery Beach House, which is one of the few houses that have direct beach access in Manuel Antonio. After the ceremony and some photographs the fun on the beach, the group returned to the Discovery Beach House for an intimate reception dinner and cake cutting.

This beautiful vow renewal was planned by Randy from Celebrations Costa Rica at the Discovery Beach House in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

And who says men are not romantic?
Have a great weekend!

Engagement Photography Manuel Antonio Costa Rica July 2012

So when a couple tells you they want their engagement photos in the style  of a Tim Burton movie what do you do??

You go for it!

We had the perfect afternoon with dark and stormy rain clouds to give a haunted atmosphere to Manuel Antonio Beach. Unfortunately is was a little too atmospheric and after about 45 minutes Costa Rica showed her true rainy season colors and washed us out. The next afternoon we finished the shoot in more clement weather and got some amazing photos. It’s fun to experiment and do something a little different!

These next 2 photos are identical, The first on is with flash and second without flash and a long shutter speed, amazing how much light is picked up…particularly with a nearly full-moon as we had on this night. I love the grainy-ness of the 2nd photo.

Happy 4th of July! I’m off to shoot a wedding, have a Hot Dog for me!


Beach Wedding – Esterillos Costa Rica June 2012

What a fantastically fun wedding! The bride and groom recently moved to Costa Rica and love to fish. They chose the beautiful and peaceful Esterillos Este Beach which is about 20 minutes north of Quepos / Manuel Antonio for their wedding celebration. All the guests were staying at the Hotel Monterey del Mar. The night before the wedding there was a rehearsal dinner and the sunset was unbelievable! We got some romantic shots as the couple just wanted to enjoy the following night at the wedding, I particularly like the sparkler photos around the bonfire. The wedding day was another glorious day, with another amazing sunset…June can have some spectacular sunsets with the start of the rainy season bringing in a few dramatic clouds. The wedding reception was really fun and I am pleased with how the photos captured the frivolity.
Rehearsal Dinner –


Wedding Day Fun!

Beach Wedding – Gaia Hotel Manuel Antonio Costa Rica June 2012

A beach wedding on a gloriously, sunny morning in June. This ceremony took place under the almond trees on Playa Espadilla; the longest of Manuel Antonio’s beaches. The bride and groom chose a morning wedding as the weather can be a little unpredictable in June, and they chose well the ocean and sky were perfect blue. After the ceremony the wedding party returned to the beautiful Gaia Hotel for the reception and cake cutting.