Whatever you do, wherever you go, use your vacation days. You deserve it.

November 5th, 2013

For whatever reason, so many of us don’t take all of our yearly vacation days. If you’re in this column, why not plan a Caribbean getaway right now, and get the best rates of the year while you’re at it. Make a direct booking with us by November 15, 2013 and you’ll save 60% on travel now through December 20, 2013 with all-inclusive rates starting at US$88 per person, per night, double occupancy. If you prefer a winter escape in the New Year, you’ll save 60% on high-season rates if you travel January 6-February 14, 2014 or March 10-April 15, 2014, US$97.50 per person, per night, double occupancy. The clock is ticking; count up your vacation days and have some fun on Antigua’s best beach by a mile.

Families say “Jolly Beach” on vacation with photographer Abena Barnes ready to capture the shot (Pt.1 of 2)

August 29th, 2013

www.jollybeachresort.comThe pressure of a pretty picture: Such high expectations are placed on professional photographers. And rightly so: It’s your wedding day. It’s your proposal. It’s your family portrait. It’s your memories and there’s only one chance to get it right. That’s why the photographer we recommend to our guests here at Jolly Beach Resort & Spa is Abena Barnes.

Always artistically inclined, Barnes fell in love with the art of photography in high school working on her School Based Assessment project studying the architecture of Antigua’s famous St. John’s Cathedral. She followed her passion and began her hands on experience and enrolled in the Antigua International Institute of Technology where she studied photography and computer graphics. In 2005 Barnes began her career as a photographer working with local professionals and honing her craft taking pictures every day.

Today, Barnes enjoys what she says is a challenging profession and at the same time the best job in the world. She has been there to get the once-in-a-lifetime shot of a nervous groom-to-be popping the question; and there to take a portrait of four family generations together for a wedding. The sky’s the limit and every day is different.

When you are based in the Caribbean’s “Romance Island,” there are a lot of memorable wedding stories to tell, but Abena says that a growing trend for vacationers is to hire professional photographers like her to capture a family vacation memory. This may seem counter intuitive with everyone taking pictures on-the-go with their phones, but she says as fun as those images are for sharing in the moment, they’re not the professional quality that her clients now want as a keepsake or album of their vacation getaway together. And with a professional photographer, everyone in the family gets in the picture! She has done family shoots on the beach as well as memorable sites including Shirley Heights Lookout and Devils Bridge.

For families hiring a photographer on vacation, Abena says to remember three things.

  1. Spontaneous outdoor shoots work best both for the kids and adults.
  2. Let kids be themselves, relax and let them show their personalities, otherwise no one will be happy and that shows in the photo.
  3. Think about dressing up a little for your family vacation photo shoot, those cut-offs may be comfy but might not be very photogenic.

www.jollybeachresort.com