ivana rizik

Puerto Rico Photographer

First Engagement Session of 2023 in Old San Juan

Couples, For Your Session

Kicking off the first engagement session of 2023 in Old San Juan with Elliott and Cathay! These two are too cute. They’re from Minnesota, but Cathay is puertorriqueña, visiting her family in Puerto Rico. I’m excited for you to see their engagement session in Old San Juan. I’m also sharing my story of a little bump we ran into on the way to the session. I’ll talk about why it’s important for me to share, along with a couple tips and recommendations to help you be prepared for your session in Old San Juan.

Here’s What Happened:

It’s January 2nd, a Monday, and I’m excited for my session at 4pm in Old San Juan with Cathay and Elliott. I live about 15 minutes from Old San Juan, my plan was to get there around 3pm and walk to the location to be there early. So I prepare my camera bag and leave my house at 2:45pm. I always plan to arrive at my sessions early. I thought it wouldn’t be a problem since it was a Monday, there shouldn’t be too much traffic right? 

WRONG. Again, I left my house at 2:45pm for my session at 4pm and arrived at my session at…… 4:15pm…… I was 15 minutes LATE.

I took a turn that I normally don’t take, because according to Maps it was faster. However, it seemed like everyone was taking the same route and the streets were not made for this kind of traffic. Causing traffic to be still and hardly move. When 3:15pm hits, I’m still staring at the parking garage (my destination). Google maps has been saying my destination is “6 minutes away” for the past half hour, realizing I’ve only moved a few feet, I panic.

I text Cathay to tell her about the traffic, hoping she’s stuck in traffic and not just leaving her hotel. She responds with, “We are driving in, passing the capitol building.” I’m relieved to know she’s close by and that I’m ahead of her. I was finally able to park a little after 4pm and I walked as fast as I could. I arrived to see them waiting for me at 4:15pm…..15 minutes late, I was embarrassed.

Why do I Share this With you?

I learned a couple things with this story. One, is to listen to my gut and not google maps; and two, Old San Juan is just as busy on holiday breaks as it is on weekends. I share this story with you to stress the point that traffic can easily cause you to be late to your session. This can also cut into your session time, especially if you’re already running late to begin with. We can only photograph while there’s enough daylight. So keeping this in mind will help you prepare for arriving on time at your session in Old San Juan.

Don’t Stress, Here are some tips:

First thing to know, weekends are always busy in Old San Juan. There’s a lot of traffic driving into Old San Juan and there’ll also be a lot of people walking around during the session. Second thing to keep in mind, is what time of the year are you visiting? Is it during spring, fall or winter break? Using this example, our session was on January 2nd. I thought, “it’s not a holiday and it’s a Monday so it should be fine,” but I was wrong. Not only are there a lot of tourists visiting but there’s also a lot of locals going to Old San Juan because they also have the time off.

Therefore, I highly suggest you schedule your session during the week, Monday-Thursday. If those days are impossible and you need to schedule your session on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, I HIGHLY recommend scheduling your session early in the morning at sunrise. For those wanting to schedule their session during busy seasons, I would also recommend scheduling during sunrise.

I always recommend you check the traffic on google maps an hour and a half before your session. Making sure to give yourself time to be ready early. Lastly, it might be best to consider taking an uber to Old San Juan. That way you can be dropped off at the location, and save time walking from the parking structure to the location.

Elliott & Cathay

Elliott and Cathay, thank you for your patience in dealing with traffic and waiting for people to walk/drive past you guys to get “the shot.” You two really are pros and the cutest! I’m so happy for you guys and your engagement. Thank you for choosing me to capture your love for one another, Congratulations!

Lets be friends on Instagram!

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