Photo of the Day

30 Rising Star Daniel López Pérez Photography Harnesses the Sun

November 14, 2019

By Jacqueline Tobin

© Daniel López Pérez Photography

Throughout the month of November, our Photo of the Day series will be taken over by each of Rangefinder‘s newly minted 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography in 2019. The 30 honorees are featured in our November issue, and each of their full, 30-photo submissions, reviewed by the competition judges, can be found in our online gallery. For more behind-the-scenes insights, follow us on Instagram.

Daniel and Melissa, of Daniel López Pérez Photography, love to tap into their bold and playful style, especially, they say, when it comes to color. “It would be really hard for us to work in Guatemala and use muted tones,” they say, “so we have found ourselves sticking with a fun, colorful vibe since we started working here.”

They also both love solid lines and a well-composed photo. “It’s when you get one of these images in your viewfinder and say to yourself, ‘Hell yes,’” they say with a laugh. Minimalistic in their gear, which is Nikon based, they also like to incorporate a bit of photo-j into their style after the portraits are done.

Below are their behind-the-scenes insights on three of the photos from their submission this year.

This year was one of the first times that we started to feel really confident shooting in direct sunlight. Since Guatemala is so close to the equator, the golden hour is much shorter compared to the U.S. and Europe, so very often there are moments from wedding days in which we are shooting with the intense sun directly above us. Not only did we have the bright sunlight for this first look on Lake Atitlan, we also had some unplanned observers hanging off the dock, which just added to the drama of the moment. It’s challenges like these that teach you that there is only so much planning that you can do in wedding photography—the rest is just rolling with it. 

Moments like this are some of our favorites from wedding days. Common sense might tell you to stop shooting when there are no happy or joyful faces, but we love capturing the essence and mood of that time right before the ceremony, when the energy is tense and the couples’ nerves might be on edge. These moments make for a more photojournalistic and artsy style of photo, something you might see in a gallery rather than printed on someone’s living room wall. 

This photo exemplifies a lot about our style: stark lines, bright, bold colors and a head-on perspective of a couple in a beautiful place. We shoot a lot at this venue. The architecture is so unique and it’s always so interesting how a venue can change its light and character from one day to the next. The beautiful Guatemalan sky and the shade that splits the building in half make this one of our favorite images ever of this location in Antigua, Guatemala.