The above photography is Marcela, Solaris, and Venice Gregory (all born and raised locals, who know all the cool spots).

 

 

With over 15 years of professional photography experience, this third-generation photographer and son of a well-known local wedding photographer, Solaris became intrigued with this profession at a young age. 

AN INTERVIEW WITH SOLARIS

 When did you shoot your first wedding?

1998. I was 18 years old. I started Solaris Photography upon graduating from the University of Florida in 2003 with a Fine Art Photography degree.

Where did you grow up?

I was born on a house on Solares Hill, which is the highest point in Key West (hence my first name), and I grew up in Key West. My parents moved to Key West in the 1970s. My father is a local artist, photographer, Fantasy Fest body paint artist, & art gallery owner - Art@830.

What was your first job after obtaining your Fine Art Photography degree?

I worked in Miami Beach as a Fashion Photographer for Ocean Drive Magazine and a photographer for Mega Models. Afterwards, I worked for a photographer in West Palm Beach, Lucien Capehart Photography, photographing most of the high-society fundraisers & events at ritzy places, such as The Breakers & Mar-a-Lago Club.

Frequently, I would come down to Key West to photograph weddings, which my father had booked for me. My father has been a wedding photographer in Key West since the early 1980s.

What sets your photography apart?

My vibrant colors, my sunset photography, and my different photography experiences, from high fashion to high-end events at  exclusive venues to beach weddings. Also, the fact that I learned film photography first, as opposed to learning on a digital camera first is a huge advantage and very rare these days. Since my dad is an artist and photographer, I grew up with a paintbrush and camera in my hand. Art has always been a part of my life.

What brought you back to Key West?

I was in town photographing a wedding when I met my future wife, Marcela. Shortly after (as in several weeks later), I moved back in December 2008. We got married in March 2011 in Key West.

How do you spend your free time?

I enjoy boating & fishing. I also love to photograph ocean scenes while I’m out on the boat.  I'm currently selling several of my fine art photography pieces.

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH MARCELA

Solaris’s wife Marcela is the office assistant for Solaris Photography. Solaris is able to focus on photographing and editing, while the details are all being handled by Marcela. They make a great tag team, as you’ll read in the reviews on Wedding Wire. 

Where did you grow up?

I was born and grew up in Key West. I’m a 4th generation Key West native Conch. My father’s mom’s family came to Key West from Cuba in the late 1800s. My father’s father is from Georgia. My father is a local attorney and the only attorney in Monroe County to be inducted into the prestigious ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates). He was also the Federal Magistrate for Monroe County for 25 years. My parents own a coffee farm in Nicaragua and they sell their gourmet, high-quality coffee at local stores (Fausto's) and MarcelaCoffee.com.

What did you study?
Broadcast Journalism at the University of Florida. When I became more interested in film & documentary work, I transferred to the University of North Carolina – Wilmington and studied video production. Wilmington is where they filmed "Dawson’s Creek", among many other films and TV shows throughout the years.

What was your first job after obtaining your degree from UNC-W?

I was a production assistant and stand-in for the first season of “One Tree Hill.” I worked on several other film sets, large & small.

And then I moved to Los Angeles and worked as an agent assistant for a very large, powerful talent agency, Creative Artists Agency.

What brought you back to Key West?

I realized after living away for ten years, it’s where all of my favorite things are -  my family being at the top of the list.   It also made it easier to finish my first documentary, which is about old Key West, “When Paradise Was Ours”. See trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qE2wfzNi_s    My great-grandfather owned a popular Key West ice cream parlor at 1112 Duval St, El Anon. He made ice cream out of the tropical fruit of the island. It was a popular, weekend hang-out spot from the 1930s-1960s.  I grew up listening to my grandmother's stories about dancing at the Cuban Club, which was next door to the ice cream parlor.  Key West is special, but back then, it was an absolute dream place to be. I also produced, “Key West Remembers The Great Depression.”

I then became a wedding videographer and officiant. I own the elopement company Southernmost Bride, which provides officiant/photography packages.  I keep Solaris Photography weddings extremely organized -  by creating photo timelines, reminding brides to create a family photo list, etc., and I answer emails and calls in a timely fashion.

How do you spend your free time?

Besides spending time with my loved ones, I love dancing, swimming in the warm ocean, yoga (especially Kundalini), and watching a well-written film.  I'm really into natural healing so my friends come to me with various ailments.  Summer time is my favorite because the mangoes are in season, and I try to swim in the ocean as much as possible. We are expecting our first baby in July 2016, so this Summer is going to be particularly sweet.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Helpful Key West Wedding Links:

 

Dj's

 

Florists

 

Hair and Makeup

 

Florists

 

Videography

 

Catering

 

Planners

 

Cakes

 

 

 

Solaris Photography's Contact Info:

SouthernmostBride@live.com

(305) 393-0245

(305) 394-3442

309 Whitehead St.

Key West, FL 33040