Me llamo Kristen – that’s Español for ‘my name is Kristen.’ 😉
Not too many moons ago I retired from the hustle and bustle of the NYC corporate banking world, trading in my heels for a surfboard and camera in Costa Rica. I love dancing with waves, chasing sunsets, frolicking with my teeny-tiny Chihuahua named Gidget, laughing my butt off, and capturing genuine emotion & authentic love. I’m beyond blessed to call two beautiful places home, Tamarindo, Costa Rica and Savannah, Georgia.
Can I get a hey y’all?! How about a Pura Vida! Read on for the rest!
What if you could bottle up all the things that make your heart sing & remember them forever with photographs?
Not just pictures, but images with authentic emotions and heartfelt connections that help you remember your beautiful moments.
Like the way he gently kisses you on the forehead, the tender embrace from your daughter, a sunset proposal to the love of your life at a magical lookout, or a gorgeous afternoon at the beach with your family.
What if a photographer could capture all of those beautiful moments as naturally as it is to spend an afternoon with your loved ones?
Someone who can capture your natural beauty and tell your unique story.
Imagine a photographer who feels more like a friend who will help you shimmy into your wedding dress, is thrilled to hike to a waterfall to capture your proposal, or who you genuinely trust to run around and play with your children.
With over seventy 5-Star client reviews, these are just some of their ‘making me blush’ reviews…
Kristen really has, what they call “the whole package” – – not only does she instantly feel like a friend, she’s also extremely helpful loosening up a newbie in front of the camera. She gives the best advice when it comes to posture and posing. If you’re looking for exceptional quality and just a plain ole’ good time, Kristen is definitely your match made in Heaven.
– Sarah + Ian
We had such a wonderful experience with Kristen. She made our session so relaxed. She is fun, energetic and easy to be with. The photos were incredible and we have used other professional photographers before with the kids. Kristen has the talent to catch truly genuine moments – nothing is super “posed” about the portraits….you will bring home the type of creative, beautiful photos you see on Pinterest and wish you could have in your home! Highly recommend!
– Casey Family
Working with Kristen was one of the best choices we made in planning our wedding. She was able to really capture the love surrounding our wedding, and we were so happy to have found her. She was very communicative and her turnaround time was AMAZING! We had the photos to look at while on our honeymoon right after the wedding which was a big plus!! We felt like Kristen was a guest at our wedding rather than hired, she felt like a friend immediately and knew exactly how to capture our day. She knew of specific places to take us on the beach during our portraits which was so nice, and made us feel at ease the entire time. If there is one thing you do, book Kristen now, as you will not be disappointed! Gracias Kristen!!
– Gina + Mark
Samba to the Sea Photography was exactly what my husband and I were looking for to capture our wedding day in Costa Rica. From the emails leading up, I could tell that Kristen genuinely cared about what we wanted. She was quick to respond with questions, and on the wedding day, she was professional, friendly and intuitive. This is huge when you have so many things going on, so many little decisions to make. We needed our photographer to take the reigns, creatively guiding us, effortlessly. Kristen did just that, creating some of the most beautiful photos of us. We couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, and will cherish them for the rest of our lives.
– Keeley + Steve
My photographic style is authentic, candid, & natural. I keep it light and focus on those precious, candid moments that naturally occur, whether it be his smile when he looks at you because you two are so madly in love, or your little one bursting into laughter. I may help you into a natural pose that highlights some beautiful natural light or an awesome background, but the magic happens when you start moving out of the pose, your personality shining through. This is when I get all giddy behind the camera because magic is unfolding in front of me. Seriously, I probably will be “ooohing and ahhhing”! I promise you that years from now the love, light, and laughter from the day will be so real that you almost will get to relive it all over again.
Natural light is my bread and butter. I love photographing during golden hour in the late afternoon right before sunset – – the natural light is just so golden, magical, and oh-so-perfect for for capturing all of your beautiful moments. And the added bonus? The potential for a gorgeous sunset sky, because photographing you + the stunning sunset sky is the peanut butter to my jelly. Yep, I really did just say PB to my J! 😉
All the local knowledge.
When I am not dreaming under a palm tree or wandering the mossy Savannah squares, most days you can find me surfing beautiful Costa Rican waves, photographing a breathtaking sunset, or playing on the beach with my Chihuahua, Gidget. I’m a natural light photographer, sunset chaser, and a soul surfer. I am passionate about my work and life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
THE DAY I TOOK MY FIRST SURF LESSON OVER FIVE YEARS AGO IS THE DAY I DROPPED BACK INTO LIFE. UNHAPPY WITH MY CORPORATE JOB, IT WAS TIME TO START BEING PASSIONATE ABOUT WORK AND LIFE AGAIN. IT WAS TIME TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT – – TO DANCE TO THE RHYTHM OF THE SEA – – TO LIVE, BREATHE, AND EXPERIENCE THIS BEAUTIFUL THING WE CALL LIFE. IT WAS TIME TO
P.S. My favorite color is sunset 🌅.
some of my favorite things
Come samba with me!
The cutest Chihuahua.
Dancing With Waves
Live, Love, Surf.
Oak Trees & Spanish Moss
So dramatic. So dreamy.
Did I mention I love sunsets? #sunsetchaser
The original camera where the love all started.
Make me happy.
Timeless childhood moments with family.
Radiating southern charm and romance.
Water soothes my soul.
The Sunset Shop
Prints, Pillows, Postcards…oh my!
Oh, you want to know more?
From a very early age I can remember staring at pictures that my parents took on their worldwide travels and being mesmerized. I could not wait to get my hands on one of my parents’ SLRs. When my mom finally let me use her Nikon, I was ecstatic loading the film for the first time and even more elated seeing my first photographs come to life in front of my eyes in the dark room.
That Nikon SLR instantly became one of my best friends, coming along on every jaunt and worldwide adventure. Gone are the film days, and a digital Nikon DSLR is a welcomed addition to best friend status, but my viewpoint when I look through the camera lens is still the same. The world around me is transformed when I look through the viewfinder. I feel beyond blessed to be doing what I love and living my passions.
Why Costa Rica?
I took my first surf lesson in 2011 and it was love at first wipeout. After two trips to Tamarindo, Costa Rica within a couple of months of that first surf lesson, I was sitting on my surfboard in the Pacific Ocean when my heart whispered I needed to be in Tamarindo. I hadn’t felt that alive in years. A year after my first trip to Costa Rica, in September of 2012, I took a leap of faith and left my job at a big bank in New York City. I hopped on a plane to surf in Pura-Vida-dise and to help Mr. Endless Summer, Robert August, with social media and blogging.
Soon after landing in Costa Rica, I started chasing and photographing the oh-so-magical Costa Rican sunsets every night. After seeing one-too-many ugly postcards for sale in Tamarindo, I decided to take matters into my own hands and started selling my own line of 100% recycled postcards, notecards, mini cards using my sunset photographs. Selling my photographs via my cards inspired me to finally pursue my passion for photography full-time. Sunset chasing with my oh-so-adorable Chihuahua Gidget is now a daily ritual – – every afternoon no matter where I am in the world, I close my laptop and head out with Gidget to chase sunsets. Costa Rica and Savannah so far are our two favorite spots to watch Mother Nature’s magic!
Enough about me...
I wanna hear from you! I would love to know all about those photographic ideas you have cooking, whether it be playing on the beach with your family, wandering the Spanish Moss Squares in Savannah, hiking up to a beautiful waterfall, or capturing the intimate love at your wedding. I know there are countless other awesome photographers to choose from, so how about we grab a cup of delicious Costa Rican coffee and get to know each other? If the fit is right, I can’t wait to welcome you and your loved ones to the Samba to the Sea familia!