Vacation Photography in The Bahamas - Nassau & Exuma

We arrived in Nassau around 4pm on Thursday and quickly got a cab from the airport to our hotel, the Marley Resort.  This place was previously owned by Bob Marley! The story goes… In 1976, there was an assassination attempt on Bob Marley. Two gun-men raided his home in Jamaica. His wife was shot in the head and Bob was shot in the chest and arms.  Surprisingly, there were no fatalities. Bob was holding a benefit concert that seemed to align with an upcoming political election and investigators believed the attempt was a politically motivated. This prompted Marley to purchase a house in the Bahamas to escape the political turmoil in Jamaica and it became their vacation home before turning it into a resort and spa.  It is a beautiful property! Unfortunately, It is no longer owned by the Marley family and although it looks great, management was awful. I would not recommend.

vacation photography in bahamas marley resort in nassau front gate
marley resort in nassau bahamas
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Cable Beach behind the Marley Resort

Cable Beach behind the Marley Resort

THURSDAY NIGHT - Downtown Nassau & The Baha Mar Resort and Casino

When we arrived, we quickly went down to the Stir it Up Bar where we each had a few bottles of Kalik, the local Bahamian Beer.  We caught a cab downtown where we quickly realized everything was closed up! After the cruise lines leave, the town shuts down and so we found a tapas restaurant and had a quick bite to eat before heading to the new Baha Mar Resort and Casino.  Similar to the Atlantis, the Baha Mar is a newer, bigger resort on Nassau and it was beautiful. We ended up having drinks and appetizers at a jazz bar in the hotel and we had a great night!

Kalik is the local Bahamian beer!

Kalik is the local Bahamian beer!

Spanish Tapas in Downtown Nassau! We found that the town is dead at night so we found one of the few restaurants that was open.

Spanish Tapas in Downtown Nassau! We found that the town is dead at night so we found one of the few restaurants that was open.

We then headed to the new Baha Mar Resort and Casino

We then headed to the new Baha Mar Resort and Casino

Ada is always winning

Ada is always winning

FRIDAY IN NASSAU, BAHAMAS

The next day, we slept in till about 11:30!  Yikes. But we eventually got up, caught a bus downtown, and had lunch at Smugglers.  This was a local restaurant made for tourists. We had the nachos and more Kaliks and walked around downtown a little before heading back to our hotel to swim at our private beach.  Downtown Nassau was way too overrun with cruise guests for us. On our walk back, we passed by the Fish Fry. Pretty much every local we talked to told us to go here. We had to try it and we ended up eating there on our last day.  We had dinner at the Baha Mar that night at a Coastal Mexican restaurant named Costa. I had the fish tacos and Ada had a Chile Relleno.

Ada sleeping in

Ada sleeping in

More Kaliks at lunch!

More Kaliks at lunch!

Junkanoo Beach in Nassau

Junkanoo Beach in Nassau

Drinks on the beach!

Drinks on the beach!

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The Fish Fry in Nassau

The Fish Fry in Nassau

Taking the public bus in Nassau - The bus driver was giving a lesson to the young man on the left about how to treat women.

Taking the public bus in Nassau - The bus driver was giving a lesson to the young man on the left about how to treat women.

More beer and water!

More beer and water!

In the water at our private beach (public beach) off of the Marley Resort (the one with the palm tree in the photo)

In the water at our private beach (public beach) off of the Marley Resort (the one with the palm tree in the photo)

Marley Resort Pool

Marley Resort Pool

SATURDAY - EXUMA EXCURISION, PIG BEACH!

The following day was our big full-day excursion to Exuma to see the swimming pigs!  We arrived at the marina around 7:45am and the boat left the dock at 8:30am. It was an hour and 20 minute ride to our first stop, to see Iguana Island where the rock iguanas live.  This was a beautiful place, but not all that interesting besides a few iguanas. Our next stop was Big Major Cay, where the pigs are, and that was another hour and 30 minutes! On our way there, we passed the private islands of Louis Vuitton, Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, and other islands that are part of the protected National Park.

Bay Street Marina in Nassau. The Atlantis Hotel can be seen in the distance.

Bay Street Marina in Nassau. The Atlantis Hotel can be seen in the distance.

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Our boat for the day! It was a rough ride going about 60mph for the 2.5 hour ride out to Exuma from Nassau. The company we booked through was  Harbour Safaris  and “Grouper” was our captain. I would highly recommend!

Our boat for the day! It was a rough ride going about 60mph for the 2.5 hour ride out to Exuma from Nassau. The company we booked through was Harbour Safaris and “Grouper” was our captain. I would highly recommend!

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BIG MAJOR CAY - PIG BEACH

When we arrived to Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Beach, we were immediately greeted by several pigs looking for food.  The story is that these pigs were left here on the island by sailors who planned to come back and cook them but never returned.  The pigs survived by eating food that was dumped by passing ships. I don’t know about that! They sure are a popular tourist attraction and possibly these pigs were left here as a tourist destination.  Either way, the pigs were awesome and Ada and I love feeding and petting them. They basically just want food so as long as you have something in your hands, they will pay attention to you! I could keep writing by it’s probably better if you just look at the photos and videos!  

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STANIEL CAY

After Pig Beach, we headed to Staniel Cay where we had lunch at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.  This was a beautiful island (from what we could see) and they had the awesome little bungalows right on the water that were painted bright pinks, and blues, and greens.  I would love to stay here someday! After lunch, we went out by the dock and watched them feed the nurse sharks. You can also get in the water with them and Ada was the first one in!  

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staniel cay nurse sharks in the bahamas
staniel cay yacht club in exuma
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preparing the shark food at staniel cay in exuma
staniel cay nurse shark feeding
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HAWKSBILL CAY

After Staniel Cay, we headed to Hawksbill Cay which is a protected island that is part of the National Park system.  We had the beach to ourselves and this was my favorite thing we did! The water water perfectly clear blue, white sand and we were the only ones around for as far as we could see.  It was awesome and we got to hang out here and swim on this beach for an hour before heading back to Nassau.

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That night, we headed over to the Atlantis Hotel.  The Atlantis was the first mega resort on Nassau and was made popular by celebrities such as Oprah and Michael Jackson.  I wanted to check it out but we found it was outdated, full of families, and no good restaurant options. We ended up having dinner there anyway, since we were pretty far from anywhere else.  We sat out on the patio and overlooked the marina with these huge multi million dollar yachts.

SUNDAY

The following day, Sunday, was our last day there and our flight was at 4pm.  We slept in and then headed downtown and went to the Fish Fry for some good local food.  We had the conch fritters and fish fingers with local rice. The Fish Fry is recommended by all the locals and it did not disappoint!  We then caught our flight back home and that was the end our trip! It was short, but it was great to get away for some fun in the sun!

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THE GEAR I USED

I took my Nikon D750 and 20mm F/1.8 lens.  I shoot professionally with a Sony A7Riii but didn’t want to bring my main workhorse due to the chances of theft or getting it wet.  I’ve been doing so many family and portrait sessions in Denver so it was nice to put down the camera in a professional role and just capture the story of our trip. There are certain trips I’ve wanted to capture the “perfect” photo and the trip becomes seeking out that instagram worthy picture. With this trip, I didn’t worry so much about capturing the perfect shot at the perfect time in the perfect place. I brought my older camera and one lens and I found that it was enough to tell a pretty good story of our trip. I also had a GoPro Hero7 Black for those underwater shots :)

VACATION PHOTOGRAPHER FOR HIRE

Travel photography is what originally inspired me to pick up the camera and I think that is true for most people. We want to remember the moments we experience on our vacations and a camera is the best way to do that. The problem is that you never get to be in any of the photos. Well not anymore! I am offering travel and vacation lifestyle photography for those families and couples who want their vacation captured in a beautiful, genuine, and authentic way. Hire me as your vacation photographer! Prices are lower than you’d think and you’ll get those instagram worthy photos of you and your loved ones that you’ll cherish forever.

Tim Gillies is a Denver based photographer and is one of the highest rated photographers in Denver. He loves shooting in and around Denver but also loves to travel and experience new places. Hire Tim today to capture you and your loved ones in Denver or where ever your adventure takes you!