maui

postcards from paradise pt. 3


his month has been travel mania!  Dan and I just got back from spending Christmas in Palm Springs with his family and in less than a week I get on a plane to Anchorage to shoot a wedding!  These are the last few photos from our time in Hawai'i, and a little video I made from some of the footage I shot.  I'm no filmmaker like my brother but I do enjoy shooting a bit of video now and then.  The last couple days we got big enough waves on our beach for boogie boarding, which Dan loved.  We also went hiking at twin falls, which is sort of a tradition of ours.  It's a short little hike, but you get to swim in the pools and, if you're brave, jump off the falls.  It was a little chilly for swimming that day, but I felt like conquering some fears so I took the leap.  My mom got footage of it in the video, but I edited out the five minutes of me standing there chickening out before I finally jumped.  


 


 

 


postcards from paradise pt. 2


e've been back from Hawai'i for a couple weeks and it kind of feels like it was all a dream!  A very good dream.  Also, looking at these photos is a little crazy because the day after we got home, Dan shaved his beard clean off!  Ah!  It was a little very unsettling.  I've gotten used to it now, but it's funny how different he looks in these photos!  I think if I lived in Hawai'i I'd have to make a living taking pictures of plants and cocktails, because both are just so much more pretty and vibrant in tropical climes.  But I probably shouldn't live in Hawai'i because I'm sure I'd drink way too many Mai Tais.  Too much of a good thing.
I feel like we're itching for a change of scenery, Dan + I.  Between going to Hawai'i and having time to dream, and talking to people who have been inspirational, we've been talking a lot about moving or just traveling more.  We just chatted with one of Dan's old high school friends who just came back from living in NYC for two years and we were like, "Huh... we could do that, that'd be interesting, eh?"  It's nice daydreaming about living somewhere else for a bit, though I suspect that regardless of where our travels take us, we'll probably end up somewhere in the PNW.  Still, I don't want to spend my whole life in Tacoma.  As much as I love it, I need to stretch my legs and get out for a bit. 



 


 


 

WED // tropical kihei maui bridal inspiration


hen I found out we were going to Hawai'i, I got excited about wearing pretty summery dresses and as I was shopping around for some dresses to wear, I happened upon this one.  It was too fancy to be a casual sundress, but I thought it'd look perfect in Hawai'i and got the idea to pull together a fun little faux bridal photoshoot.  I wanted to have some tropical wedding photos in my portfolio because it's be pretty dang rad to travel to a tropical location to shoot a wedding.  Right where I did the shoot there are actually real weddings all the time!  I saw at least three weddings on the beach at the same spot where these shots were taken!  I can't blame people, It's so gorgeous, especially right at sunset.  We spent every sunset down at the beach with a drink in hand and watch the sun dip into the ocean.  

I wanted an ethereal and a little bit vintage vibe, but with a tropical twist.  I made the bouquet from $28 worth of flowers from Safeway and masking tape, the crown is one I made this summer and brought with me.   The dress is from ModCloth and I had it altered to fit me just right (and short girls, take note!  I didn't cut any length off, so I think it might be intended as a tea length, but it was the perfect length for my 5'1" frame when I was barefoot).  I knew I'd still have green hair, which didn't fit the look I was going for, so I took my black curly wig, added some curled extensions and it was perfect!  It's funny to think that the last time I was in Hawai'i this is what my real hair looked like!



 



 


The dress is actually a bit of a light tan/nude color, and I loved how it matched the sand and how it glowed when the evening sun filtered through it!  With my black hair matching the volcanic rocks and the dress matching the sand, I unintentionally matched my location pretty well!

Since the trip was kind of our anniversary vacation, it was fun to get all "brided up" again and feel fancy.  I think women should be able to get fancy more often, especially us grown up ladies.  I mean, you have prom or homecoming as a teen and then a wedding, but after that there aren't a ton of opportunities to get super fancy.  And I think sometimes we feel self centered or vain getting dolled up, but I say screw that.  You're allowed to feel pretty and get done up if it makes you feel awesome.  I have a friend in Tacoma who does amazing boudoir shoots and I love how it makes her clients feel like bombshells.   I think we sometimes need more glamour in our lives, and if your life isn't full of glamour naturally (which is where most of us exist, I imagine), you gotta make your own!

Something that I love about burlesque's influence on my life is that it's made me love wigs even more.  The other night I was going out to a show in Seattle with my burly-gals and I had zero time to make my hair do anything cute, so I just grabbed this wig, gave it a little twist into a side ponytail type thing, slapped on a Swarovski headband and I was ready to go!  The cheap wigs you get at the thrift store for Halloween aren't what you want, though.  Invest in one or two higher quality wigs and you're good to go!  The extensions I put in this one were a lot straighter than the curls of wig, so I just wet them down, put them in perm rods overnight until the hair was totally dry and voilà!  They perfectly matched the curl of the wig.  I'm eventually going back to black for my real hair color, so I think I might grab myself a redhead wig to keep me from wanting to dye my hair again!


 

postcards from paradise pt 1.

indie tropical maui photographer

t's drizzly and grey outside as I write this, so looking at these photos is like peering through a little window to a magical place.  Sometimes it's bizarre that such a place even exists!  I was excited to bring my camera to Hawai'i and photograph everything.  The colors and textures and light is all so different than the PNW, so it was fun to play around with my camera while we were there.  Everything is so beautiful so of course I took tons of photos.  And way too many sunset photos.  Sometimes I think a sunset is just meant to be experienced in real life, not through photos.  Dan and I got a kickstart of serious wanderlust while we were there.  It's easy to know that exploring new places is just a plane ride away (which still kind of blows my mind), but it doesn't really sink in until you step off a plane and you're in a whole new place, just like that.  

When I was a kid we had a huge family trip to Europe planned and the day before we were going to leave my grandma got in a car accent and was medivaced up to Anchorage to the ICU and we all canceled our trip because we were expecting her to die.  Of course now, like 15 years later she's going on 94, but I still haven't gone overseas and I know it's only a plane flight away.  Dan went on a trip in high school to the UK and a bit of France, but he's been wanting to go back and see more too, so now it's just a matter of making it happen.  We're calling Hawai'i our 3rd anniversary trip, so maybe it'll be Paris for our 4th.

indie tropical maui photographer
indie tropical maui photographer indie tropical maui photographer
indie tropical maui photographer
 indie tropical maui photographer
indie tropical maui photographer
indie tropical maui photographer
indie tropical maui photographer indie tropical maui photographer
indie tropical maui photographer
indie tropical maui photographer indie tropical maui photographer
indie tropical maui photographer
indie tropical maui photographer

kickstart your heart


o, when I was packing for Hawai'i almost all the dresses I brought were white.  Which sounds like a great idea until you have wet dyed hair that will dye anything it touches teal.  Thankfully we had teal beach towels which were perfect for drying my hair without ruining white towels and I was pretty careful so I didn't get green dye on any clothes.  Still, I think next time I go on vacation I'll have a hair color that doesn't want to dye everything in its path.    It was fun to feel like a mermaid on the beach with my colorful hair, though!

I've been to Hawai'i a few times before.  Growing up in Alaska it was where nearly everyone would escape to when they wanted to get away from the frigid winters since it was a short 5 hour flight away and anything else was about the same distance anyway (and not as warm).  This time felt different though.  It was the first time being there as a "real" adult and it was the first big vacation we've gone on since getting married.  We've been on some smaller local trips, or trips back home to Alaska for the holidays, but nothing like a whole week of purely relaxation in a hot, tropical location.  I think both of us were surprised how deeply refreshing and needed it was.  It was like my brain had so much extra space to work on reevaluating life, brainstorming goals, and just having space to feel inspired without needing to manage all the clutter of daily life.  I think as a creative business owner, you're never not working.  Your brain is always tuned into your creative life, but it was great to devote time to being introspective about goals and desires.  To write down ideas, sketch out mind maps, and read books that are motivating.  


 

dress/lulu's :: top/ruche :: necklaces/handmade + courtesy of adorn by sarah lewis
bag/courtesy of handbag heaven :: photos of me by Dan

I also feel like it was super refreshing for our marriage, to just escape to somewhere totally different.  All of our trips in the past three years have been to northwest places or Alaska, nowhere that was totally new and different for us.  I hadn't been feeling super stale in our marriage or anything, but it was amazing how romantic it was to be together on a tropical island, feeling fun and sexy and carefree.  I'm the kind of person who feels guilty indulging in self-care, so I tend to put my head down and just keep swimming, but I'm realizing the importance of coming up for air now and then.  I think that keeping my head down, while it might make me feel like I'm working hard, can end up making me run myself into the ground.  I have to remember that pausing, taking a breath, and bringing my head up to look around lets me re-focus on where I want to go and see where the hell I've been going while my head was down.