Sunrise Yoga // Kailua, Hawaii

Sunrise at Kailua Beach is one of my very favorites in the whole world. The crystal clear blue waters and long white sandy beach, aids to the most beautiful peaceful of mornings. One morning my dear friend Grace wanted to take some photographs for Lululemon apparel. It was the most perfect crisp lovely morning to shoot a set of three yogis on the beach.

Chelsea + David // St.Thomas

Deep blue ocean waves, palm trees swaying in the wind, rum punch drinks for days. Saint Thomas destination weddings are a world of their own! One that Chelsea and David decided to run away to and get married in. Their love for quality time with their family and friends plus fun ocean memories was a no brainer to why they chose to do a destination wedding.

St. Thomas is in the US Virgin Islands. You don’t need a passport and they use US currency. It makes it really easy to travel there from the States and enjoy some quiet beach time. St. Thomas offers some of the most beautiful beaches with clear blue waters and good food!! Chelsea and David chose to invite only their closest family and friends to attend their wedding. People are important to them so they wanted as much time as possible with everyone. Days leading up everyone hung out and explored the little island together. Their wedding day was magical.

Melissa + Shea // Sayulita,Mexico

SHEA + MELISSA

Sayulita, Mexico // Nov 3rd 2017

 

Imagine this: a hot salt breeze whips through your hair as you walk cobble streets lined with taco stands and giant dream catchers hung for sale. The colors are bright, vivid, and bold. Your friends run up to you with a cold beer in one hand and their swim suit in another. Life seems slower here. Your closest family and friends are all staying in multiple houses close by with only your two feet or a rented golf cart to get you into town. The jungle sways with sweaty leaves and the ocean roars as it crashes against the rocks ushering in a sunset from afar. The food, the smells, the sounds, and the people are all tell you to slow down, laugh, and drink a margarita or… four.

That may be the very reason Shea and Melissa decided to take have a destination wedding in the small hip surf town of Sayulita, Mexico. I mean who wouldn’t want all their favorite people in one place, eating delicious mexican food, and swimming in the Pacific Ocean??

Melissa is very very creative, spunky, generous, and wild.

Shea is very very funny, inviting, genuine, and intentional.

They met years and year ago while going to school in San Deigo, California. They met one night going out with friends and the rest is well…history! From grad school all over the country to their new home in Phoenix, Arizona, these two have a friendship and partnership that has been tested and tried. Each time they come up even stronger then before.

From the gem colored florals, to the geometric details, and the bridesmaids polka dotted dresses this wedding was not lacking in the creative elements. The venue…WOW…Don Dedros Palapa had all the right feels. Cliff ocean views, lush green lawn, and a palapa for dinner! This space set the scene for an ideal experience in Mexico. Every detail was done with excellence thanks to the amazing wedding coordinator, Somer. Each vendor at this wedding I need to add, was amazing. They help to create a beautiful atmosphere for a good freaking party!! I can’t even talk about the food or I might go jump on a plane back down and not come back (i’m not kidding). I think it takes a certain type of couple to have a destination wedding. They must be ok with a lack of control, chill about the end goal, and be mostly excited for friends and family to come from afar. Shea and Melissa made this wedding about their people. The people who have supported them, carried them, loved on them. Let’t just say they have an amazing support system around their new marriage.

Their wedding weekend was also a over a Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos. The whole town came out to celebrate with flags of color, candles, and pictures of loved ones day came before. Melissa, having Mexican roots, was able to celebrate this holiday along side of her wedding day. They even had a whole table honoring the deceased at the wedding with photos and candles. It was a beautiful additive to the wedding celebration. 

I cannot express to you HOW FREAKING amazing and beautiful this wedding was. I could try…but I think the photographs help tell the story better. So go ahead look for yourself and imagine yourself there with the breeze whipping your hair and a margarita in your hand.

Vendors:

Wedding Dress: Shareen // Florals: Flor Mimo // Venue: Don Pedros // Wedding Planner: Somer Studholme with Vida Bonita Events //DJ: Sayulita Musica – DJ Jess // Videography: 3rmemories // Invitations: Made by the Bride herself. Second Shooter who helped me photograph this beautiful wedding: Karlie Colleen Photography. 

Hawaii : Mouna Farm

Mouna means: Inner Silence

For three weeks I weeded, planted, harvest, laughed, swam, watched the sunrise during morning yoga, watered, ate fresh food, and made new friends. Mouna gave me rest in ways I have not experienced since I worked on a farm in Italy. Oh how I miss the simple life where we wake up before the sun rises and fall asleep an hour or two after the sunsets, where we walk everywhere cause no one has a car, and where we spend hours making dinner from food that was just harvested. My heart was filled by simple things like fresh picked guava and nightly dance sessions around the campfire.

I found this farm through a friend who found it on the wwoofing website. WWOOF- world wide opportunities on organic farms. They are all over the world in almost every country. You work for free room and board. Check it out here: http://wwoof.net/   Go check one out! It’s FREE!

Life goes on, it doesn’t wait for you to answer your emails, update your social media, or respond to texts. I have been convinced of this the last month living on the farm away from the internet world that life goes on without me. And the world doesn’t revolve around me or my business. I love my photography business I really do, but it was running my life. I let it dictate my schedule and take over in ways that affect my body and relationships around me. I took back my life from work and re centered it to be about people and rest. Work is an important aspect of life but I believe it should never be your whole life. I’m not normally a schedule or routine person. It’s hard for me to create one and than stick with it. But the couple times I’ve experienced “forced” routine I’ve found myself thriving in it. My schedule was:

Wake up at 6:00am for: alone time, mediation, yoga  

7:30-8:00 Breakfast with everyone in the kitchen

8:00-10:00am- water plants

10:00-noon- work the land in whatever way was needed on that day

12:00-12:30pm- lunch

12:30-3pm- break (usually swimming in the ocean)

3:00-5:30- finish working on projects or watering

5:30-7:00- shower, read, help with dinner

7:00-8:00- dinner and clean up

8:00-9:00/10- campfire and bed

We all have a choice what will run our day. I let my work, emails, to do list run my day for the last year. I was stressed, all over the place mentally, and usually disconnected when I was around people. It took a few days on the farm to break the habits of checking my phone every 5 minutes and thinking I needed to respond immediately to emails. But once they were broken my attitude changed and my body was able to physically slowed down.

“Eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired, and swim when you feel it”.Were the words I heard over and over again when living on the farm. My first thought to those statements were; that sounds quite selfish of me and goes against everything I was taught growing up in modern day christian church. Or sports teams. Igorne the wants of the body, push through, strive for greatness which doesn’t come by taking midday naps. But I’ve learned to listen to my body- to what it needs, what it wants, what I’m ignoring because I’ve been told to push it away. 

I’ve never in my life felt more satisfied by food than I have by eating on the farm. We had curry probably every other day with rice and a huge salad. Lunch was usually left overs from dinner the night beforehand. I never once felt my stomach growl, I never once overate, I never once (okay…..maybe once) got hangry. We ate all vegetarian on the farm and now have switched to a plant based diet. I’m not as tired, I think clearer, and I actually feel good!!! If you have known me the last couple years I’ve struggled with food allergies and new intolerances. I’ve been trying to figure out why the heck I feel awful all the time or have a headache or literally can fall asleep at the table in a second. I have not figured out exactly whats going on but I can tell you I feel 60% better than I have felt in the last three years ever. Let’s be honest, it probably has to do with no stress as well. But hey I’m working on it!!! So here is to a new lifestyle of finding a morning routine + eating plant based + destressing! 

Oahu Island is beautiful, of course, full of friendly people, good food, and inspiring beaches. The surf is wild and the acai bowls are magical! I have one more week on this island with a college friend than on to- Kauai and Big Island for more adventure!

xoxo-hannah