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.

Hawaii 2019

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

Edward Abbey

That quote basically wraps up Hawaii for me. I am drawn to the water the way some are drawn to the mountains or the desert. I am a water baby through and through. I swam before I could walk. I know God through the water and I know myself better after a good swim. It’s the space where I don’t have to think and I think about everything all at the same time. When I swim it’s my time to process, grieve, be. This trip to Hawaii was much needed after a break up with a best friend. I was able to dream again about life and to remember who I am why I’m here. 

Hawaii has it’s way of drawing me back. The last 4 years I’ve lived in Hawaii for an extended time every 2 years. The first time I went for a few weeks with friends I was captured by the magnificent beauty of Hawaii. The steep green lush mountains, the deep blue ocean waters, and the Hawaii culture pulled me in and spoke profoundly to my heart. It spoke about family, that this life may be more about each other than just productivity. It spoke about the water we all come from and to not forget. The second time I went I lived there for 2 months on a farm and visiting sweet friends. It was full and life giving. I learned about myself and the world around me. I learned how to live off the land and live off little. I learned how I was made for warm tropical climates. 

This trip… I learned to be. I learned this life we all live…it really can be that good. Shitty things happen but it doesn’t take away from the sweetness and goodness that life can be. So many of us don’t let it happen. We think- well one thing good happened so nothing else can ever go good for me. Oh but I have tasted a different way of living. I tasted one where you can wake up for the sunrise, get work done, go play in the ocean, have long meals around the table with new and old friends. I learned you can actually satisfy the pleasures of your heart and not feel bad about it. You can soak up all that sunshine and beautiful waters all day everyday. 

I spent the first 3 weeks in Kailua living with a friend who I shot her elopement. She is wild, amazing, and my soul sister. We played, danced, ate, swam, and talked A LOT. We also swam with monk seals out in the wild one morning. It was an experience I will never forget the rest of my life. I photographed for Nalu – a heal bar, a jewelry company- Bones & Bouquets, families, and couples. It was SO FULL. Everyday I feel like I photographed and it was freaking fun. 

Grace and I went to Kauai for a long weekend so I could photograph for Captain Andy’s- a Napali coast boat tour. IT WAS AN UNBELIEVABLE DAY. Hours on a boat, ridiculous views, snorkeling, singing at the top of our lungs while the sun set. 

Then ventured over to Big Island to meet college friends and stay at the YWAM base. It was glorious. We laughed SO hard that week…as I do with my college friends. Boat tour, hikes, worship nights, working out, and good meals. I won’t forget those days together. 

I finally ended in Maui with a dear study aboard friend, Alexis. She is a florist in Santa Barbara so we rightly so did a few shoots. Family, maternity, couples, boat tour, etc. Met up with Flagstaff friends visiting, ate amazing meals, went to nude beaches, drove to waterfalls, swam till my toes were pruney. I left my heart in Maui. I one day will move there and love the Hawaiian life with my babies…until than I will dream of Hawaii for years to come. 

Justin + Laura // Page, AZ

When childhood friends come to visit from Tennessee, we play in the canyons! Arizona is vast, wide, expansive, wild, and beautiful. I cannot get over it, STILL, and I’ve lived here for more than 4 years. I LOVE LOVE LOVE ARIZONA. Justin and Laura fell in love with Arizona too. They met in Nashville years ago when out with friends. It was instant and quick. She from Miami, He from Ohio. They live in Tennessee with their goldendoodle! She is gentle and beautiful, He is hard working and friendly. They make a match that is undeniable.

Alex + Natalie // Flagstaff,AZ

ALEX + NATALIE

Flagstaff, Arizona // Dec 9th

On a chilly December Saturday, Alex, Natalie and I race up to the mountain to watch the sunset. They play around and LAUGH A LOT because that’s all Natalie can possibly do! I love it. She is spunky and he is gentle. They mix each other well. I can’t get over that Arizona sun can you?? I love when two people find each other by random and their lives mix like chocolate chips and flour. We get to make something beautiful out of life with all the random turns, meetings, and happenings. Alex and Natalie have created something beautiful between the two of them and I was honored to photograph it in this season.

Ali + Bryan // Sedona,AZ

Ali + Bryan

Sedona, Arizona // engagement session // Nov. 17th

On a cloudy rainy day I drive down to Sedona from Flagstaff hoping the sun will break. Ali and Bryan are visiting from Chicago where they work and live. Next year they are getting married in Sedona and came out to plan the final touches of their destination wedding. Thankfully, the sun starts to break as it sets and we create magical images that only the sun can do. These two are incredibly in love. You can feel it like rain on your skin. It’s real and tangible. Excited to meet these two again next year along with their family and friends!!

 

Taryn + Ryan // Flagstaff, AZ

Taryn + Ryan

Overlook on 89A // Flagstaff, AZ

AHHH there are not many words to describe the beauty that was created through Taryn and Ryan during our engagement session. Their chemistry is electrifying. From the wind, to the sun, to the cozy coffee snuggles they shared while watching the sunset at the overlook on 89A…it was all too much!!! These two are contagiously joyful to be around. I cannot wait to photograph their beautiful backyard Flagstaff wedding next year in October!