Venue: Halekulani | Coordination: L-4-Love | Hair + Make-up: Alison Hiyashi | Cinema: Supreme Video Productions | Florals: Flower Girls Hawaii | Music: Flute A La Harpe + Scotta Imanaka | Emcee: Slick Vic
Maybe it was the early wake up call, accidentally putting espresso roast in my coffee pot instead of decaf or the added SPARK energy drink I totally got sold from my Advocare dishing friend, but I’m a little ball of oddness today. A tightly wound, somewhat frayed collection of energy and excitement mixed with endless wild ambition for the dreams that are to come set to Beyonce’s 7/11…resisting every and all temptation to Periscope myself while singing. Work! New ideas! Sunshine! Spinning while my hands up, GIMME ALL THE GOOD STUFF, I’m ready to conquer the world, smack it. inna. air. A tremendous turn around from where I was when starting my photography business in Hawai’i back in 2011 (even further from my first wedding, a friend’s, in 2008!) If you too are feeling gungho today, or even need a little boost, check out my interview with the way smart Allie Sarto on Photo Field Notes. From secretly interviewing wedding vendors as potential new B.F.F.s to my one favorite instragram tip to the recent time I freaking butchered photos from a once in a life time trip, I keeps it real.
Back in the day when I was a kid I used to hook a microphone up to my double-sided tape recorder and talk and talk, creating radio DJ inspired mixed tapes that I would play back. I could literally lay on my carpeted bedroom floor and listen to myself talk. Times have changed, so while I will be tuning out, lemme know how it is. I leave you with an image of 3 cocktails. If you listen to the interview you’ll know what’s up. ;)
She leaned the 11 inches across our 10 seater plane, intertwining her fingers softly within his. Picnics packed, hair in rollers and both families in tow, we all said a silent but known prayer as the chartered plane hurled it’s self into the cloudy sky. We circled our way past some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world, landing on the remote peninsula of Molokai; Kalaupapa: once an isolated leprosy settlement established in 1866 now refuge for the remaining residents and a place of roots for Damien’s family. We quickly deboard the plane and looked around in wonderment and awe. The “airport”, a tiny three-walled pavilion with several plastic chairs, greeted us, setting the tone for the true quiet and seclusion of the day. Our travel arrangements, a giant yellow school bus marked “Damien Tours”, picked us up in style as everyone said their hellos and Kimberly was first introduced to Damien’s grandmother.
When the idea of heading to Kalaupapa, a region you must either take a tour to visit or be invited into arose, I danced with glee at the idea. Sitting across from Kimberly and Damien over Starbucks the two kept me wildly entertained. Deep into our photography consultation he recalled summers spent on Molokai as a young boy where he skipped rocks across the sea, always picturing himself taking wedding photos on the beach in front of his Grandmother’s home. Being that they had not made the trip in ages, it was decided both his family and Kimmy’s would head over for the day, exploring the island, connecting their past and introducing his future: Kimberly. There we were, amongst a population of less than 120, taking it all in.
Damien, named after Saint Damien who lived in isolation with the patients of Hansen’s disease, rode along the back of the bumpy buss, sharing stories of jumping off the dock into deep blue waters with his soon-to-be-wife, each hopping at out memorable locations. As most days in Hawai’i the weather was ever changing but that didn’t take away from the incredible views and untouched landscape of such a stunning place. We road along the island, staring deep into the mountains and laughing in thankfulness we had not booked the donkey ride down from the cliffs. (That’s a thing). His family, proud to be back, and Kimmy elated to experience this soon joint piece of history.
As the 6 of us shared lunch under a pavilion waiting for the passing rain to subside, I myself couldn’t help be but met with overwhelming appreciation. These were my clients who were opening their hearts and incredible family stories with me. I was getting a true V.I.P tour of Kalaupapa. I had gotten the inside scoop on stories (like how the barge from Honolulu comes once a year with everyone’s new goodies!) straight from the people who had lived it. I’d had the chance to share in this piece of history alongside them. I just flew on a tiny weight-distributed plane that I maybeeeeee fudged a few pounds on the paperwork for and lived to tell the tale! This was a GREAT freaking day.
At 2:45pm, on the way to catch our 3pm flight, we stopped at Damien’s family’s beach house. Kimmy took his hand and under his careful instruction skipped a series of smooth, flat rocks across the crystal blue sea.
This was, by far, one of THE coolest and most adventurous days I have had as a photographer. I literally kept stopping and thinking “wow, we are DOING this. What a DAY!”. Damien, thank you so much for the idea, for arranging it all and trusting me with your family heritage. And Kimberly, for being so sweet, gorgeous, and fun and bringing such fab outfits girlfriend. I know the weather was temperamental but it was nothing short of extraordinary. I dream of going back to this untouched land! Ya’ll are the bomb.com.
It’s National Dog Day! How’d I figure that out? The same way I get ALL my daily news: Facebook! Although I love a good celebration I happen to think all these crazy dates deemed “holidays” are ridiculous (expect for Donut Day, that’s legit), I can’t pass up the opportunity to give out a shout out to our Boos, our Babydogs. Honey Bunches of Oats, Sweetie Babies and sincere troublemakers. Our fluffy children, Guardians Of The House, cuddle bugs and Loves Napoleon Bonaparte Emperor of France and Leonardo Raphael. They are my shadows, confidants, and lazy sleep-under-my-desk coworkers. They keep me company when Marshall is away playing softball. They are my nurses who never leave my bedside when I am sick. They bark at anyone who comes in the house or leaves the house. Or maybe sounds like they are coming to come in the house. Or passes by the house. Or locks their car door but isn’t going to come in the house. The lick themselves into a coma on the reg and me into a fit of annoyance. The jingle of their collars greets me at my every turn. Napoleon’s Houdini skills are still under investigation and Leo’s ability to eat
plumerias chocolate unpopped popcorn packaging popcorn slugs razor blades anything and everything without consequence is a sheer and total miracle…and possible party trick. I love their individual quirks, like when Napoleon gets cabin fever and runs super fast circles from room to room (all by himself) and Leo’s sense to bite your dang finger off for a carrot. Or how Napoleon buries himself under the covers and sleeps by my legs and Leo lays on his back and cuddles into Marshall’s ‘nook’, snoring. ‘Des babies get all the love and in turn love us unconditionally….no matter HOW many bad haircuts they’ve endured by the very hands that feed them (very expensive raw food). We love these crazy abnormally big for maltese pups like whoa.