Brooke and Jarrod, both teachers (she teaches the wee ones and he uses his skills as a Professional + semi professional football player to coach high school PE), were set-up on a blind date by mutual friends. Over 3 years later they figured ‘why wait’, deciding to forgo traditional event planning and hop over from South Perth, Australia to make it official with a destination wedding they would later surprise friends + family with! Excited by all fun things Hawai’i (+ Disney!), the couple couple stayed at the Aulani resort and planned for a gorgeous and simple elopement by the water at Kualoa Ranch on O’ahu, a scenic spot for movie buffs! Backgrounds of “50 First Dates” and “You, Me + Dupree” set the stage at Moli’i gardens.  Local officiant Kahu Bruce wrapped their ceremony with a strong Hawaiian chant just before they sealed the deal exchanging handwritten vows. Intimate, romantic and full of joy, these two were just as insanely lovely as their afternoon elopement. But can we all have a moment of silence for that incredible gown? To see more from their weddings + get the scoop from the Bride, check out their feature on Pacific Weddings.

Shot on a Contax 645 with Portra 400 film | Coordinator: O’ahu Wedding (Kibby Fergusson)| Officiant: Kahu Bruce | Location: Hale Moli’i at Kualoa Ranch| Dress: Lover | Videographer:  Crane Media| Flowers:  Watanabe Floral |Film Processing: Goodman Film Lab 

After spending their honeymoon on Maui over a year ago, Mandy + Addison just knew they wanted to head back to the Hawaiian islands they had fallen so deeply in love with. Craving the lush greens and scenic beauty the state has to offer, they opted to make their first trip to Kaua’i, the Garden Isle, in celebration of their one year anniversary. Addison, a student of cinema and photography + Mandy, a wedding + Interior Design lover (a.k.a. all things pretty, I feel ya, girl) dreamed of luscious, warm photos documenting their extraordinarily youthful (and well-dressed!) adventures. These two from Texas were a treat! :) Anniversary trips, now THAT’S the way to do it! :)

Shot all on film. Connate 645 + Fuji 400h


I’m rather embarrassed to say that when the opportunity to be stationed in Hawai’i arose, I was upset. Not just upset, but kinda sorta threw a mini tantrum. I know, right? I was a complete brat who, at the time, wanted nothing more to head to back to Europe and the military was sending those dreams a crashing down. Three months studying abroad was simply not enough of croissants and Kronenburg 1664 and I needed to be back galavanting through Germany. Or England. Or SWITZERLAND, DAMMIT! Naively I had also spent time in Hawai’i as a teenager (when, let me remind you I swore to myself I would be back, I even considered going to UH I loved it so) but in reverse like an old lover remembered the bad parts of O’ahu instead of the good and chimed on and on annoyingly about how “Hawai’i isn’t the paradise people think it is” (granted I had stayed in hot + dry Makaha and never saw much further than that) and sulked in my white girl tears. I just wanted to pretend to be french, uh uhh oui oui. Feel free to SMACK ME NOW. My husband certainly doesn’t but he will, on occasion, remind me of how much I didn’t want to come to Hawai’i and how fabulous it has turned out to be. Usually he brings this up when the opportunity for change is around the corner and I am busting out my cement, ready to pour myself into it and not budge, which brings me to my love note to the islands…

I’m Grateful to Hawai’i For:

1. Showing me what may feel like the worst thing in the world often winds up being the best thing that could have happened. Great things can sometimes be veiled as devastating and it’s not until we pull back and see the bigger picture that time shows us just how much of a blessing that speed bump was. I can’t even tell you how many huge disagreements, missed opportunities or simply tough work days have turned into incredible rather pivotal moments in my life and faith. I have learned this time and time again and, just like ending up in Hawai’i instead of southern France, I find growth and great purpose in the challenge and change.

2. Taking the girl out of the city. I adore Charlotte, but years of living in the young and bustling city surrounded by southern belles and shiny new things hardened my heart and left me slightly superficial. Don’t get me wrong, a girl still loves her nice things! Maybe it’s the make-up free atmosphere or the fact that people wear aloha shirts and slippahs when they are dressing up but I’ve become a lot more laid-back and carefree in my style, owning cut-offs and a t-shirt and totally legit shooting attire, and ultimately relaxed my heart. I certainly still keep myself presentable, trust me, I can only schlep it for so many days, but there’s something about beach showers and going barefoot that have increased my confidence and acceptance. You didn’t wash your hair? No judgement here! It’s hard to explain, but there’s been a shift.

3. Surrounding me in nature. I don’t know what I am going to do when kayaking, snorkeling, boating, or hitting up a morning hike AREN’T daily options. Not only the mix of activities, but having interesting and fresh local produce and single fern leaves the size of your head has inspired me to venture outside more, eat healthier, and encouraged ideas throughout my brand.

4. Reintroducing me to Jesus. This one. THIS is the one that matters the most, and as ridiculous as it sounds makes me want to burst from the inside out whenever I think about it. When we moved here I was in an odd in-between stage; I had quit my job, our long awaited wedding had gone off with many speed bumps, and as excited I was for an adventure I was leaving friends and heading into the unknown. Completely depressed, I packed on a ton of extra pounds in a matter of months and was starting all over again. It was a year of drastic change and I was vulnerable and (now I can thankfully see it for what it was worth) the devil was trying to pull me down, down, down. THANKFULLY I found courage to consult in a new friend (Alyssa!) and she got me going to church with her. Lots has happened between those days crying on the floor, unable to sleep because of crazy visions flashing before me to NOW, dancing around my living room in the joy of the Lord, planning my next mission trip with Inspire Church and feeling God LITERALLY peel back layer upon layer on my life for something much bigger I NEVER would have fathomed myself, and I owe it to Hawai’i. To the friends, the church, the warm beach and the quiet times.

I don’t know where we are meant to be next (hopefully it’s still here for several more years…but I can always still bank of Europe, right?) but I know beyond a doubt, that Hawai’i was and is exactly where we are supposed to be right here, right now. And dang am I thankful for it.

Photos taken from a Na Pali Coast Helicopter Tour on Kaua’i. Contax 645 + Fuji 400h

The other day I checked out an article by SLR Lounge showcasing 20 photographers alongside one image that represented each of their brands. One image I thought. ONE?!?! Thank goodness they didn’t ask me I kinda sorta lied to myself I’d send over an entire gallery to choose from! The more it floated through my mind I was able to peel back the layers from my favorite images spanning the years, narrowing it down to a few characteristics that are innately Ashley. When it comes to my personal ever evolving style there are certain tidbits that are forever me; well-traveled mixes of lively prints, bright colors and lots and lots of white…and gold. duh. Gotta have gold. But what single photograph intermingles the spirit of my brand? Essentially, of me?

Bright, playful and completely of-the-moment, Lauren + Kawika’s soiree was something from a dream. Showered with passing rains, the laid-back pair popped open umbrellas and carried on the soiree. Spontaneous, stylish and a little bit wild, Lauren says Kawika “makes her feel like a kid again” and in this spontaneous moment as newly minted husband and wife, it radiates. I take great pride in crafting gorgeous scenes where couples don’t see a pretty posed photograph from their wedding day but instead look back and can say “that’s us, that’s exactly us“. Therefore this celebratory photograph takes the cake. ;) Oh, and confetti. Confetti wins.