Stand Firm.

I ran around the house grabbing elements to piece together a stylish outfit for the evening. For the past week I’d spent days on end working in a pony tail and yoga pants which left me feeling less than tres chic so I figured some serious effort in my wardrobe be a solid pick-me-up. I cinched a gold belt tight around my waist in hopes of the illusion of appearing thinner, ducked into our overloaded shoe closet to slip on my favorite black sandals and darted out the door to into rush hour. As I scooted into the small side room at church, greeting my fellow mission trip members and introducing myself to the prayer team, I hugged and kissed past cheeks apologizing for my tardiness. The group began discussing how the prayer meeting works, explaining we will be asked a series of questions, given the opportunity to release anything we need to let go of and then be prayed for. Just before it was my turn I happened to glance down to my partially bare feet noticing one wasn’t quite like the other. In my hurriedness I had put on two different shoes! EMBARRASSING!!! At least I had on a left and a right (right?!? I then double checked) but I quickly crossed my ankles praying that no one else in our seated circle noticed. I was first to answer the questions and volunteer to let go of some things when I decided to note to the group “and someone pray for my mind…I’ve done put on two different shoes!!”. My confession elicited a roar of laughter from the group when one of the prayer members quietly mentioned that maybe they should pray for the feet. I didn’t think much of it other than I no longer could go shopping afterwards…I can’t go in public wearing two different shoes! 

Later we stood back-to-back, linking arms as the warriors took turns praying over each of us. The first member, soft spoken as I struggled to cling to her words, opened my heart up like a machete piercing through a coconut. It was like the Lord had read my mind for the past few days and was talking directly through her. I got it God, I got it. Stop being so concerned about how I look and loosing weight… As much as I wanted to chalk it up to coincidence I knew better so instead I committed to opening my heart as the women went past, praising God for their compassion, prayers, and for His never-ending grace. Moments of quiet went by as the next prayer warrior approached. Immediately she grabbed my hand, laughed and whispered “I know you’re crying right now, but I really feel there is an anointing. God really does have a sense of humor (girllll you ain’t gotta tell ME!) and I just spilled anointing oil on the ground by your feet…” as she began to pray for the full armor of God, in particular, my tootsies both physically and spiritually so that I may stand tall. I felt a calmness rise within me as energy rushed through to my toes, tucking back my shoulders I stood with a grounded stance as if I were in yoga.  As we wrapped the prayer meeting up I felt lighter, closer to God and motivated to continue on strengthening my relationship with him, taking much needed time to put my wordly obsessions of work and physical appearance aside to simply spend time reveling at HIS feet in praise. But I did still ask if I had mascara smeared all over my face. Our team leader Bob gave us some notes and suggestions for the trip requesting that when we feel like we don’t want to read the bible or pray is when we actually need it most. I took the sentiment to heart adding it to my iPhone notes and divvied out my hugs, hitting up TJMAXX for some late-night retail therapy. Turns out no one really notices that you’re wearing two different shoes when in public. Or, at least no one says anything.

This morning as the inevitable tugs to immediately sit down at my computer to edit/email/blog/answer to Facebook/network battled with the desire to commit serious time at the gym I wanted to just skip my time in the bible. Promise myself to cozy up and read it later…after all I’ve got more important things to do (ha!). But I heard Bob’s reminder and cracked open my blue book to continue with my readings. And wouldn’t you know it the yet to be highlighted words of Peter said everything I knew I was meant to acknowledge this morning:

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion waiting for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” – 1 Peter 5: 7-9.

No less than three times this man mentioned our stance in faith and the Lord, in essence our feet, and it couldn’t have been more apparent.  I just need to clear of being distracted by constant busyness and knock out the clutter because He has plenty to say, to guide and to direct, and He’s got jokes…I just need to continue to listen  “stand [ing] firm in this grace”…wearing a fabulous pair of shoes as I do it. ;)

 

 

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Malia + Andrea

He gave a sly wink to the crowd just before she came floating down the ivy walled stairs. Tucked arm in arm her father escorted her into the warmly lit atrium, guests erupting with excitement and cheers, whistles + “chee hoos” at the sight of such a stunning bride. In both english + italian they proclaimed their love for one another, friends and family supporting from the balconies. Malia vowed to be a loving wife, always there, as Andrea swept her hair off her forehead like he always does, promising to forever pick her dirty clothes up off the floor. From the villa style landscape of La Pietra overlooking the Honolulu skyline Malia + Andrea brought together the perfect blend of Hawai’i meets Italy, bound by a million lighthearted laughs and clever quips. #Cialoha.

Never have I ever seen an event quite like this. From the roars of laughter with the bridal party introductions (Andrea’s brother doesn’t speak a lick of english which left room for hilarity to ensue ) to the sprays of champagne (that’s my kinda party!), every element was a true representation of Malia + Andrea–and one hell of a good time. Surrounded by supportive family and crowds of friends who simply adore them, the night dripped in cafe lights was magical. Bursting with chic details to in honor or their cultures guests from near and far dined under the stars on local cuisine, basil topped pizza, and late-night gelato, toasting lilikoi sorbet cocktails as a trio of festive Hawai’ian music serenaded. Packed with heartfelt details, a surfboard guestbook handmade by her father and an ridiculous amount of straight-up fun Malia + Andrea’s wedding was nothing short of a dream, brightly lit by a dance floor full of furiously waving sparklers + fueled by Dom Perignon. But with these two I wouldn’t expect anything less.  Together Malia + Andrea have a chemistry that while in their presence can be felt but I find difficult to describe. Playful with one another they thrive off each other’s energy, forge friendships,  and are fiercely thoughtful. To me the type of friends a couple has speaks volumes about their personalities and after spending a night with these two that left me utterly speechless all I can say is this two are simply perfetto. 

To see more from their wedding day click HERE.

Enjoy 30% off all prints in their gallery for the next 10 days with the code “CIALOHA”. Expires Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Watch their awesome Same Day Edit video from Pan + Tilt

Malia + Andrea [SDE] from Pan + Tilt on Vimeo.

4 comments

August 13, 2014 - 9:27 am

Kayleen T. - Love it! My favorite of all the weddings you’ve posted.

August 14, 2014 - 4:49 pm

Nikki Santerre - My favorite wedding of yours! It feels so exotic, romantic, and every image is stunning!

August 14, 2014 - 8:53 pm

Bora Pogeler - i DIE!!! I love all the gold-rose colored tones in these photos! my fave is one without any people in it lol…it’s the pigeons in the fountain! It gives off a very vintage parisian postcard feel!

August 14, 2014 - 9:27 pm

Ashley Goodwin - Thanks Bora! That is one of my favorites, too, won’t lie! And it was a complete FLUKE! In between family formals I turned around to make sure I wasn’t close to falling in the fountain (which I almost did a few times…) and noticed the birds taking a bath! I quickly pulled my camera up, focused and prayed as I snapped and they flew away. I can’t believe I caught him in action AND so sharp! :)

Lauren + Ian

Adventurous, light-hearted and completely filled with the warm aloha you always hear about (it’s real!), Lauren + Ian  in the place they spend most of their summer evenings cruzin’ with friends on the island they grew up calling home. Kiholo Bay on the Big Island of Hawai’i.

Thank ya’ll for showing me a slice of your gorgeous island, for choosing such and INSANE spot to shoot (I DIE!), for a tasty breakfast, and more importantly, treating this girl like ohana, fo’ real. I’d be hard pressed to find two others as chill as you two, I mean it when I say they sent me back off to O’ahu with the true sense of aloha.  I am thrilled for your upcoming wedding at La Pietra, it’s gonna be gooooooood.

To see more from their Big Island engagement session click HERE.

Enjoy 30% off prints their prints with the code PIKAKE. Expires August 12, 2014.

 

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Film Friday | How To Choose A Film Stock

[Contax 645 + Portra 800 rated @640 around 10am. the Big Island, Hawai'i]

Yesterday I had the great privilege of joining a google hangout presented by Ryan Muirhead (killer photographer) and during his mini workshop on metering for black and white film he briefly mentioned something I have been harping on all along that made me say “Yessss! I HAVE been giving good advice!” (ha!). He noted it’s best to pick no more than two film stocks and stick with them. When you’re learning to shoot film there are at least 6 different factors that contribute to the end product of your image and without limiting some of these factors things can get confusing as hell.

The 6 variables that contribute to a film image:

1. Camera choice: different models have different characteristics.

2. ISO of the film: ISO’s have varying grains and tonality. The higher the ISO the larger (and more noticable) the grain.

3. Exposure: One film can have multiple looks based on the way it was exposed. Properly exposed Fuji 400h vs. overexposed gives you opposing looks.

4. Film stock: Fuji or Portra? Each renders colors differently.

5. Developing Lab: the communication you have with them to scan images the way you like is key, they can’t read minds people!

6. Lighting: one of the BIGGEST factors–lighting can really make or break and image + help carve out your style. It’s also important to recognize that the main colors in or around a scene have a big impact on the overall feel to your photo, too, like this photo of Serena below. But I won’t get into that too much, just know it.

[Contax 645 + Portra 160 in Red Rocks, Las Vegas. F/2.8 1/60. Portra already tends to have a lot of  magenta in the film, so with all the reddish rocks in the scene it had an impact on the color of her white dress and made her skin tone appear warmer, all of which I love!]

With alllllll of those variables it makes finding a combination of camera+iso+film+exposure+light+lab that’s inherently you seem dauntingWhen I first began shooting film I felt like I was completely on my own learning (hence why I started this blog series + the film collective group). I began studying the work of others I admired, trying to figure out what camera and film combo they used, noted the types of lighting they shot in and picked apart what I adored about their signature look. Through this I figured out the people who’s work inspire me shoot the same camera, film, and lighting consistently with consistent results. This made COMPLETE sense to me considering up until this point I had been using tons of different film stocks (Portra 160, Portra 400, Fuji 400h) in different lighting scenarios and getting it developed at different labs–with NO clue what I liked, didn’t like, and how I was screwing up. Ahhh, the age old question “is it me, or the lab?”. I was doing trying WAY too much with no real way to figure out which side was up. Since there are 6 variables that effect the end result of a product I began to think of it of it as a science equation and in hopes of honing in on my artistic desires began setting controls and variables. AHAHAH. TRUE STORY. Through research I knew the Contax645 was the camera for me, I decided to commit and marry ONE lab and work on my relationship with them instead of dating others on the side. This helped set my ‘controls’ (the camera and the lab I was going to work with) so my variables were less prominent–which made learning and comparing the things that do change much easier. Now I just needed to chose the film stocks I was going to master! But…how? There are so many! Here’s how I narrowed down what film stocks I was going to learn:

 Choosing Film Stocks

1. Research: Head to manufacturer’s website to get the scoop on different films, their colorings, what types of scenes they’re good for, etc. I.e. Ektar is contrasty and vibrant–super great for landscapes and oceans. Fuji film has faithful color reproduction (read here). Right now don’t think about the ISO so much as the film stock. Once you think you’ve found a match, hit the internet for examples to confirm the color, contrast, etc. is right for you.

2. Prevision: See the end photo in your head. The colors, lighting, contrast, the amount of grain or lack there of. This will also help you narrow down the manufacturer of your film.

3. ISO: Evaluate the scene you are going to shoot. Will it be brightly lit or low light? Just like digital, this helps you choose an ISO. However, unlike digital the ISO of films don’t ONLY correlate to film’s sensitivity to light. Different ISOs also have different amounts of grain and different tones to them, making my point of choosing no more than 2 films to learn super important. It’s also key to note that higher ISO films aren’t just meant for lower light settings, like Portra 800.  I personally love it for mid-day landscape shots, like the images below. But that’s a topic for another day.

4. Color, contrast, and your “look”. Want saturated, vibrant images? You’d probably want to stick to Kodak Portra films. Want the choice to have soft, more ‘airy’ images? Fuji may be for you.

[The beautiful, saturated blues + greens of Hawai'i are captured perfectly in these shots using Portra 800. The top photo of the couple was shot in open shade around 10am at f/2.8 (can't remember my shutter speed, but I rated my Portra 800 at 640 ISO). The shot of the ocean was around noon, f/4 at 1/4000 (guesstimate). Also rated at 640, so overexposed only by about 1/3 stop. See the difference between THIS Portra 800 and the Portra 160 one above? ISO makes a difference in color, too]

Once you’ve narrowed down the two films + ISOs you think are up your alley, it’s now time to practice. practice, practice! Again, set MORE controls so you have less variables in your equation, which makes learning and figuring this out easier. Orchestrate calm shoots around your house in which you can get comfortable with these two films and ISOs in different settings. Use the same light and bracket your shots to see what kinds of exposures you like. Go outside and shoot in super bright sun. Take your shutter speed to the limit and see how slow you can go with your shutter speed at dusk. Take notes, take notes, take notes!! TAKKEEEE NOTESSSSSSS. And most of all, don’t forget to communicate and tell your lab these are practice shots! Otherwise they may edit your images and you won’t see the true end result you intended.

[These images shot on Fuji have a much softer look than the Portra 800. Photographed on an overcast day at f/2.8 rated Fuji400h rated at 200 ISO, so overexposed by 1 stop.]

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments

August 2, 2014 - 3:03 pm

Bea - I wish when I started, I was dutiful in taking notes! Alas, I was too lazy. Thank you for sharing these; the pictures are gorgeous and your tips remind me that I have to be more scientific in my approach :)

August 4, 2014 - 4:26 am

Michael and Carina - Brilliant blog post with great info!