Moana Styled Shoot at Markay Gallery

"I know a girl from an island // she stands apart from the crowd // She loves the sea and her people // she makes her whole family proud!"

"Sometimes the world seems against you // The journey may leave a scar // But scars can heal and reveal just where you are!" - I am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)

Moana - I've been obsessed with her since watching the Disney film earlier this year. She's determined, energetic, brave and strong.I can relate to the way she loves the ocean, and I love her sense of adventure! In the beginning of the film, she's not certain of her identity but over the course of the movie you see her discover who she really is. I love the confidence she has in her identity at the end of the film!

Markay Gallery's gorgeous "Aqua" show was the perfect setting for my take on Moana. We incorporated pieces by Nadine Koski and Tina Lindsey, and Megan Quintana of Megan Quintana Artistry, created a beautiful, bronze-y look for our Moana - model Ellen Clark. I love the movement of Ellen's curls in the wind, and in true Moana style we also incorporated a tropical floral hairpiece created by K. Mike Whittle. I hope you'll enjoy some of my favorite photos from this fabulous collaboration paired with lines from "I am Moana," my favorite song from the film!

"The people you love will change you // The things you have learned will guide you // and nothing on earth can silence // the quiet voice still inside you!"

"And when that voice starts to whisper // Moana, you've come so far // Moana, listen // Do you know who you are?"

"Who am I? // I am a girl who loves my island // I'm the girl who loves the sea // It calls me!"

"I am the daughter of the village chief // We are descended from voyagers // Who found their way across the world // They call me"

"I've delivered us to where we are // I have journeyed farther // I am everything I've learned and more // Still it calls me!"

"And the call isn't out there at all, it's inside me // It's like the tide; always falling and rising // I will carry you here in my heart you'll remind me // That come what may // I know the way!"


Our 5 Wedding Anniversary Session with Love is My Favorite Color - Cascais, Portugal

One of the best decision's I made when planning our Anniversary trip to Portugal was booking a session with Rui and Cristiana, the photography duo that makes up Love is My Favorite Color. I'd been toying with the idea of surprising Tanner with a session while on our trip & I loved the idea of documenting not only this time in our lives but also our first trip to Europe together!

What drew me to Rui and Cristiana's work was not only the quality of the photographs (I was really looking for a photographer who shot film since I love the look so much), but also their fun personalities! I knew if we were taking time from our vacation to have photos taken that I wanted it to be fun (and that Tanner would appreciate that as well)! Since I love the beach, we decided to meet Rui and Cristiana in their hometown of Cascais, a coastal town which was only about a 30 minute train ride from where we were staying in Lisbon. Though as I mentioned originally I was planning on surprising Tanner, when the session got closer I realized I needed to share my idea with him so that we could appropriately plan! Once on location with Rui and Cristiana, we had so much fun! They took us around and showed us spots that we never would have discovered on our own! We also took a little break for gelato and sorbetto in the middle of the session which just helped make the day feel more like hanging out with friends, and at the end of the night, we even enjoyed a seafood feast together! I love the end result and am sharing my favorite images below! Rui & Cristiana - we love you guys! :-)

Cascais, Portugal

Welcome back to this week's edition of Travel Tuesday! I’m working inside today trying my best to stay warm in this freezing weather, so I decided to post about the beach! The beach in Cascais, Portugal was amazing, and I can almost feel the warmth creeping back into my toes as I look through some of my favorite photos from our time there. All images taken on my Pentax 645n using Kodak Ektar 100. Happy Tuesday!

One of my favorite shots - isn't the water just magical? Gosh, I just love it so much!

Being that our visit was a gorgeous Saturday in September, there were lots of weddings happening! This was one lucky couple's cute getaway car!

5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me

Hi, everyone! Happy Friday! I've been really excited to share this post for quite some time! I'm a people person and love getting to know people, so I thought this would be a fun way for you to learn more about me! Now, I don't want this to be one-sided, so please leave a quirky or fun fact about yourself in the comments! And now, on to my 5 things!

1. I love listening to movie soundtracks while I’m cooking dinner. It makes chopping onions and frying chicken seem like I’m starring in my own version of “Julie and Julia.” The soundtrack I’m currently obsessed with? The score for the 1995 remake of “Sabrina.” Do you remember the film?!! Harrison Ford as Linas Larrabee, Julie Ormond as a charming Sabrina, who in this version works on the staff of Vogue Paris and learns photography while abroad. The film is fantastic - enhanced by the incredible soundtrack! The music is composed by John Williams, and the score, including my favorite track "Moonlight" by Sting, were both were nominated for Academy Awards! It’s a must listen :-)

2. Speaking of music, I have this thing with musicals! Though I really don’t like singing for others (and don’t consider myself to have a great singing voice) I love singing along to my favorite musicals! A few favorites - “Newsies,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Les Misérables.” My parents gave me Josh Groban’s new album “Stages” for Christmas (which is amazing) & has been my new sing-along for the car! :-)

3. Gilmore Girls is my favorite show of all time! Not only did I recently watch the whole series again once it came to Netflix, but I watched the final few seasons when they originally aired in college. I always identified with Rory, especially in the beginning of the show - I too was somewhat naive and nerdy in my younger years :-) And, I loved school! My school path also followed hers down to the year! In the show, Rory graduated high school in 2003 (the same year I did) and then finished college (the same year I graduated college) in 2007. We’re basically twins. Lol.

4. My first time out of the country was on a missions trip to Ecuador when I was 12. But my love for other cultures started even earlier - my Mom has the gift of hospitality and we often had college-age international students staying with us during my formative years. One of my early school papers was about visiting all my friends around the world! This love of culture (and general wanderlust) is one of the reasons I first got into art and photography! 

5. That first trip to Ecuador was also my first time on a plane, and I thought that every flight included large reclining seats and meal service! Boy was I disappointed when I flew domestic for the first time! lol

What about you? Don't forget to leave at least one fun fact about yourself in the comments! Happy weekend, friends!

Florence Part II - Around Town

After our lovely first stop in Milan, my sister Sarah & I jumped on the train to Florence for a few days (booked using Rail Europe - you can buy online tickets here). I love train travel in Europe! It's such a wonderful way to see more of the countryside as you zip from one destination to the next! My favorite morning in Florence, we rose with the sun to visit the Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) before many of the tourists arrived. The sun made the marble gleam and the streets around were filled with glorious light and shadow. Another highlight was our visit to see Michelangelo's David at the Accademia Gallery. We visited on a quiet Sunday morning, conveniently bypassing the long queue of tourists by purchasing our tickets in advance (which I highly recommend). Enjoy some of my favorite shots taken around Florence! Film used: Kodak Portra 400, Kodak Ektar 100

More Italy posts: Italy Part 1 - Milan | Florence - A Tuscan Sunset from Giotto's Bell Tower | Amalfi - My Favorite Place on Earth

Another favorite memory in Florence was the shopping!!! I love this shot captured mid shopping trip! Isn't it so fabulously Italian?!

Amalfi - My Favorite Place on Earth

Imagine, if you will, the cool, crisp feeling of an early autumn morning. The sun hasn't yet come up. The smell of smoke rises in the air from your neighbor's chimney. In the distance you can hear bells ringing, asking you to join the day. 

There have been a few moments in my life where I've felt so blessed, so profoundly seen, known and loved that brought me to tears. This morning was one of them. Today I bring you a little glimpse into one of the most peaceful moments I've ever experienced. This video was filmed by my sister Sarah and in it you can hear the sound of my Pentax shutter - I was taking pictures on film at the same time! This was filmed from the Ercole di Amalfi, the bed and breakfast where we stayed in Amalfi, Italy last November. Enjoy!

Florence - A Tuscan Sunset from Giotto's Bell Tower

Welcome to my first post in the new Travel Tuesday blog series! Yay! I'm so excited to share more highlights from my trips as well as travel tips! Today I'm sharing my favorite photos from Giotto's Bell Tower! In the center of Florence (or Firenze, as the Italians say), stands the iconic Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Visitors looking for amazing views of the city have two options - to climb Giotto's Bell Tower or go to the top of the Dome. After reading a tip on Liv Sala's blog about how climbing the Tower meant not only amazing views of the city but of the Dome, I convinced my sister that climbing the 414 stairs of the Bell Tower would be totally worth it! I loved the views that awaited us not only at the top of the Tower, but all along the way! If any of you love travel planning like I do (two hands raised), you'll enjoy knowing that tickets to climb Giotto's Bell Tower can be purchased in the gift shop at the base of the Tower. If you happen to be in Florence during the high season (summer), it'd probably be beneficial to purchase tickets in advance, but since my sister & I were there at the end of November, the queue wasn't long at all! We didn't actually plan on being at the top at sunset, but it worked out that way & was absolutely perfect!! For my film friends, all these photos were taken with Kodak Ektar 100 using my Pentax 645n. And now, on to the photos!

More Italy posts: Italy Part 1 - Milan

Happy Travel Tuesday, friends! Who's been to Florence, Italy? Please share your favorite tips in the comments below! :)