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She's friendly, professional, and has an ability to really "see" her clients & bring to life their visions. She captured the exact essence I was envisioning & more.”
"I loved working with Aly! From beginning to end she created a magical experience.
She goes above and beyond and is such a bright light in the world! The photos were unbelievably beautiful and she captured the day and our relationship perfectly.I could not recommend Aly enough!"
"Aly is outstanding in every sense of the word! She is the number one reason why we followed through on our wedding in Hawaii.
She didn’t just take photos, she managed family members, anticipated our needs before we did, and just kept rolling with the day seamlessly. Aly, you allowed us to be fully present on one of the most important days of our lives with the certainty of knowing you’d allow us to remember it forever."
"Aly did such an insane job of capturing the essence of our wedding day that I just had to gush about the STUNNING work she did for us.
We appreciated how at ease, comfortable, and confident she made us feel when taking portraits. Not to mention the amazing and great quality photos that you get back! Aly truly takes the time to listen and hear what you want from the shoot and is really a pleasant person to work with."
"Aly is an amazing photographer who really captures the locations' & people's essence. She also brought out the key pieces of our branding which we truly appreciated.
Aly sat down with us and created the perfect timeline to make sure that we got amazing shots, she’s also amazing at location hunting if you are not from the island. She is so friendly and made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera! Everyone I have shown is amazed at the photographs because they are so beautiful. I can’t recommend her enough."
"Aly is beyond talented. Her style, work ethic and overall professionalism is outstanding. She goes the extra mile to make sure the day is perfect.
If you’re wanting to include a hair and makeup artist in your Hawaii elopement, there are a few things to keep in mind!
Hawaii elopements have their own set of considerations, such as humidity, time of day of your elopement, and the activities you’ll be doing.
I sat down to chat with Tia from Indigo Grace Artistry to learn more about her tips for getting your hair and makeup done in Hawaii.
“If you have a specific skincare routine, do that! We prefer a clean, washed face, and clean dry hair. If you have dirty hair, even if its one day old, and your hair isn’t used to the Hawaii humidity or is oily, it can effect the outcome of your style. We would have to use additional products to combat the oiliness. Clean dry hair will still get texture and grit because of the products we will use! As far as what to wear, a robe or button down shirt is great. I recently had a bride and her bridal party wearing menswear button up shirts, which was very cute for photos and practical for getting makeup and hair done! We want brides to be comfortable but able to take clothing items off easily to avoid messing up hair and makeup.”
“This will really depend on your hair itself. Some hair is easier to manipulate and make it do what we want it to. Blonde color treated hair is easy. The Hollywood waves look is very popular right now and is a top requested hairstyle, but doesn’t do well here. This hairstyle often falls into beachy waves which is still beautiful, but while these structured Hollywood glam waves will look beautiful in hotel room, outside in the humidity it tends to fall flat. Low textured updos can be very beachy, and also do well in windier environments. This hairstyle won’t get stuck in lipgloss! Updos also are not as hot, because your hair isn’t on your neck.
With hair extensions, you have more flexibility within your style because there is extra hair, which is more voluminous. We can keep your elopement hair style longer by putting in hair extensions. If you’re wondering, ‘do I need extensions? ‘, the answer is always yes. For volume, texture, and longevity of your bridal hairstyle, extensions are always helpful.“
“100% natural light is where we want to be, when it’s available. We often bring a makeup light as well, because I can choose warm or cool light depending on what the situation calls for. I will rearrange a room just to get natural lighting! Another tip is to have a table available for your hair and makeup artist to utilize. Side tables can only hold so much! If at all possible, being able to be given a space to work is 100% the most helpful accommodation brides can make for hair and makeup artists.”
Other suggestions would be to keep the doors/windows closed when possible if your room has A/C to keep the room as cool as possible.
“For peeling skin, I recommend drinking as much water as possible and moisturizing. Unfortunately, there is not a lot to do for skin when it is already peeling. When skin is sunburned, you will have more texture on skin. While it’s something you will notice up close, no one else will! We can color correct and ensure skin tone looks as even as possible. Brewing black tea and using tea bags on skin can help soothe and pull redness out of your skin. Don’t forget to hydrate so that your skin received moisture! You can always ask your photographer to do retouching if you are badly peeling. As makeup artists, we will use less powder and more creams and liquids for your Hawaii elopement look so that there isn’t anything sitting on the skin and making the difference in texture look too obvious.”
“A trial eliminates a bride wanting something different on their wedding day. But we don’t always have opportunity to do trials for destination weddings. As long as our elopement bride has an open mind as to their stylists making professional opinions and decisions based on hair texture, skin tone, face shape…we are good! As long as they trust us in a situation where you can’t have a trial, it will be okay! Most of the time, brides have looked at an artist’s work and chosen them for a reason.”
“I absolutely want to give brides something for the rest of their day! Each artist is different though, so you should check if they offer that if that is something that is important to you. Some artists have touch-up kits available for purchase separately, or they may be included in tiers of pricing.”
“If we know a bride will be getting in the water, we will use some sort of waterproof makeup. Foundation, mascara, eyeliner…most of the time for weddings and elopements we do that because we anticipate tears. But if they plan on jumping in the ocean, we recommend dabbing and patting their face with a towel once they get out to avoid smearing. 9 times out of 10, nothing will move, and your makeup will stay looking flawless.”
I am always willing to accommodate early mornings, and I absolutely love doing makeup for sunrise weddings! That also goes for traveling to other parts of the island. Travel fees vary, as well as the early morning fee, but that’s the greatest part of being an onsite artist – I will come to you!
Yes, I’ve worked with many skin tones, ethnicities, and nationalities. To achieve a natural look, it really depends on what the client considers natural. Many times what we think is natural may not be the case for someone else! If lightweight makeup is what you are looking for, I go with a “less is more”, buildable attitude of layering products. Using products that are more glowy can also give the skin a more natural appearance instead of using a lot of matte powders or foundations.
“When it comes to your wedding day, remember that it will all be okay and not to stress the little things! When we stress, we panic – and then, we sweat. With added stress and sweat, it’ll be hard for your hairstyle to set and makeup to settle in.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you need to do any steaming to your dress, do this the night before! If you do that during hair and makeup, it makes the room hot and can make your hairstyle drop, or you can sweat your makeup off.
Photos are really helpful as far as inspiration goes. If you have a hair/makeup style you like, the best thing you can do is look at your hair/MUA’s website for reference. Pinterest is great, but if you haven’t seen it on your stylist’s page, they may not feel comfortable doing that style. Try to look for inspiration by looking for photos of people with the same hair and skintone as you!”
I am so thankful for Tia taking the time to provide us with some wisdom on getting your hair and makeup done for your Hawaii elopement. With these tips in mind, your elopement look will really shine!
When I first moved to Hawaii, before my elopement and branding photographer days, I was helping plan and coordinate weddings. Sometimes, when going through photo databases of the weddings we coordinated, I would come across Aislinn with Wilde Sparrow Photography. Aislinn is a full-time family photographer whom I eventually got to assist on a few of her shoots!
Over time, I got to know Aislinn as not just a colleague, but also as someone I look up to. She played a big role in the beginning of my photography career in Hawaii.
When I saw Aislinn’s inquiry for a branding photo shoot come through my website, I was so excited! Getting the honor of having your mentor ask you to take their photos is everything. Aislinn offers incredible education resources for photographers, so I felt privileged to be able to work with her on her branding photo shoot here in Hawaii.
Wondering what a branding or lifestyle session entails? You may be on the hunt for headshots, too! First, we begin with a pre-shoot prep call as a part of your branding photo shoot package. This is kind of like an onboarding process!
What sets myself apart from other headshot photographers in Hawaii and beyond is that I love to ask a LOT of questions. The questions that I ask aren’t solely about what kind of photos you want, but also about the story of your business! One of the key parts of marketing and branding is figuring out your “why” and what sets you apart from others. If we get that point across in photos, and communicate your “why” visually, that can help people choose YOU.
Your onboarding phone call will last about 45 minutes, but don’t worry! You don’t need to bring anything or specifically prepare for our call. I want to make it as easy for you as possible – let me interview you and really get your story.
This call was really helpful in regards to Aislinn’s shoot, because I learned how much of a role her own family plays on her shoot days, so we decided to incorporate her daughter and husband into the shoot after her initial headshots.
For the start of Aislinn’s headshot photo shoot, we took to our good friend Whitney’s house for some crisp, clean content. Her recently remodeled house, with a Scandinavian feel, served as the perfect backdrop for headshots.
When we completed headshot photos, we shifted into what I consider the process portion or “behind-the-scenes” portion of the branding shoot. This is where we get to show you in your element and highlight the unique parts of how you create an incredible experience or product for your clients!
To truly capture Aislinn’s full-process, we decided it would be best for me to join her as soon as she pulled up to the parking lot with her daughter, Josie, and husband, Matt, who come to most of her family sessions to play at the beach. I wanted to tell the whole story of the entire shoot so that families who work with her can relate to her as both their photographer, but also a fellow parent!
Aislinn is SO good with kids, and loves what she does because she is passionate about family in her own life, too! Now that she has a daughter, Josie, it’s fun that she can be involved! I think my favorite part of this shoot was when Josie wandered over and sat on Aislinn’s lap at the very end of the shoot! Josie loves to make friends with Aislinn’s clients, while Matt looks on.
Armed with a fannypack of lollipops (but not before getting permission from parents!), Aislinn makes herself approachable and goes above and beyond for her clients. She even has bandaids for accidental scrapes. Aislinn truly is a master of her craft, and I feel honored to have been able to capture that and get her “why” across.
Branding headshot sessions and lifestyle photo shoots can be an amazing addition to marketing your business. You can use lifestyle session photos and branding shoot photos for your website or social media – and if you have a certain aesthetic or editing style you prefer, I take great care to make sure your content is cohesive. You want your branding session to work for YOU, after all!
For more information on what a branding or lifestyle session can do for your business, check out What Is a Branding Session?
Utah is one of the most picturesque states in the USA for an adventure elopement! From Moab to Arches, Bonneville Salt Flats to Park City…there are so many gorgeous places to consider when eloping in Utah.
This Utah elopement shows off the beauty of the Utah outdoors – and serves as perfect inspiration for planning an elopement in Utah. Scroll down for my five tips for eloping in Utah, including things I didn’t realize until I traveled to the “Beehive State”.
FIVE TIPS FOR ELOPING IN UTAH: PLANNING A UTAH ELOPEMENT
There you have it, friends! Some of my best tips for planning your elopement in Utah. Whether you are wanting to elope at Arches National Park, amongst the wildflowers near Park City, or on the vast desert playa of Bonneville Salt Flats – I am here to help. Let’s get to planning, shall we?
Hawaii is such a tropical paradise. Because of this, Hawaii has no shortage of stunning waterfalls that make the perfect backdrop for an elopement! A Hawaii waterfall elopement is hard to beat. Sarah and Josh agreed! They wanted to have a black sand beach elopement near Hilo, complete with rappelling down a waterfall.
It’s so rewarding when a couple chooses to have a day that really speaks to who they are! Sarah and Josh were drawn to Hilo because of its jungles and beauty. It also helped that Sarah performed in the Merrie Monarch Festival near Hilo as a hula dancer!
Josh and Sarah had been together for 11 years, but inquired for their elopement only about a month out. They were a little nervous about putting together an incredible elopement day with such short notice, but this is where I am here to help! I want to assist in getting all of the planning portions of your day taken care of, so that you can have a totally epic elopement experience here in Hawaii.
Sarah and Josh were to have a bigger wedding in Mexico, but the paperwork was a little complicated. Because they wanted their family to be a part of their wedding day, they decided to take a “best of both worlds” approach. They eloped in Hawaii at a black sand beach, rappelling off a cliffside – something adventurous and fun! A few months later, they will have their Mexico wedding with friends and family by their side.
After their sunrise ceremony at one of Hawaii’s stunning black sand beaches, we explored and then took a breakfast break. (But not before we were starstruck by seeing legendary Hawaiian surfer Cliff Kapono out on the waves!) Then we headed to the waterfall! We hired Eric from Island Mountain Guides as the rappelling guide for this unforgettable adventure. If booking vendors seems stressful, I’ve got you covered. I can take care of those parts of your elopement day for you, no worries!
After tons of fun capturing their waterfall rappelling adventure with my videographer pal Sea The Light, Josh and Sarah had an outfit change for a Trash the Dress session. The end of your elopement day is yours to just be playful and have a good time!
Officiant: Kahu Tom
Hair/Makeup: Beauty by Charisse Grace
Florals: Wildblooms Hawaii
Rappelling Guide: Island Mountain Guides
Waterfall Location: The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls
Trash the Dress Outfit: Lulus
This intimate Kauai wedding was originally planned and organized by the incredible photography team at Eternal Tides Photography.
When things don’t go according to plan for my couples, my job is to always make sure that I go above and beyond. Planning a wedding is stressful! If I can help relieve some stress, that is everything to me.
Jessica and Brendan had booked Eternal Tides Photography for their wedding in Kauai. Unfortunately, the team at Eternal Ties got COVID! As a last minute pivot, I was able to cover for them. Jessica, Brendan, and I ended up having a lot in common!
Jessica and Brendan are from Canada where most of my extended family lives. Their family friends own a beachfront house in Anahola, Kauai, which Jessica and Brendan were able to visit right before the pandemic. They were engaged during the pandemic, and had their hearts set on getting married in this gorgeous place once it was safe enough. With their immediate family and closest friends in attendance, this beachfront Kauai wedding was wonderfully intimate.
The team at Eternal Tides planned an incredible day for Jessica and Brendan starting with a heartfelt first look with Jessica and her dad prior to the ceremony, which was such a special moment! When their ceremony took place, Jessica’s dad was able to officiate, too. After vows were exchanged, it was time for champagne and mingling!
Jessica and Brendan then wanted to head to another spot for photos, just the two of them. It’s about a 45 minute drive to the North Shore! We set off to Hanalei Bay, and the Hāʻena area.
Jessica and Brendan wanted to do something fun on the way to our photo location. Having a fun Hawaii snack was on their minds! At first, Hawaii had other plans.
The first fruit stand we made it to was closed, as well as the second. It started to rain in Hanalei Bay, making the shaved ice stand closed, too! We decided to head to the next town, searching for their Hawaiian snack. The general store in this location had closed early, to enjoy the sunset. This is part of the beauty and wonderful culture of Hawaii! Sometimes, you have to be prepared for “island time”. “Island time” means that people are more laidback, go with the flow, in no rush, and stay in the present. We all need a dose of that from time to time!
When we pulled up to the beach parking lot, our jaws dropped when we saw a red truck filled with coconuts! We couldn’t believe it! Fresh coconuts were waiting for Jessica and Brendan! The two of them had coconuts cut fresh for them, complete with straws. I firmly believe that the Hawaiian Islands look out for you on special days. And this is an example!
Makua/Tunnels Beach was our last stop for photos. Locals ask that you not have wedding ceremonies at this location, due to its sacred nature. But this is a great location to enjoy and take a few photos while also being respectful. We were blessed with an awesome sunset at Makua/Tunnels, too!
We headed back to the Kauai beach house for their reception. This is where going above and beyond really plays a role with what I’m about. Jessica and Brendan’s wedding coverage was originally going to end sooner, but when they asked if I could capture their first dance, both myself and the Eternal Tides team agreed! We wanted to make sure that they had all of the events of their wedding day captured and thought this would be a great way to thank them for being so flexible! I was honored to be able to let them know I’d document their first dance.
There were torches set up around the dancing area, giving a dim atmosphere. Earlier that day, Jessica and Brendan had asked me if the torches were enough for lighting. I mentioned that it would probably be better for them if we brought in a few additional light sources, just in case.
Remember when we were exploring around the North Shore, looking for fruit stands and taking photos in the beautiful Kauai scenery? During that time, their loved ones hit up a Costco and set up more lighting for them to dance under. Isn’t that sweet?
Jessica and Brendan enjoyed a first dance together, along with parent dances. They would then spend the next few days honeymooning in Maui, and doing a catamaran tour on the Nā-Pali coast. I recommend everyone do that at least once! Such a fun Hawaii honeymoon experience. I’m also so excited to start offering honeymoon photos, since a lot of couples choose to honeymoon in Hawaii! Your Hawaii elopement or wedding coverage doesn’t have to end on your wedding day! You can have your honeymoon adventure documented too. Each moment you spend together is worth it!
Thank you Jessica and Brendan for being so go with the flow, for trusting me to capture your day, and for the amazing lasagne! & a special shoutout to Eternal Tides Photography for planning such a wonderful itinerary for this incredible couple!
Hair and Makeup: The Artists Co.
Dress: David’s Bridal
Kauai is one of my favorite places to shoot elopements and weddings. For Jennifer and Steven’s elopement in Kauai, they opted for dramatic cliffsides near Poipu.
Poipu is on the south side of Kauai, with a resort-like feel. Because it is the southern part of the island, it is usually drier here. But that was not the case for their elopement! It happened to be pouring the entire week leading up to Jennifer and Steven’s wedding, but that’s okay because everything worked out and rain is known as a “good luck” omen for weddings.
I picked Jennifer up after she had gotten ready, and we headed to the beach to meet Steven for their first look. With my eye on the Doppler radar, we were waiting for the perfect time! While the rain didn’t completely clear, it let up just enough for the two of them to have their first look together. After they had that special moment just the two of them, we wandered along the cliffs and forests for photos.
Family members soon joined us on the beach for their Kauai elopement ceremony, with Jennifer’s sister officiating. Once the ceremony finished, we snapped some family shots! And of course, right after the last few group photos of the day, it started pouring again.
I love the Poipu area of Kauai for elopements because you are never more than five minutes away from someplace epic! Read on for more of my Kauai elopement tips and info!
Hair/Makeup Company: Artists Co.
Hair/Makeup Artist: Mia Moriguchu
Florals: Blue Orchid Kauai
YOUR GUIDE TO ELOPING IN KAUAI
South Side of Kauai
In general, the south side of the island can be more resort-like and attracts the most tourists! Towns like Poipu, where you’ll find cute spots such as Living Foods– where you can grab some light bites & drinks. It’s super cute and has some unique grocery items inside along with an incredible brunch on the weekends! Want to grab dinner somewhere upscale? Try Beachhouse, which is great for a celebratory meal!
If you’re a Lilo and Stitch fan, this one is for you. The town of Hanapepe was the inspiration for the town in the movie! It can be a cute stop while you’re in the area. And before checking out some of south Kauai’s natural wonders, head to Warehouse 3540 in Lawai. It’s a fun little marketplace with shops and food trucks!
Things to Do on the South and West Side of Kauai
Kōkeʻe State Park/Waimea Canyon are amazing places to see. It’s like a smaller Grand Canyon in the middle of an island! You can drive through the whole thing, and stop to soak up the sights and various lookouts. Keep in mind that if it’s too cloudy, you won’t be able to see too far so keep an eye on the weather! Camping is a blast here, so don’t forget layers because it can get chilly at night! Usually it is drier and warmer and the beginning of the canyon, and wetter near the end (remember to bring your rain jacket!).
If you want to see the incredible mountains that make up this canyon from the shoreline, I highly recommend doing a boat tour. This is probably the most unique and incredible activity you can do while you are in Kauai and you won’t regret the breathtaking views. They are many different tours…from sunset catamaran tours that include a meal, snorkeling tours, or smaller boats that go into some of the caves. Regardless of the craft to get you there, it’s worth the trip! These tours depart year round from Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor on the west side of Kauai or from Hanalei only in the summer months on the north shore.
Places to Stay on the South Side of Kauai
You aren’t too far from the airport if you choose to stay near the east side of Kauai, which can be a plus. There are also a lot of cool hotels which can be more budget friendly. The most populated town in Kauai, Kapa’a, has a bunch of shops and places to stay. You might want to check out Fish Bar Deli, a cute restaurant in old town Kapa’a with incredible cocktails and food with local ingredients. If you’re looking for a hotel to stay at, the newly renovated Kauai Shores Hotel has a nice pool, lawn games, and is right next door to the Lava Lava Beach Club – where you can enjoy live music.
Things to Do on the East Side of Kauai
You will definitely want to stay near east/central Kauai if you are wanting to hike during your trip! This area is accessible to a lot of hikes, including Sleeping Giant. This area of the island is your go-to for so many outdoor activities! And soaking in the beauty of Kauai is never a bad idea.
Places to Stay on the East Side of Kauai
North Shore of Kauai
The North Shore is the go-to area for those seeking a natural Kauai experience. With more rain on this part of the island than others, that leads to lush jungles and beautiful greenery. You’ll find staggering cliffs and mountains near towns such as Princeville. You can even see waterfalls from mountaintops where it’ll be raining at the summit, but sunny near the base. So cool! The area of Hanalei Bay is another place that is really neat to explore. Find cute coffee shops nearby such as Trilogy Coffee in Kilauea or Hanalei Bread Co. You’ll find my favorite hidden gem, Palate Wine Bar, up in the North Shore, too! The have yummy flatbread pizzas, an amazing assortment of wines and beer, pasta, salads, and cheese boards. Delicious!
Things to Do on the North Shore of Kauai
The North Shore is a great place to learn how to surf, so why not take a surfing lesson? This is a really popular activity for visitors. Keep in mind that you want to be as respectful of the locals as possible: obey parking signs near the beach, drive slowly and safely. The North Shore draws a lot of visitors, so we need to make sure we treat the area with respect.
Another fun thing to do on the North Shore is visit the gorgeous Hāʻena State Park. You’ll totally want to hike Kalalau trail, but remember that reservations are required and I strongly recommend taking the Go Hāʻena shuttle to get to the park.
Places to Stay on the North Shore of Kauai
There you have it – your ultimate guide to the gorgeous island of Kauai! Can’t wait to help you plan your Hawaiian elopement in this slice of paradise.
Head over to the blog to see helpful tips about planning your elopement along with my latest brand shoots, couple adventure sessions, and elopement galleries!