Queenstown New Zealand Retreat 2019

This last January we hosted our New Zealand Photo/Video Retreat and it exceeded ALL expectations! A group of 10 strangers from all over the world met in Queenstown New Zealand and became instant best friends! We stayed  in a beautiful home overlooking Lake Wakatipu and from there explored the incredible country of New Zealand and had the time of our lives!!

For this trip, we rented a big 12 passenger which allowed us all to be in one car and made the whole experience feel like a great big family road trip!

DAY 1- On the first day, we picked everyone up from the airport or from their Airbnb’s and brought them to the house. Once everyone had a chance to settle in, Josh and I taught our first class about manual camera settings for photo and video. We had a good range of skill levels and it was really fun for everyone to share what they knew with the group!  After the class, we drove to the heart of Queenstown (which was only about two blocks away from our house) so everyone could walk around the little shops and get a bite to eat. Lots of us tried the famous Ferg Burger and Ferg Baker to fill our bellies with burgers, pizza, and pastries. Once we got our fill, we drove off to see the Glenorchy drive. About 20 minutes into the journey, we found out that the road had been closed due to an electrical wire that had fallen with one of the strong winds that had passed through. As we were turning around the car, the back wheels of our 12 passenger bus got stuck in a little downward slope in the grass. After a moment of panic and some nice people helping to push ourselves out of the ditch, we managed to get back on the road and decided to stop and take pictures at two lookout spots closer to Queenstown!! The two lookout spots ended up being AMAZING and we had a really fun time practicing manual camera setting and getting to know everyone even better!!

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DAY 2- We started off with an early morning drive to the AJ Hackett Bungee jumping bridge. The whole group decided to do the zip swing, which was a fun little zipline ride. Afterwards Alyssa, Josh, and myself ended up taking the leap of faith and bungee jumped off the Kawarau  Bridge!! I still don’t know how I got myself to do it. Definitely scary but totally worth it and now i’d do it again!! We then headed home where we ate some snacks and had a lesson on lighting and composition. Afterwards we headed to the the Blue Pools which was about a two hour drive from our place in Queenstown. Along the way, we stopped for lunch at Wanaka and saw the famous tree that grows in the lake. We took the drive slow, and made a few stops seeing sheep and taking in the scenery!! About an hour later we got to the Blue Pools trailhead and took the short 20 minute walk to the bridges. The water at the blue pools was so beautiful and so so cold. The river comes from the glacier runoff making the water freezing. Alyssa and Elise decide to brave the coldness and jumped off the second bridge which is around 35-40 feet high. After taking some pictures and video, we headed back to Wanaka to grab some dinner at the food trucks and then made our way back to our house to get some sleep. The next day was going to be a jammed pack day of adventure and we were going to have to wake up early.

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DAY 3- Next morning we woke up really early to make our 5am pickup. This morning we were going to start the day with a hot air balloon ride overlooking the countryside of Queenstown. After arriving, we helped inflate the hot air balloon with air before all loading into the basket and taking off! It was everyone's first time in a hot air balloon and the whole group was ecstatic. I can’t think of a better way to start your day then to be floating above the New Zealand countryside as the sun comes up.  Once we landed, we helped pack up the big balloon and then shared pastries, champagne or sparkling apple juice with the group. I guess it’s a tradition to have champagne after a hot air balloon ride! After arriving back to our house at around 10am, we quickly packed up some snacks and our things for the day because we had to make our 3:35pm boat tour at the Milford Sound. Considering Queenstown is 4 hours away from the Milford Sound and we still wanted to stop for lunch, we all got comfy in our 12 passenger van and we had our lesson on Social Media  and Building a Brand as we made our way to the Milford Sound. It was so fun to learn from all the girls about their experience with this and how to make social media a more positive place! After getting lunch in Te Anau, we made it to the beautiful Milford Sound and boarded our boat! The huge mountain ranges and waterfall falls going straight into the ocean made for beautiful views as we boated through the canyon. Alyssa, Beks, and I stayed on the outside deck of the boat as the boat inched toward one of the huge waterfalls drenching ourselves in the process. After finishing the boat tour, we piled back into our family bus and made the journey back to our house to get some rest.

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DAY 4- After three really busy days in a row, we decided to let everyone sleep in a bit. Once everyone was awake, we had breakfast and then a class on Accounting and Business Tools. After class, we made a quick pit stop in Queenstown to get some yummy lunch and then headed to Bob’s Cove for a little hike. We made it to the summit of Bob’s cove (which was about a 20 min walk up) after which we play at the dock and watched Alyssa, Elise, and Jess jump off the dock into the beautiful and very cold water. Those girls are so brave! After some amazing times at the dock, we decided to get some Thai food and bring it back to our house for our last dinner as a big happy family!

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DAY 5- Next day, check out was at 10am which was so so sad! The time had definitely gone by way too fast. We dropped off most of the girls at the airport. Jess, Elise, And Lyss had later flights so we decided to do the glenorchy drive before they took off! We were so SO sad to see every single person go!! It honestly went by way too fast!!!

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💛My very favorite part of the retreat was the friendships we made. Each amazing person who came has a piece of my heart 💕💕💕

Josh- I just gotta give this guy a shout-out because, first of all, he put SO much hard work and patience into planning this with me! 💕 Josh was pretty much the ultimate instagram guy for the trip. Not only did he take all the shots of all the girls , but he actually doesn’t mind doing it which is a rare quality in a guy! He had lots of good times spending long car rides talking about makeup, hair, and boys. ;) He is so amazingly encouraging, sweet, and kind to everyone and that’s what I love about him!

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Becs- Becs is and Interior Designer/Photographer from Australia. The more I was around Becs the more i\I felt lucky to be around her! When we taught the classes she was always smiling so big and nodding her head in encouragement! She uplifts everyone and  makes everyone feel good and special 💛She literally is such a sweetheart and I just absolutely adore her!💕💕 I love her creativity and passion for photography and art! She is so talented!! I seriously love her!💛

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Nicole- Nicole is from Washington. She is the girl that just automatically is best friends with each person in an instant! She was the total life of the party for sure!! One of my favorite things about Nicole is just how real and full of life she is💛 She is so much fun and I truly believe the retreat wouldn’t have been half as fun without this girl!!!! The first thing I thought of when I met Nicole is, this “girl is a Boss BABE!” She is former Miss Washington, killing it with blogging and YouTubing and I learned SO much from Nicole! I am so inspired by her.

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Jillian-This beautiful girl came from California and was actually Miss California last year! There are so many amazing things to say about her. I look up to her so much!! 💗First off, she is so sweet and kind. But I was also so impressed by how humble and selfless she is. She truly puts other needs before herself.  The more I was around Jillian, the more I felt lucky to be around her! I just love her so much!💛

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Joy- Joy came the farthest from home, all the way from Germany! Her name says it all- She is pure JOY! I seriously love and ADORE her! She is such a cutie, literally best style ever and also she is hilarious!! She had the most randomly funny comments and just kept me laughing!! She is an angel💛✨ When she cried, saying goodbye to everyone, I seriously got so sad thinking how far away she lives because I wish I could see her again sooner! 💕💕

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Jess- Jess is just pure goodness. She is the most loving, caring  and sweetest person in the world. She was such a good friend to everyone on the retreat and so so kind!! She inspires me so much with how she shares her faith and heart online!! I just know she is such a bright light in the lives of so many 💛 The world needs more people like Jess

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Ari- Ari is a Canadian currently living in Australia. I instantly connected with Ari! She is literally the most adorable ray of sunshine and so chill and easy going! She is so positive and it makes me so happy to be around her!  I literally just wanna be like her 💛 She was the last to get a spot on the retreat and I am sooo happy she came! It really wouldn’t have been the same without her beautiful smile and happy spirit 💛💛

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Lyss- Lyss came from Colorado! I was blown away by what an angel she is!! 😇💛 She literally has the biggest heart in the world. And the best hair in the world. Josh and I legitimately kept calling her Ariel haha. She was so inspiring to me on the retreat- because she faced SO many of her fears going to New Zealand! She is terrified of flying- and flew across the world! She bungee jumped 144ft, jumped 45 feet into the ice cold blue pools, she wanted to experience everything she could! I love how she just lives and loves life to the fullest!! I love this girl with all my heart!!!

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Elise- Elise came from Hawaii! Elise is such a beautiful, amazing soul. She has a heart of gold and is just pure goodness 💗💗She is also sooo creative and artistic and super humble about it! She is an amazing photographer and a true artist in every sense of the word. So much raw talent!!!! Every single photo she takes is pure art. I learned so much from her and her experience as a photographer on the retreat and I’m so happy she lives so close to me (in Hawaii) so we can continue our friendship!💛

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Overall, the whole experience was even better than we could’ve ever imagined.

It was so fun to meet all these amazing people and connect in an environment where we could learn and have so much fun. I feel like I left the trip with so many new best friends 😭👭 and it’s been amazing to see the friendships they have created amongst themselves. It’s been so rewarding seeing the amazing videos and photos these girls have been creating. My heart is so full from this experience 💛Josh and I will remember it forever!

Santorini Greece Retreat 2018

This past March I literally had a dream that josh and i were in Europe teaching videography and photography!! I woke up and i couldn’t stop thinking about it. (I had been getting inquiries asking if we would ever do a workshop  so maybe that is what sparked my dream) ✨I told Josh, this sounds sooo crazy!!  But I think maybe we could do it!?! I was so surprised that Josh was so on board because he is the responsible one in the relationship haha. So literally that week we created a website, decided where we were going, and booked an airbnb! We were so nervous when we launched! That first day we got hundreds of applications!! We were seriously blown away. 😮My heart couldn't believe it was even happening, but it's truly just a testimony to me "If you can dream it, you can achieve it! 



Hosting our Santorini retreat workshop with josh and Natalia was definitely one of the most amazing experiences i have ever had! Josh and I taught photo and video classes and natalia taught yoga and ice cream making 💗 these two  made SO much magic happen!!!! ✨


Day One

We were sooo stoked the first day of the retreat because we were finally meeting all the fun people we’ve been talking to for the last couple months!! Since most people were flying in at different times it was tricky figuring out schedules. In the end, we ended up getting everyone at the house around 12:30. Once at the house everybody introduced themselves, what brought them to the retreat, and what they are most excited about. The coolest part was how i literally felt like i had already been friends with these people! Right away I felt like the group dynamic was so amazing and people were becoming friends right off the bat! it was really cool to see how we had people from all over the World from Spain to Canada to so many different states in the US, from California to Georgia!! Afterwards, we had a break for lunch before we started our first class going over Manuel Camera settings. It was awesome to see people in the group turn their cameras on manual and start practicing. In this group, we had some beginners all the way up to people that have been shooting for 5 years. It was fun to see the things we could learn from each other and then go out to practice. Before we went out on our first lookout point we decided to spot at a highly recommended gyro shop called lucky’s. Going there definitely makes you feel lucky because the food is sooooo good 😛🙏🏼 After eating,  we wanted to go to an amazing spot to watch the sunset, so we decided to go to the Imervogili village which is one of the places on Santorini with the iconic white washed villages on the side of the cliffs looking over the ocean and other nearby islands. There we practiced our manual camera setting and learned tips about best times to shoot and lighting tricks and tips. We had such a fun time  taking turns getting shots of the views and each other as the sun began to set over the ocean! By the end of the day it felt like we had all been friends for years 💕💕💕



Day two

Natalia started the day off with teaching yoga and making breakfast. Lots of people slept in to recover from all that jet lag 😅After breakfast we had class on Movement & Composition. We then drove to Amoudi Bay to swim and cliff dive. I ended up taking out the water housing and getting some fun shots under water with the group. Everybody seemed to love this part!!! It seemed like everyone was feeling more and more confident with their cameras which was pretty amazing to watch! We ended the day watching the sunset in Oia at the prettiest lookout spot ever!!! The sunsets in Oia are crazy crowded with tourists, so it was lucky my friend Samantha recommended this amaaazing spot we had all to ourselves!💛✨ At the end of the night we split off into smaller groups to get some dinner before heading back to the house. 💗

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Day three


After a quick breakfast we were all shuttled to the dock where we boarded our Catamaran for the tour around the Caldera of Santorini. This was definitely one of the best parts of the trip. We ended up having three stops, lunch, and a lot of good time to relax and  get some good shots! The water was so blue and clear we all wish we could have stayed swimming all day. We booked the full day tour and still wished it was longer! It was so beautiful 😭💛Once we returned, we had some amazing dinner made by Natalia accompanied by some really good Italian/Greek  styles pizza. We ended the night teaching photo and video editing classes! 

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Day four, Oia is one of the main attraction in Santorini and during the sunset the place can get really crazy. Since we wanted to dodge the crowds we went with a group of early birds at 5:00 am to get to Oia early for the sunrise. There was 10 of us who got up for this! We were all super groggy at first haha but it was well worth it! The sunrise coming over the sleepy town of Oia was something we will never forget! 💛 it was sooo magical!! After taking pictures/video to our hearts content we headed back to the house for breakfast. Josh started off the classes with talking about business, hard drives, and finances. It was then followed by me teaching about social media and creating a brand. This was a really fun class because we got to hear from everyone’s experiences and there was a lot of really good discussion. So many of the people who came have started their own businesses and had such amazing insight to add! I for sure left this class feeling inspired. After the classes, Natalia taught an amazing gelato cooking class where we learned how to make two different flavors of gelato. After the classes, we decided to take advantage of the houses amazing pool and spent time taking pictures and diving on the little bridge that stretched across the pool. We then spent the evening hiking down to skaros rock for sunset for a final group pow wow! We all had notebooks and wrote in each others books. I started getting so sad the retreat was coming to an end 😭 we ended the day eating all together at a little Greek restaurant that definitely wasn’t expecting a group of 17 people to come in all at once. After getting home we shared pictures with each other and said our goodbyes to the people leaving early the next morning. I stayed up until 2AM with some of the girls! I didn’t want to say goodbye 😭💛

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Day five

A lot of people had morning flights and had to leave early but for those who stayed we got to relax a little longer at the beach after eating breakfast and then said goodbye to the last people there💛My very favorite part of the retreat was the friendships we made. Each amazing person who came has a piece of my heart 💕💕💕


Josh- I just gotta give this guy right here a shout-out because First of all, he put SO much trust and faith into me going for  this and it seriously means so so much 💕 Josh was pretty much the ultimate instagram guy for the trip. Not only did he take all the shots for the girls , but he actually doesn’t mind doing it which is a rare quality in a guy! He had lots of good times spending long car rides talking about makeup, hair, and boys. ;) He is so amazingly encouraging , sweet, and kind to everyone and I love that about him! 

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Natalia - it was so fun to have our sista  Natalia there with us! Natalia is such an beautiful, amazing soul. Anyone who knows natalia know she has a heart of gold and is just pure goodness 💗💗💗She has done lots of retreats in the past, and so it definitely eased our nerves having her support and ideas an help throughout the whole thing ☺️ we literally couldn’t have done it without her and I’m forever grateful for her!!

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Brooke! This beautiful girl came from utah. There are so many amazing things to say about this her. I look up to brooke so much!! 💗First off, she is so sweet, kind and humble. And second artist is an amazing photographer and designer and a true artist in every sense of the word. So much raw talent!!!! Every single photo she takes is pure art. I learned so much from her and her experience as a photographer on the retreat💛



 Sam came to Greece all the way from Alabama! The first thing I think about Sam is her amazingly contagious smile and laugh!! It seriously brightens up any room immediately and is rare to find this happy girl without a smile 💛 Sam was such an amazing example to me of finding positivity and faith even in the hardest moments. I am so inspired by Sam and the love and happiness she embodies 💕💕💕 

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Emily- Emily is from Arizona. Emily was one of the very first who signed up for the retreat before it even launched which automatically got me so stoked for the retreat!! Emily is the girl that Just automatically is best friends with each person in an instant! She is the life of the party and pure sunshine ☀️ one of my favorite things about Emily is just how real and down to earth she is💛 she is so much fun and I truly believe the retreat wouldn’t have been half as fun without this girl!!!! 



Cailee- Cailee came from California! I first met Cailee at the Taylor Swift concert in May! I was blown away by what an angel she is!! 😇💛 I knew after tswift we would be besties hehe! Cailee is one of the sweetest and most genuine people I have ever met! She is also amazingly talented at everything but is too humble to ever talk much about herself ;) but she is amazing and deserves to be told! 💕love this girl with all my heart!!!



Paula- Paula was the one closest to home, coming from the beautiful Canary Islands in Spain! I seriously love and ADORE Paula! She is such a cutie, literally best style ever and also she is hilarious!! She literally saved our lives in the car while I was driving helping me with all the European driving rules!! She is an angel💛✨ her dream is to come to Hawaii and i know she is gonna make it happen so i can’t wait to see her in Hawaii someday soon💕💕💕



Chelsea - Chelsea is from Colorado living in utah! I got to spend some good quality bonding time with Chelsea the days leading up to the retreat. Chelsea is one of the most good to the core, generous, most heart of gold people I have ever met! We have so many friends in common I felt like we had already been friends forever 💕💕💕 Chelsea is one of those people ya just feel lucky to know!!



Maddie- Maddie is from Georgia. I loved getting to spend so much time with this girl in our drives around the island! The more i was around maddie the more i felt lucky to be around her! She literally is such a sweetheart 💕💕 I look up to her so much in her faith and optimism in life!! She makes everyone feel good and special 💛I seriously love her so much!💛



Hannah- Hannah is Maddie’s identical twin living in Georgia as well! I loved watching their sweet sister friendship. Hannah inspired me even before the retreat with her amazing food Instagram and her beautiful creations! I also love how much she shares her faith and heart online!! I just know she is such a bright light in the lives of so many 💛 the world needs more people like the twins!

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Taylor- Taylor is from Texas currently living in Louisiana! The first thing I think of when I think of taylor is Lady boss!!!! She runs an amazing fashion blog and seriously kills it in everything. I am so inspired by her. My favorite thing about taylor is her beautiful heart and how generous and giving she is 💛 she always wanted each waiter and worker whole helped us to know how appreciated they were an tipped them(even when it wasn’t customary!!) so amazed by this girl.



Jon Luke- Jon Luke is Taylor’s husband who is also from Louisiana! He is exactly what i think of when I think of a ‘southern gentlemen!’ I wasn’t sure how it would be with him and josh being the only guys but it literally everyone LOVED Jon Luke! I learned so much business tips from him and he was also so helpful. Every morning he was the first helping Natalia with the dishes from her yummy breakfasts. He has such a kind heart and you can just tell how much he loves taylor 💛



Hanna- Hanna is from Canada. She is literally the most adorable ray of sunshine and plus she has some crazy awesome dance moves!!! I literally just wanna be like this sweet girl 💛 she came on the retreat last minute and I am sooo happy she came! It really wouldn’t have been the same without her beautiful smile and happy spirit 💛💛

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Jarah - Jarah came from canada as well. She started a cool house party business called Mayberry’s and crushed it and sold it!! She is a true lady boss! The thing that inspired me the most about Jarah is the pure love she has for her kids/family 💛She was amazing putting her husband through school as he was becoming a doctor. She is also an amazing photographer and and doing the floss dance whenever possible. 🙌🏽

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Whitney - Whitney is also Canadian living in utah! She is also an amazing floss dancer and is Jarah’s sister in Law and mama to the cuuutest boys! She is such a beautiful person inside and out 💛💛She is an amazing makeup artist too!! I never do my makeup and never really have been stoked getting it done, but when she did my makeup on the retreat I was amazed! She made me feel so pretty 💕💕 I love Whitney!!!!



Ashley- Ashley is from Salt Lake City Utah! I seriously loved Ashley the minute I met her! She is so amazing, kind and genuine! I saw myself a lot in her and her passion for starting videography and it makes me so happy! She is a bright light and I know life has such amazing things in store for her!! I seriously can’t wait to see where it takes her 💛



Overall, the whole experience was even better than we could’ve ever imagined it. It was so fun to meet all these amazing people and connect in an environment were we could learn and have so much fun. I feel like i left the trip with 15 new best friends 😭👭 and it’s been amazing to see the friendships they have created amongst themselves. Many of the girls who didn’t know eachother before planned to travel together before and after! It’s been so rewarding seeing the amazing videos and photos our friends have been creating. My heart really  is so full from this experience 💛 josh and I will remember it forever! Who wants to come on the next one!?!

Bahama Travel Guide: Our 11 Day Trip Traveling Through The Islands


The Bahamas is such a beautiful place with over 700 hundred islands. Between tour boats, swimming, and flights we visited 11 islands while we were there for our 11 day trip. We flew from Tampa Florida to The Great Exuma and then flew from The Great Exuma to Tampa eleven days later but had a day layover in Nassau on the way back.

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One of the first things we noticed when we arrived is how beautiful and clear the water is and how empty the beaches are. End of December and beginning of January is supposed to be their busy season but we had most beaches all to ourselves!


They Airbnb we stayed at also offered a rental car which worked out great for us. The car is a tiny Japanese car that talks to you in Japanese! Ricardo and Maxine are the owners and are a super cool couple. They were so friendly and we loved just chattin with them! They were so helpful as well.

Here is a link to their airbnb! We totally recommend staying with them. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3970579


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The First day, we drove from our Airbnb through George town and to Tropic of Cancer beach. This is a really beautiful beach where there were some islands that we snorkeled to. The water was so so clear and we had the whole little island to ourselves. We found hundreds of sand dollars to which was my favorite part :) FInding them is magical!! After that we then continued to Little Exuma. Little Exuma is a smaller island off of The Great Exuma but it’s connected by a bridge. Near the end of the island there’s a little bakery called “Mom’s Bakery” where we bought some bread for $6. The lady who sells the bread was so nice and said she was now are mama on the island. The people in Exuma are seriously some of the kindest people we’ve met! TIP: Get mosquito repellent! Around 5:30 a million mosquitos and sand flies start swarming the beach like you would never believe!! We only stayed outside for sunset twice because it was so crazy haha.

Next day, we decided to drive down to the other side of the island to  Coco Plum beach. This beach is beautiful and has wooden swings that are off the beach in the water. Talk about fun! We spend a lot of time swinging on the swings, playing in the water, and even walked out to another island that we had all to ourselves! It probably took us about 45 min to walk out to the closest island and by the time we got back the sun was setting and the sky was a beautiful pink color. It had to be one of the most beautiful sunset ever!

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For around $20 you can catch a 7 minute boat ride to Stocking Island from Georgetown and visit a well known hang out spot called Chat and Chill or Lumina Point. We spent a really fun day at Lumina point eating amazing food, kayaking, getting a couples massage(we never do things like that but it was SO fun!!), and hanging out on the beach. Imagine a bunch of beautiful white beach bungalows scattered on the edge of a beautiful beach all connected by little jungle maze of paved trails. If you are looking for a tropical getaway this is definitely an amazing location. For more information about Lumina Point go here: http://www.luminapoint.com/?utm_source=Lumina%20Point%20Resort%20%26%20Spa

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Boat tour day

We scheduled a full day boat tour through Exuma Water Tours for $180 per person. Note, we payed online and there was a $20 processing fee so it probably better to just pay when you get there. It seems like a lot of people did that. This tour pick you up at around 7 am from the nearing pickup location closest to where you are staying and then brings you back to that location at the end of the day around 6 pm.


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During the tour, we say some of the celebrity islands of David Copperfield, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and more. We then saw an amazing dock with Nurse Shark (this was $5/person to see but super cool), walked around on a little sand bar, and swam through Thunderball Grotto (where they filmed the James bond movie). We had plans of staying in the island of Staniel Cay so got dropped off before the whole tour was done.

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Staniel Cay

Staniel Cay is a beautiful little island that can be totally explored in one day of walking or by golf cart. Most people drive golf carts in this small island :) While at Staniel Cay we stayed at the Embrace Resort. Embrace Resort was a fun place to stay. They have some units that are perfect for two people and others that would be perfect if you are coming with a whole family. It’s situated right in the middle of the island which is ideal for walking anywhere you would want to explore. It’s also right next to the little airport which makes things easy if you are flying in our out to Nassau using Flamingo Air. Through the resort we were able to book a boat tour to see the pig island which was only about a 10 minute ride by boat from Staniel Cay. For more information about Embrace Resort on the island of Staniel Cay go here: http://www.embraceresort.com/

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Local were telling us that the population in Staniel Cay fluxuates from 75 to 100 people. On the island you have a two little markets and two restaurants. We really really liked the local restaurant called “Taste and Sea”. I think their hours were from 9am to 12ish. A plate was about $10 and usually came with fish or chicken, salad, rice, and a fried plantain. Sooo good and filling :)

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Almost didn’t make it back!

We woke up our last day on Staniel Cay and knew we had to find a boat to take us back to The Great Exuma (about 3 to 4 hour boat ride). We had tried to make plans with several of the boat tour companies but they said they could only get us if they already had a tour going out that day. The forecast was looking like there was going to be heavy rain and wind so a lot of tours were being cancelled. During this time we tried everything, including almost hitching a ride back to Florida on a huge yacht. Josh was stoooooked on that idea! We were bummed that ultimately didn’t work out. At the last moment we got word there was one tour running that day and that it would swing by and pick us up if we were at the government dock at 12:30 pm. We got to the dock at 12 and waited until a little past 1pm and started getting nervous but luckily the boat came by and took us back to The Great Exuma to catch our flight to Nassau and from Nassau to Florida. If were to plan it again and wanted to see The Great Exuma and Staniel Cay, we would book a one way ticket to The Great Exuma and then fly out of Staniel Cay on Flamingo air.


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Overall, the Bahamas was a blast! Amazingly blue water with beautifully beaches/islands with relatively few people on them. If you are looking for a fun place to relax and catch some island vibes we definitely recommend checking it out!

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Ultimate Oahu Travel Guide: Adventures, Food, and Fun!

Oahu is such a beautiful island and there is so much to do! The North Shore is known for its amazing waves and fun surf vibes, the West side is a little more dry but has beautiful place for swimming and snorkeling, the South side is known for Honolulu and Waikiki where you can shop and do touristy things, and the East side is an amazing coastline with tons of beautiful beaches and scenery.


Below is a list of things that I love to do and would tell a friend to do if they were visiting the island.




Crouching lion (Northern East Side of Island): if you are at Kahana beach park looking towards the ocean, this hike is going the be the ridge on your right. It is a pretty steep incline and probably take about 30 to 45 minutes to get to the first ridge lookout points. The view is gorgeous! Be careful though because the cliff are high, windy, and people have died before. If you are careful and cautious of the strong wind you should be ok. If you want to do a lot of hiking you can do the full Crouching Lion hike which I’ve heard takes about 7 hours to do and is dangerous.


Maunawili falls: (East Side of Island Near Kailua): This is a fun jungle hike that ends up at a beautiful waterfall with a 30ish foot jump on the left of smaller jumps on the far side of the pool. If I remember correctly, it takes about an hour and a half to get to the waterfall. Super fun hike.


Sunset pillbox (North Shore): This shorter hike starts at Sunset Elementary and vears to the left through the trees. After hiking up the side of mountain you come to a beautiful lookout with an old World War II bunker overlooking the North Shore with it’s beautiful surfing breaks. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to get to the top:)



Castles (Beach in between Laie and Kahuku): This is a great beach for beginners to catch some small waves and/ro play on the beach. This little surf is a “wind break” meaning the waves are created by the wind which makes this a windier beach but still a really fun learning spot. When we’ve gone there usually isn’t board for rent so bring your own.



Puaena Point (Beach Park right off the highway before Surf N Sea): This is a fun beginner and intermediate spot. The surf starts breaking on the outside of the bay and then ripples in making it a great spot for beginners and more experienced surfers. There are usually board rentals and lessons near the parking lot.


Turtle bay: (North East tip of the Island): This is a fun surf spot. Depending on the day, you will find beginner and/or intermediate surfers here. Lessons and rentals can be found at the entrance of the Hotel. If your just starting out be sure to be careful of other surfers. This spot can get crowded and boards sometimes start flying, making a little dangerous, when a lot of newer surfers are out:)



Haleiwa River (North Shore, Right on the side of the Haleiwa Bridge): This is a great place if you want to paddle board up the river a little and even paddle out into the bay. For people that have never paddle boarded before it can sometimes be a little tricky to balance so these calm waters are a great place to start learning and enjoy the water.


Kawela Bay (North East tip of the Island, On left side of Turtle Bay Resort): This fun bay is a popular spot for big box office movies such as The Hunger Games and George of the Junger to film their movies. Most people park on the side of the road near the fruit stand and then follow the path at the end of the fence. This is a great place if you are looking for a beautiful and relaxing spot where the water is calmer. I believe you can book surf lessons through Turtle Bay Resort and sometimes they will take people here to surf the small waves on the right side of the bay. Note: If you go out of the bay sometimes there is a strong current that can be dangerous if aren’t careful.




Waimea Bay (North Shore): During the summers this beach is fun and calm but during the winter season the waves here can become deadline. If there isn’t too much current in the water, this can be a fun spot to jump off the rock (about a 20 foot jump) and swim though the little water caves. Parking can be difficult to find. Sometimes we park near the Foodland Supermarket and then walk to the beach.


Lanikai (East Side, Kailua): The sand on this beach looks like flower and looks out towards the Moke Islands. These two islands can be reached by kayaks or surfboards. Parking can be tricky and sometimes it’s a good to have one person drop people off near the beach and then park further away and walk.


Sunset (North Shore): This is one of the worlds best surfing waves and contests are held here during the winter months. This is an advance surfing spot with sometimes strong currents and big waves. If you love relaxing on the beach this place is a beautiful spot to see the North Shore.



Keikis (North Shore): This is one of my favorite beaches to relax on. During the winter months the waves can get bigger and be scary for swimming but during the summer this a really fun place to swim and hang out with friends and family.



For Burgers and Fries:

Seven Brothers (Laie and Kahuku, North East Side): You can't go wrong with any of their burgers (our personal favorite is their pesto burger and Shem burger) their fries are a must 👍🏽 and you don't want to miss out on their homemade banana bread and ice cream for dessert 😍


Thai Food:

Elephant Thai (Haleiwa, North Shore): located in Haleiwa Must try: Panang Curry or the Pad Thai or Yum Gai Yang! We just rotate between these dishes everytime we go. Their Panang Curry is a warm bowl of put heaven with rice on the side. The Pad Thai is some of the best I’ve ever had (even counting the pad thai I tried in Thailand). The Yum Gai Yang is a fresh tasting dish that comes with meat (or tofu) and has lettuce and mint with rice and a super good sweet sauce that brings everything together.


Rajanee Thai Cuisine (Haleiwa, North Shore): You’ve gotta try the Pineapple Curry with a side of Coconut Rice. We always call ahead and see if it’s an option because it’s not always offered on the menu but it’s seriously what dreams are made of! This place usually has a long wait and a lot of times we’ve had to wait another hour to get our food once we’ve ordered. If you aren’t in a rush it is totally worth it but if you are, they also have a takeout window on the side of the restaurant which is a lot faster! Now, we usually just order from the window and eat outside on a nearby table.


Mexican Food:

North Shore Tacos (Haula, North East Side and North Shore, by Sharks Cove): This place is kinda like Cafe Rio (if you’ve ever been there) but it’s a little bit more expensive and slightly less food. Still a good option if you’ve gotta get that mexican food.


Surf N Salsa (Haleiwa, North Shore): This is a food truck that serves some good mexican food. Near the end of Haleiwa town, you order from the front and there is some seating in the back. Last time we were there the guys were authentic Mexicans so you know that’s a good combo.


Sandwiches and Smoothies:

Wailua Bakery (North Shore, Haleiwa): This is a cute little eatery with a fun vibe. Some of their must tries are: turkey avocado sandwich, nutty Hawaiian smoothie or the piña colada smoothie, ice cream cookie sandwiches for dessert.


Kahuku Farms (North East Side, Kahuku): This is a great place for all those healthy people! This is a vegetarian eatery with some really good farm panini sandwiches, farm

Pizza and lilikoi smoothies. Make sure you check to see when they are open because sometimes they have weird hours.


Sandy's Sandwiches (North Shore): This is a little turquoise shed that is usually parked between Bonzai Pipeline and Sharks Cove. Last time we were there they only accept cash so be prepared. The sandwiches are works of art! Seriously, the guy makes them super good with high quality ingredients that are making my mouth water even as I write this. Definitely a good option.



I really hope this helps! These are just some of my top locations but there are a ton of other fun things to do if you do a little searching. Whether your visiting or planning to move here for a while, I hope this island brings you as many smiles as it has brought me!

Complete Guide: 4 Easy Steps to Upgrading Your Camera Equipment

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I like doing photo and video but I’m not sure what camera gear to get! I don’t have a ton of money and I’m scared of buying the wrong thing. What am I supposed to do?

… sound like you? No worries. We got you covered.

Below I’m going to talk a little about what the progression looked like for me, what I learned, and what I would do differently.


Getting Started

Smart Phone and iMovie and Vsco on your phone. When you are first starting out, you’re trying to figure out if this is going to be a hobby or if this could be your eventual dream job. Either way, I’d suggest making movies and taking photos with whatever you have around. It seems like most people nowadays have a Smart Phone and could get their hands on a computer with a cheap editing software like iMovie (if you have a Mac. or buy it for $15). There is no shame in starting this way. I actually think this is the smart way to do it. I started by making videos on my GoPro and a point and shoot camera and then would edit them in iMovie. Use whatever you have and just get started and have fun!



(1) First Investment

Canon Rebel with kit lens (around $500), Final Cut Pro (around $250), Adobe Lightroom (around $10/month). Once you know you’re into Photography/Videography you’re going to want to upgrade your camera and then editing software. You don’t have to upgrade to the Canon Rebel but that’s what I did and I really liked it. You can find kits on Amazon or Best Buy for around $500 and they typically come with a bag, some kit lenses, SD cards and some other stuff to make you feel like a real photographer/videographer. The Canon Rebel kit packages usually come with lenses that you will eventually want to upgrade but for starting out their good.


Note, I didn’t start with getting the Canon Rebel, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Lightroom all at once. I first got the Canon Rebel and played around with it for a while. Then decided I wanted to get fancy with my pictures and edit on Lightroom. Then I decided to get Final Cut Pro.


(2)First Lens Upgrade

Upgrade your lens for you Canon Rebel (around $125 to $1000+). Ya, lenses can get pricey! Here’s where getting to know your camera a little bit more comes in handy. Some cameras are “crop sensor” while others are “full frame”. This matters because crop sensor cameras are going to make your images looked cropped or zoomed. A Canon Rebel is a crop sensor camera. Higher quality cameras like the Canon 5D, 6D and 1D are full frame cameras. So, if you plan on upgrading your camera body, which you probably eventually will want to if you’re getting more serious about photography and videography, then you will want to upgrade your lens to something that could potentially work with your current camera (most likely a Canon Rebel) and your future camera (I upgraded to a Canon 5D Mark iv).


Which lenses will do that? Great question! I ended up buying the Canon 50mm f/1.8 for about $125, which might be something I would have done differently. A lot of people recommend this lens because it’s cheap and does a good job (which is true). BUT if you are using it on your Canon Rebel (which is a crop sensor camera) you are going to notice that your image is really cropped or zoomed looking. This wasn’t too big of a problem for me because I was fortunate enough to upgrade to the Canon 5D Mark iv but if you want a good lens for your Canon Rebel, I would recommend two options.



Option A) If you like getting more landscape shots, the Canon 24mm f/2.8 STM lens ($150-$1,200) is a good option. A 24mm lens that goes down to 1.4 will be better for low light- BUT a lot more pricey- $1,200.  On your Canon Rebel this 24mm lens will look more like a 35mm lens because the image will be cropped or zoomed. This won’t be the best landscape lens until you upgrade your camera body to a full frame camera but it’ll give you the ability to get a little landscape and will work for capturing people as well. If you are more like me and interested in capturing people and don’t care about the wider landscape shots  as much then I would go with a 35mm lens (canon as a f stop of 1.4 that is $1,200 or an f-stop of 2 which is $450.) I’ve heard a lot of people like the 35mm Sigma Art lens. Now, I know these are expensive so there is a Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens which is currently $150 on Amazon. I’ve never used it but is seems to have good reviews and I would probably buy it if I could only spend $150 to upgrade my lens.



Option B) If you want to invest in a lens you plan on using for a while and is good for photo and video, I love the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 zoom (around $1,000). Ouch! Yes, it’s expensive but will allow you to get up close or further away shots. Plus, it has vibration control which can really come in handy if you plan on filming. Having an epic but shaky shot is a videographer’s worst nightmare. Sometimes, I have my camera and don’t have a stabilizer or monopod and I have to film with just holding the camera. When this happens, I’m so happy to have the vibration control on this lens. Overall, if you can make the investment this will be a lens you will keep with you as you upgrade your camera body. The downside to this lens is that it is kinda heavy so if you are buying a gimbal to stabilize your shots it might be too heavy for it.



(3)Stabilization Upgrade

Monopod ($150 to $200) and/or Gimbal (around $1,200). You’ve got some good camera gear and now you really want to get stable shots. We bought the MeFOTO Classic Aluminum Roadtrip tripod (around $150 to $200). This is tripod is actually really great because it is light, compact, and can turn into a monopod when you screw off one of the legs. The only thing is doesn’t have is a handle to do sweet panning shots (I believe this is called a “pan head”). The pan head would be nice but we get along without it. Definitely love this little tripod and think it’s a great buy for anyone that thinks they’ll be doing some traveling.


As for the gimbal, we bought the Pilotfly H2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for a wapping $1,200. Yes, it’s expensive but we’ve really enjoyed it. This is really awesome for getting movement shots where you are going to be walking around. This also has a really long battery life. We’ve used it at wedding lasting 3-4 hours and it hasn’t run out of power. When we’re not filming we turn it off and then after a shoot we charge it back up with a simple wall charger that plugs into the handle. Having a gimbal definitely takes your video to the next level!



(4)Camera Body Upgrade

Canon 5D Mark iv (around $3,300). Ok, so this is a big investment but if you’ve been using a camera like the Canon Rebel for a while you’ll definitely notice a difference in your video quality. The Canon 5D Mark iv is a full frame camera and can shoot 1080p at 60fps. This just basically means that your videos will look high quality even when you do awesome slow motion shots. With the Canon Rebel you have to either sacrifice quality to get the 60fps (frames per second) so you can do slow-motion or you can have higher-quality but your slow motion will look glitchy as you slow it down. Another option that we used for a little bit was   the Sony a7s because it’s an awesome camera for video and does really well in low light (aka dark/bad lighting) which is something you will encounter if you’re filming evening weddings. We ultimately decided to go with the Canon 5D Mark iv because you can’t beat the coloring on the Canon!  Sony cameras seem to have a darker look, which can be good too, but we love the richness of the Canon colors.



There you have it! Four easy steps to upgrading your camera equipment. Now if you talk to 10 different photographers and videographers you’re probably going to get around 3 to 5 different opinions, so if these equipment suggestions don’t work for you there are other awesome options out there. This is just what we’ve invested in and the experiences we’ve had so I hope they help! If you love video and keep at it, you will eventually have access to the camera gear you need.

Mattie & Seth


This was such a fun day! We met at Fletcher's Cove in Encinitas California around 6:30am. It was getting warmer outside and the sun was starting to wake up as joggers and power walkers made their way across the beach. We got some fun shots of Mattie and Seth running on the beach using the Pilot Fly  (to help steady our shots) and 50mm lens and then we put our camera in an SPL water housing and got some fun shots of them entering and then playing in the water. Trash the dress and/or love water videos are some of the funnest videos to make. Be sure to send me a message to see what my availability and pricing is if you’d like to get one for your special day.

Special thanks to The National Parks for the beautiful song. Go check them out!

How We Explored Banff National Park

Last week we just got back from our fun trip to Banff National Park and wanted to share some useful tips for people that are thinking of going to explore this beautiful National Park! We’re going to talk a little about places we stayed, sites we visited, and thing we wish we would’ve known before we went. Before we get into this, we’d love to give a little shout out to Glamping Hub and Simpson’s Num-Ti-Jah Lodge who provided us with a super fun place to stay right on Bow Lake situated in the heart of Banff National Park. If you’re looking to stay in Banff and want to wake up to an amazing view you’ve go to check them out. Plus, if you’re going anywhere you need to check out Glamping Hub because they have some of the coolest places to stay in Nature while not breaking the bank. Here is a link highlighting some of “Best Camping Cabins in the US”.

The view just a 2 minute walk outside the lodge! This beautiful lake and if you look closely there is a beautiful waterfall flowing down!

The view just a 2 minute walk outside the lodge! This beautiful lake and if you look closely there is a beautiful waterfall flowing down!

The view from Lodge! Incredible!!

The view from Lodge! Incredible!!

The wildflowers are so pretty up at Bow Lake in August!

The wildflowers are so pretty up at Bow Lake in August!

Places to Stay

So planning ahead is a good idea because Banff is a super popular place in the summer. If you are planning on camping, there are campsites you can reserve or campsites that are first-come first-serve. We went to the Parks Canada website to figure it out. On the website there is a helpful chart that shows which campsites are reserved ones and which ones are first-come first-serve ones. We ended up just showing up and realized that most of the camping spots were filled up. When we drove up to one of the camp rangers and asked him what he’d recommend, since we were at Lake Louise, he recommended us driving to the Protection Mountain campsite and seeing if we could find an open spot there. He also gave us a tip that sometimes there isn’t any open spots but you can see if there are some campers willing to share a spot in exchange for splitting the camping fee. Sometimes the campsites are large and campers don’t mind sharing a spot.


The Num Ti Jah Lodge is nestled in the mountains! So cute!!

The Num Ti Jah Lodge is nestled in the mountains! So cute!!

If you’re not into roughing it there are some really nice places to stay throughout the park. The spot we stayed through Glamping Hub (Simpson’s Num-Ti-Jah Lodge) was a really fun way to end the trip because it was situated a little away from the really busy lakes but still in a beautiful location right by Bow Lake with some fun hiking to a waterfall. The Lodge was a cozy cabin and the perfect place to relax while enjoying the natural beauty of the park. By the way, the lodge up there had Bison Chili. Ya, we were a little skeptical at first but it was well worth the 8 Canadian dollars.


Sites We Visited

Banff has so many hike, lakes, and waterfalls that it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Lake Louise and Moraine are some of the most famous lakes and need to be visited early in the morning if you plan on getting a parking spot up by the lake. We got to our parking spots by 6:30am and lines were already forming. By 7am they were closing the parking lot because it was so full and wouldn’t open it back up until 6 or 7pm in the afternoon. Not sure if it’s always this busy but it’s good to be there early if you want to get parking. We never did this but I guess there’s a shuttle service (I think it’s free) that shuttles people up to Lake Louise. Both of these lake were super cold and super beautiful. You can’t help thinking that the whole lake is a giant puddle of Blue Kool-Aid. Another beautiful lake we went to was peyto Lake! This lake has an awesome view from up above another Blue kool Aid lake with only 30 minutes hiking or less to get to a good lookout spot away from the crowds!

Lake Louise for sunrise <3

Lake Louise for sunrise <3

Lake Moraine SO pretty

Lake Moraine SO pretty


If you’re  looking for a hike full of beautiful waterfalls you need to check out Johnston’s Canyon. It took us about two hours to do the whole thing and we did stopped to film and stuff along the way! The whole hike is paved and we saw a lot of families with little kids doing the hike.

The last waterfall on the hike!

The last waterfall on the hike!

There were so many waterfalls in Johnston's Canyon!

There were so many waterfalls in Johnston's Canyon!

awww i love him. this place was so fun

awww i love him. this place was so fun

Emerald Lake. Crazy boy just jumps right in!

Emerald Lake. Crazy boy just jumps right in!

One of our favorite lakes was Emerald Lake. This lake is smaller than Lake Louise and Moraine but still is that magical blue color. Plus, when we went it was the warmest of all the lakes(still freezing tho haha) and there were quite a few people jumping off a bridge and swimming around in the lake. Fewer people are there and the canoe rentals are the cheapest at this lake if you want to rent a canoe. At Emerald Lake the canoe rentals were $60 per hour, Lake Louise it was $90 per half hour, and at Lake Moraine it was $90 per hour. We ended up taking our canoe tour at Lake Moraine only because we didn’t know what Emerald Lake was like.

Kayaking this lake was the highlight of the trip!!

Kayaking this lake was the highlight of the trip!!


If you’re like us and always looking for ways to save a buck here are a few tricks we learned. We usually use the app Turo to get rental cars and were lucky when the rental car we got in Calgary came with a Canadian National Park pass. If you are on the Turo app looking for rental car options it might be worth your time to ask car owners if they have a park pass available. If they rent the car to a lot of people visiting Banff there is a good chance they have a pass and can let you use it while you are renting the car.


Stock up at Costco if possible :) We made a quick pit stop at Costco before heading up to the park and were so so happy we did! The food at the park is a little more expensive and it’s just nice to have a ton a fruit, water bottles and granola bars in the car if you get stuck in a long line of cars waiting for a parking spot.


Funnest boy to travel with!

Funnest boy to travel with!

Cold nights in Canada. We went in the summer and were pretty lucky with having warms nights but one of the nights we were there was pretty cold and we were really glad we purchased some warm sleeping bags in Calgary right before we went. During the days we usually wore shorts and t-shirts but in the early mornings and evenings we were glad we had some warm sweaters.


Taking fun pictures. While you’re there you’ll find yourself pulling out your camera all the time to snap another picture because everything looks so out of this world amazing. If you’re looking to get pictures of the lakes super flat and glassy we’d suggest to go early (like 6:30 am). Usually the lakes were really glassy and pretty at this time. If you end up missing the morning shots you can go in the evening and get some really amazing shots as well. The morning might be a little bit better but on a good day it’s hard to know if there’s a difference.


The view from Peyto Lake! what a sight!!

The view from Peyto Lake! what a sight!!

Overall Banff is a must see! If you like hiking, exploring, and taking pictures it’s a guaranteed good time. We hope this little summary of our time there with places we stayed, sites we visited, and some tips we learned while there can make your future trip there even better!

Analise & Sialou

Shot on a Canon 5d mark IV, Tamron 24-70 mm, SPL housing.

This video was so so fun to make! We had decided beforehand that we wanted to shoot this on the West side of Oahu in the morning to get that magical lighting. But Josh and I live on pretty much the opposite side of the island (about 1 hour and 30 minutes away). So we decided to drive all the way down to the Westside the night before and sleep in our car.

We are lucky enough to have a cool VW station wagon and a memory foam pad that we put in the back to make a bed inside our car. This made for a really great hour and a half drive down to the West Side. I slept in the back while Josh drove. Haha, whoops :)  We got to the place we planned on shooting around midnight. Next morning we woke up to Annalise and Sialou arriving to the beach. We crawled out of our car, got our camera gear ready and started shooting. The lighting and water was magical as magical as we were hoping and as we were shooting we saw Dolphins (which was so fun). We quickly ended the shoot, through on our swimsuits on, and Annalise and Sialou got to swim a bit with the dolphins. The shots in the clip above were taken right after we saw the dolphins. Overall this whole morning was magical and so so fun! :)

Lo & Tanner


Shot on a Canon 5D mark IV with Canon 50mm 1.8 and a Sony a7s II with Leica 24mm (Big thanks to Laureen Beeston for letting me use her Sony). 

I always had this dream when I got married to go trash my dress surfing with Josh after our reception. Sadly we didn't end up doing it :/ too excited about other things.. haha jk ;) But I'm so grateful for Lauren and Tanner for letting this dream become a reality!

I imagined this shoot being this super sunny magical day with clear waters, jumping off the rock at waimea and swimming underneath the water kissing. It ended up being the COLDEST(62 degrees!! haha thats so cold for here) most dreary, rainy day. I almost wanted to cancel it, but it was Lauren and Tanner's last weekend together before she left the island.

 It just goes to show that love is all you need to make a video epic! I wasn't planning on any of the shots we got but it made it so much more fun to just get inspired along the way! We had waimea and sharks cove all to ourselves which was an extra bonus :)

Super grateful for Lauren being kind enough to let me borrow her super cool water housing and Sony a7s II with the Leica 24mm lens for the water shots. Both Lo and Tanner was super great sports getting in the water and swimming around with all their clothes on even though it was cold. 

This was such a fun shoot and I can't wait to do more trash the dress type shoots in the future. There's something magical about getting shots in the water :) <3


I never write down the memories I wanna remember but I wish I did. Today 2 years ago is definitely a day worth remembering!


Josh scored 1000 points for planning out the most cutest engagement ever. I seriously was so blown away and surprised! Apparently everyone else  knew it was going to happen BUT ME haha (josh had told my family and many of my friends he was going to propose in while we were In New Zealand) But I had no clue he even had a ring haha! We had talked about marriage a lot but we never went ring shopping. I always thought that was kinda weird when couples did that although I don't judge if you did haha. But he just wanted me to be completely surprised so he just got help from my friends and his sisters:)


We had planned out to do a super saturday that day down in Raglan on the north island. This meant some romantic beach horse rides, fun longboard waves and yummy food! When we woke up it was so sunny and beautiful out, I told josh I had a feeling today was gonna be a goooood day ;) haha. I really just felt extra stoked and happy when we woke up for some reason! I was high on life that whole trip tho haha. So in the morning we all went riding with our friendsEthan's horses that he brought from Temple View down to Raglan.


Then we went and ate fish and chips with the yummiest gelato ever!! Josh and I went surfing with some friends while some of our other friends while Ethan and Annelise went riding on the beach again. When we got out of the water Analise asked me and josh if we wanted a turn with the horses. 

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 Tarryn and Analise gave me some of their clothes so I wouldn't "chafe"(I only had my suit with me so I think they just thought I might want to have some clothes on when I got engaged for the pictures such sweet friends haha ;)) I just assumed we were going to go along the beach but then josh started going up the mountain! At that point I was confused but then it quickly passed because I thought josh might like the challange of taking the horse up hill haha. At that point analise, ethan and Tarryn ran back to the beach and wrote "Marry Me" in the sand. Josh took me to the spot secluded in the mountain with a gorgeous view of where we surfed. In that moment I became suspicious only because josh seemed a little nervous ;) haha. He told me how he loved me and wanted to be with me forever and then  he popped the question! I was so happy and shocked I couldn't even breathe! I wish I could relive that day over and over again <3 I would say yes over and over a million times yes! I could have never dreamed how much our friendship and love would grow even so much more better than that day:)

You Are Loved!


You are loved. You have infinite worth. You are beautiful- inside and out. You are irreplaceable. You deserve happiness. 

I can't help but cry when I watch this video. Lizzie is such an inspiration to me. Cyber bullying is so sad. Sometimes people can be mean. Sometimes people can judge us and reject us. I can't help but feel sorry for these people. Love and kindness will always always win. Let's all try to be a little kinder. Lets try to seek those in need, do good, and spread love.  I hope anyone who reads this can find a reason to smile and a person to love today :) xoxo, Lars 

“Molokai Mo Bettah”



I titled this post “Molokai Mo Bettah” because that's what the locals say and thats what it is! I ended up going to Molokai as kind of a random trip! My friend Heather was doing a photoshoot there and invited me and the girls to tag along! You don’t hear about Molokai very often so we had no idea what to expect. When we looked online, “fun things to do in Molokai” nothing really showed up! We totally winged it and honestly it definitely exceeded my expectations :-) It's fun going into trips having no plan and no idea what to expect because things always pleasantly surprise you! All of our adventures came from making friends with the locals. We quickly learned that the people are so friendly and willing shared with us their special Homeland. Molokai is a very beautiful and sacred Island. We saw, no joke, probably over 25 waterfalls! We saw some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world and relaxed on some the comfiest sand (it seriously felt like a microfiber bed). We saw some of the starriest wide open skies and  wild deers and owls. It honestly felt like a whole other world!


Things I learned about the culture:

I learned more about the culture of Hawaii on this trip to Molokai than I have in the seven years I’ve lived on Oahu. The locals radiated love and the true aloha spirit! We were greeted with kisses on the cheek and warm hugs wherever we went.  It was amazing how much respect the Hawaiians have for the land! Whenever the locals enter a land that is sacred, they ask God above for permission to enter. And whenever they leave, they say “Mahalo” for letting them enter. We learned when going to waterfalls it's important to put a tea leaf in the water and if the tea leaf floats then you can enter and if it sinks then you shouldn't get in the water and also that you shouldn’t take anything from the land when you visit sacred waterfalls because it is a sign of disrespects and will bring bad luck.There was a royal coconut grove where we learned was the place that King Kamehameha and his Warriors chanted and wash themselves in the freshwater springs. When on the boat tour, we brought bananas (my bad haha!) and had to throw them over board because in ancient Hawaiian folklore there's a superstition that bananas on a boat will not only bring no fish but bad luck. One of the coolest things we learned was about Mana. Mana is considered to be a sacred spiritual force existing in the universe. When on the island of Molokai you can feel the Mana, probably because of the reverence the people have for the island.  


Walter’s boat tour:

I know many locals don’t appreciate it when you mention their private special secret spots online because they're worried that it'll get overrun by tourists. However, we met a local name Walter and his friend Ona that run a boat tour and love to give people tours along the sea cliffs! This tour was the highlight of our trip! My cheeks hurt after from laughing and smiling so big and Heather even lost her voice from laughing and being so excited! It was so magical and when we went we literally saw probably over 25 Waterfalls! Walter took us through caves and even let us stop and play at waterfalls along the way! There even is a really dreamy beach that you can stop at to swim. Note, if you’re going to do that you need to book your tour between May and September because when we went the waves were too big. I definitely want to visit this beach sometime though because it looked seriously so gorgeous! Walter even told us that there was a group of people that he dropped off on the beach and they refused to get back on board because they wanted to stay there. Walter said he ended up leaving them and came back the following morning to pick them up. When on this tour, you can tell Walter gets so much joy from taking people on his boat. He said the most magical amazing tour he gave was when he took a couple and the lady's husband was blind. He said throughout the tour she described to her husband everything that she saw and through the smells and the breezes and her words her husband was able to experience the tour! I thought that story was really magical. I definitely recommend everybody going to Walter for a sea cliff tour :-)

How to explore the Big Island of Hawaii on a budget

Had so much fun making this little travel video of me and my husband's trip on the Big Island! I hope to be able to do more travel videos because it's my favorite way to remember the memories I never want to forget:)

Shot using our Sony a7s and GoPro Hero 5 (with the GoDome attachment). 

Josh and I went to the Big Island a couple months ago and had such a magical time together! We got a rental car and one of the best parts was just enjoying the long drives along the coast and spontaneously stopping to explore. Whether camping under the stars or getting friendly wake up calls from a little horses outside our tent, this was such a special time with my love. There are a lot of things I learned and suggestions I have for people looking to vacation on the big island. First, I would definitely recommend getting a car. The Big Island really is a BIG island ha ha. There's so much to see and if you don’t plan things out you could spend a lot of time driving back and forth to different places. I put this little post together to help you see fun things to do around the whole island so hopefully you don’t have to backtrack too much! Below is a map we created of the island. I’m going to go around it clockwise starting on the West Kona side.


Big Island Map

Below is a sample itinerary of what I would do if I had seven days to explore the Big Island of Hawaii.


Day 1: Snorkeling Kona Side

Under Water

We loved snorkeling in Kailua Bay! It's right in Kona and you are most likely guaranteed sunny clear waters because the Kona side is the dry side and does not rain nearly as much as the Hilo side! There are so many colorful fish and turtles right in the bay! You can even rent the old-fashioned retro snorkel masks for just $1.50 a day! Some people say these retro masks don’t work for them but we loved them! Also, there is an epic snorkeling place at Captain Cook Monument. We never went but we heard amazing things about it! The hike to get to Captain Cook Monument to snorkel is 2 hours in 2 hours out. When you’re going to the Monument it’s a long trail going down and then you go straight back up it when hiking out. We heard you can rent kayaks for $50 a day and they’ll take you right to the spot. After a fun day and clear blue waters of the Kona side I would stay on this side and watch the sunset because every sunset I saw on the Kona side was seriously one of the best sunsets of my life!


Rope Swing

Day 2: Beach day!

I would definitely recommend checking out Hapuna Beach! It's a little bit more touristy but it's a beautiful white sand beach you don't want to miss. We also  went to a secluded black sand beach along the way (I think it's called number 49 black sand beach). You  you pull up to the side of the road and you'll see a little trail that leads to the beach full of lava rocks! It's about a 15-minute walk down to the beach but we literally were the only people there it was so magical there's a Coconut Grove and a cute little swing you can swing on. Beach 69’s is also a cool beach down the road and there's a rope swing there as well. The sunset there is pretty magical.


Polulu Valley


Day 3: Polulu Valley!

This drive is magical in and of itself! It reminded me of New Zealand with the green Rolling Hills. You don't even feel like you're in Hawaii haha it feels like a totally different country! Polulu Valley is a great hike to take a family on. It's a good trail and such a beautiful black sand beach with gorgeous mountains surrounding it. This Valley is a must-see! After parking the hike is a short 20 minutes down and 20ish minutes back to the car. Pretty easy hike.


Big Island Slide



Day 4: Waipio Valley!

I heard there's a couple different ways to get into Waipio Valley and when we went we found directions online. This is such a beautiful Valley with waterfalls and a tropical (sometimes chilly) landscape. It's such a magical place! When we went we did the White Road waterslide hike. This was the highlight of our trip. It was so fun! I would not recommend taking little kids on this hike if you plan on going all the way to the water slide. There is a sharp ridge and a little sketchy for young ones (the first part of the hike is probably fine though). Plan on doing the White Road hike make sure you are very respectful. It is on private property and the owners were very gracious to us walk through their land but I do worry that if people disrespect it then it might get closed off. Also, I heard that sometimes cops will fine people if the neighbors complain a lot. Bring money ($7per person when we went) and be respectful and the guy that's on the land is okay with people passing. This hike took us about one  and a half hours to get in and the same to get out. I think we ended up spending two hours at the slide and taking pictures so it ended up being a quite long but well worth it activity.


Akaka Falls

Day 5: Akaka Falls!

This hike is so pretty! You do have to pay for this hike unless you have a Hawaii state ID. Also, I noticed people paying for parking but we just parked on the road before the parking lot and didn’t have to pay. One of my highlights of this waterfall was the cutest fruit stand on the side of the road that had hanging bananas. There were so many different types of bananas that the lady let me try! You won't want to miss cuz its just the cutest! The drive to Akaka Falls is so beautiful! We stopped along the way at a random spot and found a beautiful tropical Botanical Garden a with beautiful beach cliff and waterfall. At one point we even stopped and just drove along an abandoned road with the tallest trees that reminded me of the Redwood forest in California.

narnia hike


Day 6: Narnia Hike and Lava

Hawaii Lava

One of the prettiest hikes we went on when on the Hilo side was the “Narnia Hike.” So pretty! There are four sets of waterfalls that stream down into a river! The water was so cold but it was totally worth it! Seriously reminded me of Narnia because it was so magical! Something fun to do on the Hilo side is to go check out the lava. The lava is down in Pahoa. If I remember correctly you drive all the way down Kaimu-Chain of Craters Rd and park your car. When you get there, you pay about $20 per person for a bike (unless you want to take a long walk). The lava is about 8 miles away so getting a bike is worth it! It took us about two hours. One hour of biking back and forth and one hour for hanging out and taking pictures. We went at night time which was so magical to see the lava flowing off into the ocean with all the pretty stars. If you go remember that they open the gates at 3 pm and close around 8:30 pm. If you get in before 8:30 pm you can hang out and leave whenever you want. I would even think it would be cool to go before sunset and see the sunset with the lava during the day and then see the stars at night on the way back. Note: most of the bikes you rent come with light so make it easy to ride in the dark.

Hawaii Sea Turtle


Day 7: Punaluu Beach!

This black sand beach was so beautiful! You are definitely guaranteed to see turtles. We saw like 20 some chilling around on the sand and swimming in the water. It's such a gorgeous beach with lots of pretty palm trees. Then I would drive down to South Point. This place is really fun for cliff jumping! The water is so blue. There is also a Green Sand Beach there that I have heard amazing things about! You have to have a car with 4 wheel drive, which we didn't have, because the road gets a bit bumpy. I would definitely check this out if we had a more suited car or we had set aside time for an all day hike.


Kona Building Sign

Bonus: Favorite places to eat

The Thai restaurant near the King Kamehameha Marriott Hotel in Kona! The tom Ka soup was so good. We also loved the Frenchman's Cafe. It's a little pricey(like $13 a plate) This cafe had such yummy crepes! There is a yummy Acai Bowl place right next door too. We also love Chirashi Sushi on the Kona side. I don't even know what role to recommends because every single role we had was so good! On the Hilo side, we loved Lucy's Taqueria. I always got the enchiladas but Josh said that the burritos were so good smothered! Their chips and salsa are also so yummy. My cousin introduced us to all the hot spots on the Hilo side because she has lived there for like 8 years! There is Ocean Sushi, which is moderately priced but very good sushi on the Hilo side. Liko lehua Cafe is moderately priced with good hamburgers and salads (also found on the Hilo side). Hilo Bay Cafe is expensive but good food and entrees, they also have sushi which is always a plus. If you're health food conscious Culture Cafe is moderately priced food that is really good too! If you're into Indian food Kamana kitchen is also really good.

What you should know before investing in your first camera


What’s important to me...

When looking for a camera to buy there are several different things that are important to considering. These are things I look for since I like shooting video. The 2 biggest things I look at when considering a camera to buy is the image quality and frames per second.


Image Quality

Is it capable of high definition quality? 720p and 1080p are considered high definition. Many cameras can now even shoot in 4k which is really good! However, 4k is rarely ever needed and 1080p is sufficient (in my opinion) unless you plan on blowing your video up and showing it on the big screen.


Frames per second

I also like to look at slow mo capabilities which is done in the camera’s frames per second. So, most DSLR and mirrorless cameras can shoot up to 30 frames per second, which will give your videos a good normal cinematic look. However, if you want your videos to have more of a soap opera dramatic emotional feel then you would want to look at cameras that go up to 60 to 120 frames per second. If you want to do slow mo get a camera that will shoot up to at least 60 frames per second.


Tip* You always want your shutter speed to be at least twice your frames per second. Example, if your shutter speed is at 60 you will want your frames per second to be at 30. This makes just keeps your image looking nice and smooth.


On a budget?

First off, I am a total believer that you don't need the most fancy gear to take excellent photos and videos. I’ve been able to use my Canon Rebel for years before I upgraded to my Sony a7s and it’s been able to pump out some great quality photo and video.


Okay, so there are a lot of different options for cameras. I personally love Canon cameras for their coloring and picture/video quality. However, there are lots of different cameras that have their own unique qualities. I have been using a Canon Rebel and a Sony a7s. I really like the Sony  for video but not so much for pictures. I use a Commlite adapter to connect my lenses to my Sony body and its annoyingly delayed when I’m taking pictures. Sony has really great low-light performance which means it's great for night and sunset photo and video. The Sony a7s camera, that I have, also can shoot 120 frames per second which is super awesome. It can shoot 60 frames per second at 1080p and 120 frames per second at 720p (which is considered the lowest of high definition). The Sony a7s2 can even shoot 120 frames per second at 1080p.  This means I can shoot crazy slow motion videos with excellent quality!  Now, the Canon Rebel is not as great for video or slow motion but I like it better 4 all around image quality.


Soon I will be upgrading my camera to the Canon 5D Mark IV which has the same capabilities as my Sony a7s camera for slow motion and amazing picture quality. I am so excited for this camera and will definitely be doing an updated blog post about it!




Lens Over Body

If you are on a budget I would totally recommend buy high-quality lenses before upgrading your camera body. This is so important and makes a big difference in the quality of your videos and photos. The two lenses I have right now are the Tamron 24 to 70, 2.8 zoom lens. This zoom lens is awesome because I can get wide-angle shots and great portrait shots/up-close shots without getting into people's faces. A lot of people are really gung-ho about L-series lenses and good quality glass however I think my Tamron lens is super amazing. This lens even has vibration control so I can shoot video while holding my camera and it comes out pretty dang stable for a handheld shot with no stabilizer. I also have a Canon 50 millimeter 1.8, which is great bang for your buck, I think I paid $100 for it. Great lens and awesome for low-light and for portraits, it is also really lightweight for traveling.

Crop Sensor or Full Frame?

One other thing to consider that a lot of people don't mention when they're looking for a lenses is that it's really important to know if you have a crop sensor or full frame camera. For example, Canon Rebels and the Canon 7D, 70D and 80D are all crop sensor cameras. The Canon 5D, 6D and 1Dx all full frame cameras. I personally Love full frame cameras. Higher quality cameras are mostly full frame so it's awesome to have full frame so you don't have to upgrade your lens collection later. Note, most lenses will work on both full frame and crop sensor cameras but the image will be cropped (or zoomed in looking) on crop sensor cameras. Basically, a 50 millimeter lens on a crop sensor camera is really like 80 millimeter and a 35 millimeter is more like a 50 millimeter. So, if I have a Canon Rebel or any crop sensor camera and wanted to get a similar look to the 50 millimeter and 24 to 70 lenses then I would get a 35 millimeter lens and a 17 to 55 millimeter lens.


What is a wide angle lens?

Okay, so wide angle lenses are great for nature and Landscapes. The the lower the number, the wider the photo or video will be. For example, if you are shooting with a 16 to 35 millimeter or a 20 millimeter lens, this will be great for landscape and nature shots. If you want to get a great portrait shot I would recommend a 50 millimeter or 80 millimeter lens. The higher the number the more zoomed in the image will be. A 35 millimeter lens is more versatile for both landscape and portrait shots! Also, if you want to go really zoomed for surf photography I’d recommend a Canon 70 to 300 F4 to 5.6 L Series lens or a 70 to 200 F 2.8 lens. Many people are all about prime lenses which are fixed lenses you can’t zoom in and out. The benefit of prime lenses is that you can get really awesome boca or depth of field space (which is basically the crisp image with a blurry background look). These lenses are great for low light because the F stop is really low. However, I also really like a zoom lens because it gives me that versatility that I love!