About me 2016-10-15T23:26:12+00:00

I’m thrilled you’re here, welcome!

Whether you’re considering me to be your photographer, you’re curious about a vegan plant-based lifestyle, you’re an aspiring photographer, fellow auntie, future marathon runner or current cat lady, I’m happy that we have the opportunity to connect. The internet is an amazing, busy and overwhelming place so I truly appreciate you taking the time to explore my corner of the web.

I’m a lifestyle photographer based in Oahu, Hawaii and I have the honor of photographing amazing people on the islands and across the Pacific Ocean. I share my recent work along with a mixture of the many ways I express my passions on my lifestyle blog, here’s a quick look of what you’ll find when you visit:

PLANT BASED GOODNESS.  I write about a vegan plant-based diet and provide meal plans to help people get a grip on their greens and take control of their plate. Street credit: certified as a Culinary Nutrition Expert (ACN) in January 2016.

PHOTOGRAPHY.  I share my recent work as well as photography tips for mommies and aunties that want to take better photos of their little loves. Street credit: photographing portraits & weddings since 2009.

FITNESS ADVENTURES.  I hope to master a pull-up and complete an Ironman sometime soon. In the meantime I share pieces of my ongoing fitness journey. Street credit: Pop Pilates Instructor and 4X marathon runner

THAT HAWAII, AUNTIE and DRONE LIFE.  My heart belongs to my nieces and nephews, flying a drone is a dream come true and living in Hawaii is my favorite adventure. I document these things on my blog to help my heart process how undeservingly blessed I am. Street credit: none

I fell in love with documenting and storytelling at a young age but I promise this isn’t a story about how I’d always dreamt of being a photographer. In fact this is a compilation of the reasons I shouldn’t be a photographer…

As a child I wanted to be “creative” but realized early on that I wasn’t capable of drawing even the simplest stick figures so I resorted to tracing my coloring books and spending extra time in the library. In middle school I joined yearbook to be a photographer but my photos were so bad the teacher assigned me to write copy instead. I took an art & photo class in high school and found it to be painfully boring so I spent the rest of my time in high school as an editor on the yearbook staff. I went to a fashion school and majored in Merchandise Marketing with hopes of one day working as a fashion buyer or for a magazine. But somewhere between graduating and landing an awesome job I decided I wanted my own business. Three weeks after my first day at that awesome job I quit and went to work for my aunt in her signage company to learn as much as I could about running a business. I fell in love with entrepreneurship and my desire to start a business was stronger than ever but I had no idea what to start.

Photography was never a thought.

Even now after shooting portraits and weddings for almost seven years the list of reasons I shouldn’t be a photographer continues… 1. I like spending as much time as possible offline and away from a computer screen and surprisingly being a photographer requires tons of time in front of the computer. 2. Off camera lighting stresses me out but it’s one hundred percent necessary for wedding photography. 3. I’m short, loud and I cry all the time but the best angles are not from the bottom up, a photographer is supposed to listen and observe and the crying part? Well, tears obstruct the view between a photographer and her subject. 4. When we moved to Hawaii I worked with an amazing environmental company for several years and learned that I thrive most when I have a team to lead but the business of portrait and wedding photography is oftentimes a solo job. 5. I dream of one day owning a shop or online business where my mother can handle customer happiness and my father can oversee quality control while my husband and I scour the globe for unique materials for whatever it is that we’ll sell but being a photographer requires one on one interaction with a limited number of clients.

So you see, this isn’t a story about how photography is my passion. This is the story of why I’m a photographer despite all the reasons I shouldn’t be…

My husband and I were newlyweds and we had just received our wedding album, I cried as I flipped through the pages, he rested his left hand over my shoulder, smiled and kissed my cheek after every page. I had never felt the power of storytelling and documenting as much as I did in that moment and I decided I wanted to do the same for others. I didn’t own a camera the day I became a photographer and I had never (and still haven’t) been to photography school but I was convinced I found what I was looking for.

When I photographed my first portrait session, when I documented my nephew being born and when I shot a wedding on one of my personal worst days I learned that I need photography. It’s the only means that allows me to pour out the fullness of my heart and express myself when words are too loud. When a couple invites me into their world and trusts me to capture their love I shoot with all I have because I don’t know how to do it any other way. When my clients express their joy and thanks upon receiving their images I have to remind them that it’s a privilege to tell their stories.

I’m a photographer because I can’t not be. Photography allows me to express my passion of embracing life and feeling love with my whole heart.

Like you, I’m still in the process of writing my story but sometimes I’m not sure I’ve fully grasped the beauty of the chapters written so far. Although I have yet to cuddle with baby panda bears, explore the oceans with wild orcas and fly to the highest peaks alongside massive birds I currently have the undeserving privilege of documenting life and love with my camera… I’m forever grateful.

Xoxo,
-M

A FEW EXTRA BITS…

I ran my first half marathon (13.1 miles) in 2011. Then a full marathon (26.2) in 2012. Another full marathon in 2014. Hiked the Napali Coast (22 miles round trip) in 2015. My first 21K trail run in 2015. I’m currently training for the Honolulu Marathon in December of 2016. It’s craziness and completely unnecessary.
I’m an aspiring minimalist and a wannabe cat lady. I’ll most likely have 23 cats at some point in the future so I’m hoping I can make that work with a minimalist lifestyle.
My husband and I moved to Hawaii in 2011 to be closer to our first niece. We live in a tree house on the island of Oahu. It’s an old apartment made of wood, in the middle of the jungle, surrounded by bamboo. Sometimes there are leaks and there’s a large possibility that a giant tree might fall on it one day. So yea, a tree house.
One of my favorite things about my life is being an auntie. I have three nieces and two nephews and they own my heart. My dad is a retired meat cutter. I teach him about salads and he teaches me to never give up on my dreams. My mother is one of my best friends and a fellow vegetarian. They’re the best.
I’m married to my best friend. If I ever seem to have it all together it’s likely because he’s holding down the craziness and making my crazy ideas come to life behind the scenes.
Some of my travels: Dominican Republic, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Kauai, Big Island, Maui, Paris, Barcelona, Netherlands, Baja California, Thailand. Places I’m itching to visit soon: India, Bali, so many countries in Africa, Ireland, Greece, Central + South America and more Mexico…