My Journey to Hawaii – Part I

hawaii photographer

Lessons Learned: “Nothing is permanent”

WOW, have I learned a lot about this truth in the past two years!  People are naturally resistant to change.  We know what is routine in our lives, and that seems better than the unknown.  It’s much easier to say that you just want things to stay as they are.  And many people try and keep it the same as much as possible.  But I decided to sign up for something a little different and married a Marine.

When you enter a military lifestyle you have to give up control.  You have to give up on choosing where you want to live, and feeling like you belong in one place.  You are no longer able to plan too far ahead.  But most of all, you have to let go of the idea that the current way you live is permanent.   Part I of my journey is our story leading up to finding out our future home.


The Challenges of Moving as a Business

It has been particularly challenging for me as a wedding business owner to figure things out in this period of temporary moves.  Weddings are often booked a year in advance, and there is no way I could build my business up in a new place in that short of time period.   But the idea of just twiddling my thumbs after all the work I’ve put into my business is just not possible for me.

 I’ve been a photographer for 12 years (just before it was cool).  I started when I was 15 years old and taught myself much of what I know.  My business has become as important to me as my own name.  It is a part of my identity, my proudest creation.

I want to thank everyone who has continued to book me in Nashville and Huntsville during our temporary Pensacola and North Carolina moves.  It has been a gift to continue creating and contributing to our family with the career I’ve poured into for almost half of my life.  My family lives in Huntsville and Nashville and that is reason enough for me to enjoy coming back again and again.  Nashville will forever be such an important part of my story and it has continued to give to me during this time!

 arrow diver

The day of…

This move is definitely different from our previous ones.  We knew that we would go through a series of temporary moves until my husband received his duty station, where we will stay for an average of 4 years.   That would finally give me time to actually dig into a place!

After a year of wondering, the week finally arrived when we would find out our fate.  I was nervous and starting to panic from the wait.  This would decide our entire lifestyle, my client base, the kind of people we’d meet and so much more for these upcoming years. We were sure we would be getting another location that we had both wanted and stacked in our favor.  But we know that in the military, you don’t always get what you expect.

But finally.  Today.  Philip went up to base.  I downed a glass of wine at 2pm.


a text.  My husband wanted to let me know immediately — so I received one word.


My first thought was… confusion.  …. What?!

Philip and I knew almost nothing about Hawaii.   I had barely done any research about it because we were told it was so rare.  3 options, and this was the only one I didn’t think about.  How is the wedding industry?  Is there any work for me?  What are people like?  WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING OVER THERE?!


The More You Know

It took us about a day to process things,  and then we started to do our research. I started looking up every wedding vendor, model, photographer, artist, instagram poster I could find to start seeing what life would look like for me and things started getting exciting.  I’ve started to see just a peek at the incredible beauty of the islands, and that there is a thriving industry for weddings and fashion as well.  Actually, it was looking more exciting than the location we had wanted before.

We started looking at each other and saying, “I can’t believe we’re going to Hawaii!!”


My husband has always dreamed about and wanted to live in exciting places, but I wasn’t quite ready. I didn’t want to change my routine or leave what I knew.  But beneath that fear there is something louder.  A longing for beauty, for wonder, for a vibrant human experience.  These happen to be all of the same reasons that I became an artist.  That fear is constantly present when we step away from a predictable life.

I like to say this about photography: the best photos are ones that other people don’t want to take the effort to get.  I think that’s true in our own lives as well.  The best experiences are often the ones that take energy, risk to get to.  It turns out that marrying into military life is giving me a gift that I couldn’t have initiated on my own.  Now I’m headed for an adventure of a lifetime with my soulmate.  We are moving to Hawaii this summer of 2017, and I’ll be checking in along the way of this crazy ride!



Click here to see my HAWAII Wedding Inspiration Photoshoot to prepare for the move!