SESSIONS: Cummings Family

SESSIONS: Cummings Family

Who doesn’t love cute family photos? I haven’t done a family session in a while, so I was excited to get a request from Faafua for to take photos of her beautiful family, as a Christmas gift for her husband Joey.

We met up at Sliding Rock just after 5pm last Saturday and the sun was still about 10 degrees from falling below the horizon. It was a quick session filled with smiles and giggles as baby Alava would run around and stick her toes in the little tide pools.

One of my favorite bits of this session was taking photos of their oldest daughter Tia. She is a beautiful young girl and adorably shy in front of the camera. I asked her to smile and she gave a timid grin. So the awesome father that Joey is, he jumped beside her, and wrapped the garland around him to mimic her pose with silly faces. Her eyes lit up and her smile brightened as I clicked away and LOL’d with Fua at the hilarious scene.


I love the genuine interaction when families get together, and seeing their expressions and their body language when I’m not asking them to pose – those are the moments I love to capture.


And just before sunset, I snapped a few photos of the beautiful and strong Faafua. She’s one of those cool moms who loves her family fiercely and unconditionally. And she’s a heck of a baker too! Thank you Fua for allowing me to be a part of this special memory. Your family is so blessed to have you.

French Pirates

French Pirates

Meet Diane and Louise

French pirates (not really really) and BFFs who are currently volunteering at the National Park of American Samoa. I’ve only known them for a couple of months but they are both sweet as crepes, and artsy too! I didn’t get to interview them yet, since they are both currently on holiday gallivanting around Upolu. But soon!

These are from last weekend while we hung out and took some silly photos.

Don’t they make you want to grab your best friend and go on an adventure?

Journal 1/52: Thankful

Journal 1/52: Thankful

I was scrolling through Pinterest yesterday, and I saw this list of 52 journal questions.
The first prompt is “What are you thankful for?” and today being Thanksgiving, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a weekly journal blog, answering questions honestly and candidly so I can work on my writing whilst trying to learn more about myself. Who knows if I’ll actually stick to the schedule or have time to write on some weeks, but for the days when I feel like writing and I don’t know what to write about, here goes nothing…


What are you thankful for?


I’m thankful for this life. The life my soul lives and breathes in every day that I wake up and flutter my little eyelashes to in the morning. It’s a broad thanks but it means so much to me. To be granted with THIS life. All points leading to now. To being 25 and this life alive.

I’m thankful for my people. The family that my Maker gifted me to: my mom and dad that gave me TLC and everything I needed to start out in life as a decent human being; my sister and brother who colored my growing years with memories to recall on fondly once all the scrapes and name calling faded and forgotten. I’m thankful for all the once-strangers now-friends who withstood seasons of change in my circles. Thanks for accepting all of me even if it was inconvenient and remaining though miles stretch between us.

Most especially, I’m thankful for my person. My best friend. My love. So grateful to do this life with you. You make everything so worth it.


Other things I’m thankful for right now:


* My little animal friends, Officer Scruffles and Yodi. Despite the meowing and clawing at the door trying to escape, you kids are cool and I love ya anyway.
* Creative inspiration that I thrive off of.
* God’s goodness and mercies in my life.
* The Noa Noa vanilla coffee Alice brought back from Tahiti that I’m currently sipping on. And the fact that it has a Gauguin painting as its label. So art.
* My coworkers who make my job more fun than I thought it would be.
* My house, my home. An air-conditioned room with a bed on the floor, and a studio for making things.
* All my outlets: this blog, tumblr, Evernote notebooks, my midori travelers journal, and all the messy homemade notebooks.
* The ocean’s resources for food, recreation, and healing.
* Our truck. For getting us over mountains and to fun new places.
* Money in the bank. Not much, but enough to fund this wonderful life.
* Lightroom, because it’s the best thing that happened to photos since digital.
* Short work weeks.
* Travel memories.
* Dr. Bronner’s castille soap. I’ve been using it for over 2 years now and I’m still reading the label on there while I shower.
* All the lessons I’ve learned this year.
* Good food.
* Netflix.


What are you thankful for?

7 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life

7 Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life

I am all about improving my quality of life. Ask me what my goals are in life? I’ll say I want to be happy and fulfilled. So I’m on a mission to make this my every day reality. These are the 7 ways that I’m improving myself this week…


I have so many things to look forward to, and unfortunately that almost always means I gotta spend my money. But I’m also at that awkward stage in life where I’m 25 years old, still learning to adult, and make a 5 or 10-year plan while also taking risks and spending money on traveling.


2. Hone my skills

I’m a jack of all trades but an ace of nothing in particular. So mental note to self to up my photography game because if you’re not growing you’re dead (not to be pessimistic at all!)


3. Make a To Do list

Why? Because a) I freaking love lists, and b) because it puts me in the act of writing something down, so I can better remember it, and I can check back for reference to make sure my priorities are all good. I also really really enjoy ticking things off my list.


4. Make a Stop Doing list

Another list, except filled with things I need to reconsider in my life so I can cut the crap and get on with my life.


5. Be more kind

I’ve always been a soft-spoken and (usually) considerate person, so a lot of people may think that I’m already kind. But I know the thoughts in my head aren’t so kind all the time, and sometimes I just need to be more positive and more kind just in general.


6. Declutter

I’ve always liked my things arranged in an organized mess, but I also have to let go of all the things that weigh me down. Whether that means cleaning out my wardrobe or deleting strangers off of social media, I need to declutter my life so I can get rid of the noise and focus on the things that really matter.


7. Treat Yo’ Self

Straight out of Tom Haverford’s playbook… Treat Yo’Self – To reruns of Parks and Recreation, to new experiences, to laughter, to food, to art, and to self-love… because if you don’t, who else will?

Life Lately: Mid-November

Life Lately: Mid-November

Is it REALLY already mid November?!

Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks, then Christmas, and then 2018!! Whoa. Things are moving quickly. Off the top of my head, Here are a few life updates over the last couple of weeks.

We kind of sort of adopted Yodi

Last week we got a message from one of our neighbors asking if anyone wanted to adopt Yodi. She usually hangs out around our side of the village but since one of our neighbors (who used to claim they owned Yodi) left the island indefinitely, she was getting bullied by a couple of other dogs near our house. So Yodi started hanging out a few houses down. We were concerned about her but we’d stop by every now and then and try to bring her back to our place but she’d eventually run back to the other house. We figured she was just so uncomfortable here with the other dogs marking their territory so we let her be. But I guess she tried to bite a little girl who was holding food and so the family wanted to get rid of her. We felt it wasn’t right for Yodi to be moved away from Coconut Point since she grew up here and she’s really such a sweet dog (though we were noticing her aggression and pack mentality) AND she is the best at swimming! So Ian and I took her in. I give Ian all the props for caring for Yodi. She’s been such a good pup and she’s actually very well mannered and tame (Officer Scruffles loves Yodi!) which makes her 100x easier than having a puppy. We don’t technically own Yodi but we love her and we’re happy to have her as part of our little island family.

More friends visit

After 7 years living in the states, one of my best friends from elementary finally came home for a visit. It was so good to catch up with Jonathan and his beautiful wife Meredith. I got to sneak in a quick photo op with them one evening before the sun had completely set.

24 hours of sickness

I don’t know what kind of sick I was, but I was not okay for an entire 24 hours. I just woke up on Friday morning and I could tell my body was feeling funky. So I got out of bed and walked Yodi around so she could do her business, and when I got back to the house, everything hurt. So I sat on the couch and tried to position my body every which way I could to alleviate pain from other parts of my body. I dozed in and out of consciousness for the next few hours thinking it would pass, but it didn’t. My head was hurting really bad, my bones were in pain, and I felt really cold even though I knew it was in fact a scorching day and the fan wasn’t even on, but I had goosebumps! I moved to my room, turned the AC on, got under the covers and literally just stayed there all day. I had my laptop next to me because I told myself I would edit photos or listen to music or watch videos, but I couldn’t expend the energy to do it. I think the only recreational thing I did that day was play a word game on my phone. I finally asked Ian to get me the drugssss (which I almost never take). I didn’t even know what meds I needed, but apparently I needed Tylenol for my headache and Ibuprofen for my body pains. Ian made me an adobo quesadilla (unfortunately I couldn’t appreciate it as much as I would have liked) and I took the pills and promptly went to sleep at 8pm.

Two days later: I’m feeling so much better! I really needed to get out of the house so we watched Thor and went snorkeling with Yodi. Ian’s sick now though, so it’s my turn to take care of him.

Looking forward to Christmas

Ian and I are spending our first Christmas in American Samoa together. We’re usually apart or in another place (was it really a whole entire year ago that we were in New Zealand?!). So this year, I’m getting into the holiday spirit early! As soon as Halloween deco was put away, we put on some Christmas tunes and I spent a night basically karaoke’ing over YouTube. No shame in my game. Ian has already planted a new coconut tree on our porch, and I made stockings to hang up soon!