Sessions: Meagan + Hideyo waterfall maternity shoot

Sessions: Meagan + Hideyo waterfall maternity shoot

This is one of my favorite maternity sessions thus far, with our friends Meagan and Hideyo.

If you know Meagan and Hideyo, you’ll know that they are easy-going, hilarious, and all around just lovely people. They wanted to do an off-the-beaten-path session so they took me and Ian to this beautiful hidden waterfall in their village. Meagan was about 7 months preggo during this shoot and was moving around with such grace and ease through the dense tropical rainforest, one might have confused her with a (pregnant) woodland fairy!

We managed 3 outfit changes within about an hour for this shoot, and that’s impressive not because of me (Ian helped a lot too, and made skirts fly hahah) but because of how easy and cooperative Meagan and Hideyo were to work with. They just ran with whatever I asked them to do, and had a lot of fun doing it. They mostly did their own thing too, hugging and talking and goofing around with each other, which was fun for me and made the session so much more genuine. I can’t help but think that maternity photos are just a tiny bit cheesy (but in the best way possible), and I’m pretty sure Meagan and Hideyo would agree… you can tell because of how much fun we had with this shoot!

They’re keeping the gender a secret, like they don’t even know what the gender is yet, so it’s going to be a great big surprise on bebe’s birthday! I can’t wait to meet their little one soon!

SESSIONS: Kate & Taylor / Sunrise besties

SESSIONS: Kate & Taylor / Sunrise besties

Life is better with friends.



What are your friendships like?

This one is silly, loving, and adventurous!



This session was from a few weekends ago…

Early 6am wakeup call to capture the friendship of these two dedicated teachers turned island sisters. We were greeted by warm sunbeams and a cool zephyr. Playing music on an iPhone. Dancing on the beach. Making silly faces. Reenacting my proposal from just a couple days ago. Laughing a lot. Climbing coconut trees. Falling off of coconut trees. Laying in the grass. Laughing some more.

I’ve gotten to know these beautiful women over the years, and they’ve been nothing but sweetness and kindness. Kate and Taylor are true gems, and I had so much shooting these with them.

Sessions: Monica and Setefano

Sessions: Monica and Setefano

A memorable photo session with Monica and Setefano for their senior prom.

This was my first ‘official’ shoot with my new camera–a Sony A7III (I’ve named it “Three”!)–and I was so nervous because I still wasn’t fully accustomed to the Sony system after switching from Canon. I’m still getting the hang of it. But I love love loved how all the photos turned out! Monica and Setefano were dressed to the nines and should have automatically been voted cutest couple and prom king and queen! Monica was absolutely stunning in her perfectly paired outfit and accessories, and Setefano was slick and cool in his complementing maroon two piece suit. I shot and directed for a little over an hour while we swayed to the music blaring from my little  speakers, and we created some magic and called it a wrap as the sun fully set behind us.

Thanks to Charmaine, for asking me to capture these special moments, and to Aunty Ula and the fam for your fun and positive energy.


MEET: Tilali Scanlan

MEET: Tilali Scanlan

We all wonder and wander in our own little way. Everybody’s got a story to tell.
If you want to have a chat, I’d love to MEET you!


Competitive swimmer and national athlete representing American Samoa. This Vaitogi girl shares her passion for the ocean, goals, favorite spots, and a dose of inspiration for young Pacific athletes.

Tell me about yourself, where you live, and what do you do?

I was born and raised in Vaitogi, American Samoa as number 7 of 8 kids. I am a national athlete of American Samoa, my main sport is competitive swimming. I was homeschooled until college basically, and now I am in my 3rd year of university studying Marine Science/Biology at USP in Fiji.

How did you get started in swimming competitively?

My mom put my siblings and I into a bunch of sports when we were young to burn off our energy and get us out of the house. I did a lot of sports, but swimming was my favorite. I really got into competitive swimming when I realised the potential I had, and how much fun it was!

Growing up, where were your favorite places to swim?

I swam at the tide pools in Vaitogi almost every day in homeschooling, so that was a favorite spot of mine. I loved going to Maliu Mai, and on rare occasions, beaches on the far ends of the island with the family. Nothing tops swimming in Manu’a though, that’s an all time favorite!

You’re so young and have traveled a lot; where have you been and how did you get to travel so often?

Just for swim comps, I’ve gone to New Caledonia, Samoa, NZ, PNG, Canada, Hawaii, Budapest, Austria, and most recently China (gettin that passport stamped!!)

I come from such a tiny dot on the map, yet have seen so much in my young years, and I’m thankful to sports for that. Swimming has taken me places my bank account could neva.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

Train. School. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Typically a 5 am start to a 9pm rest (depending on if I get my schoolwork done in time). It gets busier when school deadlines get closer, but I always try to set aside Saturday night to chill and do whatever I want.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Motivated. Curious. Hungry (aaaalwayyys hungry).

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 10 years?

Back in AS, training young swimmers to pursue the sport, and have opportunities like I have had. 10 years? Somewhere in the islands, doing the same thing, and protecting the oceans! I can definitely see myself somewhere in the water haha.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

Toughest question yet. BRB gotta make a comparison chart. Definitely high up on the food chain.

What are your passions?

I’m passionate about the water (big surprise there), and becoming so connected with it, that it feels unnatural to leave its medium. I’m also passionate about encouraging young people from small islands like ours to pursue more options. There’s something for everyone.

Why do you care so much for the environment?

I could write you a thesis paper on why, and a whole lot of other good reasons lol. Bottom line is that life is codependent on the environment, and it pains me to see it suffer.

Favorite kind of music?

A LOT, but I can listen to island songs anytime, anyday. Ben Vai is one of my favorite artists from home.

Favorite food?


What is your life motto?

“Eat pasta swim fasta”

What’s your spirit animal?

Sloths. They avoid so much trouble by taking naps.

What is your all time favorite spot in American Samoa?

The spot right where Ofu and Olosega meet. Just hanging out under the bridge with my nieces and nephews. Nothing beats that.

Any advice for young aspiring pacific athletes?

Never let where you come from determine how far you will go.

Model and interview by Tilali Scanlan. Questions and photos by Nerelle.

Want to follow Tilali into the blue? Check out this arvo surf sesh!

Also follow Tilali’s adventures on instagram: @tilalipops

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.

SESSIONS: Suli Sataua Slays Prom 2017

SESSIONS: Suli Sataua Slays Prom 2017


JUNE, 2017

I walked up the steps to Moana O Sina, where we agreed to meet for the shoot, and I am immediately stunned by this tall tanned teen in towering heels! Her sister and cousin are attending to her hair with bobby pins and fastening her gold choker necklace. She’s laughing about something her cousin says, and she oozes cool confidence.

Suli is wearing a long majestic purple couture gown with a sexy leg slit and with gold lace adorning her chest and neck.

Her senior prom theme: Fire and Ice.

But no doubt, when she mixes the two, she is FIERCE.

Location: Moana O Sina, American Samoa
Dress: Island Image Creations
Hair and Makeup: Cherry’s Salon

Suli Sataua slayed in her prom dress!

I was truly overwhelmed by the amazing photos taken of me in my prom dress. It was my first time and I ws very nervous. I am not usually photogenic, but thanks to you, the shoot was loads of fun and I was very confident. I felt very comfortable and at ease and the results are absolutely breathtaking. I loved each and every photo! It was like seeing my own fairytale. You are such a talented photographer! Thank you so much Nerelle for capturing each photo in such an aesthetic way. The attention you gave my dress was mesmerizing! It wasn’t just a photo shoot, it was a memorable experience. Thank you for being so sweet and patient with me.

Suli Sataua

SESSIONS: JereMia is expecting!

SESSIONS: JereMia is expecting!

Over 2 sessions late last year and within a  1 month time span, I got to watch Jeremy and Mia’s (here dubbed “JereMia”) little family grow with the birth of their first baby, Jones.

For our first session, I took photos of JereMia and that adorable baby bump. Which, by the way, you can barely even see from the front or back. It was really just from a side profile that it was more than obvious! And she was already 36 months! The ever radiant Mama Mia had just gotten off of work. She was working an extra 2 hours after work for the past couple of weeks to build up some compensatory time because local government jobs does not offer maternal leave. Also, she was due in the next month!

Jeremy and Mia jumped out of their big white truck and led me to their house along the main road in Faganeanea. Jeremy took off his hat and tousled his hair. Mia put on lipstick and took a quick look in the mirror while offering me a glass of wine, and they were ready.

It was already almost 6pm and the sun was going down quickly. We took photos in front of the house, around the yard, and ran across the road to the seawall to snap some shots in front of the ocean, the rock landmark, and the bus stops. I mostly asked them silly questions, and we giggled over Mia’s baby mama waddle, but I also told them to talk to each other so they could basically hang out while I took photos. Actually most of these photos are candid! There were just a few incidents where I told Mia to cup her belly (so that you could see her bump better), told them to hold hands in front of their house, or for Jeremy to look at Mia and talk to her instead of to the camera. Other than that, Jeremy and Mia were naturals in front of the camera. In less than an hour before the sun had set, we were done!






This is Mia.

Now that she’s pregnant, I’ve been calling her Mama Mia. It suits her.

She’s got that radiant glow of life beaming from her smile and laughter.

In just 2 more months, she’ll welcome her little bundle of joy.

So she will have a million more reasons to smile and laugh.