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We are taking this week to be a little nostalgic, and reflective, on one of my favorite shoots. I know…I know, you aren’t technically supposed to have favorites, but I will explain why this is in my top three a little later.

In the midst of COVID, I was approached by Tamara of Mei Day, a local woman-owned business operating out of the Kaka’ako area who specializes in celebrating Hawaii’s nature by experimenting with new interpretations of tropical floral design. I was really intrigued by what she wanted to put together and she enlisted my help to get it off the ground. We decided to make this an all female ran shoot, with a queer couple as the focal point. After extensive thought, we were able to put together a solid group to make it happen.

We were very fortunate to shoot at the Liljestrand House, designed by Vladimir Ossipoff. This stunning home sits at the top of Tantalus overlooking Honolulu. The homeʻs very angular and mid-century modern design made it the perfect backdrop for the more organic shaped florals and design.

The people we chose to feature were Kami and Sierra, a sweet couple who agreed, over Instagram, to work with us. They had never done a photoshoot like this before, but they were kind enough to lend their services to us. They had their hair and makeup done by the wonderful Lynn, of Lynn Yee Makeup, and were dressed in gowns from Ka Lole Hele, an eco-friendly dress rental company.

The floral details of the entire shoot were, hands down, the MOST iconic part. Tamara brought flowers I had never seen before. She came with plants that had little bananas on them, these fun furry purple poofs, and a string of yellow balls that looked like corn nuts (obviously my descriptions are great, lol). She also had her friend Kristi, of Lei Papahi, make some of the most gorgeous lei. These werenʻt no regular lei honey! We are talking works of literal art that were laid across the couple’s bodies. I still die over them.

The shoot was also designed by our best vendor friends, Ambient Rentals. They came with all their vintage goodies, which were the perfect touch to bring a mid-century modern feel to the outside space. We styled the space with our signature TGA handmade touches (aka, me DIYing tablecloths, place settings, and vow books at like 12am) and it all came together beautifully.

A photoshoot is just a bunch of pretty things that no one sees if not for the amazing photographer and we had, none other than, Ms. Megan Moura. I love Megan’s work because she was able to capture everything in a photo exactly as it was. It happened to be misty about half way through the shoot and you can actually feel the mist when you look at these photos. *chefs kiss*

So let’s go back. Why was this one of my favorite shoots? Well, we did this in the midst of COVID (safely of course) and it was one of the few things that I did between the months of March-September 2020 that was actually wedding related. I forgot how much I loved being able to create and just have fun and it was so exciting to do that with other females who shared that same passion. I also was able to meet Kami and Sierra, who became friends of mine. Kami is now my assistant and works TGA weddings + events with us!

We don’t necessarily make money on these shoots, but as vendors it is such a fun and vital part to express who we are and what we want our work to emulate. For me, that is an event that is centered around you (the couple), where we are doing things a little less traditional and get to create something all our own. Speaking of shoots, we have a few fun ones coming up that we will share, so stick along for future blog posts!

Featured Vendors Photography:Megan Moura Dresses:Ka Lole Hele Event Coordinator:The Gay Agenda Collective Event Rentals:Ambient Rentals Florist:Mei Day Lei Maker: Lei Papahi Lovers:Kami Pihana & Sierra Mendiola Makeup and Hair:Lynn Yee Makeup Venue: Liljestrand House

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