The Aloha Series: Part 4, Virginia Beach Bridal Inspiration

It's been awhile since I have been able to do another installment with "The Aloha Series" and I'm super excited to bring it back! This chapter is "jungle meets bridal" -- Virginia Beach has the most beautiful backdrops that just need a creative eye to turn magical. 

You may recognize Kristin from some past work and I knew that she was going to be the perfect model for this concept I had in my head. I've been dying to get outside and shoot more and the weather last Sunday allowed me to do just that. I called Kristin, grabbed some flowers from Trader Joe's and the results are below. 

If you're unfamiliar with The Aloha Series, it's a collection of work that is inspired by all things tropical. Whether it's a sunflower field, a surf theme, or the beach, I'm constantly looking for ways to bring the islands to the east coast. These shoots are purely creative and they breathe life into a usually exhaustive wedding season.

A huge thank you to Kristin (of course) and her boyfriend Ian for holding my light stands!

In just TWO WEEKS, I'll be taking The Aloha Series to the actual Aloha State!!! Stay tuned!!

Posted by Ashley Lester.

The Aloha Series: Part Three

When you shoot wedding after wedding and one family after another, your creativity can easily get drained. I needed an outlet to be able to do some fun and "me" shoots with no time constraints or expectations and that's why I started The Aloha Series. In case you missed the explanation, this series is meant to capture the essence of Hawaii (even though I've never been) and attempt to recreate my own little paradise right here in Virginia Beach. Go check out part one and part two, and now I am so so happy to present part THREE! 

Usually when photographers will plan a 'styled shoot' they go ALL OUT with the dress, hair, makeup, vendors, details, etc... but that just wasn't my goal for this shoot. I did want a fabulous dress, model, location, and a volkswagen bus. I needed a VW bus to complete my idea so when I came across Michael and his gorgeous bus, I was so ecstatic! It was everything I had envisioned and way more. Thankfully, the previous dress I planned on using fell through because the white dress below is a dress I bought for $20 off of a Yard Sale page! (Woo! Bargains!) The flowers were also handmade by me and my uber talented friend Jenni using clearance Harris Teeter flowers. See? Not every shoot has to be fancy to be glamourous. I couldn't be happier with the turnout of these photos because they truly capture everything that represents my 'brand' -- color, fun, and of course, the beach. 

I technically could have broken this up into two different parts but I really couldn't wait to get them posted. Enjoy the most perfect sunset I have ever seen with the third installment of the Aloha Series. 

Wanna see more?

View the WHOLE series here.

The Aloha Series: part one and part two

Posted by Ashley Lester.

Fall Workshop: A Styled Shoot

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm constantly on a budget. Some unfortunate events thanks to some unfortunate people have caused a ton of financial burden in my life and it's caused a real struggle when balancing my wants with my needs. Last fall, I entered for a chance to win a seat with the incredible Jessica Mae Photography. Her work is flawless and her business model is one to drool over. I entered to win because I've never attended a workshop or styled shoot, I needed to improve myself, and I wanted to meet some new friends! I accomplished all that and more at her workshop. Jessica is incredible and so is her work, for anyone wanting the perfect blend of film and digital, she's your girl. I won the seat and could not have expected what I took away from that day. So much information crammed into one workshop. Other photographers host workshops all the time and I definitely recommend that you go to one but please be careful which one you pick! Some workshops have upwards of 20 people and with that many people, you just don't get to learn or have a hands on experience like I did. I'm so so so thankful for the opportunity that Jessica gave me and I will definitely be forever in debt to her. This workshop helped my confidence and my work so much and I love her to death for that. This was definitely something that I couldn't have afforded on my own and I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend.

I think it's safe to say this workshop wouldn't have been nearly as awesome without Andrea Pesce Photography helping out too! 

I had so much fun meeting up with the other area photographers and I'm sure their images from this styled shoot will blow your mind. There's a ton of talent out there y'all! 

The wonderfully talented Jessica had her photos published!! eeekk! Check out her film photos here!

Here are a few of my photos from the workshop in November! 

 Venue: Oakwood Country Club | Hair and Makeup: Kathryn Miller | Dresses: Celebration Bridal and Church Street Bridal | Florals: Hannah Swanson | Styling: Andrea Pesce + Jessica Mae | Cake: Jessica Mae | Models: Brandon + Alex Wirth

Posted by Ashley Lester.