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.

The Aloha Series: Part Two

If you didn't catch Part One, check it out here!

I am constantly inspired by several Hawaiian photographers (shout out to Ashley Goodwin & Shannon Cummings) and I am always searching to find a little bit of the islands here on the east coast. Other than the insanely gorgeous beaches, I'm always jealous of the beautiful flower fields that I've seen in pictures and of course... pineapple fields.

When I drove past this site a few weeks ago, I knew that I needed to shoot there. I immediately looked up the farm online and contacted to get permission. YOU ALWAYS NEED PERMISSION. It absolutely kills me to see photographers trespass without permission. It's just not worth it. The owner, Todd, was so sweet! Sarah and I braved an insane amount of bumblebees to get these beautiful shots! 

Posted by Ashley Lester.

The Aloha Series: Part One

There are very few people that get my severe 'beach fever'. No one understands how the ocean can just pull at your heart strings and the feeling of sand on your feet is therapeutic. Meet Sarah: my tropical twin. Both of us are on the same 'wave' length (no pun intended) and when she told me she wanted to get together for a shoot, it obviously sparked an explosion of creativity! Behold The Aloha Series! A new series that I hope to continue with new beaches, different people, but the same love for tropical inspiration. I don't live in Hawaii but maybe these photos will take my mind off of that and help me cherish the beach that I do call home! 

Sarah is the best of models (and friends!) and I am so thankful that she was up for such a spontaneous shoot! 


Huge shoutout to Rey Swimwear for featuring a few photos from this shoot! 

Posted by Ashley Lester.