I chose a rather unexpected location for my first photo shoot in Maui. I'd imagined myself shooting on the beach but no...there I was in Wailuku Cementery. I chose the cemetery because it was quiet and secluded and it had beautiful long yellow grasses and a really cool dusty dirt pathway that reminded me of the red Australian Outback. I was afraid my model wouldn't show up because of this potentially 'creepy' location but obviously I underestimated her bravery (hooray!). Daysha turned 18 this year and graduated high school. She's currently working at a hot-dog shop and searching for a second job before she heads off to college. I asked her why she wanted me to photograph her and she said she's always wanted to try modeling. But as I was doing her make up, she was sitting on the stone wall smiling (this girl is a SMILER) and telling me about her big dreams to become a veterinarian. She wants to be an expert in all of the animals so people will call her from around the world, asking her to travel to exotic places to save their unusual animals. It was beautiful watching her talk about this idea. I've spent so much time recently with twenty-somethings stressing out about finding a job, forty-something looking for new adventures and eighty-somethings who feel like they've 'done it all'. It was refreshing to spend time with a young woman who's on the brink of her life, still full of hope and enthusiasm. No hint of disillusionment, discouragement or despair. Just beautiful beautiful dreams for a future full of possibilities.
And of course, a Before & After! I loved all of Daysha's images where she had a big happy smile or a special little twinkle in her eye (she's so friendly and sweet) but I chose these two images for her 'afters' because they really showed off her beautiful lips, thick long Hawaiian hair and feminine curves. Plus, I love creating before & afters that really showcase the different sides of someone's personality and appearance. Her smiley photos celebrate her youthful happiness and these after photos capture a maturity and womanly-ness I saw emerging in her towards the end of our photo shoot.
*I wish I could say that Hanna Mazur did the hair & makeup for this shoot but she's in Seattle and I'm here in Hawaii alone with my little plastic bag of bare-minimum make up supplies and a few handy make up 101 survival tips up my sleeve (which Hanna taught me) — the most valuable of which has been "BLEND the hell out of the eyeshadow!" Miss you Hanna.