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Anyone Seen My Kefi?

In Greece, there is a word called Kefi. In rough translation, it means passion, joy, spirited. For most of my life, I could be easily be described by even mere acquaintances as having Kefi. But honestly…probably not recently.

I’m actually ashamed to even be sharing this with you, because it’s almost as if I’m admitting I’ve lost a part of myself. The last time I was truly happy and relaxed was a hot summer night in Chiang Mai, after filling my arms with Roti covered in Nutella and bananas. I’ve then cruised through this summer, losing more and more of my passion, my drive. It wasn’t just my business affected, it was my personal relationships, my health, everything. I was still pumping out more and more gorgeous images, but the enthusiasm wasn’t truly there.

So I’ve spent the past few days trying to dig within myself, to figure out WHY my passion, my dearly cherished Kefi, has disappeared. As a result, I’ve learned a LOT about myself. First, I’m very very goal oriented. But my 101 things to do in 1000 days is growing old. I want new goals, because I don’t know how many more of those I can do. I mean, will I really be able to work a CELEBRITY? When will I even get a chance to do a photography workshop? Maybe my goals need a refreshment. Maybe I need new things to work towards. Would it be giving up if I scrapped my old list and made a new one? One that reflects 2014 Jenna, not 2012 Jenna?

I don’t know how I lost my passion. Maybe it’s been worn down through working 50+ hours a week on school and photography for three straight years. Maybe it was too many times giving 100% and receiving a pat on the head in return. The other day, I was asked about my hobbies and frankly, aside from reading, I couldn’t name a single one. Sure, I like hiking and snorkeling…but I do them maybe once a month. If I’m lucky.

So I’m a hobby-less, passionless person who photographs happy people in Hawaii. I really feel like that entire sentence is a run-on contradiction. Don’t you?

I’m struggling, you guys. I love my job and I KNOW I’m lucky. I love all of my clients and give 100% all the time. But I’ll probably slip up sooner rather than later if I don’t figure out how to become happy again. And I mean HAPPY. I mean driving down the road with a stupid grin on my face. I mean sitting on the beach and not having a clawing beast of anxiety in my chest. I mean dancing around without pants on, like I used to.

I make vows in this blog. Sometimes, I don’t follow through. It’s human and I doubt you’ve noticed. I’m counting on that sometimes. But today? I’m making a vow to myself to find my Kefi again. I just bought a standup paddleboard, I’m making plans to go scuba diving this weekend AND I bought a kite. I’m giving my life a huge jumpstart. I’m going to revive the guts of my soul and I WILL remember what it’s like to have passion again. Just wait.

Here are some photos of me where I remember being completely happy taking them. All in different part of my life in the past two years. Here’s hoping for more soon enough…


Amy & Tim | Moana Surfrider Hotel

Amy and Tim had one of the most gorgeous weddings at the Moana Surfrider Hotel this past month. They had some technical and logistical difficulties with another company that they had hired, but when Amy Googled “best photographer in Hawaii” and I popped up (true story!) she contacted me and booked me on the spot. It was totally meant to be, because Tim and Amy are just plain amazing. We spent the WHOLE day together, getting some amazing shots at some stunning locations. Amy scaled walls and lava hills in her dress, I walked across hot lava rock barefoot for the right angle and for lunch, we stopped for some food. Everyone got a kick out of a bride scarfing down a delicious burger, myself included.

Thanks again to Sarah for amazing makeup and hair, I’ve never heard a groom say, “the makeup artist did a phenomenal job” so many times, ever! But she really did look fantastic.

Also, shout out to Crane Media for being a great videographer for the day! They even brought out a drone!:)








Moana Surfrider Hotel

Moana Surfrider Hotel

Moana Surfrider Hotel

Moana Surfrider Hotel

Moana Surfrider Hotel

Moana Surfrider Hotel

Moana Surfrider Hotel

I deeply love first looks now, look at his face!





Burgers and fry stop on your wedding day? Yes please!





















Britney and Steven | KoOlina Engagement Pictures

These two were just a BLAST to work with and with the superb lighting, this engagement session in Ko’Olina was just plain perfect. We had a delightful sunset, crashing waves, an adventurous couple…this is how magic happens. Britney and Steven have been together for almost a decade and when I asked them what took so long to tie the knot, they just explained that life, kids, school…it all came first. They always knew they would marry, it was just a matter of saving up for their wedding, without the use of credit cards. Which I think is AWESOME. It can be difficult for couples to start their new lives together with debt, so I commended them on their efforts.

They’re getting married in Ko’Olina in November, so these images will be on their invitations going out ot family and friends. I cannot wait for their big day, it’s going to be totally amazing!

On another note, I will be slowing down on blogging in the coming weeks, to focus on school and the friends I haven’t seen in months.:)Hopefully I can snatch some imagery from the fun stuff, but I tend to focus more on the experience rather than photo taking, so don’t hate me if you don’t get your normal MWF fix.:)See you soon!













Couples Exercise #1

So I’ve decided to undertake 5 couples exercises, for Jay and I to do and for me to blog about for you.:)I’ve scoured the internet and bribed Jay to do this with me. Each exercise will last 1-2 weeks, testing it out and letting you know what is mumbo jumbo and what isn’t.

This week’s Couple’s Exercise was something I hear from Montana Dennis, which was 20 positive touches a day can improve a relationship. He uses this technique with his couples (I do too now!) and I thought, “hey, what if this worked in every day life too??” which lead me to spending the past week incorporating this into our relationship.

So positive touches could be, but not limited to:

- hugs
- hand holding
- kisses on the cheek
- snuggles
- kisses on the hand
- ear nibbles
- dancing
- foot rubs
- massage in general
- a soapy shower together
- eskimo kisses
- sexy time (duh)
- tickles (to a certain degree)
- playing with hair

Jay and I have different ideas about physical affection. Surprisingly, I’m not as affectionate as him, partly because I’m pulled into so many directions that even a kiss seems tedious. This was REALLY good for us, because it required me to focus on making sure I reached that 20 and then some. Jay’s Love Tank has been empty, so this was a great way to start our journey living together.

And in case you were wondering, we never danced together. But I’m determined to teach him to two-step!

And because everything is better with a pretty picture…