Peru

    Peru was seriously one of the most insane trips I have ever been on. Let me start by saying that we were there for 10 days and we all packed all our stuff into ONE backpack per person, except for one checked bag where we put all our toiletries and my camera charger. Upon landing in Arequipa, Peru we found out that they had misplaced that one checked bag. OF COURSE. We didn't know when it would arrive. Since my battery charger was in that bag I had to be very frugal with the amount of pictures I wanted to take. Especially since I knew that we were going to Machu Picchu on day 8 and I definitely wanted my camera to be alive for that. We didn't get the checked bag until 9 days into our 10 day trip? I think. So I hope you enjoy the photos I did take. 

    We got to live the real Peruvian experience because we went with Trevor's brother, Dallin, who served an LDS mission there for two years. We mostly stayed with people that he taught and spent most of our days house hopping to meet everyone. This actually turned out really great because we got most of our meals for free, and they were home cooked. The bad part about that? Not all Peruvian meals are that great... One morning for breakfast we were served tomato, onion, and avacado (3 things that I really don't like by themselves, much less together) on a piece of bread accompanied by papaya juice. Papaya juice looks like it would taste good, but it actually tastes pretty nasty. One of my favorite meals in Peru was this super good chicken served with fries. No one drinks water there because their water is pretty bad and bottled water is expensive and almost always never served cold. They all drink Inka Cola and Coke. Inka Cola is a really tasty soda that almost tastes like cotton candy. One of my favorite things about Peru was the amount of dogs wandering the streets. I knew that it probably wasn't a good idea to pet or touch most of them, but I couldn't help myself at times. I'm still alive and as far as I know I don't have any diseases, so that's good. 

    There are far too many stories I could tell you about Peru but I'm only going to dive into the most interesting one; getting to Machu Picchu. We rode an overnight bus from Arequipa to Cusco expecting to get there and meet up with the man who was going to help us around and get us to Machu Picchu. As soon as we showed up at the bus station he was no where to be found, so we called the agency he was with and they thought we didn't need them anymore? Weird. haha. So they said they would send someone out and we waited at the bus station for about an hour before he showed up. He took us to lunch and then we went to this place called Saqsaywaman (pronounced like "sexy woman"). We were so confused cause he kept telling us he was bringing us to see "sexy woman" and I thought we were going to a Peruvian strip club or something. It ended up being this super cool little city with HUGE rock walls and pretty views. After that he told us that we should probably start heading to Machu Picchu so we could check into our hotel that he had booked for that night. Unfortunately for us there was a strike happening the exact days that we wanted to go to Machu Picchu. The strike was targeting all the tourism and trains and transportation that brought you to Machu Picchu. After driving for a few hours through the mountains we were told that we had to get out of the bus because it was about to cross a bridge and we weren't allowed to be on it. So we walked across the bridge and there were a ton of men dressed up like they were a SWAT team. It was a little scary. We finally got back into our bus and shortly after arrived to the train station. We went to buy the train tickets, and I kid you not, he was about to run the transaction and someone walked by and said they had to immediately stop selling train tickets because of the strike. So here we are with no other means of transportation in some little town while our hotel was waiting for us in Machu Picchu. We called our tour guide dude and he cancelled our reservation and luckily found us a hotel in this small town for the night, but we still had no idea how we were getting to Machu Picchu the next day. We woke up to another guy in a bus who was supposedly going to drive us to another train station. We drove SIX hours through the Andes Mountains, which at first was so amazing and breathtaking.. until we started hitting very skinny dirt roads. If we had driven off the edge of those roads even just a little bit we would have fallen thousands of feet to our death. Not only were these roads skinny but they were very windy and cars were also coming from the opposite direction. I've never been car sick in my entire life until this very moment. It only made it worse when the driver's 4 year old daughter (yes he brought his daughter on this trip. I took some photos of her.. see below) starting puking all over the place. We had to pull over while he cleaned out the car and Trevor peed off the side of a cliff. After 6 hours we finally made it to the next train station. The only thing was that we weren't sure if we would make it in time to ride a train. If we didn't make the train we would have had to walk another several miles to make it to Machu Picchu. We did in fact make it on the last train of the day and finally made it to the city of Machu Picchu. We then bought our tickets and roamed the streets for a little bit. After a very long day we finally went to sleep only to wake up at 3 am to wait in line to get on a bus to make it up to Machu Picchu for sunrise. Which we did, and it was amazing. Absolutely stunning and breathtaking. After walking around for a while I started to have a panic attack. I couldn't breathe, and I was getting super hot. I went back and sat on a bench in the shade while everyone else continued exploring. I sat there for about another hour drinking as much water as I could, and then we finally rode a bus back down to the city. I still felt nauseous. We passed a market that was selling raw meat and I immediately ran to the bathroom feeling like I was going to puke. I was a little light headed and dizzy for the rest of the day. That night we had to get back on our bus to head back so that we could make another bus that would take us back to Arequipa so we could fly back home to America. Our bus driver had coincidentally broken his right arm, so he got his brother to come so that he could drive us to the other bus station. not even 5 minutes into our drive his brother got into an accident. He clearly didn't know how to drive stick shift and backed into the car behind us. After just yelling at each other for 10 ish minutes our original driver got back in the drivers seat and started driving us back with a BROKEN ARM. Well... we didn't make our other bus. We missed it by minutes and had to ride another one back to the city. It was another night bus, and we all froze all night long. I've never been so cold in my life. anyway. That is our crazy Machu Picchu story. Hope you enjoyed. haha.

 

hawaii

OHHH what can I say about Hawaii?! There were too many good things about this trip. It was the first time me and my family had ever been and we were in awe the whole time. Oahu is absolutely stunning. It really is such a magical place. We stayed in the Aulani Disney resort for the first half of our trip. We felt like Kings and Queens. They had multiple pools, a lazy river, and their own private beach. This was our relaxing portion of our trip and it was sooo nice. We ventured over to Paradise cove one day and got to swim with wild sea turtles (see video). Our second half of the trip was spent on Waikiki beach in a hotel called The Modern. This half was spent exploring the island a little more. We drove to the north shore one day and snorkeled at Shark's cove and then played at Keiki's beach after eating at some yummy food trucks. We also spent a day at the Polynesian Cultural center which was so much fun! anyway, I could go on and on about this trip but I'll let the video and pictures do the rest of the talking. 

xoxo
shlee

Bridals

Today we have been married for 6 months, and it has been the hardest, best, most rewarding, and blissful six months of my entire life. Who knew that you could use "hardest" and "blissful" to describe one thing. I never knew that I had such a capacity for love until I met Trevor, and every day I am surprised by how much more I love him. He is so selfless and caring and does so many little things to remind me that he loves me too. I know I made the right decision when I said yes to being his forever. I wish that I had been more on top of things and posted these earlier so that I could post my wedding day instead, but that will have to wait. Sorry! 

 

I love you Trevor. Happy 6 months! 

 

Photos by: India Earl

Makeup by: @Cherisa.mua

Florals by: @thelovelyave

Our Story

Trevor and I met on a blind date last March. I was good friends with one of his best friends who would occasionally talk about Trevor and how he was coming home from his mission soon. I never thought anything of it until his friend, Tanner, snapchatted me a picture of Trevor the day or two after he got home. I immediately knew I wanted to go out with him so I made Tanner set us up on a date. A few days before our planned blind date Tanner had several friends over to watch a basketball game at his apartment. I went knowing that Trevor would also be  there. It was slightly awkward because we knew who each other was, and that we were going on a date in a couple days, but both of us were too shy to talk to each other. We sat on opposite sides of the room the entire game. Afterwards Trevor came up to me and gave me a high five and then left. I always tease him about the high five... so awkward.  A few days later we finally went on our first date. We went ice skating*, got crepes, and watched the Fault in Our Stars on a bean bag. I expected Trevor to be awkward since he had only been home from his mission for about 10 days and I was his first date since being back, but he wasn't!  After that we were inseparable. I think that between our first date and now we've only spent about a month apart. We have spent almost every day together. I knew I wanted to marry Trevor after about 4-5 months of dating. It took him a little longer to figure things out. I'm so glad he decided to stick with me. I love him so much and I can't wait to see where "our story" takes us. 

*to this day we have not gone ice skating once since our first date. Trevor hates it. 

photos by India Earl

makeup by Marisa Rose

The Proposal

Trevor and I finally decided to get married around the end of the year last year. My first priority as a photographer was, of course, making sure my dream photographer was available and willing to shoot our wedding. I contacted India Earl as soon as I could. We immediately set up a date to shoot our engagements (April 5), so I had to be proposed to by then. Trevor ordered my ring from Staghead Designs about mid February. We had been told it would take 6-8 weeks to finish the ring- we were cutting it pretty close. I became worried that I wouldn't be surprised when Trevor decided to propose. Especially since it was almost the end of March and our engagement shoot with India was like a week away. Luckily, Trevor is the sweetest most clever person I've ever met and I'm the most gullible person on the entire planet. He told me one night that the ring company had texted him and told him the ring had been finished but there was a defect in it and they would have to keep it a few more weeks to fix it. He even had the ring company text him so he had proof to show me. I was honestly heartbroken. I'm a super anxious person to begin with so knowing that we would have to push everything back a few weeks made me a little upset. Fast forward a few more days. My good friend Tara had asked me to shoot on the morning of April 1st. The night before I had super bad cramps and was throwing up well into the night. Trevor came over and made me soup, told me that if I showered and got ready in the morning before my shoot with Tara that it would make me feel so much better. In the back of my mind I was thinking "I'm not showering tomorrow, I don't have to be in the photos." He tried. Thanks Trev. 

That morning I woke up around 7 am still not feeling good. I texted Tara and asked her if we could reschedule the shoot. Normally she would be totally fine with it, but she insisted that she needed the photos... so I got up, got dressed (I almost went in my pajamas), and met her at the studio. As soon as I walked in and saw the huge board of pictures I knew what was happening. Trevor came out from the office and proposed to me. He tricked me into thinking the ring wasn't going to be done so I had rescheduled my hair, makeup, and photoshoot appointments for our engagement photos. Trevor was super sneaky and somehow found everyone's phone numbers and told them not to listen to me, as he proposed on April Fool's day- four days before our engagement shoot. 

Photos by Autumn Nicole Photography

Video by Caitlyn Cutler Films

Ring by Staghead Designs

The Start of Something New

Hello,

 

Welcome to the 'Life' section of my website. I've had this here for quite some time now, and many of you have clicked on this tab only to find nothing. Oops! I've had every intention of starting a "life blog" but haven't found the time or courage to do so. I'm not so sure if this actually requires "courage" but I am a little nervous about starting this. My vision and purpose of this blog is to allow my future clients to know a little bit more about me before they actually meet me. I wish I could meet everyone that emails me instantly, but that's just not how things work. I obviously love photos, but I did't have a great place to share all my personal pictures-until now. Hopefully I can accomplish that with this blog.

 

So, here it is! 

thanks in advance for following this new journey.

xoxo, Ashley

photo by Taylor Jarman

photo by Taylor Jarman