I hiked to my first waterfall in Hawaii yesterday!

DSC_1999 The trail leading up to the falls is well shaded (which my healing sunburn appreciated very much), and very lush.

DSC_2023 Look at how green the canopy is! It was wet, as it is a rainforest, and that made the trail slippery and very muddy at some points. It also makes the perfect conditions for mosquitos. There were swarms of them, and I took home plenty of welts as a souvenir of this trek. But we managed to slip and slide our way up to the falls without donating too much blood.

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The way back down was even more challenging, so I grabbed a piece of bamboo lying along the side of the trail and used it as a walking stick. I left it at the beginning of the trail for the next hiker to use.

I would definitely do this hike again, but with bug repellant!




Aloha, friends!

So, yesterday I went on my first hike in Hawaii, and it was a challenge! The trail zig-zagged up a mountainside.

IMG_4993 It felt like walking up a very long flight of stairs. Now, I can take a movie theatre size flight of stairs like a gazelle (am I right, Grant?), but Holy Hannah, this one had my calves screaming and my lungs kicking my ribcage for air!

Note the warning signs at the beginning of the trail. DSC_1649 Nothing here warning about jelly legs.

This is a gently sloping part of the trail, designed to lull you into a false sense of security.

In all seriousness, though, the hike was a fun challenge, and the reward at the top was worth it. Check out the view! DSC_1671 DSC_1684


Today is another, much flatter hike. I’ll see you on the other side.




Well, after an entire day of travel yesterday, which included layovers in Dallas and LA, I finally made it to beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii! photo 2 photo 1 photo 3

Before even heading to what will be home for the next two months, Kelsey insisted on showing me the beach closest to her place.



Devlin and I dropped Kelsey off at work this morning, and this is the sunrise that greeted us along the way:

photo 4 After we left Kelsey, we decided to head out to the North Shore. We made a few stops along the way.
DSC_1485 DSC_1569 DSC_1594 Tonight, it’s back up to the North Shore for food trucks!




Today, my two brothers graduated high school (they grow up so fast)! As the photos from the day were downloading, I was perusing the web (wasting time on Facebook) and stumbled across a link from Huffington Post’s Weddings section, which I did not know existed, but there you go. Plenty of articles tell you how to choose your wedding photographer, but this one makes some good points on how NOT to choose:

How NOT to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

And because it wouldn’t be a good blog post without a photo, here’s one from today:

130531Graduation-86 Stay tuned for more photos from the graduation…tomorrow.


So as you all know, I will be headed to Hawaii in less than a week, so I’ve been doing a little research and getting inspiration from some local photographers over there. One photographer in particular stood out. Her name is Jenna, and she runs Creatrix Photography. Reading through her blog, I found a post with some wedding-day suggestions for her brides, which included where to buy a custom dress hanger and cute tank top so that your getting-ready portraits look just as elegant as your ceremony and beyond portraits!

Here’s the link to an Etsy shop for the hanger: click.

And here’s for a pretty, lacy tank top: click.

I’ve decided to create a page dedicated to tips like the above to help make your wedding day memorable and comfortable!



Grant and I went on a cruise, and of course I took photos!

Our first stop was Nassau, Bahamas. No excursions or guided tours here. We walked along the shore and enjoyed the beautiful blue water.untitled shoot-0829

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Our next stop was St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Some people recommended that we take the water taxi to St. John to enjoy the National Park there, but we found a very good tour guide named Maryann who took us on a (sometimes terrifying) open air bus ride up the steep and winding road to Mountain Top, with a couple stops along the way for photos and interest. First was Blackbeard’s castle…untitled shoot-0928

…where I found a statue of Jack Sparrow…untitled shoot-0940

Oh, and there are giant iguanas. Everywhere.untitled shoot-0965

Here is a view of Magens Bay. The day was a little hazy, but apparently on a clear day you can see many more islands.untitled shoot-0976

Our last stop was Saint Martin (Sint Maarten in Dutch, Saint-Martin in French). It is a small island governed by two different bodies. One side is Dutch, and one side is French. We found another tour van that took us in a circle along the island’s main road. Here is a view of their harbor, which is apparently filled with boats when there’s a hurricane.untitled shoot-1007

Anyone interested in real estate? Construction is underway for homes in Indigo Bay.
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Maho Beach, on the Dutch side of the island, is adjacent to the island’s only international airport.untitled shoot-1044

And when I say “adjacent,” I mean the planes fly right over the beach. Right. Over.untitled shoot-1074

*sigh*…untitled shoot-1080


Well, that was our trip. My next adventure is coming up in a little less than two weeks, and I am SO EXCITED!

Thanks for reading!

My tickets are booked, and I am excited! This summer (June 4-August 1), I will be staying in beautiful Hawaii! Specifically, the island of Oahu. My wonderful sister, Kelsey (you remember her), has graciously offered her spare bedroom to me for the two months I’ll be there. My camera and I will be inseparable, I’m sure.

So if you’re in Hawaii this summer and find yourself needing a photographer who will delight in the environment as much as (if not more than) you, drop me a line! I’d love to capture a Waikiki wedding or a North Shore portrait session! I’ll bring the sunscreen.

You can contact me by phone (text or call), email, or the contact form below.


Jen Abert Drain [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Interested in…’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Dear Kelsey,

I remember, a very long time ago (or so it seems), 3-year-old me waiting eagerly  for Mom and Dad’s car to show up with a new addition to our family (**spoilers: it was you**). I knew we were going to be BFF’s long before that was a thing. I was right, of course (I usually am). We had our differences, as people do, and we fought occasionally, as siblings do, but you never stopped being the person I wanted to hang out with (which made me kind of a lame-o in high school).

I admired you. You were always a hard worker, and you never took “no” for an answer. Hell, you drove 7 hours and 400 miles to prove that your little feet could reach the pedals after some higher-up told you that you didn’t meet the minimum requirements to fly helicopters. But here you are (all 5 feet, 2 and a half inches of you), a fresh aviation graduate, one of three women in a class of almost sixty.[slideshow]

I’ve always been proud to call you my sister (even if I pretended not to be). I’ll miss you while you’re gone, off saving the world, or whatever it is you do. But I’ll be here, still proud of you, and counting the days till I can see my best friend again.