“Isn’t she beautiful?!”  I know, I know… I typically gasp this phrase – or some version thereof – as I gaze at a portrait of one of my fabulous clients-turned-friends…

But only a couple of weeks ago it was reserved for The Hawaiian Chieftain, a stunning 64-ton sailing ship with 4200 sq ft sails and a crew to rival that of Davy Jones… only more attractive… and far friendlier…

The Hawaiian Chieftan, as photographed by  Louis Benainous {LBena}

Ashtyn Jade Photography: The Hawaiian Chieftain, as photographed by Louis Benainous “LBena”

How & Why did this all come about??  I say it so often… but only because it is so, so true… I am blessed to have incredibly AMAZING people in my life!  And the Kirkham Family happens to be counted among them.  The Kirkhams provided exciting news about the need for a few local extras for the filming of a fascinating documentary – the harrowing tale of the shipwrecked Julia Ann.

Katie facilitated the necessary connections… and, voila!  My 3 little munchkins and I got to spend the day swabbing the decks and fighting a few swashbuckling pirates!!  {Okay… maybe we didn’t work quite that hard… and the story boasts no real pirates… but my three-year old, Miss Payton, left with a Pirate Princess title firmly intact!}

Our reality was a bit surreal, however.  We set sail in the company of true talent and discovered how warm, charming, and enjoyable these folks really are.  I would love to thank all the fabulous families, filmmakers, actors and crew who shared this wonderful day with us. What an incredible, happy experience… witnessing truly good people successfully pursuing what they love!!

**  I’ll be sure to share more information as it becomes declassified.  **

DIRECTOR: Martin Andersen
Discover more of Martin’s films here.  Then witness what he’s been up to as the VP of Production at 3D-4U.  When he’s not busy creating films, this mogul of media industries is busy blowing minds with the 3D capabilities of his latest project, recently featured on the Discovery Channel.  I guarantee… It.Will.Astound.You.  Martin’s unassuming air was such a pleasant surprise and put everyone at ease.  And I felt evermore bonded to him when during the filming of one scene in particular, I heard him exclaim, “Oh, I love that light!  I love that light!!”  You see… in my line of work?  Loving light kind of runs in the blood.  So it’s no surprise he would feel the same!

CINEMATOGRAPHER: T.C. Christensen
His vast array of films includes classics such as Rigoletto {the score of which still gives me goose bumps two decades later}, family favorites like The Buttercream Gang {Yup… totally dating myself here, aren’t I?} and inspiring films such as Forever Strong.  Read this article, which perfectly puts his personality on display and was published in March of this year.  And then enjoy his most recently released project, Ephraim’s Rescue.  Calm, cool and collected – oh, and kind! – are the words I would use to describe him.  Completely professional and incredibly focused.  {No pun intended! *wink*}  And I so loved watching him manipulate the camera!  It’s fun to watch a genius at work!

FEMALE LEAD: Amber Lackey Moreno
Amber loves participating in musicals and has a beautiful voice, a touch deeper than most women you’ll meet.  {So, of course, I kind of liked her immediately…}  She’s also adopted a gluten-free lifestyle, which really only increased the number of brownie points she receives from me.  All of that aside, I was drawn to her serene, quiet nature: her willingness to be vulnerable in front of the camera {Um… yes, please! I can open my schedule up for you any day, Mrs. Amber.  Let’s get you in front of MY lens!}.  And her genuine kindness to absolutely everyone… Loved it.  Loved her.

MALE LEAD: Jasen Wade
Handsome, rugged and stoic – it’s no wonder why he’s chosen for these kinds of roles! You can see him in action as Levi Savage in 17 Miracles, or living it up in one of his hosting reels.  His open, friendly nature towards everyone on set {especially the kiddos} was oh, so appreciated!  And his wife?  A dream!

WARDROBE DESIGNER: Annie Rose Auering
Annie served as the first face of the project for me and my little minions.  And what a lovely face it was!  Clearly, she had done this before: efficient and friendly; confident and flexible; the woman had a system.  And it was a system that not only had us all donning our 1850’s apparel in remarkable time, but one that also afforded her the time and energy to ensure that we felt comfortable and confident.  {Or as confident and comfortable as anyone could feel in 19th Century garb. *wink*}  Annie was indispensable.  Though, with the many ensemble-related miracles she wielded during the production of the LDS Bible Videos… who could expect anything less?

HAIR & MAKE-UP: Laurie Vukich
Her extensive experience lends itself beautifully to her work at naturesknockout.com, where you’ll find tons of natural alternatives to health & beauty products and where she with her daughter, Tiffany, share great style & beauty tips.  Laurie is an absolute doll.  Thank you for all your hard work, Laurie!