Salt + Summer

July 29, 2016  •  1 Comment

You know when you meet someone for the first time and you just know they are supposed to be in your life?

Terricia was one of those people for me.

From the moment I met Terricia, I knew I wanted to photograph her. I just didn't know how yet. But I knew that with her dark hair and olive skin, red was her color.  She comes from a dance background including, hip-hop, jazz, classical and the hula! She also likes to think of the little scar on her chest as a reminder of her incredible strength from overcoming past medical issues. We are also both of Guamanian decent (from the island of Guam, think pacific islander) and I wanted to show off all of these amazing qualities with some bold color and beautiful portraits for this proud woman!

I had some ideas floating around in my head and together we decided on a location with water and something that showed off a different side of the scorching Arizona desert, the Salt River. Lucky for me, Terricia was super excited about getting in the water fully dressed too! I wanted something simple and kinda sexy and she wanted something offbeat but classic...Bring on the challenge!

With red being such a powerful color I just went for it. Red lip, red dress, red blooms. We also added some gold accents because really...who doesn't like a little gold sparkle...? Thanks to Nicole and Selena at The Wildflower AZ, they knew exactly what this shoot needed for florals. Those women are amazing...If you need florals for anything in Arizona, contact them! The crown of reds, dark pinks and burgundy pulled everything together for me and I about burst when I finally saw it in person.

Terricia did her hair and makeup herself and she had purchased the red dress to wear to a wedding originally but ended up not because it needed some adjustments first. She claimed it was too long, and I said, "wanna wear it in the water for your photos?". Her eyes lit up and that was that.

When I work with my models or brides I want them to be my friends first. I treat them like we've grown up together and I know that helps build trust and a solid relationship whether friends or business related. Without that, I would not have been able to get genuine smiles or emotions, or even the ability to get her into the cold water, feel amazing about it and show it.

I wanted to give her something she could be proud of.

She is such a real, true person and deserves to have real photos that show her how beautiful she is inside and out.

I went into this thinking bridal inspiration but came out with so much more than that.


Ben Taitague(non-registered)
What great pictures Alyssa. Your work is getting better all the time. I can see it progressing everytime I see new pictures from you. Congratulations!
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