Bali (Sept 11-Sept 21)


Where do I begin? This was literally a last minute (two week turnover from decision to flight) to depart to Bali. My cousin had invited me to go back in July when I went to SF. In Aug, I made I quick trip to NY and when I came back the opportunity re-presented itself and I decided to take it.

You would think that 2 weeks before a trip 15 hours away would be at a huge cost. In fact, it was half price thanks to China Southern Airlines. So on Sept 11 I left Vancouver on a 19-hour trip and finally on Tuesday Sept 13 at 2am I arrived in Denpasar, Bali.

A quick 25 min taxi ride to my hotel, Tijili Seminyak. 15 years ago, I had stayed in Kuta but now Seminyak was the place to be. A 5 min walk to the beach, Tijili Seminyak is a colourful and well-designed hotel not even a year old. The breakfasts were yummy and I wish the sun came out while I was there so I could have taken full advantage of the pool.

I stayed at the Tijili for two nights while I roamed around and finally got my bearings. I managed to kick off the trip with a spa treatment at the Praya Spa where I had the Bali Mystique treatment. It included a footbath, full body scrub, full body massage, warm yogurt masque and then rose and frangipani bath. It was the perfect activity to kick off the trip. After making my way back to the hotel, I thought I was only going to take a quick nap – but ended up sleeping the majority of the night.

The next day I headed north to Ubud where I met up with a coworkers brother at his shop (Jamusara) and checked out some local fare before I had a short Flytographer photo shoot amongst the traditional Balinese temples. The Ubud market had some great finds and I knew I would have to be back later in the trip to pick up some finds.

The one thing I forgot in 15 years was how long it takes to get from A-B (almost everything takes 1-1.5 hours) due to traffic.

Thursday-Saturday was spent in Nusa Dua, which is an area on the eastern side of the island filled with resorts. The Ayodya served as the home base as we did some touristy visits on Thursday (Kintamani volcano, a coffee plantation, a traditional Barong and Kris dance).

Friday’s visit to the northern Bali, Munduk Moding Plantation was my favorite visit though. The 6-hectare plantation was beautiful and I learned a lot about the species grown: coffee, flowers, spices and fruits. Fun fact: you can actually stay at the plantation in a suite/villa and they also have an onsite spa. I would definitely recommend the informative visit and if you can, stay a night or two.

The wedding I attended was on Saturday and the reception was in a beautiful coconut grove. Sunday, we headed over to the neighboring island of Lombok. I was really excited to stay at the Puri Mas Boutique resort and spa and it definitely did not disappoint.

My beautiful Jacuzzi villa was massive complete with a four post bed, soaker tub and cathedral ceilings. I loved that although it was a villa – the bedroom was enclosed allowing the A/C to work affectivity. Also, I would have freaked out if I were night bait for mosquitos.

On our first day we took it to the seas as we explored the Gili Islands. The Gili Islands are a group of 3 tiny islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. I got over my fear of snorkeling (thanks to my cousins lessons) and saw huge schools of fish in vibrant colours. Lunch was BBQ on the beach, which was the end to a great day.

The following day after breakfast I was able to grab a last minute massage and coconut hair treatment at the spa at the Puri Mas Boutique Hotel before I left for the airport. 24 hours later and I was back in lovely Vancouver.




5am hair and makeup. 7 am Eiffel Tower photo shoot with Pierre Torset. I couldn’t believe how warm it was at 7 am. The Trocadero is amazing. Besides the few runners – it was like the city was still asleep (and probably was!). We then went over to Marais to take photos at the restaurant.

In some photos you can really see the blue black semi gloss that was put in my hair for the L’Oreal shoot. What do you think?

After a nap, I explored around the Arc di Triomphe. I had to take a picture of the metro station sign, I kept thinking of the word Poisson.


#THESTYLELINE in Vancouver

So honored that the day after the TechStyle event, I got to take-over The Style Line’s Instagram feed. I got to introduce the Style Line to two of the fabulous foodie finds that Vancouver has to offer – Meat and Bread and Soirette.

Thanks to Joey for taking my picture in front of the amazing Art Deco Marine Building!


Metro UK Feature with Flytographer

When you read this – you may wonder if in fact I am currently using my fabulous Flytographer photos for an online dating profile – I am not 🙂 But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great idea.

I think it’s funny that I talk about Paris in the article – but these pictures are from New York. Details…

This is from the Life & Style report in the Metro UK for September 4, 2014

How a hot shot can help snap up a date 

Author Elena Murzello talks to Ashley Pearson about boosting her profile with a pro-shot portfolio

Everyone knows you have to look good in an online dating profile. Using a professional snapper and hiring a witty writer to pen your blurb is becoming the norm but no longer content with standing against a white background, singles are hiring photographers to capture them in glam settings in order to attract a lover.

While holiday snaps are nothing new- as Kate Taylor, relationship expert for says “People in summery, exotic photographs are seen as more attractive, sociable and healthier than the same people in wintery shots” – the chances of you capturing the perfect holiday selfie are slim. But hire a pro and you get all the extra pizzazz (and airbrushing) of a professional and capture the adventurous globetrotter vibe as well.

Think stylish shots of sporty looking accountants skiing down mountains, glam PR girls climbing out yellow cabs in teetering heels, curvy divorcees lying on immaculate white sandy beaches and good looking hipsters hiking Kilimanjaro.

No wonder companies like Flytographer are in demand. It’s a service providing professional – quality holiday photos worldwide thanks to a network os skilled snappers, many of who shoot for likes of Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Elena Murzello, dating expert and author of The Love List: A Guide to Getting who you want, is a client. “Having a profile photo that stands out is vital,” she says. “First impressions are key and it’s the difference between a swipe or a second look.”

“Travelling solo to Paris, I booked Flytographer to capture me on the Pont des Arts bridge and at the Louvre. There’s only so much detail and personality a random selfie can portray. I loved the results – my online interest increased exponentially.”

Flytographer founder Nicole Smith is surprised by this new market but couldn’t be happier. “I set up the company so that people on holiday would go home with great photographic memories,” she says. “If clients are using them as a way to find true love after they get home, it’s a bonus.”


5 Minutes 5 Questions: Joey Armstrong

I’m so excited to be teaming up with this food/lifestyle photographer this summer for my first shoot in Vancouver (go figure!). Her name is Joey Armstrong and we first met when I frequented a local deli to buy beef jerky. I’m excited to see Joey in her element as she captures moments of fun at Soirette for the shoot!

Check Joey out on Instagram/Twitter: @joey_arm_strong and ‘Like’ her Facebook page: joey armstrong photography

Here is 5 minutes/5 questions with the lovely and creative Joey Armstrong:

1) How long have you lived in Vancouver?

just over 7 years!

2) What is your favourite thing about being behind the camera?

it’s a weird mixture of excitement and fear, to have the power and ability to create images that truly capture the beauty or the feeling of the subject itself (whether it’s a farmer’s market bounty of gorgeous produce, or an adorable family that loves that loves each other so much).

3) What is your most favourite picture you have ever taken?

tough question; i’m really indecisive! i don’t think i have a favourite picture ever taken, but my most recent favourite would be a photo i took of a dad & his young daughter fishing by the river (i love the look of pure joy on her face, and the water splashing everywhere).

4) What is your single best piece of advice for aspiring photographers?

failure, or the feeling of failure, is normal and totally okay – just make sure you move on, learn from it, and don’t take it personally.

5) What are the top three characteristics on your Love List (characteristics or qualities you are looking for in a potential mate or your current mate)?

patience. humour. helpfulness.