chelsea jean & ohana | maui photographers | wailea, hawaii

chelsea jean family
I’ve been spending a bit of time on the mainland, but flew back to maui for a week full of shoots. I had seven families to photograph, and it was pouring rain island-wide almost everyday! after having to reschedule a few and move things around, the sun magically came out on the southside… perfect timing for chelsea jean’s session with her family.

you may remember my interview and paia hang with her last year (check it out here). thankful to get to celebrate her 5th pregnancy with a maternity shoot at po’olenalena beach. I loooooove this ohana so much! it’s been a joy to get to know their family over the last couple years. kindred spirits!

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follow the aaron family here:
chelseas instagram  
ryans instagram

aloha from cadencia photography
looking for a maui photographer? contact me for availability.
aloha. love. talk to you soon.

amanda + cody + izzy | los angeles family photographer

remember haven from my last family shoot in downtown LA? amanda was her doula! I went out to pasadena to meet them for a shoot in their hood. you guys, this family is badass. as we started the shoot in their home, cody had the best playlist on… I’m talking flying lotus, toro y moi — all the tracks! turns out, he’s the creator of 143 — an R&B style monthly event that hosts all of my favorite producers and artists! and then Izzy won my heart over… the cutest little 3 year old with all the sweetness and spunk. and Amanda and I hung out for a bit after the session talking about everything from miscarriage support to eating veg. I had so much fun cruising around with this ohana. check out the short interview with amanda below.

LA family photographer takes photo of hip family in pasadena.
how long have you lived in los angeles?

We both have lived here since our early 20’s. (So for a minute lol)

dad and daughter during LA family photographer session. lifestyle family photo child during family photography session in los angeles bad dads club family photographer with tattoo family in los angeles. child during family photography session in los angeles
what brought you here? 

I moved to LA to go to FIDM and ended up working at Wasteland on Melrose full time and going to school. Cody was studying at Pepperdine and working in the fashion industry with a company called Green Apple Tree (an early streetwear brand). We met in Vegas at a Fashion Tradeshow. Cody was selling, I was buying…oh yeah.

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how did you get started being a doula? 

My desire to be a doula started after I had my daughter.She was birthed at Del Mar Birth Center in South Pasadena. When I became pregnant I had no idea I was going to pursue an unmedicated birth or have an out of hospital birth. I started reading and researching and I fell in love with birth and motherhood. I wanted to support as many Moms as I could with the time I had. I have a strong passion for educating Moms on how amazing birth can be, how STRONG and magical they are as women and all the options they have as mothers.

On another note I have had 3 miscarriages over the past year and being a Loss Doula is what a want to give more energy in this new year. Taking care of women who suffer through this is essential and not to be ignored.

family photographer with tattoo family in los angeles. LA family photographer takes photo of hip family in pasadena.

what other projects are you currently working on?

Our family has too many businesses! Haha..

Together we run The Bad Dads Club, a clothing brand for “cool” Dads. But really the heart behind it is to highlight great fathers from all walks of life. Most of our friends started having kids, but they still rode motorcycles, had tattoos and looked “Bad”. This didn’t mean they were any less of a Dad.

Being a Dad doesn’t mean you stop doing what drives you creatively, it means you bring your passion for family into everything you do. The media often depicts Dads as beer drinking idiots when it comes to Fatherhood. We want to change that.

We also have a 90s RnB party in LA called 143. Its been going for almost 5 years! Amanda runs all the social media and Cody is the businessman/ Party DJ.

Amanda has a vintage shop called Foxy Rae. Vintage has always been a passion (since those Wasteland days!) and she also sells inspiration pieces to designers outside the store.

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what is your favorite thing to do as a family in LA?

Ok top 3:

We love the D-Land! Cant help it…we have the fast passes, get a beer, ride, churros, beer program down…
Descanso gardens is 5 minutes from us and its so peaceful! Perfect place to let your kid run around and drink some much needed coffee. We also spent NYE there last year in the rain at the Enchanted Forest of Lights.

On Sunday you can find us Zoe Church. They have become our second family and the realness is  blessing.

aloha from cadencia photography
looking los angeles family photographer? get in touch here, lets chat!

LA Maternity Photographer | Free Birth Society | El Matador Beach

FREE BIRTH SOCIETY. INTERVIEW WITH EMILEE SALDAYA.

malibu maternity photography with free birth society.

so grateful to meet Emilee, the creator of Free Birth Society, and her man Jonny. we cruised El Matador beach in Malibu on a beautiful fall day. I’m inspired by Emilee’s work and community, and wanted to do an interview to share with you guys!

malibu maternity photography at el matador beach.
what is free birth society? 

Free Birth Society is an underground community of women exercising their own authority in their pregnancy and childbirth experiences. Free Birth means choosing to not opt into the medical model of birth and to instead be your own captain, allowing labor to spontaneously unfold at home. It also means that the woman is choosing to not hire a medical professional to manage her pregnancy and birth experience, and instead takes full responsibility for her experience. She does her own prenatal care and assembles a team of her choosing to support her in her birth at home. Women have “free birthed” since the beginning of time as medical assistance is relatively new. Sadly, while the medical model increases safety for a small percentage, it harms the vast majority of healthy mothers and babies with its unnecessary disruptions, interventions, and lack of trust in the normal physiological process of mammalian birth. In a culture in which we are rapidly losing normal birth, Free Birth Society is a community of women adamantly devoted to preserving and protecting the sacredness and power of physiological birth. Undisturbed birth is almost unheard of these days, with about half of American women being artificially induced for non medical reasons and one third of women ending their birth experience with a cesarean delivery. Even in an unmedicated birth (without epidurals or narcotics) women are still routinely restricted to a bed, administered routine IV fluids that dilute their birthing hormones, given episiotomies, and are separated from their infant for some period of time after birth. There is no such thing as a truly natural birth in a hospital setting and it’s imperative that we remember that and keep striving for better and more normal births. Again, this has only gotten away from women in very recent times. Ultimately, women own birth and we are taking it back.

LA maternity photographymaternity photography in malibu, california.
what inspired you to create this community? 

I’ve been attending births for well over a decade and have come to understand the different birthing models quite intimately. I’ve attended hundreds of births at home with regulated midwives, births in hospital, and free births – births without a provider managing the birth experience. What I have learned is that our culture doesn’t trust women, and our culture doesn’t trust birth. Birth, in its very essence, is the most wild and powerful act a woman can do, and everything about medicalized birth is intended to shut that down and shut us up. For over a hundred years, we have been silenced, drugged, strapped down, lied to, cut, abused, violated and raped every which way through obstetrics. I’ve seen more birth rape and obstetrical violence to women and their babies than I care to remember. It’s not right, and we need to remember that it was just a few generations ago that our great grandmothers birthed at home, in the presence of other women. We have been fed a lie that birth is dangerous and that it needs to be managed by surgeons in white coats, but science, nature, and evidence would beg to differ. We have a rising maternal and infant mortality rate in America. The interventions are not helping our species – it is significantly harming, not to mention traumatizing, generations of women and children.

As I grew closer to conceiving my own child, I knew I had to find another way.  I had been given the dark gift of knowing what went on in the hospital systems and how giving away your agency and consent was just par for the course. It’s also worth mentioning that the limiting rules and regulations of licensed midwifery are extremely harmful to both the birthing process and women and children. It significantly limits our options and leaves far too many women out in the margins forced into the hands of obstetrics, the very model they were trying to avoid. We have a long list of non-evidence based mandates that licensed midwives agree to follow that cause serious disruption, stress, and trauma to the birthing process. Some quick examples would be: no twins at home, no breech presentation at home, no birthing at home prior to 37 weeks and after 42, mandated transfer to OB if the waters have been open for over 24 hours with no significant labor, etc, and it should be noted that ALL of these examples are variations of normal. The bottom line is, for as long as the paternalistic medical model gets to determine how and where women birth their children, we are in danger.

So, I discovered another way. I discovered a world beyond regulations and communities believing women needed to be saved from birth. I found a world beyond fear of the wild woman, I found free birth, and an underground global community of incredible women who are saying, “Yeah, no thanks, I got this.” and having perfectly safe, healthy, normal, undisturbed, physiological births at home in the company of their family. It has been an incredibly rich process of unlearning the cultural lies I’ve been fed and truly coming to understand and trust the protective nature of undisturbed birth.

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what does birth look like to you in 20 years?

Sadly I imagine it looking quite similar to how it looks today, with increasingly high and unnecessary incidents of surgery and forced attempts to begin labor artificially for no medical reason.  The majority of women will likely continue choosing an obstetrical model that steals their birth experiences away from them, because we have been so successfully indoctrinated with the lies that we cannot be trusted to do this on our own and that somehow a stranger in a hospital knows more about our bodies and our babies than we do. We will continue to have a minority of women resisting and opting into safer models of birth, protecting the significance of undisturbed birth in home.

My hope for our next generations is that we will continue sharing and amplifying the stories of women birthing in power. The world needs to hear them. The women who have been told they can’t do this need to hear these stories and know what is possible. My prayer for our future generations is that more and more girls and women will learn about their own fertility, learn about birth, and choose to have people in their life that are not incentivized to harm them. My hope is that all women will once again come to know what normal birth is, what a sisterhood of strong women can feel like, and that we move into a matriarchal society that honors and trusts women as soon as possible. :)

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aloha from cadencia photography
for more interviews with momma’s, check out my series: tropical moms.
want to book a LA maternity session? contact me here.
*currently floating between the los angeles, san francisco and hawaii — so please check availability.

women who ride | an interview with jasmine + danielle | female motorcyclists in los angeles

getting my motorcycle license was a highlight of 2017, and I’ve been excited to merge my love for photography and two wheels ever since… because I’m in LA for a bit, I wanted to connect with the community of female riders.

introducing jasmine rose and danielle rotella. we met at lucky wheels garage, a DIY motorcycle garage in downtown los angeles. I met the owner for a second, who is putting in a coffee shop adjacent to the garage (dreams do come true). then jasmine, danielle, and I went exploring.


how long have you been riding motorcycles?

danielle: 2.5 years. I took the riding course in May 2015 and bought my first bike in August 2015.

jasmine: I’ve been riding for 2 years.

what was your first bike? what do you ride now? 

danielle: My first bike was a 2009 Honda Rebel 250. Now, I have a 1988 Sportster 1200 and a 2016 Dyna Low Rider. My dad bought the Sportster brand new the same year I was born and passed it down to me. The Dyna I bought last year to take on long road trips.

jasmine: My first motorcycle was a 2016 Yamaha Bolt. She was a really fun first bike, but I traded her in this year for my current motorcycle: a 2017 Triumph Bonneville T120.

Danielle Rotella, a women's motorcyclist in los angeles. interview with women motorcycle riders in Los Angeles.

how would you describe the women’s motorcycle community in los angeles?

danielle: The women’s motorcycle community in LA is so inclusive! Everyone is so supportive of each other. I’ve met all of my best friends through motorcycling and couldn’t imagine life any other way. I love going to events and being able to approach anyone and not feeling a sense of cattiness or bad vibes. I feel like we’re all stoked when we find other girls that ride and it’s nice to embrace that.

jasmine: The community of female riders in LA is pretty large and quite diverse. Women of all ages and backgrounds ride motorcycles here in LA; some ride every day and everywhere like Danielle and I do , some ride only occasionally, some treat their bike as a fashion accessory, some race, some dirt bike, etc…. We have it all. Riding a motorcycle has expanded my circle of friends and acquaintances more than any other hobby has or possibly could. It can be rather difficult to meet new people  in Los Angeles, but having a common love in motorcycles has made it much easier to  make new friends.

interview with women motorcycle riders in Los Angeles. womens motorcycle riders in los angeles interview. Danielle Rotella, a women's motorcyclist in los angeles.
how has your life changed from motorcycles?

danielle: Everything has changed! When I first moved to LA 5 years ago, I felt like i didn’t really fit. I really struggled to find my place here and I learned to ride so that I could see the world. I never could have imagined all of the other things riding would bring. I feel like I’m part of a community now and I’ve never experienced that anywhere else.

I’ve also been able to do and see so many things that I don’t think I would have otherwise. This year I went on a 16 day trip on my bike. It was a huge endeavor for me and I was alone for 7 days/2000 miles. Riding has allowed me to set (and smash) new goals for myself everyday.

jasmine: In the time that I have been on two wheels, I completely changed my career and  met my best friends. My life currently revolves around  motorcycles- I work at a motorcycle dealership, the majority of my closest friends ride, and I no longer own a car. Long road trips through National Parks, motorcycle campouts, ride to Donut Friend with my best friends… these are the things that I live for.

jasmine rose womens motorcycle in LA wearing a biltwell helmet. jasmine rose, a women's motorcycle rider in los angeles. interview with women motorcycle riders in Los Angeles.

where is your dream motorcycle adventure?

danielle: Well, I did it this past summer. Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National parks. It was 4500 miles in 16 days. There are too many others that I’m dreaming of to list but next year I’m aiming for The Swiss Alps.

jasmine: There are too many places to list! Riding through the Alps and Italy is on the agenda for 2018… and I would love to ride through the UK again. Riding from castle to pub to castle through Scotland and Ireland is definitely on my list.

Danielle Rotella, a women's motorcyclist in los angeles. jasmine rose womens motorcycle in LA wearing a biltwell helmet.
thanks to both of these ladies for the inspiring interview and hang downtown, keep up them here:

jasmine on IG
danielle on IG

aloha from cadencia photography
is there a female motorcyclist you want to see interviewed and photographed? comment below!