Amazingly Authentic

You know what’s not authentic anymore? The word authentic. It’s kind of like the word amazing. When I was young, amazing was a word limited to big, well… amazing things… like unusual and awesome things. Like that new machine that took those shiny discs and let you play music and actually skip to the song that you wanted, and better yet, play it on REPEAT, instead of busting out your finger holding the rewind button down, repeatedly, with your cassette player. That shit was AMAZING.

photo credit:  Dmitri & Sandra

photo credit: Dmitri & Sandra

Amazing wasn’t a word that was used every day. So when someone said it… it had IMPACT.

Today I called my kids amazing, which they are! But I also called my taco amazing… so… you see the issue, yes? Overuse leads to dilution which leads to things losing their true meaning.

I’ve been working quietly on my copy for my business for a while with Rosewater Studio, and I keep running into an issue. All of the words that truly describe me (real, honest, authentic, original) are ALL OVER THE WEB. Everyone is using them. Which makes them white noise. Which makes describing yourself when you actually ARE real, honest and authentic… well… a bitch (also something that could be used to describe me depending on your perception of strong, intelligent, successful women)

Here’s the thing though. Being authentic? Like truly authentic? It’s not really fun. It’s risky. It means you honor who you are and what you’re feeling in the moment, regardless of what others thoughts or feelings are about the subject. You are who you are, before you determine if it’s cool or socially acceptable to be that way. You are who you are, even when being who you are makes others uncomfortable. And something I’m experiencing quite a lot lately, is lots of people saying “be authentic” and “be you” and then they kind of shit themselves when you are. And it’s kind of like… would you like some fries with that irony?

Photo Cred:  Dmitri & Sandra

Photo Cred: Dmitri & Sandra

So I’m trying to figure out what words I can use to describe myself, that will hold their meaning and truly describe me so that potential clients can see… hey… she’s the real deal… I’ve gotta hire her right now!

And do you know what I realized?

I don’t think my job is to find words with the right meaning. I think my job is to put the proper meaning back into those words.

Hi. I’m Trish. I’m authentic, real and honest. So are my photos. I care more about who you are than what you say. I care more about what you do with what you have, than how much you have. I care more about the joy and respect you put into your job, than what you actually do for a living. I care more about how you treat people, than how many followers you have on Instagram. I prefer truth over flattery, even if it might hurt my feelings. I prefer truth over EVERYTHING actually. I deliver emotive photos. I like a little bit of real in there too, so I don’t mind if your kid picks his nose or you wear puddle boots with your wedding dress (I’d prefer that, actually). I’m interested in who you really are and in capturing that true you on film. I want to show you your beauty, and the beauty of the life and love that surrounds you, as imperfect as it can be. And I’m about to put the real back in the word real. And actually, upon reflection, I guess I’ve been doing that all along.

And that’s pretty amazing…


I’ve always done things a bit backwards. I had the kid and the job before I had the house and the marriage. I signed my first lease for an apartment before I had the $ to pay for it. Sensible people analyze and then act. I act and then (over) analyze. And this bleeds into everything that I do.

As most sensible photographers are keeping up on the newest gear and gadgets, I’m cruising Ebay for used film cameras and dying film stocks. It does not make sense. But it feeds something in me that I’ve had ever since I was a small child.

I used to think that I was perpetually discontent. But I’m realizing that contentedness is in the process, not the end result. Which is why, once I hit a result, I feel empty and jump back into process… ass first.

So if you see me, and I’m doing things that don’t make sense, like shooting with old, temperamental film cameras, through flowers, into the light. Or taking huge leaps of faith after having my faith shattered repeatedly. Don’t worry. Seems I am destined to find beauty along the way.

black and white bride photo

Obsessed | Epic Maui Destination Elopement

I am OBSESSED with this wedding. 

Firstly, they eloped.  Which is such a smart idea.  Planning weddings is hard, and expensive, and often times turns into a crazy juggle of trying to make everyone in your family happy and taking a back seat to your own process.  I have the utmost respect for anyone who is brave enough to say f that.  I wasn't.  I wish I had been (but with my new single status... might have another chance in the future!)  

Secondly.  HER DRESS!  One of my FAVS of all time.  And I don't know if I'm giving away a secret here, but it was ONLY $40!!  Can you even believe that?  It was so perfect.

Thirdly, it was cloudy, then in rained, then the clouds opened up and the sun and I played as we often do.  Then it did it all over again.  I LOVE having so much light variety.  Feeds my light loving soul.

And lastly, they just rolled with it.  The rain didn't phase them, the masses of tourists that came in before we were done didn't phase them.  They were just so happy... I mean, look at those smiles and the laughter and the happy tears!!  I just can't even.  And I hate that saying... but it so fits right now.  Check out this epic Maui destination elopement...


Interested in booking your wedding or elopement with me?  Check out my wedding info page for all the deets and a link to book right online!

New Fine Art Photography Print and Gift Store Launched!

So one of the things that I've been searching for is a way to sell art online in a way that is more effective and satisfying for the buyer.  I like options, and I like to give other people options as well.  I'm also a super visual person and have a really hard time committing to purchasing something without having a context for it and seeing what it will look like (which is why I order clothes online and am then pissed when I get them and they don't look like they did... on the size 2 model...  with the perfect rack... duh)

Well, I am happy to report that I've found solutions to 2 of those challenges!  Not the I don't have a size 2 figure challenge... but I've added all kinds of media types, finishing and framing options as well as have added a tool to make the visualizing process process easy (and super satisfying).  

I've just launched Trish Barker Fine Art and you've got to check it out!  Now offering print sizes from teeny tiny to super giant (my person favorite), canvas gallery wrap options that are totally customizable to your taste and tons of framing and matting options!  And you can use the "Wall Preview" tool to see if your sizing works! (if you have questions about what size art you should hang in a given area, check out my blog post here for the simple formula!)

And be sure to sign up for our newsletter.  I promise I won't send mail often, but when I do, it'll have special offers you'll want to take advantage of!

Olowalu Plantation House Wedding with Couture Events Maui

Been wanting to blog this wedding for a good while now.  The bride was a doll who was so timelessly beautiful and easy to photograph.  The groom was a total ham and had groomsmen as hammy as him.  And it had ALL of my favorite vendor peeps/friends!  Win/win/win/win.  I love those scenarios!

And it was so fun putting this post together.  I love how you can feel the fun... from beginning to end.  Laughter and love all the way through... 

Venue: Olowalu Plantation House
Event Planning and Design: Couture Events Maui
Craft Cocktail Catering: Garnish Cocktails
Dishware/Flatware/Glassware: Set Collections
Floral Design: Mandy Grace Designs
Hair and Makeup: Meili Autumn Beauty
Silk Ribbon/Table Linens: Adorn Company
Calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy
Furniture Rentals: Signature Maui
DJ: DJ Boomshot
Catering: Cater2U Maui
Film Developing/Processing/Scanning: The Find Lab

Maui Wedding Photographer | Olowalu Plantation House Wedding with Couture Events Maui

Keawalai Congregational Church Wedding Photographer

I love that I've been shooting weddings on Maui for almost a decade and that there are still undiscovered places.  This was the first time I had a couple get married at the Keawalai Congregational Church and I have to say, it was really such a cool place for a wedding.  

The officiant was such a sweet guy, the church itself is so quaint and it's ocean side location right next to a beautiful beach sorta can't be beat.  If you're thinking about a church wedding on Maui, I'd definitely recommend it.

Juliana and Adam were so in love, so sweet and soooo gracious.  Check out the email she sent me before I even delivered her photos!!

I know that this is your business, but it felt like an honor to have you as our photographer. You’re so passionate and amazing at what you do and it’s really special you still use film. I think I must have looked through, not kidding, 34 different photographer websites before Kelly almost lost it. When I came across yours, I instantly loved and connected with the photos, especially the family shots. I love how you capture laughter! Thank you so much for being there on our day to capture those moments! I truly can’t wait to see!!
— Juliana

I super love my clients.  For reals y'all.

Keawalai Congregational Church Wedding

Maui Beach Family Portraits

These guys.  They are such magic.  I feel so lucky that they found me, and that they hired me.  And then that they hired me again.  I love having a running illustration of how families grow up together.  Here's them, last year.

And here's them, this year!

Maui Beach Family Portraits



Ironwoods Beach Elopement with Best Friends!

So, totally in love with elopements.  Just the two of you.  So romantic.  But these two of took it up a notch... they eloped with their best friends in attendance... who were also a couple.  

So it was super personal and intimate, AND they had their best friends to celebrate it with them!  

It was amazing!  And Ironwoods beach in the morning?  OMG.

Ironwoods Beach Elopement

I'm possible

I can't say that I knew it. But I can't say that I didn't either. I'm learning still. It was an experiment really. One where if I lost, I lost big. But if I won... well... I don't know that I fully thought that bit through. I'd never really gone that route before, I'd only gone the losing route. So I knew what happened that way. But I was open to finding out what it might look like to win. And apparently, I cracked that door just enough.

There were days where winning was the only option. I was so steeped in knowing. I was so confident. I was so un-moveable from my position. I'd maintained my strength and my positivity. I really worked at it to a point where it came quite easily.  But I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel a bit false at times. And I think that those times were gaining on me.

I continued to keep my chin up, and yet, the water level kept rising. And I kept telling myself that it would be okay. But I hit a point where the water was so high, my head tipped all the way back... my eyes and mouth submerged... only my nostrils left out. I couldn't cry, I couldn't scream. I could get just enough air if I stayed really still. And I was like... oh fuck... I guess I was wrong.

That's where I was... snorting water. I was just barely breathing anymore. My faith was shaken. I resigned myself to losing big. But right when I decided it made no sense to hold my chin up anymore, not only did the water level drop enough to breathe... it disappeared all together. And I was left there, standing, soaking wet, stunned, wondering what the fuck had just happened.

Had there ever even been any water to begin with? Did I imagine that? I was for sure drowning. And now, there is no water in sight? At first I couldn't stop laughing. And then, I couldn't stop crying. I wasn't sad, I wasn't happy. I was just... fucking emotional. There is something to having to hold it all together. There's being strong, and then there's acting strong. They both take a tremendous amount of energy. And I'd been doing an awful lot of both. All of the feelings that I'd not allowed myself to feel, the fear, facing my mortality, what my kids would have to go through on top of what they were already dealing with, all came flooding out of me. It was as though all of that water that I'd been drowning in, somehow was absorbed into my being and was cleansing me of everything that I'd been holding onto. It was awful and wonderful.

I am fucking dumbfounded in an I-fucking-knew-I-could-do-it kind of way. Does that make sense?

Earlier this year, shortly after my marriage and family fell painfully apart, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Last week I went for a full body scan intended to find any cancer that may have spread elsewhere.

Today I got the results of that scan. It shows no signs of cancer. Anywhere.

I worked with a holistic practitioner, I minded my diet and I kept my shit positive.

It always seems impossible until its done... isn't that the saying?

I am grateful beyond measure. And I am ready to FUCK.SHIT.UP. (in a good way of course)

Photo Credit: Undressed Moments

Photo Credit: Undressed Moments

One Strong Mother...

My blog has been neglected lately.  But I'm happy to say that that's because I, myself, haven't been.  I've been working my booty off getting my divorce finalized, getting my house ready to go on the market, working a ton, taking care of kids... and taking care of... wait for it...  MYSELF.  I know... crazy right?  That's actually a priority now.  And I'm getting really good at it.

I learned a valuable lesson from self neglect.  You can say whatever you want to your kids about loving themselves, but they're going to do what they see.  And if you don't put yourself first and take proper care of yourself, physically and emotionally, there's a good chance they're going to mimic that pattern.  

So, to all those moms out there, I'd like to say...  "Screw Mothers Day!"  Be good to yourself EVERY DAY.  Your kids will be so much better for it.  And so will you.

Big love to all you mammas out there!


Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover

Oh ya?  Well I totally fucking did.  This book is one of my favorite books on the planet, and yes, it is a kids book.  And yes, I bought it simply because of the cover.  


I don't like to read.  I'm more of a pictures girl (go figure), so I whole heartedly bought this for it's beauty only, without any regard for or idea about what was inside.  Shallow much Trish?

But it turns out that this book has sorta saved my life in a way.  And it's one that I reference with my kids, and myself, almost on the daily of late.  Mostly, the Farmer's Luck story.  Because my family has been hit by some "luck" the past 4 months and every time I feel like I can't take anymore, I just remember this story, and I'm able to genuinely settle into things knowing that it isn't good luck, it isn't bad luck, it simply is what it is and if you just go with it and release your judgement of it, everything will be okay (and you might even enjoy the process!).


The Farmer's Luck - John J Muth

There was once an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years.  One day his horse ran away.  Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.

"Such bad luck," they said sympathetically.
"Maybe," the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it two other wild horses.

"Such good luck!" the neighbors exclaimed.
"Maybe," replied the farmer.

The following day his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown off, and broke his leg.  Again, the neighbors came to offer their sympathy for his misfortune.

"Such bad luck," they said.
"Maybe," answered the farmer.

The day after that, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army to fight in a war.  Seeing that the son's leg was broken, the passed him by.

"Such good luck!" cried the neighbors.
"Maybe," said the farmer.


So I guess the moral of this story is to not judge, like, at all.  That you never know what will happen next, and the universe is conspiring to support each of us, we just need to LET IT.

And the moral of my blog post is... ya, don't judge, like at all, but this one time, in band camp, I judged a literal book by it's literal cover and it ended up being the best fucking thing ever.

Click below to buy this book for your kids... or for you... or for a friend.  

Learning is Fun!

Hahahahaha... not really.  Not the real learning.  The situations that teach us what we really need to know about ourselves are usually pretty freaking un-fun.   But this lesson, that this beautiful lady brought into my life.. ya... it was fun... and MAN was that a welcomed break from the "I'm gonna shove this lesson down your throat covered in sand paper" type of learning that's been happening over in my neck of the palm trees lately.

You see, we're all creating our own experience.  And I've always wondered how I manage to connect with the best people as clients.  It's too often to be a fluke.  But I've always just nudged it away as a string of luck that will one day probably end.  But you know why I really connect with the best people as clients?  


There.  I said it.  Time to own that shiz.  And that's what this girl taught me.  Cause she was nervous as all hell when we started (which makes perfect sense.  She's an amazing photographer, check her out here, and photographers typically HATE being on the other side of the camera).  But as soon as she let her guard down and just had fun and let herself really be herself... BOOM.  DAMN.  The beauty.  

So quit overthinking everything.  Set things up as best you can and then let them fall apart into exactly what they're supposed to be.  And trust that things will be at their best... YOU will be at your best... in those moments of trust and letting go.  Cheers to this beauty for reminding me that easy, fun lessons, still exist!  And for rocking her session.  Like fire baby...




Boulder and Longmont... I'm coming for you!  March 22-29, 2018 I'm offering special rates on family shoots.  Check it out and get a further 10% off if you refer a friend and they book too!

Hope to see you there!  Click below to get details and book a spot before they're all gone!


$495 for up to a half hour of shooting
All edited files included

Fine Art Calendars Sale - 10% Off through Wednesday

Well... it's almost March.  And I've been getting myself all kinds of organized over here (better late than never right!)  Want a calendar that makes you look forward to finding out what day it is?  I'm running a quick sale from now until Wednesday (February 28, 2018) on my fine art calendars.

Enter code: TEN  at checkout and get 10% off Fine Art Calendars.  Just 3 days to act.  Don't delay!

Visit my online store to take advantage of this limited time 10% off sale and to see what other goodies I have to offer...

Gift? Or Curse?

It's all about self realization lately.  And there is one thing that has become absolutely clear to me.  I can see the beauty and good in almost anyone.  I can see your beauty, even when you can't.  I can see your core, below the surface of any facade you may be putting up or story you may be telling yourself.  I immediately see and connect with who you really are underneath.  Your best you.  And it is beautiful.  I've always considered this a gift, especially in my line of work.


Lately though, I've been looking at that part of myself and wondering two things.  1.  Why the hell is it that I can see the goodness in everyone else but when I look at myself I see only flaws?  and 2.  Is it really a gift if seeing only the good in someone lands you in a world of hurt?  Because I stayed in a relationship for 20 years holding on to that persons core of goodness, trying desperately to get them to see it and to help them to act from that place.  Even when it was slowly being overtaken by something else.  Is it a gift?  Or is it really my curse?

I can't say that I've come up with any concrete answers to either of those questions.  But I have determined that in both of these cases, whatever the answers are... they are... get this... MY DECISION.


I decide whether or not I see my own beauty.  I decide if the rhetoric in my head is kind to me, or unkind.  I'll be totally honest.  One of my biggest challenges with this breakup is being on a small island.  A place where it's hard to not run into someone you know, or know when someone starts dating someone else.  And I dread the day that I run into my ex and see him with another woman.  Like, I literally spend hours thinking about him being happy with another woman and it destroys me inside.  And as I do this, I'm telling myself that I'm just preparing myself for when it happens so it doesn't catch me off guard.  But the truth of the matter is that there is NO preparing for that.  It is going to hurt like a mother no matter what.  And the fact that I'm thinking about that is just me being unkind to me.  And that shit has to stop.  So it is my decision, that every time those awful and painful thoughts enter my mind, I will instead visualize myself finding someone who makes me happy.  Or even just me being happy by myself.  It is my decision, and at this point it's really my job, to make sure that my thoughts are positive and supportive of ME.  I can not avoid hurt by trying to prepare for it.  I can avoid hurt by NOT HURTING MYSELF WITH MY OWN THOUGHTS.  You probably all already know this.  And it's not like I didn't know it... I just didn't realize how sneaky my mind was in finding ways to allow me to bash myself internally.  I'm deciding to focus on seeing my own beauty instead of having thoughts that make  me cry.


So, then, is seeing the beauty in others really my gift or my curse?  Because I ended up in a "real pickle" as a result of this trait.  And by "real pickle" I of course mean, "completely fucked". 

It seems it is a gift that was meant to be refined.  And I do think I'm coming to terms with the fact that even though this situation has looked and felt like a great diarrhea fest raining from the sky, it is actually the universe conspiring to teach me about this gift.  And how to maybe turn it around on myself for a while.  To see my own beauty.  To give myself credit for being a decent human and a pretty damn good mom.  To remind myself of my core.  And how to not only appreciate it, but cherish it.  

So why am I writing about this, at length, on my business photography blog?  First, since I can't afford therapy right now, y'all are it (thanks in advance, I'll try to wrap it up in the 50 minute allotted time frame).  And second, I know I'm not alone in this.  Struggle is what unites most of us and there are so many amazing, beautiful, strong, funny women that I know that do NOT give themselves credit enough, or feel beautiful, or recognize their strength.  And since I'm super good at seeing the true beauty in others, and transferring that onto film so that others can finally see it themselves, I've got a new offering.  


The idea here is it can be whatever you want.  Wanna do boudoir?  Bring it.  Wanna just do simple and conservative but super pretty? I'm in.  Wanna have fun and giggle and be stupid and play and not give a shit what anyone else thinks?  YES.  Wanna rock that bikini and play in the water?  Or wear those new jeans that make your butt look amazing and finally have an excuse to wear those heels that have been sitting in your closet for years?  Hell to the yes!  Wanna go super dark and moody?  Girl, I can relate.  We decide the what and the where, I run 5 rolls of film and then blow your mind showing you how beautiful you are.

The whole point of this is to encourage you to do something for you.  Something for fun, that will feed your soul and make you feel better.  And don't underestimate the power of having a photo of you that you love.  It really can change your perspective on yourself and that can have great impact in other areas of your life.  I'm moving into a space of empowering myself, and I want to use this time and my gift to help empower others.  Who's with me?  Click here to find out more...

Happy Self Love Day

They say "life begins at forty"... but they should probably have included the beginning of that quote which is, "Everything that you think is real will all fall apart in a horrible pile of excrement on the floor and then".  Because for anything to begin, something else has to end.  And for me, that meant my marriage.


For 20 years, I'd been in a relationship wherein my love for my person exceeded my love for myself.  And though that may have seemed like a good and selfless thing, and that's what I tried to convince myself for most of those years, it ended up being my undoing.  Turns out, without self love, compassion and understanding can really just be enabling of abuse.  

So, now that I've moved slightly past the "everything is shit. What the fuck just happened to my life?" phase of things, which I am incredibly grateful for, I'm getting clear on what things I need to work on in order to avoid continuing this pattern for myself, and even more importantly, to avoid passing this pattern on to my kids. And it's all about self love.  Which is so fucking cliche.  And you'd think because it was cliche that it would be obvious and easy.  But the truth of the matter is that self love has escaped me for 40 years.  So I need to sort out what it means to me.

One thing that I've learned in the past two months about what self love means to me is not compromising myself.  There have been many instances where others have tried to convince me to go against my better judgement.  I was told that being a good person means you finish last, and since others were fighting dirty and choosing a path of lies, that I should play the same game.  It can be very tempting to stray from the truth when it looks and feels like the truth gets you screwed.  But I did not stray.  I remained in truth and kept my integrity, even when I was being beat down by the system for doing so.  I can hold my head high about how I handled an extremely fucked up situation and my kids will always know that they can trust me to tell the truth and do the right thing.  That is more important to me than any perceived win in the immediate.  It was an extremely hard path to walk, and will likely continue to be so, but I am so grateful that I did not compromise myself or the truth.  It has given me my sense of self back.  And the truth is I sorta dig on who I am.

And so begins the phase of life wherein self compromise is over, and self love begins.  And, ironically, I'm actually feeling pretty good about this Valentine's Day.  Because it's an opportunity for me to show love to someone who really deserves it.  Me.  


Does this mean that I won't end up in a puddle of my own tears this Valentine's Day?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I am grieving.  And that shit hits whenever it wants.  But I am definitely walking confidently in the direction of... well... not exactly my dreams because those all got flushed down the toilet with the marriage... but I'm walking confidently.  I'm walking.  I'm putting one foot in front of the other.  

And the dreams?  The new ones?  The ones wherein I'm actually loving myself and truly happy?  They'll come.

For now, I'll be doing this little exercise this Valentine's Day.  An exercise in self love.  Whether you're in a happy relationship, or hoping to find one some day, Self Love is something we should all practice in each moment.  

Happy Self Love Day Y'all!