Shonda Hilton
Shonda Hilton

Michelle |Whidbey Island Glamour Photographer

I am so excited to finally share the session of Michelle with jewelry and wardrobe provided Olav Jules Designs. I was so excited when Cat who is the designer of Olav Jules contacted me asking to collaborate on a session for a boho western themed fashion shoot on the beach. After a couple of attempts to get schedules to line up we made it and we are all so happy with the end result. A huge thank you to my makeup artist Joann for the stellar work and as always being one of the best assistants I could have ever have asked for! So please continue on and read about Cat and our lovely model Michelle…


Cat- Olav Jules Designs Cat+Olav+Jules

Born and raised in California, Cat had a heart deeply seeded in Cowgirl fantasies…

‘This is where my passion for designing Southwest style jewelry ignited. I recall as a very young child that as a family, we would travel from California to the Midwest to spend the summers on my grandparents farm. I would spend my time being a Cowgirl to my heart’s desire. On the way, we would stop at all the trading posts, and I would buy either a turquoise ring or a Native American bracelet. I would also select a Native American doll to add to my collection of cherished memories.

Over the course of my lifetime my journey has been well versed. It all started with two years in college for interior decorator but jumped that ship and off I went. I’ve been a diver, postal carrier, skider operator, planted trees, split wood by being flown in by helicopter to remote locations, managed antique and lingerie boutiques, driven tractors, bailed hay, plucked chickens and the list can go on.

Many years passed, yet in the depth of my soul there lived a Cowgirl wanting to express herself through her passion for turquoise, leather and feathers. So I made the decision to follow my heart, I started my jewelry business designing pieces for charities and within two years I’ve been featured in 17 magazines with the first being “Cowboys and Indians”, made three magazine covers (soon to be four). I have met many incredible people along the way from photographers, models, actors, artists, magazine editors, clothing and boot designers, and horse trainers.

Spending my time seeing where my passion could, or would take me. Keeping in mind, I’d always heard; ‘Do what you love and the success will follow’ – So true!

It humbles me to say, I am living the Cowgirl (jewelry designing) dream with Olav Jules designs by Cat Sandstrom. Although I must admit, none of this would have been possible without my adoring husband, Kris and his support and encouragement. I’ve been blessed, and I have so much gratitude to so many others as well.

Olav Jules by Cat Sandstrom is jewelry for women of all ages who know how to express themselves through accessorizing with jewelry. Women with the knowledge that it is not just about the jewelry- it is how you live, it is your dream, and it’s living out your dreams in style.

I was so thrilled to have crossed paths with Shonda Hilton Photography who took my Boho Western Vision and turned it into some amazing images!’

Olav Jules Designs on Facebook

Meet the model: Michelle Sandstrom

Michelle is Cat’s niece who happens to live on Whidbey Island so it was a perfect selection for Cat’s vision. It is so funny how many women I have met through photography that are so similar to me it is frightening and Michelle is no exception. I was so thrilled that we clicked from the beginning which makes photographing this beauty that much easier… I asked her to tell me a few little facts about herself that many would not know and this is what she wrote to me:

‘I was born in Virginia and grew up in the Navy so I’ve lived in Japan, Maryland, Italy and Washington. My dad got me into running in the 6th grade and I was varsity track/xc throughout high school. I just finished school and became a LPN along with having a general AA degree. My ultimate goal is to become a psych nurse who specializes in PTSD with vets.

  • I love to travel
  • I have been to 15 different countries to date.
  • I love working out and doing anything that involves the ocean (kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming you name it)
  • I believe chocolate should be its own food group
  • I literally eat a slice of cake a day and a plate of nachos
  • I wear dresses all summer long and love country music
  • My left foot is bigger than my right foot because I broke my right ankle when I was kid.
  • I can’t touch my toes and I’m not flexible
  • Orcas are my favorite animal and my life goal is to cage dive with great white sharks



So in a nutshell I feel so incredibly lucky to have been selected by Cat to photograph this shoot for her. It was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade! Thank you Cat and Michelle 🙂


Please enjoy this video which includes footage from our shoot along with images.

Shonda Hilton Photography presents Olav Jules Designs from Shonda Hilton on Vimeo.

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