Hawaii lifestyle photography | Buddies

More than aperture or shutter speed or even light, family photography is about connection. It’s a way to celebrate where you are at this time in life and to really show how much you love and are loved. Making space for these beautiful moments and capturing them is the best part about being a family photographer. Sadly, I don’t often get to photograph the same faces twice. Hawaii is such a transient place. Most families I meet during a brief visit to the islands – for vacation, a wedding, a stopover between continents – or as they are about to move off island.

When I do get the opportunity to photograph a family three, four, or five times, it’s a treasure. With Summer’s family, it’s been a joy to watch her boys’ relationship grow stronger each year. These brothers share a special bond. They are best buddies who create their own silly games and make each other laugh so hard they fall over.

For this session, they were looking for a change of scenery from the tall palms and manicured gardens of Koolina. For something different, we headed to the country and met at Kualoa Beach Park. With wide views of the Koolaus and Kaneohe Bay, it feels remote and peaceful and was the perfect backdrop for a fun evening of tree climbing and laughter.

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Do you have a family who loves to explore?

Let’s plan a fun day for your family doing all your favorite things. We can hit the beach, the trail, and anything in between. Find out more about my fun family photography sessions here.

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Warmth | Lifestyle video session

When you live in Alaska – Fairbanks, Alaska that is – you start to crave a little vitamin D mid winter. That’s why Jesa and her family make an annual pilgrimage to Hawaii. They look forward to their time next to the ocean where they can listen to the surf pounding outside their window and breathe in the salty air. This trip was extra special. With a baby boy due in a few short months, it would be their last visit as a family of three.

Jesa is a photographer herself and she found herself falling in love with the magic of video to tell a story; to stop time so you can go back and revisit a treasured memory again and again. To make the most of this trip, she scheduled a lifestyle video session for their family. All they had to do was spend a morning playing and snuggling.

With big yawns, we wandered out the back door of their beach side rental on Laie Beach to take in a warm, glowing sunrise and make memories. The beach was empty, shared only with a handful of curious crabs. As the sun began to warm the air, little Isla sprung to life. She chased waves, made sand castles, and was showered with love. It was a morning to warm your soul.

Making a family film doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice photos. The photos were captured alongside film so they could have the best of both worlds.

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Do you have any upcoming milestones in your family? Mark it with a lifestyle video session.

Let’s head out somewhere fun and capture a bit of your every day adventures with a sweet family film. They’re perfect little time capsules that you can return to again and again as your babies grow and change. See more family lifestyle films here.

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Love | Koolina family pictures

Once upon a time, I attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. A thriving college town tucked in the cornfields in the middle of nowhere. I remember making the long drive from Chicago where I grew up and passing sign after sign with towns boasting a population of 64, 32, 118 … It was as if every member of those communities mattered. It feels like many lifetimes ago.

When Louise reached out to book a session during their upcoming Hawaii vacation, I was surprised to discover they were from Champaign, Illinois. We met on a balmy winter morning at Paradise Cove in Koolina. I’ve lived all over the country and abroad and have never felt nostalgia for Illinois, but this family. They felt like home.

The kids had a rocky start with a stubbed toe for one and a bit of a cold for another. They came around slowly as the sun began to warm the little cove and turned into real water lovers. They beamed with delight as they splashed and streaked through the surf. Maybe it was in their warm, open demeanor or their readiness to laugh, but our session sailed by too quickly.  Hopefully, we’ll meet again.

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Are you planning your vacation to Hawaii?

Let’s venture off the beaten path to explore and laugh with your family under the warm Hawaiian sun. Find out more about my fun family photography sessions here.

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At home | Waimanalo family photographer

This family works hard and plays harder. They recently welcomed a baby girl into their lives and decided they were long overdue for family photos. Picking a location was easy. We decided on Waimanalo Beach Park, one of their all-time favorite beaches. Luck had us scheduled for the single morning of sunshine and blue skies sandwiched between long stretches of rain. The kids hadn’t been to the beach in weeks and were excited to stretch their legs.

The kid are close in age and remind me of my own children – best buddies that you can barely keep apart even when they’re annoying each other. They spent the morning taunting and chasing each other, only taking breaks to dote on their baby sister. And then they could handle it no longer. It was time to get in the water. They came fully prepared with boards and beach toys and plans to spend a long day soaking in the sun. Welcome to the beach.

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Are you beach people? Is sand embedded into every crevice of your car? Do you have salt water stains on your seat belt?

If so, i’ll let you in on a little secret. Beach people know how to fun. So let’s do it. Let’s pick up a board, a shovel, a snorkel mask and head out to spend a morning under the warm sun getting salty. Find out more about my fun family photography sessions here.


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Mellow | Hawaii family videographer

When you were once able to call Hawaii home. When you created a life and a business and memories inspired by water and sunshine, it’s hard to let go. When you were born into that salty, sun-bleached environment and it shaped who you are, it’s even harder. For many of my clients, a trip to Hawaii is returning home. Returning to visit family and soak in the sun or to introduce the next generation to a life they once knew. I feel their nostalgia and excitement and it makes these homecoming sessions some of my favorites.

Life changes dramatically when your family expands from three to four. Sacha wanted to capture all the sweetness (and exasperation) of their current reality. Sacha was a underwater photographer before it was really a thing. She captured stunning underwater portraits of couples and seniors and families before moving to rain soaked Seattle. They definitely wanted to play in the water during their session and we opted for the slow pace of the country on Oahu’s windward side. We started with a visit at one of my favorite places to eat – the Waihole Poi Factory (I recommend the “sweet lady of Waiahole” for a dessert). With bellies full we continued the meandering drive to the Macadamia Nut farm and finished at Kualoa Beach Park.

The muted blues made for a stunning backdrop to climb trees, dig in the sand, and enjoy some of their last days as a family of three. It was a day to remember.


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What’s your perfect Saturday?

A family film is a powerful time capsule and a great way to hold onto this special time in your life. It’s as simple as a mellow morning exploring and playing with your favorite people at your favorite places. No worries if you’re new to Hawaii. I’m happy to play tour guide and take you somewhere fun and unexpected. Want to see more? You can find more family films here.