As hard as it is to admit it, not everyone is up for a full family photo session. I get it. A longer session makes people nervous – especially if they have experienced (and barely survived) family photography in the past. As much I try to assure you that my sessions are made to be fun and center on creating a memorable experience, it can still feel too risky.
So I created Short Story Sessions to fill in the gap. What I’ve found is that they’re perfect for families with babies or those who don’t need a large gallery of images. It’s a nice way to update photos annually or grab a few happy images of your time in Hawaii.
I’m not going to lie, I love taking photos so much that once I’m in action, it’s hard to pull me away. But I’ve come to find that these shorter sessions that focus on portraits are a delight to photograph as well
As pandemic restrictions began to lift I was flooded with inquiries from parents with babies. Most had missed maternity and newborn photo sessions and were trying to catch up with their first professional photoshoot. It was a joy to celebrate these happy additions to an otherwise difficult year.
I met Erin’s family under the brilliant green canopy of Nuuanu Valley Park. It was completely empty so we took our time exploring, gawking at the impressive trees and laughing. It was a lovely morning.
Is a Short Story Session Right For Your Family?
If the thought of a longer photo session scares you and you only need a small gallery of images, a Short Story Session will be a great fit. Contact me today and I can plan something short and sweet for your family.
There was a short window during the pandemic when Oahu was relatively quiet. Few visitors were making the trip across the Pacific and that left roads a little more empty and peaceful. Hikes were quieter, and on most weekday mornings you could have an entire beach all to yourself. For outdoor-loving families who dared to travel during these months, the rewards were big.
Slowly families began to return to the islands and once again I was able to return to the”office”. Not my cramped computer space with piles of packaging and products and gear surrounding me, but the type with a fresh ocean breeze and sand between your toes. It was good to be back, meet new people, and take them to some of my favorite places.
The lucky family was staying in the villas at Koolina so we kept it easy and met at one of my favorite family-friendly beaches – Paradise Cove. Access to all of Koolina was closed for most of the pandemic so it had been almost a year since my last visit. I walked through the tree-lined path which opened grandly into the cove and ocean beyond and took a deep breath. It was so nice to be back. We spent an easy morning exploring the empty beach and sharing laughs. When the sun rose high enough to light the lagoon a brilliant turquoise we had to jump in.
It turns out, we weren’t alone after all. A few hungry sea turtles were cruising around the cove trying to catch bits of algae floating on the surface. It was a good day to be in Hawaii.
Do You Want to Take Home Beautiful Memories of Your Hawaiian Vacation?
Make the most of your time in Hawaii with a fun morning playing, splashing and laughing. Afterwards you can take home beautiful memories of a fun day relaxing together. You can learn more about my family photography sessions here.
I’ve been in your shoes. Browsing through the endless string of Google results as you search for the best Hawaii photographer for your family. Sure, it’s fun at first, thinking of all the great photos you’re going to have, but it quickly becomes frustrating. All photographers do things a little bit differently. You have to navigate websites, portfolios, and learn pricing structures. It’s hard to know exactly what you should be looking for. I feel your pain, so I put together a quick list to help you navigate the process and hopefully help you find the best photographer for your family.
Hiring a photographer is an investment in both time and money. There’s extra pressure if you’re planning a photo shoot while on vacation. Not only do you not know the area, but you have a short window to make it happen successfully. You need a photographer you can trust.
Are they going to listen to your needs and match you to a great location? Are they going to help you prepare and know what to expect? Will things be awkward and stiff with you begging your kids to behave? Are they even going to show up at all? These are all valid concerns but how do you know you found someone you can trust? Start by looking at their website. Does it look professional? An attractive website that’s easy to follow indicates a photographer that’s serious about their business. They didn’t just set up shop or take photos as a hobby, they have carefully thought about what their clients need and how to best serve them.
Next look at their portfolio. Is it consistent or do the style and quality vary? If possible, look at the images from a full session to get a better idea of what you can expect for your family. Are there only a few good images? Do they have many iterations of the same shot? Or is the final gallery diverse?
Finally, look for personal information. Photography is very personal and finding someone you and your family can connect with will make a huge difference in your overall comfort level. Hopefully, you can find a bio or chat with someone on the phone so you know who you will be working with.
New photographers flood the market every year and 90% fail before the year is up. An established photographer has already worked out the kinks on other families. You don’t want someone new to practice on yours.
One of the things I love about family photography is that each photographer has a unique point of view. You take their skills along with their life experiences and see how your family looks through that very specific lens. It’s fun because no two photographers will capture your family in the same way.
So, browse through their portfolio and website and pay attention to how the images make you feel. They should make you feel something and if those feelings match what you hope to capture for your family, you’ve found a potential match.
The biggest hesitation I hear from families is that the kids won’t last. And I get that! Most families base that on prior photo experiences that involved bribing and cajoling uncooperative children. If you’re looking for something more formal and posed, I recommend keeping it short.
However, if you’re looking for a little more life in your photos, a longer session can work in your favor. It removes the pressure and gives you time to shake out the initial awkwardness. Shy kids have the space to be themselves and energetic kids have time to wind down.
My approach is to make the entire experience fun so it’s not just about the photos it’s about playing and connecting as a family. Kids usually have a great time and don’t want to leave. Parents, however … I’m not going to lie, parents may get a bit tired – especially those with young, energetic kids – but the photos will be full of life and meaning.
Do you Want a Fun Photo Session for Your Family?
If you’re looking for a fun photo experience where you can play and explore together, send me a note! I’d love it if we were a good fit and I can capture happy memories for you against the beautiful backdrop of Hawaii. Find out more about my family photo and film sessions here.
Some people are just so caring, patient, and empathetic that you know they’re going to be amazing parents. They take care of everyone, are great listeners, and are simply a joy to be around. Hoala is one of those people and it was such a happy day when I heard that she was expecting her first child
Now, a year into her adventures into parenthood she celebrated the milestone with a morning off to spend time with her favorite person. She was simply glowing with love and happiness and it was so special to be able to capture this time for her.
A Quiet Sunrise at Kualoa Beach
Her little guy has been a quintessential water baby since birth. A true island baby, he would plunge himself into the water and taught himself to swim before he could even walk. In the past we met at the family farm for photos, but this time we knew his one-year-old session would have to take place at the beach.
We met on a quiet morning at Kualoa Regional Park under the warm glow of sunrise. The sprawling park was virtually empty with the exception of a raucous group of Mynah birds and Cattle Egrets that seemed to be having some time of messy disagreement.
He started out a little shy, but his smiles grew the closer we go to the ocean. That was his happy place and it wasn’t long before he was soaking wet.
Take the Plunge
To bring out the best smiles we moved to the far end of the park and plunged into the protected lagoon. This led to big smiles and snuggles and much laughing. Unfortunately, the sun ducked behind a bank of clouds and things got a little chilly. We didn’t last long, but we had the best time
Do You Have a Little Water Baby in Your Family?
No need to try and keep the kids dry for family photos! Let’s plan a fun morning where you can jump in and bring out the best smiles and pure joy. Those are moments worth capturing. Find out more about my family photography sessions here.
It’s such a delight to photograph families on vacation. Everyone is relaxed, happy and ready for a bit of adventure. I get to show them some of my favorite places and seeing their joy makes me fall in love with Hawaii all over again. One thing that surprised me when I became a photographer was the number of people who visit the islands regularly. Some make it a habit to fly to Hawaii every two or three years. For others it’s a cherished annual tradition and then there are those who visit so often they decide to invest in a vacation home here. These returning families always seem to have the most fun at our photo sessions.
It makes sense. Something about Hawaii – the sparking ocean, the warm sunshine, the plumeria scented tradewinds – fills their hearts and keeps drawing them back. They know enough to be comfortable navigating the islands and visiting favorite beaches and restaurants, yet there’s still space to discover new delights. Hawaii is their happy place.
About the Session
I’ve been lucky enough to photograph Michelle in their family’s happy place since 2016 when they had three children under three-years-old. I remember a teething baby, a toddler nervous about the waves and a few tears. As they’ve grown, the kids have developed an intense love of the ocean and their faces light up when we hit the beach. Even their newest addition is a natural born water baby.
This year, we were finally able to make it to Paradise Cove Beach in Koolina. We attempted a visit for our last session but a critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal had birthed a pup on the beach and it was closed for their protection. In a last-minute scramble we made our way to nearby Secret Beach by the Four Seasons. No seals surprised us this year and we were able to play and make memories at an empty beach.
Is Hawaii Your Special Place?
If clear blue water and golden sunshine makes you happy let’s schedule a family photo session at the beach. We can start of with some silly games and then I’ll turn you loose to play and love against the beautiful backdrop of Hawaii. Find out more about my fun family photography here.