Laie Photographer | A Family Photo Session with Two Adventurous Girls

The Beauty of Laie Beach Park at Sunrise

Laie is a long drive from Koolina and it feels worlds away. You trade the protected, cultivated resort town for wild, wide open space in the country. Mountains skirted in salt spray loom on the horizon and you feel as if you have the island to yourselves.

Laie is one of my favorite places to take in the sunrise and no beach does it better than Laie Beach Park.

Braving the Rope Swing with a Laie Photographer

I joined the crabs on the sand and watched the sky brighten with the approach of sunrise. Colors evolved from cool hues to warm as the sun appeared. The crabs were unimpressed and continued to diligently dig and clear their homes for the long day ahead.

Meanwhile, my poor family was snarled in a traffic jam on the other side of the island. When they finally arrived, the girls scrambled from the car and made a beeline to the beach. They were free.

They shook off the long drive and began to play – jumping waves, skipping stones and searching for treasure. We ducked into the shade of some oversized trees for a break from the sun and discovered a sturdy rope swing hanging over the water.

Now, rope swings are tricky. They look as if they would be care-free and easy. You leap from the shore bank and sail over the still water with the wind rippling your hair. Pure bliss, right? In reality, it takes quite a bit of upper body strength. I clearly remember my first attempt to swing like Tarzan on the roots of a banyan tree. The look of childish glee on my face turned instantly to surprise and then anguish as I realized I was not strong enough to support my own weight. I stumbled to the ground embarrassed with biceps aching.

These girls were strong though. Years of training on monkey bars make you perfectly suited for this exact situation. They braved the rope, tentative at first, and then higher and higher; their laughter ringing out over the beach. It warms my heart to spend the day with two strong, curious, adventurous girls.

girls looking over the ocean at laie beach park
dad and daughters hare a laugh during an oahu family photo session
portrait of a girl with twisted trees by little bird photography
girl swinging on a rope swing during a fun family photo session by little bird photography
family laughing under the trees at laie beach park
silhouette of girls playing under the trees at sunrise by a laie photographer
girl directing the ocean at laie beach
sisters playing along the shore at laie beach park in oahu
sisters sharing a laugh during a family photoshoot in oahu
girls playing by the water at laie beach park at sunrise
family sharing a laugh under the trees
black and white portrait of a girl at laie beach park
dad playing on the rope swing during a family photo session in oahu
girl giving her mom a hug during a family photo session in hawaii
girls reaching for the rope swing
mother and daughter portraits on the beach in hawaii
girl swinging over the water on a rope swing at laie beach park
black and white portrait of sisters sitting on big tree roots in laie

What Does a Morning Adventure Look Like with Your Family?

Let’s head to the beach or find a forest to explore and play so you can have a great day and take home beautiful memories. Find out more about my fun family photography sessions here.

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Waikiki Family Photography | Sunset in the Shallows

Escaping the Hustle of Waikiki

Waikiki family photography can make me a bit anxious. There are just so many people. Revelers dot the sand along the entire length of the beach lounging, playing volleyball, and people watching. I like to have space so my families can roam freely and explore in a peaceful part of the island. As a result, I often seek out secluded nooks. Something off the beaten path they may not have considered on their own.

However, that’s not practical for all visitors. Some prefer to maximize their relaxation by avoiding driving altogether. As someone who sits in Oahu traffic regularly, I fully understand and applaud their dedication. Road rage has no place on vacation and Oahu is frustrating place to drive. In these situations, I encourage clients to escape Waikiki with a 15-minute taxi ride to Waialae Beach Park.

A Peaceful Toddler Session

Toddler sessions are some of my favorites. They are naturally inquisitive and it’s a joy to watch them observe and take in the world around them. Most toddler sessions are high energy jam-packed with chasing, tickling, splashing, tossing, and go-go-go!

This family was visiting from Japan and the little boy spoke no English. He was shy at first, but quickly immersed himself in the business of beach play.

This session was peaceful and loving matching the quiet golden beach scene around us. I provided some gentle direction to guide them into the beautiful light and watched as moments of love naturally unfolded

family playing in the sand during a photo session by little bird photography
family with a toddler playing on the beach in waikiki oahu
boy walking along a fallen log at the beach in hawaii
mom and son share a laugh on waikiki beach during a photoshoot
big ocean landscape at waialae beach
shared family hug during a photo session by little bird photography
boy looking a shells on a beach in hawaii
golden reflections on water of mom and son playing on the beach during a photo session in oahu
dad and son playing on the beach in hawaii with mountain ridge in the background
boy and mom snuggling during a beach photo session at Kahala Beach in Waikiki
family plays on the beach in hawaii
boy and mom snuggling during a beach photo session in waikiki
boys hand about to grab his toy ca on the beach in hawaii
Waikiki Family Photography at Waialae Beach park
a couple hugs at sunset while son plays in the foreground in waikiki

Want to Book a Family Photo Session but You’re Stuck in Waikiki?

I know a few spots where we can escape the crowds and breathe a little easier. With just a short taxi ride, we can splash by the shore with a sunrise all to ourselves or head to a lush park to explore. Find out more about my fun family photography sessions here.

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Oahu Tide Pools | Ke Iki Beach on the North Shore

Ke Iki Beach, Worthy of a Staycation

I was recently at a birthday celebration at Ke Iki Beach Bungalows on the north shore of Oahu. Adults chatted on the lanai with microbrews in hand while our children played in a wild mob below on the beach. “What do you call a group of children?”, a friend mused. We went over animal counterparts. There is a pod of dolphins, a gaggle of geese, a murder of crows … Wait, that last one. There’s something to it. We eyed the children who were deeply involved in an imaginative world with a clear power structure. They were armed with a variety of large sticks and there was a great deal of militant shouting. It all felt very Lord of the Flies.

In other words, we all had an amazing weekend. I may have undervalued the concept of the staycation in the past. After all, it’s hard to spend money on a vacation rental when you already live by a beautiful beach. Maybe age has made me appreciate comfort more. Maybe I got carried away with too many cheap international flights last year (I blame you Pomelo). In any case, i’m fully sold on the staycation concept and Ke Iki may be my new favorite place. Don’t worry. It’s not just for staycations.

Love for Oahu Tide Pools

Over the winter months, Ke iki is a bit of a bear. Big surf, a steep shore break and rip currents make it hazardous for kids. Come spring, the waters of the north shore begin to mellow and beckon to snorkelers and paddleboarders.

If the conditions are too rough to go in, plan for a low tide visit. Delicate feet can explore the exposed tidal shelf for crabs, sea slugs, urchins and other critters. It’s not as expansive as adjacent Shark’s Cove, but fun nonetheless. And at any time of year, sunset is a spectacle worth a visit.

best tide pools for kids on oahu
exploring tidal shelf at ke iki beach
best family beach on the north shore of oahu
boy with a sea slug in a tide pool on the north shore
girl exploring tide pool at ke iki beach north shore oahu
ke ike beach tide pool on the north shore of oahu
family beaches on oahu
tide pool reflections north shore hawaii
sea salt along oahu's north shore
purple clouds at sunset in hawaii

Are You Looking for More Oahu Tide Pools?

Paradise Cove in Koolina and Baby Makapuu on the windward side are two family favorite tide pools. Sign up for the Little Bird Post beow for more family-friendly ideas.


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Family Reunions in Hawaii

The Bigness of Sherwood Forest in Waimanalo

When you live on a small island and the press of traffic and bodies and heat seems to grow every year, you treasure the few last open spaces. Wide open areas where you feel you can breathe. There are still a few beaches that make you feel small against the vast beauty of nature. Sherwood forest, tucked against the Koolau Mountains in Waimanalo, is one of those special places. For a family reunion dominated by small boys bursting with energy, the bigness of Sherwoods Beach was the perfect setting.

Fun and Chaotic Family Reunions in Hawaii

Although it’s often seen in a negative light, there is fun and beauty in chaos. When you combine families with a total of six boys under five years of age, you get chaos. It’s unavoidable. There is a constant hum of energy with the occasional personality clash. Shy and sensitive abutting boisterous and energetic. Yet, in the in-between moments, there are also tender displays of love and affection. A helping hand, an arm around the shoulder or a silly joke to put a smile back on the tear-streaked face of a cousin.

If you’re calm and collected like these amazingly patient parents, you will find love beneath the chaos. We spent a lovely morning in the wide-open space of Waimanalo and made beautiful memories. I left them exhausted and in dire need of a coffee and nap, but everyone was still smiling. It was all worth it.

Family Reunions in Hawaii
grandma opening arms wide for a hug from grandson at the beach
hawaii vacation photo at waimanalo beach
grandparents snuggle newborn baby at the beach in hawaii
Mom snuggling her three boys during a beach photo shoot in hawaii
dad gives toddler son a fierce hug at the beach
a group of young boys climbind a tree captured by little bird photography
oahu newborn portraits at the beach
boy grabbing dads son during a family photo session on oahu
boys playing at the beach
cousins playing together at the beach during a family reunion
boy holding dads hand at sherwood forest in waimanalo
cousins running on the beach in hawaii
grandpa looks lovingly at new grandson during a family photo shoot in oahu
dad and his sons
cousins share a silly story at the beach
sisters share a laugh at the beach during a family reunion
family sharing a laugh during a photo session in waimanalo
couple celebrating a 50th anniversary at the beach in hawaii
mom and her adult daughters hug at the beach during a family photoshoot
grandma proudly holds new baby at the beach
oahu newborn photographer at waimanalo beach
boys sharing a story at the beach
family portrait in hawaii at the beach

Are You Planning a Family Reunion in Hawaii?

Make the most of your time together with a family photo session. Whether you have a wild, energetic family or a more subdued group, I can plan a session that’s right for you. Find out more about my fun family photo sessions here.

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Hawaii Mini Portrait Session | First Trip to the Beach

Is a Hawaii Mini Portrait Session Right for Your Family?

I’m terrible at mini sessions. Terrible. The idea is to make photography more affordable by taking a few images over a short time. In the name of expedience, these 15-20 minute sessions are highly structured and formulaic. Stand there, hold baby, smile, click, click, click. It takes me back to photos from my youth at Olan Mills and JC Penny portrait studio, which is painful for everyone involved.

Still, people often reach out requesting a smaller gallery of images. Maybe they had a photography session recently, but can’t pass up the chance to have more photos taken with Hawaii as the backdrop. Maybe they have a baby and can’t resist taking as many photos as possible at every possible milestone. Whatever the case, sometimes a shorter session and smaller gallery is best.

My goal is to create a great experience where you can play and connect as a family. From that time together I will produce beautiful, meaningful images. I want your gallery to be full of personality and feel like your family. I want them to make you laugh. Make your cry. Make you feel.

And that’s how my Short Story Sessions were created. Sessions include up to an hour of fun and play. The locations are limited to a few stunning beaches and parks that I know extremely well so I can make fast decisions.

A Sunrise to Shock and Awe

They made the long journey to from the mainland and then across the island to Lanikai Beach for baby Sarah’s very first beach experience. Would she love it? Scream in protest at the shifting sand beneath here feet? We walked toward the beach full of anticipation.

As we emerged from the beach path her tiny mouth opened and uttered a small “oh!” as she marveled at the scene before her. After that, everything was amazing and delightful. The sand, the water, dogs walking on the beach, boats offshore, birds overhead, the sun, the sky – everything.

With wide eyes and excited words she full emerged herself in her surroundings. It was love at first sight for this true water baby and an incredible morning that none of us wanted to end.

family photo shoot with a baby at sunrise in hawaii
mom and baby sitting on the shore at lanikai beach
mom and baby photoshoot at lanikai during sunrise
baby with a bouqet of flowers at the beach in hawaii
mom and baby photo session at lanikai beach
family playing at the beach captured by oahu family photographer
dad handing baby a flower at lanikai beach in hawaii
baby exploring a beautiful beach in hawaii
baby giving mom a big kiss at a beach in hawaii

Is your little one making their first trip to the beach?

Let me suggest a baby-friendly beach so you can make some memories. Find out more about my fun family photography sessions here.

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