Newborn Photographer : A Beach Baby is Born

Remembering a Photo Session on Big Island

Three years ago, I packed up my gear and took a flight to Big Island for a photo session. I lingered at the Kona Airport, delighted by its charm and aloha, before heading north. Heat waves rose from the asphalt as I drove through endless lava fields. It was hot by Hawaii standards. They type of day where you sweat just by sitting still. The only glimpse of relief lies far below where tiny coves sparkled like blue gemstones. I met Pinky and her family at Mauna Kea Beach where we reluctantly left our air-conditioned cars. Baby Aria was just 5 months old and she struggled with the heat. It wasn’t until we entered the water that she began to get comfortable and relax. It was cool and peaceful as the golden light of sunset met the bright turquoise water. Those images were family favorites and brought back wonderful memories of Hawaii. That’s why when Kai was born, we knew another water photo session was essential.


A Newborn Session at Paradise Cove, Koolina

As a newborn photographer, it’s rare to get in the water during photo sessions. We were all looking forward to it, but at 2-months-old, we weren’t sure how Kai would respond to the water. Some babies (most babies?) cry as soon as a toe breaks the water’s surface. Since his sister was at home in the ocean, we were hoping Kai would feel the same. Either way, Paradise Cove at Koolina with its calm, protected lagoon is the perfect spot for an ocean introduction. After playing games, searching for critters in the tide pools, and a quick nap, it was water time. At first, Kai’s face wrinkled in unhappiness. He was about to protest, but then settled in and started kicking his legs. We were able to create another successful water portrait to match his sisters.


mom cuddling newborn baby during beach photoshootmom and daughter explore the beach at koolina lagoons during family photoshootfamily with a new baby enjoys a warm day at the beachtop of newborn babys head as he rests on momdad looks lovingly at newborn son while big sister looks onmom and newborn baby in golden sunlight at koolina beachoahu family photographer by little bird photoghraphygirl playing in the sand with golden bokeh behindmom nad daughter playing at the beach with palm trees and sunlightmom and newborn son at the beach in hawaiifamily photo session at ko olina lagoonsmom and baby captured by oahu newborn photographermom and newborn baby in koolinadad and newborn son in clear blue water of hawaii with sun flarefamily leaving the beach after a fun morning with sun and palm treesdad and daughter play in clear blue water in oahumom happily snuggling newborn baby in the water at paradise cove beach in oahufamily plays in the clear blue water of hawaiimom kisses daughter while in the water in hawaiifirst time in the ocean for a newborn baby and family in oahu

Do you have a beach-loving family?

Let’s plan a lovely morning at the beach. Take in the scenery, enjoy family time, and take home beautiful images. Find out more about my fun family photo sessions here.

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What to Wear for Family Beach Portraits : Look Good and Have Fun

Deciding what to wear for family beach portraits can be stressful, but I have the simple answer for you – swimsuits. Okay, maybe not for your entire session (although it happens), but hear me out. In a previous post (Family Beach Photoshoot : Why You Should Jump in the Water), I implored you to make the most of your beach photo session and come prepared to play. Instead of holding the kids back and begging them to keep dry, let them run, splash, surf and have fun. Better yet, join them. I watch entire families transform with the magical addition of water. Because I use a water-housing for my camera, I can get close to the action and create beautiful images of pure joy.

But, there are hesitations. Completely understandable hesitations. Two are most common.

  1. We’re not comfortable in the water
  2. I do not want to be photographed in a swimsuit. No way. Not going to happen. Are you kidding me?

If you’re not comfortable in the water, but love the beach, the solution is easy. I will suggest beautiful locations around the island with calm water or tide pools so you can enjoy an easy morning making sand castles and dipping toes in the frothy surf.

For those of you love to play in the water, but don’t love the idea of being photographed in a swimsuit, I have four options to make you comfortable enough to get in the water.

4 Ideas to help you feel more comfortable getting in the water for your photo session

Ideas to help you feel more comfortable getting in the water for your photo session

4. Cover More

In recent years, swimsuits have diversified. You can opt for more coverage on top, more coverage on the bottom, or more overall. Surprisingly, one-piece swimsuits and bikinis with more coverage have never looked more stylish. Even long-sleeved suits look amazing. I put together a Pinterest board to give you a sense of swimsuit styles that photograph beautifully.

mom and daughter at beach photoshoot in hawaii

If you’re still feeling too exposed, you can turn to clothing designed for water sports. Brands like Title Nine, Athleta, and Patagonia have great options for swim shorts or board shorts and tops you can take in the water. Surf brands like Billabong have a variety of options yearround and are particularly great for kids swimwear.

family body surfing at waimanalo beach during a photo session

family watching a sea turtle in Koolina oahu

3. Cover Up

Still not feeling the swimsuit love? Another option is to add a coverup. There are a wide range of options that look great from tunics to sarongs to simple beach dresses. It’s a great way to play by the shore and still fit into the beach scene.

What to Wear for Family Beach Portraitsmom and son splashed by a big wave in oahu
2. Go Deep

Another alternative is to submerge yourself in the water. If you’re comfortable in the water, you can head for deeper depths. If you’re waist deep, the water keeps you covered. If you prefer to stay in the shallows, you can simply kneel or sit so the water can cover you like a blanket.

water portrait of a family with baby in waikaloa hawaiimom snuggling daughter in the water koolina oahufamily waiting for the next wave during their beach photoshootcouple with a baby snuggling in the water in kihei maui during a beach photoshoot

1. Appoint an ambassador

Still not sold on getting in the water? If you have water-loving kids, appoint an ambassador to take the kids in for a bit of water fun. Sometimes it’s dad, but aunts, uncles, and even grandparents have volunteered to get salty. There’s nothing like a boogie boarding grandma to make you smile. Even if you’re not getting in the water yourself, you can still be in the pictures. Just make sure your clothing is beach casual so you don’t stand out from the swimsuit clad group.

excited dad and baby playing in the water in hawaiigrandma pushing grandson in blue waters of oahu hawaiidad and son play in the sand with clear water and palm treesdad pushing daughter on bodyboard in hawaii for family photo sessionfamily playing in the water at calm koolina lagoon for photo sessiongrandma catches a wave on a bodyboard at kailua beach oahudad holding his newborn son in the water during family photoshoot in hawaii

Over the winter months it can be trickier to find good beach wear. If you’re not having luck, stop by one of the beach boutiques in Kailua, Haleiwa, or Ala Moana Mall.

Ready to book your own fun family photo session? Find out more about my sessions here. Hope to see you in the water soon!



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Hawaii Photographers in Oahu | Laie Sunrise

Hawaii Photographers in Oahu Have Beautiful Beach Options

“What’s the best beach for family photos?” I get that question often, but I have no answer. There are so many different types of beach on the island. You can find wide, sandy beaches that stretch as far as you can see. There are rocky coasts peppered with tide pools to explore. Some beaches are adjacent to scraggily coastal forest perfect for hammocks. Others are hotel adjacent with beach chairs, bars, and live music. We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches. One of my favorites for photo sessions, however, is Laie Beach Park.

From a photography standpoint, long stretches of sandy beach are boring. It’s hard to get creative with just sand and water. The reason I love Laie Beach is that it’s diverse. Yes, it has a wide swath of smooth sand and fun waves to play in, but it also stunning mountain views. The gorgeous backdrop of the windward coast makes it feel like you’re the only people on the island. The cliffs add drama and texture along with a fun vantage point of the scene below. There’s also a park with interesting trees (often adorned with swings) and a stream outlet that’s always changing.

This Session

In a family, there’s always one person who drives the session. For this session, little X was that person. His energy level was unrivaled. This was his show and we were merely along for the ride. Right out of the car, he made a mad dash for the ocean. Tentatively poked holes for crabs skipped down the beach, climbed trees, and tossed coconuts into the surf drawings with sticks.

Long after we all work out, the baby had long ago fallen asleep, X was still going strong. He would have continued to make sand drawings with oversized sticks all day if we hadn’t coaxed him back to the car. A good start to their Hawaiian vacation.


family walking on the beach at sunrise in hawaiiHawaii Photographers in Oahu photo session at Laie beach Parkboy playing witha coconut at the beach while parents look onoahu baby photographed at the beach while held by dadfamily portraits at laie beach park by Little Bird Photographyfamily playing on the beach in hawaii against a dramatic stormy skyboy on the beach with stick in hawaiimom holding baby sunrise silhouette by Little Bird Photographymom and kids playing together on the beach in oahu photo by Little Bird Photographybaby smiling on a blanket in hawaii beach parkfamily snuggling at laie beach park during family photo session in oahuaerial view of mom and baby on the beach in hawaii photo by Little Bird Photographybaby girl with a bow eating a leaf at the beachFamily at the edge of a cliff looking over th ocean in hawaii during family photoshootoahu family photographer photo of dad and son huggingbaby holding her toes during family photo shootoahu family photographer baby and mom b&w photo by Little Bird PhotographyBoy making footprints along the beach in hawaiiHawaii photographers in oahu family photo session

What does your ideal morning in Hawaii look like?

Grab the family and let’s head outside for a fun morning playing and exploring. We can head to your version of the perfect beach! Find out more about my family photography sessions here.

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Birthday party places in Oahu | The Mermaid Bar

Birthday Party Places in Oahu That Make Kids and Adults Happy

When you’re celebrating a baby’s first birthday, it’s all about you. Or at least it should be because that first year is rough. After one year, you have successfully made it to the other side of sleepless nights and endless spit-up. Well, maybe not quite yet, but you’ve made good progress and you should celebrate that milestone.

Looking for birthday party places in Oahu can be overwhelming. But, when the kids in your inner circle are comprised primarily of babies and toddlers, you have some flexibility in party planning. Those little people don’t take up much space and they’re fairly easy to entertain. A balloon and a cupcake will get you far. That’s why I thought The Mermaid Bar at Ala Moana was a fantastic idea for a first birthday party. Instead of focusing on a kid-centric activity like horseback riding, the focus was on stellar food and good company.

An Ice Cream Themed Birthday Party

Mari has an eye for style. For their son’s first birthday, she planned an adorable airplane themed party. This party had a decidedly tastier theme with ice cream and rainbow sprinkles as the heroes. There were sprinkles everywhere – in things, on things, even giant inflatable varieties. Let’s face it, you are never too old for sprinkles. I think it’s safe to say that the adults loved their sprinkled treats just as much as the kids. Maybe more. The kids were more excited about the giant balloons which made them squeal with delight and the toy ice cream truck. In the end, everyone left with full bellies and big smiles. That’s a good party.

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Do you have a special birthday coming up?

Enjoy the celebration with your family and trust me to capture all the important moments. Contact me today to find out about my birthday photography collections.

Ko olina Photographer | Into the Deep Blue

Why Ko Olina is a Great Beach for Family Photos

When the surf is up on Oahu, it can be hard to find a beach suitable for babies and toddlers or even ocean wary adults. Pounding shorebreak and rip currents don’t exactly make for a relaxing day at the beach. No matter the surf conditions, Ko olina’s protected coves are a great option. Viewed from above, you see the distinct circles lining the coast. A barrier protects each cove from the biggest waves creating a mellow, sand-bottomed sanctuary. Some coves even have easy access with bathrooms, showers, and amenities nearby. During the day a flotilla of beach floats, boats and noodles takes full advantage of the easy sunshine.

As a Ko olina photographer, however, these coves are a bit too crowded and sterile. For photo sessions, I turn to the sole natural cove of the lot. The aptly named Paradise Cove. This small beach is adorned with palm trees and rife with marine life. It’s a perfect spot to search for fish and crabs and sea turtles are regular visitors. The clear, shallow water makes it ideal as a beginners beach for babies and toddlers and lends itself to unique underwater portraits.

About the Session

From the moment we stepped foot on the sand, Henry had just two things on his mind 1. Collect seashells and 2. Get in the water. The shells are everywhere at Paradise Cove. Most are micro shells or splintered coral fragments, but that didn’t dampen his enthusisam. Within 10 minutes his pockets hung low under the weight of gathered treasure. Now he was ready for the water. It took a bit of convincing to keep him dry until the sun warmed up the water. Once it did, he was off in a flash splashing in pure delight. If he hadn’t gotten hungry after a few hours, he would have stayed all day.

honolulu family portraitsbeautifiul places in oahufamily holding hands on the beach in hawaiifamily playing at ko olina lagoon oahu black and white photo by Little Bird Photographyoahu family photographer captures sweet mom and son snuggle at Ko olinaboy collecting shells in hawaii ko olinafamily playing at ko olina lagoonsfamily swinging child on hawaii beach in black and whiteexploring tide pools in hawaii at a hawaii family photoshootfamily portraits at paradise cove ko olinadad and son cuddling at the beach in hawaiibeautifiul places in oahufamily portraits at ko olinaboy splashing water at ko olina lagoon in black and white photo by Little Bird Photographymom and son collecting shells in hawaiidad throwing boy in the air as seen from under the water photo by Little Bird Photographyparadise cove at ko olinafun family photography session in hawaii by Little Bird PhotographyKo olina photographer photo session at Paradise Cove

Do your kids love to play in the water?

No need to struggle to keep them dry and groomed for your beach photo session. Let’s jump in the beautiful blue and have fun instead. There’s nothing like a water session to bring out the biggest smiles and laughs – even shy and reserved kids can’t help letting loose. I’ll help you pick a kid-friendly beach so you can have a fun morning and take away beautiful water portraits. Find out more about my family photography sessions here.