Hawaii family beach portraits | A day on Oahu to remember

dad carrying baby on shoulders with mountains behind at kahana bay

Celebrating a first birthday with a family film

When people reach out with a photo request to celebrate a first birthday, I always get excited. It’s like being an auntie. I get to experience all the joys and extreme cuteness of a baby with none of the cleanup, work, or sleep deprivation. To make a film for a first birthday? Even better. I mean everything a baby does is adorable – tiny feet and hands in the sand, the way their belly hangs over their diaper, the little giggles … even crying is adorable.

The cuteness level of this baby, of this family, was over the top. Most families are understandably a little unsure of what to do at the start of a session and I help ease them in with a bit of directing. This family, however, was immediately comfortable and so in-sync that I didn’t want to interrupt them.

Slowly into the sea

We met at sleepy Kahana Bay to start a beautiful, sunny day. At first, baby C was deeply unnerved by the unpredictable ocean. If you got too close to water, he would erupt into fat tears. We kept our distance from the wet stuff and dug in the sand, ready books and played his favorite sport – baseball. Check out the video below to watch his serious face as swings at kukui nuts with a bit of driftwood. Precious. By the end of the morning he was fully in and splashing like a champion.

< Click play to watch their family film below >

< And see a sample of their images here >

a couple comforts a crying baby at a beach photo session in oahu
mom holding baby in the air at kahana bay at sunrise
dad sneak tickles baby during a hawaii family photoshoot
mom reading a book to baby son on the beach in oahu
mom and baby play on the beach
family with a baby plays on an empty beach in hawaii
enjoying the best baby beach on oahu at mellow kahana
family taking photos on the beach
mom and baby play with sand toys
mom and baby snuggle on the beach

Shave ice for the win

The were excited for baby C to try his first shave ice so we made a special trip to Kailua for a cold treat at Island Snow. He was definitely a fan and by the way, natural syrups are the best! I recommend lychee or lilikoi for tropical goodness. Check out their shave ice mini film below.

Do you wish you could pause time?

Let me help you plan an easy, sweet morning where you can spend time together against a beautiful backdrop and make memories. I’ll help you hold onto this time with video and photos for you to treasure. Find out more about my film and photography sessions here.

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    Family photographers in Oahu | New in town | Koolina Lagoons

    The Incident

    I was on the edge of a cold bleacher seat watching a fast-paced futsal game when the panicked text came in. It was a hair emergency. A home hair cut gone wrong with a slip of the clippers and now a little boy was bald. Fortunately, Chevas and here family live on Oahu so it was easy to postpone their photo session to regrow some hair.

    Hair stylist friends recommend against getting a hair cut before a photo session. And if you do, they suggest at least a week before your scheduled date. With my own hair in a perpetual ponytail, I was never sure of the reasoning here and it seemed a bit excessive, but maybe there’s something to it after all.

    New in town

    Anyone who catches that John Mulaney reference has my heart. Anyway, this family really is new in town. The arrived to the island mid-pandemic which kept them from fully exploring. Still, they they knew they were a beach-loving family and were fully ready to jump in the water.

    Normally, Koolina is an ideal spot for babies and toddlers. A barrier reef at Paradise Cove Beach creates a protected lagoon and even if you’re outnumbered by your children, you can easily keep them close.

    However, a high tide plus big swell changed all that. A strong current ripped through the normally placid inter-tidal zone and created a deep channel just off shore so if you got too curious and too close to the water’s edge, you would start sinking fast. Combined with the current? Well … no longer so toddler friendly.

    Coming from the windward side I knew that weather was in rare form over there – perfectly calm and vividly blue. It was the type of weather that makes me wish I was taking photos on the beach. Despite coming off a bit creepy, I have actually offered to take photos for random families playing on the beach because it was so beautiful.

    To the windward side we traveled and spent the last of our energy at Lanikai Beach on a most beautiful morning.

    family photographers in oahu capture portraits of joy

    Do you have a water-loving family?

    Let’s head to the beach and make some memories! Find out more about my fun family photography sessions here.

    Laie Beach Family Photos + Film | Colorful memories

    boy walking to the ocean at sunrise for laie beach family photos

    Seeking Warmth + Light

    Jesa and her family make the annual trek to Hawaii in the heart of the long, dark Alaska winter. They make the most of their Hawaii time with long days at the beach, basking in the sun. They even seek out rentals right on the ocean to keep it close. Hawaii is their happy place and I get to capture a bit of it in photos and video each year.

    Lush Laie

    Seeking the lush, quiet side of Oahu, we met the sunrise at Laie Beach Park. The sky glowed a delicious orange hue as we made our way across the cool sand to dip our toes in the water. An easy morning of silliness, exploration, and laughter passed quickly. With the harsh sun overhead, it was time to jump in the ocean. Only the waves at Laie were too rough so we made a quick drive to an adjacent beach for some much needed water time.

    The water was cool and clear and toddler-friendly at Laniloa Beach and we had it all to ourselves. We splashed and swam and drew shapes in the soft sand until hunger pains called us away. Childhood passes quickly, but we managed to capture their joy and personality in their favorite place. Until next year my friends.

    < Click the play button to watch their family film below >

    < See a sample of their photo gallery below >

    family playing in the surf at sunrise during a laie photo session
    portrait of mom and daughter hugging by oahu family photographer little bird
    snuggly family portrait in hawaii
    mom twirls daughter in golden sunlight at the beach in hawaii
    happy family at the beach in hawaii
    mom and daughter beach portrait laie beach
    dad and daughter portrait
    family walks along pounders beach oahu
    family tickles during hawaii photoshoot
    kids playing in the surf in hawaii
    mom and son snuggle at the beach
    family photos at the beach
    dad and son portrait at laie beach
    portrait of a couple kissing at laie beach oahu at sunrise
    family portrait at laie beach oahu
    aerial view of family playing along the shore at laie beach oahu
    mom and daughter playing in the water laie
    fun family water play during oahu photo session
    portrait of a girl splashing water during an underwater photoshoot in hawaii
    family playing in the water
    boy riding on moms back in the blue waters of laie oahu

    Are you planning a trip to Hawaii?

    If you’re going to take photos at the beach, might as well jump in! Don’t worry about the kids behaving or keeping them neat and clean. Have fun and make memories while I capture the beautiful chaos! Learn more about my fun family photo sessions here.

    What is the Best Spot for Family Photos on Oahu? | Two Faces

    hawaii family photo session at laie beach park

    Softness + Solitude at Laie Beach Park

    People often ask me what the best spot on Oahu is for a family photo session – what’s my favorite. And I honestly can’t answer. Beauty is abundant, but the interpretations are varied. Some families fall in love with the classic tropical vibe of clear blue water and dancing palm trees. Others are drawn to massive, twisting trees forming a cool, protective canopy or mountain vistas. The choices are overwhelming so I recommend the best spots based on an individual families needs

    For Michelle’s family we opted to play in the waves at quiet Laie Beach Park. I’ve been photographing their family on their annual Hawaii vacation for 5 years. So far, our sessions have taken us on a tour of the island – Lanikai and Kualoa on the eastern shores, leeward to Koolina, and Kawela Bay on the north shore. I wanted another new spot to show them that fit the energy level of their growing family. Laie has lots of space to run, few people, and beach treasure to discover. Perfect.

    Except it wasn’t. The forecast calling for a sunny evening with light breezes was in reality windy and heavily clouded. Not exactly what we were promised, but the weather didn’t dampen the level of excitement.

    dad and son share a big laugh at laie beach park oahu
    boy running along the beach with reflection in oahu
    kids snuggle mom during a photoshoot in oahu
    mom watching kids play along shore in oahu with mountains in the bacground
    sibling boys play tag on the beach in oahu hawaii
    boy running along the beach with a stick in hawaii
    mom and daughter in a lush coastal forest laie oahu
    mom snuggles tween daughter during an evening photo session in oahu hawaii
    siblings play along the shore windward oahu
    siblings play together at a beach in oahu
    family of six  walking along the beach in the evening laie oahu
    portrait of a girl and her baby sister oahu hawaii
    couple portrait with cliffs and mountains laie oahu
    happy family sharing a hug during a beach photo session in hawaii
    girl walking along the shore
    dad and toddler daughter drawing in the sand at the beach
    mom snuggles son in the evening at laie beach park

    Endless Sunshine at Koolina

    Normally a bit of gloom wouldn’t bother me, but I know this family loves to get in the water for part of their session. They even get coordinating swimsuits from Of One Sea, but it was just too cold and dark to make it happen. I suggested meeting up for a quick morning dip in Koolina. The combination of locations made for a fun contrast showing two very different faces of Oahu.

    What does your family’s perfect photo spot look like?

    Let’s spend a morning taking photos and making memories in whatever backdrop you choose. Most important is capturing the love and connection in your family. Find more information on my fun family photography sessions here.

    Family Photographer Oahu Hawaii | Sunrise Rainbows at Makapuu Beach

    best oahu family photographer at makapuu beach

    A Big Move During a Pandemic

    As much as my kids have struggled in response to the pandemic, my heart breaks for those who moved to Hawaii just as the world was shutting down. A new home and a new school can be daunting enough but then to be isolated and unable to make new friends can feel impossible. Fortunately, there are puppies in the world! Audrey found great comfort in her new friend and companion, a tiny terrier mix. It seemed like there was a puppy boom in Kailua at that time with little bundles of cuteness on walks and rolling on the sand. This happy creature was making long days of Zoom school tolerable and had brought a big smile to her face.

    Sunrise Rainbows

    I was only able to photograph a small number of families in 2020, but each of those felt extra beautiful as if the world cranked up the beauty meter to compensate. It was a little bit of magic to help in a difficult time. We met for a sleepy sunrise at Makapuu Beach Park. The breeze felt light and fresh and not strong enough to disturb the perfect waves rolling onto shore. They crashed against lava rock in big displays of power as we explored the surrounding dunes and tidepools. As the sun began to warm us, we decided to jump in the perfect blue water. As if in approval, a big rainbow spread across the sky. A perfect end to our session.

    family walking on the beach at sunrise in oahu
    portrait of a girl sitting on the dunes at sunrise oahu hawaii
    dad and daughter share a laugh at an oahu family beach photo session
    girl and her terrier puppy against the mountains in hawaii
    family portraits at the beach in hawaii
    girl watching the waves during a family portrait session in hawaii as the wind blows her hair
    mom and daughter portrait at sunrise in oahu with makapuu lighthouse in the background
    family walks toward the ocean at makapuu oahu
    puppy playing with a stick in the sand at oahu beach
    family portraits at oahu beach
    mom and daughter hold hands high against a bright blue sky in hawaii
    couple embrace against the backdrop of rabbit island at makapuu oahu
    tween daughter hugs dad during a family photography session in oahu
    Makapuu Beach Oahu with rabbit island and kaohikaipu island in the distance
    submerged family portrait in Makapuu tide pool Oahu
    woman holds a cute terrier puppy during a photoshoot
    mom and daughter portraits at the beach in oahu
    terrier puppy running on the beach in hawaii
    Family Photographer Oahu Hawaii couples portrait at makapuu with rainbow

    Let’s Make Some Memories!

    Freeze time to capture whatever stage of life your family is in with a fun morning of photography. Yes! Photo sessions can actually be fun. I can tag along at your favorite places or introduce you to some of mine. Either way, we’ll make it a morning to remember. Find out more about my family photography sessions here.

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