Oahu Family Photographer | Sunset Memories in Laie

The Perfect Beach?

As an Oahu family photographer, people often ask if I have a favorite beach for photo sessions on the island. I don’t have a favorite. Not really. I have favorites under certain conditions – the light, the tide, the wind, the crowds – they can all come together to make an epic backdrop or they can be just, meh. It also has to be a good match for the family. For this particular family on this particular day, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect spot than Laie Beach Park.

About the Session

The weather was possibly too nice because the beach was packed on a random weekday. Beach lovers were basking in the sun and dancing in the bright blue waves. We had to get creative and find little nooks for games and laughter. As the crowds began to thin, we made our way to the far end of the beach for a bit of adventure. There, we scaled the cliffs for big views of the coastline and beach below. Crabs scurried along jagged rocks as we slowly crept toward the edge of the cliffs for a peak and the raging surf below. The boys were eager to jump into those waves so they jumped in at the very end.

family snuggling for family portraits at laie beach park in hawaii
mom and son walking on the beach in hawaii
family portraits in hawaii by an Oahu Family Photographer
family playing at the edge of the ocean in oahu with mountain view in the distance
dad and son sharing a moment during a family photo session in hawaii
family walking toward the water at sunset in hawaii
boy sticking his tongue out at the beach
family portraits on a cliff at sunset in hawaii
boy looking for fish in the stream
family running on the beach in hawaii
mom and son hugging during a fun family photoshoot in oahu
portrait of a boy with arms extended and tongue out
family walking along the cliffs in oahu during a family photo session by little bird photography
dad spinning son at laie beach park in hawaii
portrait of mom and son on the cliffs at laie beach in hawaii during a family photo session
fun portrait of mom hugging her two boys during a hawaii family photo session
dad tickling son at laie beach in hawaii
family watching the ocean from the cliffs at laie beach park in hawaii
boy writing in the sand at laie beach
family playing in the surf in hawaii
boys braving the big waves at pounders beach in laie after a family photo session

How old were your children the last time you took family photos?

Let’s plan a fun adventure and update your family photos. We can head to the beach, park or play at home and make great memories. Find out about my fun family photography sessions here.

Hawaii Twin Photo Session | A Mini Before Leaving

Hawaii is a Transient Place

People from all over the world are drawn to Hawaii and move here every year. But just as quickly, people move away. Especially in our Kailua neighborhood which has a high military population. Our entire family has been fortunate to meet and befriend some amazing military families, but it’s hard when your friendship has an expiration. My daughter mourned the loss of her best friend a full year and a half before she moved away. This summer has been particularly brutal with dozens of dear friends leaving all at once. It felt like a mass exodus.

Although it’s hard to be left behind, it’s harder still to leave when Hawaii has become your home. For this military family, it was time to move on. Before they left, they wanted to capture a mini photo session enjoying a lovely beach morning.

About the Session

The twin boys were a bundle of giggling, joyful energy as we walked to Waimanalo Bay Beach Park. The wide expanse of beach was completely empty with the exception of crabs scurrying along the shore. We immediately set to work chasing and digging for crabs. Afterward, we collected treasure, built sandcastles and shared many hugs and laughs. It was a morningn to remember.

Hawaii Twin Photo Session at Waimanalo Beach Park

Does your time in Hawaii have an expiration date?

Make the most of your time in Hawaii with a family adventure and fun photo session. You can take me to a favorite location or I can suggest one that fits your family. Either way, we will make memories to treasure. Find out more about my family photography sessions here.

Lifestyle Photography and Films | Adventure Tour of Oahu

The Title Holders

My most photographed family. “Do we still hold the title?” Elisabeth asked with a laugh when we met again. Even thought they live in Texas, I’ve photographed them more than any other family. It’s something I look forward to each year. The kids think it’s a special treat too as I try to take them on a new adventure each year. We’ve been all over the island to play at different types of beaches, take family-friendly hikes, and explore lush parks. They push me to keep seeking out new locations and I have a few more special spots in mind for them. Eventually, though, we may need to switch islands.

About the Session

Long before the sun came up, I started the journey to the far end of Oahu. Our destination was Yokohama Bay. The end of the road and perhaps the farthest drive-able distance on the island. The sky began to glow a soft pink as I approached the Waianae Coast, happily moving in the opposite direction of rush hour traffic. The traffic began to thin and the country grew wilder and more rugged and finally, I was there.

I breathed in the fresh salt air and took in the vastness of the coastline. With few signs of civilization, it was like stepping back in time. The only other sole was a lone fisherman. Not even the lifeguard was at his post yet.

The kids emerged from their van in an excited bundle and our adventure began. Our feet met cool sand as we made our way to the beach and we had to jump around and yell at the waves to stay warm. We spent hours happily playing on the beach. It wasn’t until hunger overcame us that we.

Our evening adventure included a hike around Koko Head Botanical Garden. A long grove of Plumeria trees lies at the entrance to the hike like a red carpet welcome. Before long you’re enveloped in the crater by different worlds. The cactus garden is a personal favorite.

As the sun began to set we ended another grand Hawaiian adventure. A hui hou!

You can watch their family film here.

You can see a glimpse of their photos here.

girl walking on the beach with clouds reflecting in a shallow pool and mountains in the background
fun family photo with waianae mountains at yokohama bay by little bird photography
 parents hugging kids by oahu family photographer
family sitting on the beach with reflections of mountains at yokohama bay oahu
girl running from the rain with a towel over her head
dad and daughter share a laugh during a family photo session in hawaii
family running on the beach with mountains in the background in hawaii
family walking on the beach during a photoshoot at yokohama bay on oahu
girl waving to the waves with blue ocean and sky
family jumping waves with mountains behind during a fun family photo session in hawaii
backlit family walking on the beach with mountains looming large and surf pounding in hawaii

Evening Adventure at Koko Head Botanical Garden.

mom and kids playing in the cactus garden at koko head botanical garden on oahu
kids at the cactus garden during a fun family adventure on oahu
girl examining a giant tree
siblings sharing a laugh during a family photoshoot in oahu
boy examining a sharp agave plant at koko head botanical garden
girl desperately trying to hold up an agave flower that fell over during a lifestyle family photoshoot in hawaii
dad giving son a piggy-back ride on oahu
kids playing on a tree at koko head botanical garden on oahu

Does Your Family Love to Explore?

Let me plan a fun day that’s perfect for your family. We can play, explore and make beautiful memories. It’s a photo session hidden inside a family adventure so you can have a great time and I can create images you will treasure. Find out more about my family photography sessions here.

Family-Friendly Hikes on Oahu | Makapuu Tide Pools

Get Outside

We’ve been dragging lately. The summer heat and crowds feel oppressive and it seems we only leave the house for visits to Target (air conditioning) and the library (excellent air conditioning).

For the first time in … ever? The kids asked if we could go on an easy hike. They requested something within a half-hour drive of Kailua. I racked my brain, checked the tides and surf forecast and decided on Makapuu Tide Pools. We visited the pools only once in the past after following another hiker off the main trail for the Makapuu lighthouse. At the time, we were curious about what they were up to and after a bit of scrambling, we were rewarded with views of the gleaming turquoise pools far below. On that particular day, the surf was high and anyone brave (stupid?) enough to swim in the tide pools was thrashed about like rag dolls whenever a big set rolled in. However, the weather conditions seemed more forgiving on this day, so we packed our swimsuits and set off.

Family-Friendly Hikes on Oahu

The southeast corner of the Oahu is full of rugged beauty and adventure. It’s a harsh landscape dominated by sharp lava rock and pounding waves. Even the plants pack a punch. Only the most hearty and salt-tolderant can survive and you must carefully navigate around long-thorned kiawe, cactus, and more gruesome succulents like carrion plant.

At the Makapuu Lighthouse Trailhead, you have three options. You can hike up to the lighthouse (watch for whales in the winter!), down to quiet Alan Davis Beach or hike partially up and make the steep ascent to the tide pools.

The Makapuu Tide Pool Hike

To get to the pools follow the trail up as it weaves around the backside of the cliffs. At the third rest area, you will see two pairs of binoculars and an informational sign about whales. After that, look for a loosely defined trail allowing you zig-zag down the mountain. Go slowly to avoid slipping on loose rocks and most importantly, bring plenty of water.

You will be welcomed by a rumbling blowhole, which spits an impressive (and forceful) spray intermittently. After that, find your favorite tide pool and submerge. If possible opt for hats and shirts as a sunscreen alternative to protect marine life. If you need to use sunscreen, choose one believed to be reef safe.

family hiking along the makapuu lighthouse trail on oahu
view of waimanalo bay from the makapuu lighthouse trail
dad and kids looking out at the ocean along the makapuu lighthouse hike
Koko head views from the makapuu lighthouse family-friendly hikes on oahu
an outrigger race viewed from the cliffs at makapuu
siblings looking at koko head from the makapuu tidepool trail
boy standing on the edge of the trail to the makapuu tide pools
family hiking along the makapuu lighthouse trail on oahu with ocean in the background
dad and kids hiking down the steep ascent to the makapuu tide pools on oahu
boy sitting on the edge of a steep hike to the makapuu tide pools trail on oahu
rocky cliffs of oahu
girl watching waves splash against the rocks at the makapuu tide pools
boy sitting on the rocks along a cliff hike with ocean views in hawaii
boy enjoying the deep tide pools in hawaii
girl examines a purple sea urchin at a tide pool in hawaii
boy floating in the tide pools at the makapuu trail with cliffs in the background
boy climbing out of the ocean after jumping from rocks
kids jumping from rocks into deep tide pools at makapuu on oahu
view of the makapuu tide pools from the trail with waves splashing

Looking for More Great Family-Friends Hikes on Oahu?

Drive up the coast to Lanikai for this short hike with big ocean views. Needs more tips? Sign up for the Little Bird Post below to learn about the best family-friendly hikes, beaches, and more on Oahu.

North Shore Family Photography | Exploring Kawela Bay

Kawela Bay is for Adventure

Hidden from the road near Turtle Bay Resort is a stunning bit of Paradise. It’s part dense jungle and part quiet, sandy beach. There is no other spot quite like it on Oahu. From the road you pass by towering banyan trees. TV lovers may recognize this dense jungle scene as the backdrop for LOST.

Spend time marveling at the dripping tree roots and play hide-and-seek among its branches. When you start to overheat, it’s time to move on. A few steps away, you will emerge onto a crescent-shaped beach. In calm weather, you can spot sea turtles as they surface for a quick breath while foraging in the shallows. On windier days, you can bring a board and catch gentle waves as they curl into the bay. You might enounter a group on horseback as pass along the beach, or on a bicycle, or runners out for a bit of exercise. So many ways to explore the bay … and a perfect spot to relax. The shady trees along the shore seem perfectly spaced for a hammock so when you’re done exporing you can spend some quality time doing nothing.

About the Session

I first photographed Rachel’s family, at Paradise Cove in Koolina on what may be the exact opposite side of the island. With an energetic water-loving boy, the beach was a must. Still, we wanted a different feel so we traded swaying palms for deep jungle.

Our eager explorer was a bit intimidated by the tall trees but was happy to search for flowers, fallen coconuts and other treasures. With ocean so near, it was hard to keep him dry for long and we made our way to the beach, delighted to find it was empty. Our own bit of paradise for the afternoon. We eased into the warm water and spent time splashing and playing in the company of sea turtles. It was hard to leave.

mom laughing while hugging son during a fun family photo session in hawaii
North Shore Family Photography at kawela bay
boy climbing a banyan tree in hawaii
dad hugging son during a family photo shoot in hawaii
family portraits at kawela bay on the north shore of oahu
boy holding a coconut in hawaii
dad helping son walk along a log in the dense jungle portrait by little bird photography
mom and son spinning under a ginat banyan tree during a fun family photo shoot in oahu
couple snuggling under the dense rainforest canopy in oahu hawaii
boy holding a coconut to his ear
family at the beach on the north shore of oahu
family exploring kawela bay during a photo session
boy splashing water at the camera during a family photo session in hawaii
boy playing in the water at kawela bay on the north shore of oahu
family walking along the beach at kawela bay
boy rolling in the surf at kawela bay
family photo session at kawela bay on the north shore of oahu

Do you Have a Family of Explorers?

Let’s hit the beach or mountains and spend a day doing what you love best. I’ll capture it all for you so you can surround yourself with beautiful memories. Find out more about my fun family photography sessions here.