Rainbows | Kailua family documentary photographer

Connie and her family were visiting Oahu on vacation. They wanted to take advantage of their time here and capture family photos with the beautiful backdrop of Hawaii. Based on past photo experiences, however, she knew the kids would protest. They hated having their picture taken and she didn’t want to make everyone miserable on vacation. We talked for a bit and came up with a game plan. The kids love playing at the beach so we would just let them play and have fun.

In fact, the kids love the water so much that they begged to come early. They were already splashing in the water before I arrived. After much consideration, Connie selected kid-friendly Kalama Beach Park, but it was … well, it was packed full of families. I was about to move them further down the beach when a sudden rain squall took care of the crowds. Families packed up and scrambled for cover while we hit the water. We were gifted double rainbows stretching over Kailua Bay and fun evening playing in the surf.

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Do you have a water-loving family?

Let’s hit the beach for a fun afternoon of body-boarding and splashing in the surf. Maybe we’ll get some rainbows to top it off. Find out more about my fun family photography sessions here.

Kaanapali morning | Maui family lifestyle photographer

Do you remember how you spent your birthday last year? I can’t. Of course, at some point in my 30’s I started forgetting how old I was on a given year. It’s gotten so bad that recently that my kids convinced me I was a full year older than I actually am. I bring it up because having a photo session on your actual birthday is pretty special. Especially when you’re turning one.  How many babies get to celebrate their first birthday with sunrise on a beautiful Maui beach?

I scouted a few beaches near their Kaanapali hotel and fell in love with lovely little Kapalua Beach. The day before the beach had been packed with sunbathers and snorkelers baking in the midday heat. The morning scene was quite different – peaceful and serene. We walked to the beach amid birdsong, a light breeze, and the gentle lapping of ocean waves on the shore. The sand was chilly so we searched out spots of sunshine to warm ourselves. Despite the chill, the boys were excited and ready to get in the water to play. Little turtle heads popped out of the water all around, beckoning us to come closer. We splashed and played until little lips began to turn blue and then it was time for a birthday breakfast of pancakes. A happy birthday indeed.

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Make the most of your family vacation with a morning of fun and adventure and beautiful images to take home.

Based on Oahu, but availabile for interisland travel. Find out more about my family photo adventures here.


A perfect Maui evening | Hawaii family filmmaker

Barb is a fellow family photographer and dear friend. We met at a photography workshop on Maui many years ago and have been friends ever since. Photography friends are a treasure. Being a photographer is a lonely job after all. About 80% of your time is spent in isolation behind a computer screen, so it’s a joy to meetup in person to talk story and share ideas.

I was heading to Maui for a photo session and Barb asked me to make a film for her family while I was there. It turns out that Kate, her little one, likes to watch the family films on my Vimeo channel on repeat. Now she could star in her very own film. The ocean is a big part of their lives. Their wedding ceremony was actually in the water on surf boards. It was really beautiful. We spent the day filming around the house, but we definitely had to end at the beach.

It was overcast with howling wind when we left their Wailuku home, but as made our way to Kihei, the sun emerged. The cloudy weather may have scared off other beach-goers because we had Poolenalena Beach to ourselves. We set down in the sand and soaked in the beautiful surroundings.

You can see their sweet video from the beach here –

And a few photos

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Family films are a beautiful way to push pause and capture on your life right now.

Let’s plan a fun family day together, doing something you love with your favorite people. With a film and photos you can return and share those moments for generations. Find out more about my fun family film and photo sessions here.

A beach to ourselves | Hawaii documentary family photographer

The rain and clouds have been relentless this year. The calm, clear days of spring were few and far between. But this day, the rain worked in our favor. Alan Davis Beach is a favorite of mine. The unassuming beach could once only be accessed by a discrete little path off the Makapuu lighthouse trail. Following the rocky path past Hawaiian cotton, swaying grasses, and thorny kiawe would lead you to a gentle cove. It may not look like much, but it was a toddler’s paradise. There were rocks to climb, shallow water to splash in, tidepools to search, and space to run. The light in the evening would cast a lovely warmth over the scene that made the world feel magical.

We made many trips when the kids were small, but lately the improved trail has led to more crowds and less magic. Anthony and Nicole, dear friends and fellow adventure lovers, are also charmed by this spot so we chanced it. We arrived to fat rain drops and blustery winds. Sandy, disheveled crowds were sprinting to their cars with coolers and gear in tow. And just like that, the rain stopped and we had the trail to ourselves. Yes, we did experience a drizzle or two and yes, it was a bit on the chilly side, but we managed to have a lovely evening at our very own beach.

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Let’s plan a fun family day and make some memories.

We can head to a favorite beach or park or even lounge at home. Find out more about my family photography sessions here.

Sunshine | Documentary family films

As a fellow family photographer, Martha had a problem that is very close to my own heart. She had albums full of beautiful family photos – her kids changing over the years, major milestones and sweet moments captured. Only she wasn’t in any of them. When we talked, her husband sheepishly admitted to being a terrible photographer. As much as she preferred being behind the camera, she wanted to change that. A trip to Hawaii was the perfect opportunity for a fun family photo session.

She was also intrigued, but a bit apprehensive about a family film. As much as she loved them, she couldn’t decide if her family was a good fit. Was their family too chaotic? How would the kids react to the beach? Her youngest, Tenny, had never been in the ocean and she feared disaster. I advised them to do a trial beach run and we could adjust if needed.

The week leading up to their session was filled with dramatic thunderstorms. Flash flood warnings pinged our phones hourly and clear blue waters turned a mucky brown with run-off. Our selected beach was fully underwater so I went on an emergency scouting trip. With relief I discovered that Lanikai Beach was still its beautiful, blue self. We needed a non-beach backup though because Tenny’s trial beach run was less than successful. His first beach trip entailed much screaming. His second trip was less dramatic, but he wouldn’t let his feet touch the ocean. We were hoping for a bit of magic on his third beach day.

After all the rain, the sunshine was a welcome sight. Tenny approached the water slowly where he discovered splashing was delightful. Splashes evolved into big jumps and eventually he was all in. Capturing his first time in the ocean – priceless. Rowan took to the water immediately. She was content to lounge in her float all day and had to be coaxed to leave for the park. Yes, it was a lovely morning, but even more special was the response to their film. It’s hard when your in the thick of parenting young children to see all the joy and love in your family. And that’s really my goal, I want to show you how your family loves. After seeing their film Martha said “you captured some moments that just won’t ever exist in that same way again. My kids look like they love and adore me. While her husband said “Ok, that was worth the whole trip!”

Watch their family film here:

And their photos …

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Let’s plan a fun day and make very own documentary family film.

A fun day and the perfect keepsake, what could be better? Find out more about my family films and photos here.