Waimanalo Photographer | Big Surf Ahead | Oahu Family Photography

Family Photos with Teenagers

“I love all the photos of cute kids playing in your portfolio, but I have teenagers.” That was April’s main concern when she reached out for a photo session. And it’s true, young kids are good at ignoring the camera and focusing on fun. They arrive at a beach or park and immediately begin to explore and play. It’s what they do. As we get older though, we’re more prone to standing around during a photo session awkwardly wondering where to put our hands. I have a collection of the lamest jokes and silly games to get people laughing, but my best trick for capturing the fun and joyful images of teenagers (and adults) is to get them in the water. No one has the energy to be sullen and moody when there are waves to surf. You stop worrying about your hair and just have fun – like you’re a kid again.

About the Session

April’s family rented a home in Waimanalo so we met at nearby Waimanalo Bay Beach Park. They planned on getting in the water, but it had rained all night and they were reluctant to pack swimsuits in the pre-dawn chill. The get-in-the-water plan was quickly abandoned, but before we had taken many (any?) photos, the youngest was already in the water. The rhythmic motion of waves slapping the shore seemed to hypnotize him and pull him in. Before long, two more were waist deep and attempting to body surf. Even though they live nowhere near the ocean, these are water kids. They just couldn’t stay away. After a quick drive home, they returned to take on the waves with swimsuits and bodyboards in hand.

That morning brought the first big swell of the season. Waimanalo was experiencing some residual wrap around and there were some (frighteningly) big sets. The kids were unphased by the overhead waves pounding all around. Effortlessly, the navigated their body boards catching wave after wave. Meanwhile, I struggled to keep my footing and capture the scene around me. I had to duck dive the biggest waves, the pull of the surf sucking the camera from my grip. Normally, I outlast my clients, but not this time. Once teenagers start having fun, you can’t outlast them.

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Do you have a teenager at home who avoids your camera?

Teenagers are typically not big fans of family photoshoots, but planning a fun day they will enjoy makes all the difference. Enjoy some precious time together as a family and take away beautiful images. Find out about my custom family photography sessions here.

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