I met Michelle and Neil at the Honolulu Bridal Expo not too long ago and instantly clicked with this couple. They are fun, young, self proclaimed “townies” and wanted to have their engagement photos taken in their local stomping grounds. We began the photo shoot at the Hilton Hawaiian Village lagoon and trekked all the way to Fort DeRussy park for some sunset shots. I normally don’t shoot in Waikiki for engagements, as most couples require a fair amount of seclusion in order to feel comfortable opening up, but these guys were just as natural and affectionate as if there hadn’t been hundreds of people on the beach! In fact, I don’t think they even noticed when a horde of other photographers gathered around to use them as their subject matter too!
Michelle has a job in the Wedding industry, so maybe that’s how she was able to so appropriately plan their outfits for the shoot. How perfect the blues and pinks of the Hawaii ocean and sunset matched their outfits! I am convinced she has control of the weather because it couldn’t have been a more beautiful day. I am so excited for this couple and their upcoming wedding early next year! I can already tell its going to be magical.
As a photographer, I am blessed to be able to catch a glimpse into the love and life of a couple or family. I am always seeking that raw and unadulterated love that is shared between couples on a daily basis, and Sai and Alana was one of the most tangibly visible examples of that.
Fate brought Sai and Alana together about 5 years ago, when both were young and working at Aloha Salads. They immediately felt an intense connection and have been inseparable since. Years later, their romance has only grown in intensity, evidenced by tender moments, and stolen glances that made me consider giving them a moment alone.
The location of the shoot, a ridge hike and beach park in Hawaii Kai, recreated their first date together. While the ridge hike had a breathtaking 360 of Hawaii’s mountains, ocean, and sunset, its main attraction was sentimental. We finished up with an amazing sunset at their favorite beach park where they often go to spend time together. Couldn’t be happier for this couple.
One of my favorite beaches on Oahu to shoot at is a secret little beach by the JW Marriott in Ko’Olina. Although there are always a few people there, and often other photographers, it is easy to get breathtaking Hawaii scenery and backdrops with not too many people in the background. There is also beautiful white sand, some Hawaiian lava rock to create a little drama, tide pools, palm trees, tall grass, always a beautiful sunset… basically a photographers dream. Ive even seen an episode of the biggest loser have a short clip at this local.
Unfortunately, this particular day, to my surprise, there was a huge festival at the beach lagoons in front of the JW Marriott, the Disney Aulani, basically all along the east coast. It was impossible to even find parking. Needless to say I was a little bit freaked that I would be dealing with lots of little nuisances in my background. To my complete delight, my secret little beach was still nearly empty. Which was awesome because I had such a beautiful, fun and sweet couple that I wanted to deliver some awesome photos to!
Julia and Marcus were such an amazing couple who I met during their Engagement in Honolulu. Their story really struck me as it mirrored my own with my new husband Jason. Marcus is Swedish and was in town visiting Honolulu while Julia was in school at UH Manoa. The two met, had a brief romance in Oahu and knew they had something special. They have been doing long distance ever since from Sweden to Portland, Oregon, but they came back to Oahu to get engaged recently! The two were so sweet and tender with each other during the photography session, neither had a dry eye! It was so fun to be able to capture all of that emotion during the shoot, and this beautiful couple definitely got some sweet shots!
Due to some issues with the weather, we were unable to shoot the engagement session at their favorite beach, Lanikai. We were, however, able to shoot at a beautiful beach on Oahu called Sandy’s, known for its powerful shorebreak. I was able to find some sand dunes to offer some private portraits of the couple getting more intimate, without onlookers or other visitors at the beach in the background. I also got some beautiful sunset photos of the couple out on the lava rock. That shot reminds me of my days in Waikoloa on Big Island when all you had was lava rock! I love using lava rock in pictures because I feel like it is so unique to the Hawaiian Islands, and can show the more rugged terrain that Hawaii has to offer. And just in case thier friends and family didnt realize that they were in Hawaii, Julia and Marcus decided to wear leis for their photo session. Leis are most often reserved for memorable occasions. Especially the maile lei, which Marcus is wearing is known as the “lei of royalty,” given to signify respect and honor. Maile leis are often used in Hawaii at special events such as weddings and graduations.