Surrounded by their closest friends and family, Maile & John hosted a local kine wedding at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki, Oahu. The day was stunning and the light breeze echoed off the Hawaii Coast. Their wedding was a blend of families, cultures, and memories, resulting in a morning of complete perfection.
Maile & John, it was such an honor to document your first day of Marriage, and I look forward to what the future has in store for you and your family!
Wedding Coordinator – Shayna Sirling of Bodas Hawaii
Flowers – Wendy of Spinning Web
Cake – Cori of Cori’s Cake Dreams
Photo Booth – Jasmin of Shoots Unlimited
Lion Dance - Ernie of Lung Kung Physical Culture Club
Hale Koa Hotel/Catering – Michele Akiona
Hair & Makeup – Rayme or Makeup by Rayme
Videography – Jeff of Rokoko Cinema
After shooting this early morning portrait session at Lanikai Beach I couldn’t wait to get it home and into my computer! Not only was the Cowan family an absolute delight to shoot with but it was also one of those absolutely epic mornings in Kailua. Just enough clouds to create a stunning sunrise and cast beautiful soft light onto my subject matter. Less people out, less wind (most the time) and beautiful soft light, this is why I pull my clients out of bed at he crack of dawn, its worth it!
Not only were the elements perfect, but so was the Cowan family. Clients like them make my job so easy and enjoyable. Everyone was happy and eager to take some fun and lasting memories in Hawaii. They totally rocked it and I am so excited to hand over an exceptional collection to them. Just another day of work, lucky we live Hawaii!
Personal Trainer and Yoga instructor Marc and Sara Zimmerman certainly made my job easy during their sun-soaked Hawaiian wedding yesterday. It doesn’t get better than photographing a beautiful couple at a beautiful location on their wedding day. They celebrated with family and friends on Sunset Beach on North Shore with some ukulele, hula, and even a little karaoke.
While it may be a little premature to start pulling out the Christmas ornaments, it is time to reveal new Fall / Winter handbag lines. Free Endearment certainly has a sophisticated line up for this season, with really easy going out bags. I hate when you go to an event or club and you are stuck with a massive purse on your shoulder. Its almost like a whole other entity swinging around smacking people when you dance on the dance floor. Which is why I was so excited to see these small yet functional bags. They include a wristlet, a clutch, and a cross body. Check out her site to see how you can order your new handbag for this fall!
As a photographer, sometimes you have to get a little creative with locations… Trying to get some more urban backgrounds for this shoot was a pretty tall order shooting on Big Island. Lucky for me, my beautiful model Angelica Andersen has no fear of a little Guerrilla photography.
We started out sneaking in to the Fairmont Orchid in Waikoloa and were lucky enough to find a courtyard all to ourselves! The key is to walk in like you own the place, which is exactly what we did. In Oahu, hotel security can spot you a mile away with a big camera and equipment, but we were able to shoot uninterrupted! Its the simple things in life, I love how relaxed Big Island can be!
Another location we totally scored was at Three Fat Pigs at the Kings Shops in Waikoloa Village. Its a newer gastropub owned by Ippy Aiona. For those of you who aren’t addicted to Food Network, Ippy is a local chef who made it as a finalist in last seasons Food Network Star television show. Luckily Angelica just happened to know him and he was totally cool with us using his upstairs lounge area as our own personal studio. Thank you to Ippy and Three Fat Pigs, its a delicious restaurant with tons of fun events, including burlesque night! See, it helps to do a favor, you get free promotion!
Or when you decide to sneak onto someones private property and sit on their rusty old Cadillac…
I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to do some long exposure portrait photography on the Vegas Strip. Yoga instructor Molly McLaughlin had the idea to contrast yoga to the hustle and bustle, sex, money and consumerism that Las Vegas embodies. Using a long exposure on my camera really allowed me to capture the idea behind the photograph. I was able to show, in most photos, a whirl of activity of people coming and going. I have to hand it to the girl, she was a champ as far as holding her asanas completely still which was necessary to get a clear portrait of her during the long exposures. In order to help capture her a little bit better we had a flash camera right and slightly behind her to hopefully stop any motion that she might make, as well as highlight her, as she was facing a dark street. In the end, I think we got some really unique shots.
Jaclyn Morse, owner of Free Endearment in Los Angeles, commissioned me to shoot several of her spring / summer handbag line for her new Lookbook. Now, I am a handbag girl, and these handbags are where its at. Premium leather and dyes, sturdy hardware, in season colors that pop! I actually own a few of the bags myself, and their functionality is as much a blessing as their beauty. So of course, for this fashion shoot, I wanted to show how upscale they were, but also portray them as a practical summer bag.
We began the day early at Lanikai Beach in Kailua with the “Drew, Dana and Kristel,” Handbags. I love shooting on the east side of Oahu in the early morning sunrise. Not only does that help get that early morning light, but it helps to avoid the crowds of onlookers and people sneaking into shots as well.
After around 10 a.m. the sun started getting high in the sky, which can cause ugly shadows across a models face. Even though the light is high contrast and harsh, we were able to get flattering lighting on our models face by turning her face upwards towards the sun. This gave the pictures a lot of contrast and pop, which is really popular in fashion photography these days. It also helped emphasize the crocodile imprint on the bag which is an important feature to highlight.
Towards the end of the day, we made our way to Waikiki. The sun rises over the east side of the island, and sets over to the far end of Waikiki, so once again its a great opportunity to capture that soft lighting. I wanted to depart from the beach scene and show the purses as great companions for city life as well. We photographed at the Modern located in the Harbor of Waikiki. Here we were able to get some upscale cityscape backgrounds without filtering in to the Waikiki crowds. As a photographer, I love having opportunities to do something different, which fashion photography innately is. Special thanks to Angelica Anderson for being an amazing model! Also, please check out Free Endearments newest line of bags at FreeEndearment.com. Jaclyn Morse is an excellent designer with an eye for beauty and functionality.
To all you brides out there, I dont know how you do it. Planning a wedding has been one of the most stressful years of my life! As a creative person, who is constantly involved with and surrounded by weddings, you would think that this whole wedding business would be a piece of cake! Not in my case, but thanks to my friends and family it was one of the most beautiful events of my entire life, and as I mentioned, I have attended quite a few.
Jason and I are settling into married life quite well, and are so happy that we got to have some great times with all the friends and family that made it out to Hawaii. For those of you planning a wedding in Oahu, I highly recommend having your wedding at Kualoa Ranch. It is away from all the hubbub of Waikiki, which is what we wanted. For those of you unfamiliar with Kualoa Ranch, it is the location where several movies and tv shows are shot. Jurrasic Park and LOST are just a couple to mention. It has breathtaking mountains and is super green and lush. We got married on the Secret Island which is only accessible by boat, and then we got our own private beach to give our vows. The price for the venues is one of the least expensive, and they allow for outside catering, and are great staff. Check them out at www.kualoa.com.
I used Bob Brown Hawaii Photographer for my photos. I had worked for him on Big Island for a while, and he is an amazing photographer. Him and his wife Naomi are so dear to Jason and I, and we love every picture we got from him. You can view Bobs Oahu work at HawaiiPhotographer.com as well as his Big Island work here!
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.
Over the past couple months, I have felt like I am just consistently traveling, which has been exhausting, especially since I am also trying to plan my own wedding. However, when I found out I had the opportunity to shoot Tom and Deanna in Las Vegas, I was as the islanders say, “STOKED!”
I had met Tom and Deanna a year earlier, pre-engagement. They had wanted to just get some pictures of themselves as a couple on vacation back when I lived on Big Island. They were really comfortable with each other, but in a really gentle sweet way. Even though they weren’t engaged yet I joked at them that they should fly me out to shoot their wedding. Well, to my disbelief, hardly a year later, here I am, at their Las Vegas Wedding!!!
One of my passions is definitely travel, and to be able to be a destination photographer just wraps up all that I love into one. I was especially excited to go to Vegas, where I had never been. For those of you who have been to Vegas, you can imagine my shock and awe! Luckily, Tom and Deanna got married a ways out of town, off the strip, at a cute little venue called the Secret Garden. Their wedding was romantic, and intimate and it was a beautiful day for photos.
It was quite the experience, and I couldnt have asked for a more attractive, or humble couple. I love these two, and feel so blessed to have been a part of their big day. Now, on to tending to my own upcoming wedding….
I absolutely adored shooting Wes & Salina. Photographing soon-to-be families, and then being a part of them becoming real families is one of my favorite parts of being a photographer. I love witnessing firsthand, the love anticipation of a newborn. There is such an innate joy, beauty and meaningfulness to maternity photography. There is a genuineness to the emotion and expressions of expecting mothers and fathers whether it be their first or their 5th. To watch a mother hold her tummy knowingly, or have a father looking on in amazement at the feel of his baby’s kick gives my job a sense of awe. Salina and Wes could hardly conceal their excitement of bringing their new baby into the world, and even though she hardly shows that bump on her thin frame, it wont be long now.
I had the pleasure of shooting Salina a while back, and even though she is a gorgeous, she was reserved and shy. This time around she left all of her reservations behind for the wisdom and glow that only pregnant woman posses. The couple have a very soft and demure tenderness lets me know that they were born to be great parents. I shot them at Puako Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii. Oftentimes, Kilauea crater will spew volcanic fog, known as vog, and the winds will wrap it around the island up to Waikoloa. Although the vog is not so great for the environment, it did provide some beautiful soft lighting for this portrait session. Just enough coverage to keep everything warm and sunny, but still soft.