Summer and Justin, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, Big Island of Hawaii

Summer & Justin live in Northern California, they wanted to do a beach portrait session on their Hawaii vacation and get some images that they could blow up into art pieces for their house.  Summer is a dancer for the San Jose Sabrecats and Justin works at a zoo, plays drums in the punk band the Pounders, and in Street Drum Corps. Young, in love, and talented! These two radiated fun and were so comfortable in front of the lens….. for the first part of our session, while Justin played the drums Summer danced on the beach. They made for a blissful evening on the beach filled with music and dancing…

Raquel and Shaun, Marriott Waikoloa, Big Island of Hawaii

Raquel and Shaun were married at A-bay (Anaeho’omalu Bay) which fronts the beautiful  Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort in a casual but elegant ceremony held on the spectacular black lava beaches that the Big Island is known for. The ceremony began with the traditional blowing of the conch shell and Hawaiian chanting by Rev. Kahu Lukela.  Raquel and Shaun’s wedding was fun and  relaxed, I had a lot of fun taking their photos before and after their ceremony on the beach! Here are some highlights from their wedding day:

Beth and Adam, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Big Island of Hawaii

With the blue sky above the Pacific in the background, Beth and Adam exchanged vows and rings and later mingled with their guests at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, on the sunny Kohala coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. A big congratulations to Beth and Adam. Here are just a few favorites moments from their day!

Beth and Adam decided to do a First look and see each other and take some photos before the wedding….. the First Look is a good idea for so many reasons:

First things first : Back when brides were betrothed to their husbands, the groom wasn’t allowed to see the bride before the ceremony in case he didn’t like the way she looked; waiting until the ceremony meant he couldn’t back out. You can read more about the origin here. Luck has nothing to do with it!

The happiest, most emotional photos come out of First Looks. It’s just the two of you, (and me in the background, of course), and you get to spend a few minutes of your wedding day alone. Just the two of you!

I absolutely, cannot imagine walking up to the altar looking my best on my happiest day and not be able to hug, let alone talk to my groom!

The ugly cry. Let’s be honest, ladies, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re prone to the ugly cry (that awful fighting-back-tears-and-failing-miserably-face), this really may be something you want to think about.

It’s your wedding day. Spend it together!

“Hide the bride” isn’t as fun as it sounds. Especially when we’re on a tight schedule.

Your time line. Doing a First Look allows me to take care of the portraits of you and your groom ahead of time, along with 75% of your posed family photo list (we save extended family photos for after the ceremony.) With this being the case, instead of the ceremony ending and spending the next hour on photos, followed immediately by your grand entrance into the reception, first dance, toasts, and parent dances, you instead spend 10 minutes on family photos, enjoy your cocktail hour (remember all those drinks you’re paying for?!), and you get time to enjoy every minute of your wedding reception.

Ultimately it’s your choice, and I’ll still love you if you decide to not see each other first.  I mean… I do love my First Look couples a bit more, but we can still be friends. It’s cool.  And hey, if you aren’t getting married at sunset and can guarantee me 45 minutes for photos of just the two of you, ignore everything I just said!

 

Ariane and Ruben, Kukio Beach, Big Island of Hawaii

I have a new found appreciation for maternity portraits.  This time in a families life is truly a special one–there is so much excitement and anticipation around carrying a baby and then bringing one home.  It’s also insane what the female body can do and photographing it is pretty amazing.  Ariane  and Ruben are outstanding individuals who make an even more outstanding couple. They were darlings to work with and I was reminded why I love what I do so much. I’m very excited to meet Naomi when she is born!

Caroline’s veil blowing in the wind

I am a HUGE fan of Lightroom. As a matter of fact, Lightroom is the only reason that I am able to give my clients tons of edited photos, in a timely manner. Don’t get me wrong, I love Photoshop, but I don’t edit all of my photos with it, just the ones I really love. Even so,  I always start with Lightroom.

I’ve been playing around with my new version of Lightroom 4 and I have to say, I’m really loving the new shadow and highlight recovery options, they are especially useful for bringing out the detail in a white wedding gown.  For this image of Caroline, I layered 3 different Lightroom presets from sean mcgrath (HDR (light) + make it better +  Midas golden glow),  tweaked them to get the look I wanted, and then added a graduated filter to enhance the sky…..

 

Hillary and Scott, Kikaua Point Beach, Big Island Hawaii

This Big Island wedding is about as vintage and gorgeous as they come. Hillary and Scott are self-described “old school”, and their eclectic style shows it! Hillary wore a gorgeous vintage style dress she referred to as a woodland fairy dress, the long ribbons gracefully danced in the light wind during the wedding. A unique and inspiring service, complete with powerful chanting was performed with aloha by Rev. Penei Aller of Beach Weddings Hawaii. After the ceremony, Hillary and Scott danced as the sun went down over the water. For more of this perfect day, sit back and revel in a little Big Island beauty.