Amy and Nail’s engagement / Kukio Beach / Big Island of Hawaii

Nail contacted me a few weeks ago to talk about an engagement photo session. Nail and his fiance, Amy were on vacation in Waikoloa, and wanted to do some engagement photos before they left to go back home to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They were staying in Waikoloa, so I suggested close by Kukio beach for their session,  knowing it would be beautiful and empty, especially in the early morning.  I always offer the early morning option to prospective clients, but rarely do they choose it, so I was a bit surprised that Nail and Amy wanted to get out of bed so early on their vacation…….

Now, I am really NOT a morning person, the alarm clock buzzes. I crack an eye open and see the light blinking at me. 5:45am. It takes a few moments for my groggy mind to remember why I set my alarm in the first place. I groan, and after another minute, roll out of bed. I take a quick peek out the window. Still dark out. But it won’t be for long. I quickly dress, pack a breakfast bar and thermos full of coffee. I double-check my equipment list. By 6:00am, I am on my way out the door and headed down my driveway. I am headed about 30 minutes from my home. I meet Nail and Amy in the parking lot, already the golden glow of the sun is beginning to appear. I smile. It’s going to be a beautiful sunrise.

Truly, the most beautiful part of the day occurs before many people wake up.

I would describe Amy and Nail’s relationship as playful, cute and romantic … a couple that seems to have it all. This engagement session was a blast and I really enjoyed how much these two love each other. My images capture everything about them.. fun.. laughter..romance…and love. I especially love that they were willing to go play in the ocean with all their clothes on at such an early hour.

Loss of sleep. An early morning. A 30-minute drive.

Worth it?

Totally. Nail and Amy are gonna love it.

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Wedding engagement sessions

A wedding engagement session is a great way for a couple to get some practice being in front of the lens and also for them to get to know and feel comfortable with me. I also get greater insight into what sort of wedding to expect and learn how to best photograph them on the big day.

While there are a lot of standard shots that take place at a wedding, the engagement session is a chance to throw the traditional portrait rulebook out the window and catch the couple in highly unusual settings or moments. This is a chance for the couple to let loose and have some fun.

Rick and Ellen’s Engagement / Kailua-Kona, Big Island of Hawaii

Rick and Ellen are a lively couple, who were engaged in December 2009. I remember when Ellen told me, “He liked it so he put a ring on it!” was how she announced it, while thrusting her left hand under my nose to show off the ring! Rick and Ellen have lived on the Big Island for several years now, but they’re originally from New Orleans, and they seem to internalize  “dat N’awlins spirit”, just being around them always feels like mardi gras!  They are getting married at the Audubon Zoo in N.O. in May 2011 and I will there to photograph the party!

For their engagement session, I photographed Rick and Ellen at and around St. Peter’s Catholic Church, a.k.a. the little blue church, located off of Ali’i Drive, south of Kailua-Kona.

This tiny little church is located right on the ocean and surrounded by colorful floral bushes. There are only a dozen pews and a pulpet, but the setting is serene. A beautiful etched glass window casts soft light over the entire church, especially during the sunset. The church was built in 1889 on the site of an ancient Hawaiian heiau. Today, many couples choose this quaint chapel for their wedding. Directions: Take Ali’i Drive south of Kailua-Kona. The church is located on the ocean side of the road just north of Mile Marker #5.