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…

Rick and Ellen’s Wedding / New Orleans, Louisiana

I’ve had a great time getting to know Rick and Ellen over the past few years. These two fun-loving former New Orleaneans moved to Kailua Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii about 4 years ago. Ellen is a former elephant manager at the Audubon zoo in New Orleans and was among those who rode out hurricane Katrina with the animals, so having their wedding at the zoo had special significance for the couple.

This is a couple that works hard, plays hard, and throws some amazing parties. It’s difficult to sum up their wedding into just one day….. the wedding festivities truly began a week before for me, with the arrival of myself along with many other Hawaiians into New Orleans in time for the end of jazzfest, followed by a full week of festivities leading up to the wedding, which included a crawfish boil, the bachelor and bachelorette parties, the reception dinner and finally the wedding…..

Rick & Ellen married on May 14, 2011! Preparations for the day began at the beautiful Avenue Plaza Hotel on St. Charles, then we headed to the Audubon Zoo where their evening ceremony took place in front of the fountain close to the sea lion exhibit.

The reception took place at the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit which is a re-creation of a 1930s swamp settlement equipped with a trapper’s cottage, Spanish moss, white alligators and cypress knees. This wedding included a blend of  Hawaiian and Louisiana traditions. Ellen wore a white orchid haku lei in her hair and Rick wore a traditional maile lei. Their first dance, “A Beach in Hawaii”, was followed by a New Orleans wedding tradition, the Second Line Parade, which signifies the start of a new beginning of life for the bride and groom. Friends and family danced the night away in celebration in the Cajun Ballroom.

Rick and Ellen, you both are wonderful, kind hearted people and it was truly a pleasure to be there for your wedding day. I enjoyed the entire week, but after all those parties, I’m definitely looking forward to a vacation from this vacation! Congratulations! KL