Three generations of the Jones family got together to visit Maui for their first Hawaii vacation in June of 2018 and they wanted beautiful family sunset beach photos since they were seldom all in the same place at the same time. I flew over from Oahu that day and met them at Po‘olenalena Beach Park an hour and a half before sunset.
"My fiancé and I had our engagement photos taken by Bodhi a couple weeks ago, and we are so happy with the way our pictures turned out! I contacted Bodhi via email a week before our vacation to Oahu and he responded immediately with his availability. He suggested meeting at 8:30 a.m., so then I asked if we could meet in the afternoon instead, since I'm not an early bird ;P He advised us that the best time to have our photos taken would be in the morning because it's cooler outside, not as many people out, and the sun won't be in our eyes. I really appreciated his feedback, because it was sooo true!
Josie & Rick chose Lydgate Beach Park on Kauai's east shore for their beach wedding elopement ceremony location. However, when I arrived there with my assistant, Grace, we discovered a massive storm six weeks earlier that had dumped 50 inches of rain in 24 hrs had also left the beach covered in logs and storm debris! So instead of the usual wedding ceremony on the beach, we realized we had to find a good alternative spot. Twenty minutes of exploring and we found a perfect little spot tucked in the trees just above the beach.
Koko Crater Trail is a short but nasty beast of a hike at the best of times - ie; in the daytime - with over 1000 double height stair steps made from old, crumbling railroad ties. As I stood at the bottom of the steep WWII relic tramway at 3:45am, shrugging my camera backpack into position and looking up at the dark shadow of a the peak looming over me, I wondered yet again what the hell I was thinking when I agreed to do a sunrise surprise proposal at the top.
Posing for couples portraits is like having sex - there are really only so many ways two human bodies can fit together. So it's HOW you fit together that's really the important part. The trick to natural looking romantic photos is to choose a basic pose you like and then make it your own.
Minto initially contacted me a month before his vacation in Oahu with his girlfriend, Elda. He wanted to surprise her with his marriage proposal somewhere with an epic view. The two of them loved hiking he said, so I suggested Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail in east Oahu. When I sent him photos of another couples surprise proposal I had done at the top of Makapu'u, he was sold.
One of the top regrets brides say they have after their wedding day is wishing they had hired a better photographer. Terrible wedding photos will be an enormous disappointment for the rest of your life. And the two greatest causes of lousy wedding photos?
1. choosing the cheapest photographer 2. having a friend photograph your wedding.
Today, when I found myself suddenly at loose ends with no photos to edit and no elopement, engagement or family photo session scheduled, I suddenly realized I had never written a blog post about engagement sessions! Huh. Well, the good news is that there are really only a couple things I like to cover with couples before - and during - their engagement session. So here goes...
You came all the way to Hawaii for sunshine, blue skies and warm sand between your toes. Then you saw this website and thought to yourself, "Self, I LOVE this guy's photography and I want photos just like that for me and my loved ones!" But naturally, of course, the very evening of YOUR photo session it's gray, overcast, dull and threatening rain! Geez, why even bother?
Being a wedding and family photographer on the beaches of Hawaii can seem to be a dream job for many photographers. And it certainly has been for me! However, it's far more challenging that it appears at first glance. Not everything is always perfect in Paradise!