Michael 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!
When no words are needed...
Michael & Daniella flew to Hawaii from Germany with just a few family members to finally make their relationship official. Because they primarily spoke German (and I don't), and I was hired by the wedding planner instead of them, I really didn't get a chance to get to know Michael & Daniella as much as I usually do. And yet... for as few words as we exchanged, they are one of the couples that will stick forever in my memory because there was such a palpable tenderness and joy between them. But instead of telling you about it, I'll let them show you in the following highlights of their Oahu destination beach wedding.
Are controlling mothers, crazy families, outrageous costs and boring local venues causing wedding day blues? Ditch the stress, save your money and elope to Hawaii for a simple, romantic, budget friendly wedding on a sun kissed white sand beach!
If you're in the market for a photographer, one of the first things you'll encounter is some marketing themselves as "natural light only" photographers. At first glance, that seems a bit noble, maybe somehow superior. In this article, however, I'd like to dispel some of the natural light vs flash myths and show you the difference so you can make more informed decisions on what YOU like. In my opinion, a professional photographer should be able to do both.
When I first fell in love with photography, I was working as a scuba dive master and I was mesmerized by the amazing images of octopus, seals, turtles, whales, dolphins and other incredible life that my fellow divers were taking. So I got my own underwater camera and dived in to the world of photography with a passion. I've always been a nature freak so it just felt like a natural extension of my lifelong love of the outdoors and nature. If you had asked me then if I'd ever become a family or wedding photographer, I would have laughed my head off. I was not interested in taking pictures of people!
Or, The Surprise Proposal I Almost Ruined!
Embarrassingly true story: Agustin spent two months planning his surprise marriage proposal to long time girlfriend, Alondra, and 15 minutes before he pops the question I nearly ruined it.
Yep. Even just writing this is making me cringe again in horror.
A Private & Intimate Sunset Beach Wedding
Kimberly & Tim wanted a simple, private and intimate destination wedding ceremony on the beach in front of the bungalow they had rented on Oahu Hawaii's North Shore. It was a quiet affair with just the two of them, the officiant, his assistant and myself as their wedding photographer.
Discover The Power of the Silhouette
I had long noticed I liked silhouette portaits but I'd really never given it much thought. Then one day I was browsing through thousands of my Hawaii family photography imageslooking for a particular photo when I noticed my eye kept stopping on the silhouettes. That's when I noticed that in a "counter intuitive" way, they were actually emotionally stronger. In a weird way, removing information (the flash in this case) actually improved the storytelling aspect of the image.f
Super-sized Family of 60 - Beach Portraits
I had done some pretty big, extended family photo shoots before, with upwards of 24-26 people, so when Donna contacted me to see if I was up for doing a large family photography session on Oahu's North Shore, I didn't even pause before I said, "No problem." It was only after she explained that she was talking about a family of 56-60 adults and kids that I had to sit back and consider her request more carefully.
How To Look Gorgeous On Your Wedding Day!
What every bride needs to know to look her best.
You probably won't be surprised when I tell you that most people don't particularly like having their photo taken. It kills me every time I hear someone say, "But I'm not photogenic," and look at me and my camera with nervousness or suspicion. The truth is, everyone can be photogenic as it has nothing whatsoever to do with our physical looks or our body shapes. Few of us grew up with professional photographers as parents, so our experience with being photographed has been cheezy family photos by people who didn't know a thing about photography, using the cheap little cameras set on auto, and usually taken during chaotic, stressful situations. No wonder we never looked good.
How To Choose A Wedding Photographer
At first, choosing a wedding photographer can seem daunting and overwhelming. This article is designed to give you the information you need to confidently choose a wedding photographer who will be perfect for you
15 Tips For Perfect Wedding Photos
What every bride needs to know to get the best possible photos of her wedding day!
So, you're planning your big day down to the smallest detail, agonizing over wedding gowns and a million other details, and now it's time to find a photographer. Regardless of who you choose, it’s important to realize how much of a difference YOU can make in the end quality of your wedding photos. Here are your 15 tips for perfect wedding photos!
Congratulation to Amy & Rob on your gorgeous and heart warming wedding ceremony at Camp H.M. Smith! Amy & Rob organized their destination wedding in Oahu Hawaii six months in advance, booking me after just a couple short but well organized emails exchanged. I literally showed up to Camp H.M. Smith marine base having never met either of them before, but that was clearly not a problem for them. After checking out the wedding ceremony and reception location and planning my lighting and shot list, Amy & Rob arrived and we met for the first time. I'm always amazed and appreciative when I can work with couples who are so relaxed and comfortable right from the get go.
Coming from a small family myself, I'm always amazed when I work with large extended families like the 24 member Lane Family. "Poppy & Nanna" (Grandpa & Grandma) asked me for the "Paparazzi" Family package, as they wanted lots of photos of them with their grown kids and 11 grandkids! In addition, they were celebrating both their birthday's as well.
It started with a glance, then a brush of hands, then a stolen kiss...and then, next thing you know there was an engagement photo session on the romantic white sands of Lanikai Oahu at sunrise, splashing in the ocean waves and all manner of lascivious behavior!
Boy Meets Girl, Falls In Love, Proposes, Girl Says Yes!
The photography request I'm always the most excited to get is the super secret surprise proposal! Arranging the secret plans, the code words and then getting to see it all fall into place and capturing the special moments as they happen is just, well, so...romantic!