I moved to Hawaii six years ago and spent the first year entirely underwater working on a scuba dive boat as a Divemaster, which is where I first fell in love with photography. Since then I've had a camera with me nearly every day. It didn't take long before I went from photographing turtles and octopus to families and weddings - but I'm still not entirely sure how that happened! Along the way I've accumulated photos of some Hawaiian wildlife (mostly by chance, while I was at a photo shoot or going to or coming from one.)
Most people are utterly shocked to realize how many 2-4 gigabyte hard drives I have that are filled with nothing but clients photos. I have taken so many thousands of photos that within just a few years as a working photographer, storage of all those photos starts to become a real management issue. :-) My point to all this is that as in my work with thousands of people of all types, shapes, sizes and colors, one common reoccurring theme I see on nearly a daily basis is a fear or discomfort with being in front of a camera. I've literally lost count of how many times I've heard, "I'm not photogenic."
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!
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.
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?