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  • My sister got married and it was pretty much the best day ever.

    I've been looking forward to my sister's wedding for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I can't say I ever had grand visions of my "dream wedding," but my sister's wedding, that was another story. She is the glamorous one that always looks flawless; I'm the one that always looks like I just finished a hike. I've been waiting my whole life for her to get married, most excitedly the past three and a half years since she got engaged, and when it finally happened it was everything I imagined and more.

    I don't know how she and Warren pulled off the most stunning wedding with such a short planning time frame, but they did! They created a beautiful, intimate celebration full of special details. Family helped with everything from the shuttle snacks made by our grandma and sister-in-law, to the rolled paper crane favors our mom brought back from Japan. Our brother and my boyfriend also set up the gorgeous ceremony site.

    Huge thanks to our dear family friends for allowing Erin and Warren to use their stunning Tantalus estate for the ceremony, which was even more special because our brother got married at the same spot almost two years ago. A big mahalo to the talented Leslie Fair who worked her hair and makeup magic while keeping us laughing the whole time, and to Blake Entertainment Hawaii for creating Erin's beautiful bouquet and setting up the stunning reception decor at the Halekulani Hotel. Chef Vikram Garb created the most amazing seven course dinner that had all of us speechless at some point during the night. It was truly an incredible day and night filled with love.

    One of the best decisions I made as sister-of-the-bride was encouraging Erin to hire a photographer. ;) We discussed having me shoot the wedding and I'd figure out how to get in a few family photos, but the more I thought about it I knew I wanted to be present and a part of the day rather than trying to document everything. She's my only sister and I'd looked forward to this for so long! She agreed and discovered the incredibly talented Kylie Martin, who through some stroke of luck was free with a month's notice.

    While it was wonderful not being responsible for photos that day, of course I couldn't help myself and took a lot anyway. Thanks to Kylie and Amber for being so nice and not minding me shooting from the background. These are some of my favorites...I know I'm a biased younger sister, but really, brides just don't get prettier. :) Check out Kylie's post to see her beautiful photos!

  • Ke'ala + Danny | Lanikuhonua, Ko Olina | Oahu Wedding Photography

    Ke'ala and Danny's wedding day was absolutely beautiful. They got ready in separate rooms at the Ko Olina Marriott Beach Club, where they first met nearly a decade ago when they both worked at the hotel. 

    Their stunning wedding at the ever gorgeous Lanikuhonua Cultural Institute was the perfect place to bring together Danny's family from the midwest and Ke'ala's family from west Oahu. Congratulations Ke'ala and Danny! Wishing you, your pups, chickens, and tortoise a lifetime of love!

    Mahalo to these wonderful vendors! Venue: Lanikuhonua Cultural Institute | Coordination: Aloha Bridal Connections | Hair & Makeup: HairMakeupBeauty | Flowers: Watanabe Floral | Cake: A Cake Life

  • Megan + Andy | Oahu Country Club | Hawaii Wedding Photography

    Megan and Andy's wedding day was pretty darn perfect. The weather was gorgeous and everything from the adorable flower crowns made by bridesmaid Alanna to best man Joe's hilarious speech had everyone in smiles all day long. Megan exudes charisma and she and Andy set such a fun vibe for the day. Congratulations Megan and Andy! You two truly are a perfect pair.

    Mahalo to these wonderful vendors!

    Venue: Oahu Country Club | Flowers: Creative Concepts by Jeff Alencastre | Hair & Makeup: Jasmine Allen | Cake: Les Saisons | Band: Puamana | DJ: Kaleo Pilanca

  • Estee + John | La Pietra | Hawaii Wedding Photography

    Two of Hawaii's finest got married last weekend. And I don't (only) mean good looking. Estee and John may look like models but they're actually local firefighters, and really fantastic people. Their wedding at the stunning La Pietra campus located at the base of Diamond Head was beautiful in every way. Their family and friends poured so much love into creating their dream day, and it really shined. Congratulations Estee & John! I can't say enough nice things about you two and your wonderful families.

    More photos to come! Mahalo to these wonderful vendors:

    Hair & Makeup: Leslie Fair | Flowers: Ann Nakata | Cake: Tommy Shizuru (the groom's uncle!) | Videography: ARIA Studios | Bar service, Lighting & Sound: Island Event Logistics | Band: Kuikahi | DJ: DJ Frizel | Rentals: Accel Party Rentals

  • Ashley + Jason | Wedding Previews | Oahu Country Club & Punahou School

    Ashley & Jason's wedding was truly beautiful and heartfelt. I was honored to document their day and I loved the sentiment behind everything...from the heart sewn into Ashley's dress from her dad's aloha shirt, to Jason's mom officiating the ceremony. It may have rained most of the day, but this wonderful couple didn't let that dampen their parade. And, there's no denying that lush Nu'uanu Valley blanketed with low misty clouds was absolutely breathtaking.

    More photos to come! Mahalo to these wonderful vendors:

    Coordination: Simply Detailed | Venues: Oahu Country Club & Punahou School Thurston Memorial Chapel | Hair & Makeup: Slywia Farley of MoxyMe | Music: Jon Yamasato | Cake: Cake Works | Photobooth: Photo Ops Hawaii | Lion Dance: Gee Yung International Martial Arts | Accel Party Rentals

  • Kikaha by Island Air | My First Cover

    I started writing this weeks ago and got too busy to finish it...so here's a quick post featuring the fabulousness that is the Jan/Feb/Mar 2015 issue of Kikaha by Island Air. I may be biased regarding its awesomeness because it's my first cover! Last year marked the first time I was ON a cover (HAWAII Magazine's Outdoors Issue - truly hilarious as I am clearly no model) but this time I SHOT it! And even better, the model/subject/author is my dear friend and writer/chef extraordinaire Jennifer Hee aka Lady Awesome.

    I'm excited because the magazine looks great, the paper feels rich and hearty, and the articles are thoughtful and well-written. You'd expect nothing less from Nella Media Group, the people who bring you publications such as FLUX, Foundry, Room + Service, and more. You have to fly Island Air to pick up a copy of the magazine, so go book your tickets now!

    You can read Jenn's full article here: The Infinite Yield of Foraging - unfortunately, not all of the photos are shown. I disabled comments on my blog but feel free to profess your love for her raw and beautiful writing on my facebook page. :) Seriously, she's my favorite writer. (I did a quick mental scan through my immediate family to make sure that comment wouldn't offend anyone.)

    I'm posting more photos from the shoot that didn't make the cut. SADLY, the baby goat triplets didn't make it either. I know these look very similar to my previous foraging and baby goats photos, but I swear they are all different!

    I was fortunate to contribute photos to two articles in this publication - the second is Jon Letman's Making a Mark featuring Patrick Dougherty's incredible stickwork sculpture at McBryde Botanical Garden on Kaua'i. The talented John Hook took the "making of" photos and I shot the finished sculpture. I'll share more on that story later because it is worthy of its own post.

    I hope you enjoy the article and photos. Many thanks to Jenn, Anna, and the NMG team for this opportunity!

  • Jana + Stephen | Hawaii Wedding Photographer | Ko Olina Resort

    Jana and Stephen's wedding was beautiful, love-filled, intimate, and completely their own. I loved how they created a day that celebrated their love and their unique personalities. They did everything together, from planning to dress shopping to getting ready. It was the first time I saw the groom helping the bride into her dress and it was so fun and really special.

    The weather was bright and perfect for their Sunday morning wedding so we took advantage of the beautiful Ihilani Hotel and beach. It's strange to think that this Ko Olina resort is now closed and Jana and Stephen's was one of the last weddings there, ever. Bright, midday portraits can be challenging, but we made it work. They are a lot easier when your subjects are having the best day ever. :)

    Jana and Stephen have a fun and playful relationship and they wanted their day documented naturally, without too many posed portraits. I was so honored to be there to capture the moments of their special day. I have many favorite shots, but I really love the one of them walking out of the gazebo after saying "I do." Holding hands, Jana is beaming and looks likes she's saying, "Yeah!" and Stephen is throwing a shaka and smiling so big his eyes are closed. Totally happy, totally in love.

    Thank you to these wonderful vendors!

    Hair + Makeup: Leslie Fair

    Bouquet + Cake flowers: Watanabe Floral

    Cake: A Cake Life

    Centerpieces: Paiko

  • Sailing Kane'ohe Bay

    A few photos of our last sail of 2014 with the extended family...it was a beautiful day out on Kane'ohe Bay.

    Uncle Paul tossing our boat some homegrown rambutan. :)

  • Hawaii Destination Photograper | Sunrise Family Shoot

    Brittney found me online and asked to do a shoot while her family vacationed on Oahu from Nebraska. The only issue was that they were leaving in three days. I was free one day, but they had already purchased luau tickets for that evening, so we decided on a sunrise shoot. She said the kids would be fine due to the time difference and their 2-year-old Layne had been waking up by 5 am anyway.

    I am not a morning person and I always worry about lighting at sunrise because it gets REALLY BRIGHT really quickly, but I'm so glad we decided on sunrise at Sandy's...the beach was empty and the light was beautiful.

    All three kids were delightful - I wondered if Linden and Tucker were bribed with snorkeling or shave ice because I couldn't believe how happy and well-behaved they were at that unreasonable hour. They just wanted to smile and make my life easy...it was amazing! I learned that Blake is a farmer in Nebraska, which made me like them all the more. I have a soft spot for farming families.

    Layne decided she'd had enough of the waves and made a break for it. :)

  • Oahu Family Photography

    Happy New Year! It's early-mid-January, so I can still say that, right?

    I took a break from posting over the holidays to spend lots of time with family and friends, and to do a few shoots. My first work week of the year was busy with four shoots and I'm finally back in the swing of editing and catching up on correspondence. One of my goals this year is to share photos in a more timely manner, so I'm starting with family shoots from the end of last year that were edited and delivered, but never shared.

    This family is basically my family, and I may be biased, but Parker and Jack are pretty much the cutest, fiercest kids on the block. Don't mess. :)

  • Kikaha Magazine: Urban Foraging + Baby Goats

    About a month ago my friend, Jennifer Hee, asked me to take photos for a story on urban foraging that she was writing for Kikaha Magazine.

    I was excited to collaborate because saying I heart Hee is a huge understatement. And because I knew it would be a fun adventure. On our previous foraging excursion Jenn sank knee-deep into maggot-filled muck while reaching for pohole. Ten minutes later, after she washed off the maggots in the stream, I found a baby centipede wiggling on her back. I managed to escape the expedition unscathed, save for the 20+ mosquito bites I got through my pants. Fun times. But really, it was. 

    The plan was to go to the same spot for foraging photos, then to Pauoa Valley to take photos of the kids. And by kids I mean triplet baby goats! Swoon.

    I've been told I can post B-roll shots for now. These are more like C-roll, C for super freaking CUTE.

    Look out for Jenn's article in Kikaha Magazine's upcoming issue. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these adorable kids. I know it's a lot of goats, but scroll to the end. You won't be disappointed. :)

    Weeee!

  • Oh, the Places You'll Go! | Family Shoot | Magic Island, Oahu

    Oh he-ey.

    That's what I imagine Baby Ced is saying while he winks at me. Oh he-ey. And while he waves, and peeks, and throws his hands in the air. And especially while he walks. Seriously, have you ever seen such 9-month-old SWAGGER? I have not. I challenge anyone to a 9-month-old swagger-off with this here adorable child.

    Baby Ced's parents brought balloons to take a few shots for his first birthday party invitation. The part I LOVE was that it wasn't just any balloon photo, it was for an Oh, the Places You'll Go! theme. Love love love. An amazing Dr. Seuss read for all ages.

    Baby Ced's mom and dad could easily be models, so it's no wonder they made a ridiculously cute little man. Cheers to all the places you'll go, Ced!

    Seriously.

  • Baby Baby Grand Piano & Shave Ice Smashing | First Birthday Shoot

    Who brings a baby baby grand piano to the beach? This girl! *points up*

    Thalia wanted to do a shoot commemorating her daughter Phoebe's first birthday and incorporating the same baby grand piano she played with as a child. She later showed me a photo of herself playing the piano, only a few months older than Phoebe. I melted. I love when parents bring props, especially sentimental ones.

    Thalia asked if I had any other ideas for the shoot, and I told her that I'd recently done a cake smashing and thought it would be fun to do a spin on that - shave ice smashing! Phoebe had yet to try her first bite of shave ice and Thalia thought it was a cute idea.

    Well...it was both and fun and super cute, but ultimately not my best idea. More on that later. Take a look and see why I heart first birthday shoots.

    Cutest frowny face!

    So, as you are probably aware, shave ice is cold. And the average person eats it with a spoon. Not just because it would be messy otherwise, but because it would be cold. You see where I'm going...

    Phoebe did indeed like the shave ice - she liked the sweetness - but she didn't like that it was so cold. She wanted more of the deliciousness so she kept grabbing the ice, eating it, then looking at her hand and crying. Annnd repeat. It was cute and funny the first couple times and then we just felt bad. So, lesson learned, shave ice smashing for a baby's first birthday is not the best idea. Unless you have a dextrously-advanced child capable of using utensils...or gloves.

    Phoebe is pretty darn smart because at some point she was like, screw frozen hands, I don't need my hands.

    And this is one of many reasons why I heart first birthday shoots. :)

    For more photos from this shoot: First birthday piano & shave ice photo gallery

  • Chubby's Last Kuliouou Summit

    Over the weekend we took Chubby on the Kuliouou Ridge trail. I was clearly hurting more than he was, but I know the stairs at the top are hard on his arthritic paws. He smiled the whole time and I know he'd never stop on his own unless he was physically unable. I got sad thinking about him getting older, but I decided we should stick to more mellow trails so he doesn't hurt himself.

    I wish the state would reopen Mariner's Ridge. That was our favorite mid-length trail because it was the shortest of the ridges leading to the top of the Ko'olau, and also the easiest on his joints. We've tried Hawaii Loa and Wiliwili Nui, but he gets stuck at areas that are too steep and require ropes, and he's too heavy for me to boost. We haven't made it to the end of Wa'ahila or Lanipo because I worry that they are too rough on him as well.

    I took a bunch of phone photos when I realized this would be his last summit. He's in all of them, hiding in some more than others. See if you can spy him. :)

    xoxo.

    Shot and edited on my iPhone 5.

  • Malo Monday | Family Shoot | Papahana Kuaola & Paepae o He'eia

    Happy Malo Monday!

    I decided to do everyone a favor and start the week with these photos. If you aren't smiling by the end you may need professional help. ;) This shoot was a combination of beautiful locations, amazing sentimental props, and the cutest subjects ever.

    Noelle and Pono wanted to do a family shoot with a focus on their younger son who was about to celebrate his first birthday. We started at Papahana Kuaola, an incredible site and home to a non-profit that focuses on education, environmental restoration, and Hawaiian culture. Noelle brought these gorgeous koa chairs that her uncle made by hand for her and her sister when they were children. The chairs were beautiful and the sentiment behind them even more so. They added another dimension to the photos.

    We walked down to the stream where my favorite part of the whole shoot happened...malos!

    See? Cutest. Ever.

    We drove to Paepae o He'eia, a non-profit dedicated to restoring the ancient Hawaiian He'eia fishpond and perpetuating cultural sustainability. Noelle is the education coordinator there and the kids call it their second home. I couldn't have imagined better locations for this adorable, loving and playful family.

    Kahiwa likes to "build wall" and Keewe likes to "eat wall." :)

    Ok, serious faces, everyone. Except you, Keewe.

    See their Malo Monday gallery for more photos!

  • Faraway Friday | Goreme Open Air Museum | Cappadocia, Turkey

    I've been wanting to start a "Faraway Friday" blog series for a while now, because there aren't enough alliterative day of the week names yet. But really, because I have SO many travel photos that I haven't even looked at, and I need a reason - no, a deadline - to go through them.

    I went through my Goreme Open Air Museum photos a couple months ago when I was stuck at a coffee shop waiting for new tires required for my safety check after I waited in line at satellite city hall to renew my car registration only to find out that it was already renewed. Long run-on sentence short, I didn't want to do work. So I looked at old travel photos. It was fun.

    This morning, at 1 am when I was replying to emails, I looked at the date and thought, this is around the time we were in Cappadocia. I scrolled back through my calendar and today is the exact day that we got dropped off at the museum and walked back to our badass cave house hotel. It's been a YEAR. Forget Istanbul, that was a month ago. Sometimes it feels like our two-month adventure was a long time ago and sometimes, like right now, it feels like we got back last month.

    So, I'm starting today. Just don't call me out if I don't post one next Friday or the Friday after that. I have a lot of work to edit. :)

    I hope you enjoy these photos. I tried to pare them down because I know it's a lot of caves. That's basically what Cappadocia is - lots of really cool caves. You can read more about the Goreme Open Air Museum - it's really interesting but I don't feel like writing about it because I'd probably take all of my information from this link anyway since it's been a YEAR and I forgot most of the details by now. And because I want to write less and just post photos, but I suppose I'm doing a poor job of that right now.

    Happy Faraway Friday!

    For more photos of Cappadocia: sunrise hot air ballon ride