Fumi and Mike

I met Fumi when my husband and I started getting into rock climbing.  Her fiancé (now husband) owned the local rock climbing store, Climb Aloha.  Sky and I frequently visited them up at their house to buy our gear.  One day I was surprised when she begged me to photograph their wedding.  I kept declining as I wanted her special day to be photographed by a professional.

She’s persistent though, and soon enough I agreed to shoot their wedding for free.  It was my first wedding, and I was an amateur photographer who at the time was only photographing flora and fauna.  The whole idea of photographing a wedding was intimidating.  I had NO idea what I was doing, and felt that I was way over my head.  Looking back on the wedding photos I see so many mistakes (like shooting mostly in Sepia).  They had hired another photographer too (I insisted on being the backup only).

It was soon apparent how pleased Fumi was with the photos.  I was stunned at the time, and I really hated them.  Again though, the bride’s special day is special to her, and having the right photos from their special day was enough to warrant me the courage to tackle more weddings.  The weddings came, and then my style.  By my third wedding I was able to see some of the results that I was looking for.  Thanks to Fumi for giving me the courage to push me out of my comfort zone, and giving me the courage I needed to keep photographing weddings.  It turns out that these photos are some of my favorite.

Fumi and I continued to shoot together.  The next photoshoot was her maternity photos (also very amateur) of her first born, then her other three boys.  Which reminds me, I should check in and say “hi” to my friend.  It’s been way too long.

Nikki and Rhey

I’m a sucker for being a romantic.  Perhaps that’s why I love to photograph engagements, and weddings.  I love the feel of being transported back to our wedding in 1999 when I was so young and head-over-heals in love with my newly pronounced husband.  There’s something really special about photographing two people in love.  They have that glitter in their eyes, the look of uncertainty, and the adoring ways that they smile at each other.  Hence, Nikki and Rhey. Even though they got married in Las Vegas (not at the Chapel of Love), they asked me to photograph their reception here in Honolulu.

It was a rainy day, and we did our best to play with the weather the best that we could.  We got some nice outdoor shots, but the real fun was when we made it into the reception hall for the festivities to begin.  I had never been to a Philipino wedding before, but it was beautiful.  They had four different dance troops wearing their traditional garb, performing traditional Philipino dances.  They even had a Tahitian dancer giving blessings to the bride and groom. I spent four hours filming the festivities and walked away with over 500 shots.  Thinking about shooting a wedding on 35mm back in the old days, when you’d get 25 pictures on a roll of film, really put it into perspective how far that we’ve come since then.


Of course shooting the wedding’s are always the fun part.  Coming home and spending days on end editing on the other hand can be time consuming, and at times tedious.  Yet the magic starts to come alive, and the excitement of presenting the results are always the fun part.  There’s the nerves that are involved that maybe they won’t be happy with your photos.  But then you remember that you just captured four hours of a happy day that was in your hands.

I had a blast photographing Nikki and Rhey! They are so much fun and I hope that they will continue to use me as their family grows.  I’d always be down to flying for Vegas!