Mari and Alec

Mari was a referral from my friend Fumi who I also shot a wedding for.  It was another one of those perfect Hawaiian days where the sun was out.  They had their very small ceremony up at Chinaman’s Hat.  It’s a big park overlooking…you guessed it, Chinaman’s Hat.

 This was right around I got my Holga.  A 120mm medium format toy camera.  I fell in love with using the Holga especially after seeing the gorgeous photo it captured of Mari.  Soon after this I started using the Holga at other wedding as well.  Recently at Nikki and Rhey’s wedding I picked up a polaroid camera.  It’s okay to be a little artistic while shooting a wedding.  I had also bought a wide angel lens, and upgraded my camera to a Canon 50D.  I lovingly call her Bertha.

The wedding was a laid back classic Hawaiian wedding.  Kumu and all.  I remember sitting in the car shortly after the shoot uploading my photos directly to give to the bride.  It was some sort of arrangement that I had with her.  Then I took my originals back and started photo editing.  The real surprise was when I got the film processed and came up with this image.  It certainly was a great time to start to play around with toy camera’s while finding a way to incorporate them into weddings.  It was also a way to introduce new brides to a unique way to capture their moments.  The only problem was that you can’t control film, sadly this is the best one that ever came out.

 

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Charisse and Victor

I finally decided to hit the wedding expo in either 2010 or 2011.  I went there with my friend Jill with a little stool, and a bunch of brochures to pass out.  The owner of the bridal expo felt so bad for us that they gave us a real table the next day.  I felt completely naked compared to the other photographers with flashy screens, gorgeous backdrops, and high tech marketing to bring in the highest paying brides and grooms.  Actually, it turned out to be the best idea to go, because I was able to take on a couple of new clients.  My policy since then is that no bride and groom should go broke to have wedding photos for their special day.  It also turns out that I made friends along the way.

Charisse and Victor commissioned me to photograph their engagement shoot, their wedding, along with their newborn baby shoot.  They’re the first real clients that I had.  The tension mounted for me when I realized that I was expected to be a professional, and not just an amateur.  I had contracts signed and shot lists prepared.  All of the sudden it wasn’t just the bride and groom in the limelight, but also yours truly.

The wedding was held at a small chapel and intimate setting on the beach.  I was finally ready to start photographing the real deal.  While I was certainly terrified, I was also excited to finally prove to myself that I could do this.  I could finally become what I always wanted to be…a photographer.  It wasn’t National Geographic.  It was better.  I was making memories for young couples ready to take the leap into a new life with each other.

Charisse has a sparkle in her eye that shines through the camera.  While she was nervous she photographed beautifully.  Her radiance from her pregnancy also penetrated the lens which made the day even easier to capture.  When all was said and done with the photos edited, I felt proud of the work that I had done.  While some photos still didn’t come out the way that I wanted to, I knew that I had broken some new ground.  I had finally arrived.  I was a photographer.

 

 

Kristin and Matt

My brother-in-law Matt brought his new wife to Hawai`i for their honeymoon.  We had so much fun, that I offered to shoot honeymoon photos of them around the island.  My husband, Matt, Kristin, and myself hopped into my Jetta for a day around the island.  It was supposed to be a time just showing them the beautiful ‘aina (land) where we live.  It was surely that, but also a day that they still love to revisit with their photos.  I have to be honest here.  I’m not that great of a photographer – novice at best compared to most – but this is one of the days were everything was perfect.  Again, I love capturing new formed love.  It’s the beginning of a very scary life, but one that you get to endure the good times, and bad with someone who will stand by your side no matter what is thrown your way.

 

Just like all of the other happy couples that I have had the pleasure of working with, the gleam in their eyes looking at each other is one for the romantic literature.  Matt has got this infectious personality that can light up a room.  He’s funny, witty, a culinary master, and enthusiastic bicyclist.  Kristin also lights up a room.  She matches every step that Matt takes then some.  These two are unstoppable and what I fondly call a “Power Couple”.  Nothing can stand in their way.

 

We were so happy to have them visit with us.  I hope that they come back again soon for round two of an island tour with more photos to present to them.

Katie and Joe

I’ve known Katie and Joe for a very long time.  In fact, the way that I met Katie was quite a bit hysterical.  I worked at another staffing agency from where I am now, and Katie came in looking for a job as she recently moved to the islands.  I didn’t find her anything in her field (social work), but we hit it off so well that we became friends.  She’s asked me several times to take photos of her and Joe.  Admittedly, they weren’t of their wedding since they had been married for years before I met them.  One day they sadly announced that they were moving to Argentina to take a break from Hawai`i.  Katie asked me to take some photos of them around the island, and I was more than happy to oblige.

Luckily for me, they moved back to our beautiful state and are here to stay.  When Katie got back, she volunteered to do a “trash the dress” session with me.  I went to the local Goodwill store, bought an old wedding dress, and voila! Katie was transformed into a beautiful bride.  She has always been one of my favorite models to call when I need to try something new.  She’s always excited to help.  Her radiance is always easy to capture on camera.  The way that Joe and Katie look at each other is equally easy to capture because of the pure love that they have for one another.

I’m not only happy to have a friend, and neighbor (her and Joe are now our next door neighbors), but her as a friend.  We always say that we need to spend more time with each other.  Clearly that needs to happen.  And quite honestly, have another photoshoot.