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The Davis Family’s Big Island Adventure

This was a wonderful, quintessential Hawaii family session!

A mother’s love, a father’s joy, and a little one’s amazing moments of zest, with a backdrop of black rock, white coral, and a sky of yellow, blue and salmon blending into each other and fading into the sea.

Simple perfection; I love it.
The Davis ohana, hailing from California, were great fun to hang with; I took them to a secluded little spot not far from the Fairmont Orchid, and we kept things as simple and heartfelt as we could — an easy feat with their incredibly cute son! He’s around the same age as my own girl, so it was awesome to connect with fellow new parents.Thank you so very much to the Davis family for having me over for a session!

One last photo of their boy with a cool drink, well earned. 🙂

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The Lindsay Family

“Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion, who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment, because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived. After all, Number One, we’re only mortal.”

– Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: Generations

With the passing of time, things change. People and experiences flow in and out of our lives. Autumn leaves fall and new ones take their place in Spring. Even the ground beneath our feet is moving. None of us ever truly have control — we’re all simply sailing through time, hoping for fair winds and powering through whatever life might give us. But some things are best left unchanged. Those abstract concepts that my brain can’t help but return to. Love, and family, and even friends. 

Painful as it is to admit, I am not the best friend a person can have. It’s just that between spending time with my wife, caring for our daughter, and maintaining my photo business… I kinda don’t have much time for friends. Even if I made time, they would be at the bottom of my priority list, because I’d really rather just spend every precious weekend with my family. I miss my wife when she’s working on weekdays. I miss our girl when I’m shooting sessions. I even miss just having some “me” time, playing videogames. It’s hard for anyone to compete with these things, so I suppose I’d prefer not asking anyone to try.

One thing that I do sometimes wish I had were co-workers. The solo-freelancer life I’ve lived for a decade is a quiet one. There is no lunch-room banter about how the work is going, or small talk about life with the new guy down the hall. Because it’s just me running this thing, being my own boss, clerk, editor, blogger and photographer, headphones on and hunkered in front of a computer with an 18 month old sleeping in the other room. If you google “lonely creative freelancer”, there’ll be plenty of articles about it, and they’re true: This is a pretty lonely line of work.

Being very introverted, the solitude is intoxicating, and often addicting, but I know it’s bad for my overall mental health. I can feel it if I go too long without a session, as I ask myself “How do I talk to adults again?” just before I introduce myself in person to a family.

And that’s why being out there and getting to talk with every day people is a big deal for me. You are my co-workers. And my bosses, in certain ways. I’m grateful for every one of you who will let me be a part of your stay here.

Similarly, it was awesome to see my old elementary school buddy, Alex, and it was wonderful to meet his family during this particular session! A lot has changed in both of our lives — obviously we’re both grown up a bit, both married, and we’re both Dads — and yet funnily enough we’re both roughly the same people we were back then. The biggest memory I have from those days was swapping Nintendo 64 games with him, and sure enough, we’re still geeky, and still nice guys. Time changes a lot of things but it hasn’t changed those, apparently. 🙂

I suspect he’s still smarter than I am, too. Ah well.

Thank you to the Lindsay ohana for having me there, and thank you for reading!

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Waialea Bay with the Barcelo Family

The Barcelo family are some of the nicest and most laid-back people I’ve ever worked with, and it was a great to see them here on the Big Island again! Our previous session was one of my best, owing much to their amazingly photogenic little boy and the very obvious love his parents have for him. Not to mention the perfect lighting we had!

So it was with great excitement that I had the chance to catch up with them last year, to see what kind of moments we could create together! Mom Barcelo had wanted us to focus a little more on solo shots of their son playing and exploring, which he is really good at, so we set off to do just that — strolling and skipping through Waialea Bay’s sand and tidepools.


Another reason I was excited for this session was because I had just come up with a totally new, improved method of editing, and I was thrilled to try it out with fresh photos!

My previous way of editing was pretty straight forward, and mostly based around a couple of techniques in Lightroom, my editing software. My new method is admittedly more finicky and less bullet-proof than what I was doing before, but the richness it provides (particularly with blue skies), with its butter-smooth transition from color to color, is unlike anything I thought was possible with the gear I use.

In my mind it’s all about what it always has been about — the pursuit of perfection.

Which I am pretty sure is a luxury car brand’s motto, but I’ll adopt it for this blog post. 🙂 All I’ve ever wanted is to be the best I can be, and to create beautiful photos with great people. A continual journey of growth and learning, for which I am extremely grateful.

Thanks so much to the Barcelo family for this wonderful session, and for you, for reading!


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A Wedding and Family Session with the Rengstorf ohana

Such a great evening on the Kona side for photography. 🙂

I’d arrived pretty early — early enough for the sky to be a deep, nearly “midday” blue, early enough to give me time to soak in the atmosphere of the ever-beautiful Waialea Bay — but not early enough to beat the Rengstorf family, who I spotted through the trees. I knew it was them from their appearance, dressed in simple, smart wedding attire, and over the next 90-odd minutes I’d have the pleasure of discovering that not only were they very smart themselves, but also kind, warm and full of humor.

It might have been a great evening for photography, but it was also simply a great evening in general.

A huge mahalo to the Rengstorfs for letting me be present for their beautiful day, and a thank you to Cheryl of Aloha Weddings in Paradise for a beautiful ceremony!


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This magic moment

There are some moments that I’d love to relive for the first time again, just because they were so amazing.

The day my daughter entered the world. The night my wife and I met. Drinking chai at dawn in Jodhpur. The Red Wedding in Game of Thrones (but not really…?).

One thing that always trips me out is the fact that, over my years of doing family photography, I’ve probably been a small part of many of these moments for others!

Okay — I doubt anyone would count hanging out with me as part of the all-time things they’d want to relive (I’m fun, but not that fun). But being in Hawaii, on the Big Island, on vacation with the people you love — that is a magical thing, worthy of re-living, and I’ve been blessed to capture it for others.

And so it was with the Kelso family, with whom I spent a single beautiful hour, photographing their own magic. 🙂

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