Salty Hair + Ocean Air, an adventurous couple's photoshoot on Oahu

Being an Oahu photographer who works with couples is pretty rad, I have to say. I just love that when couples travel to Hawaii, they’re full of that tropical vibe that lends itself to a relaxed, adventurous session. I used to ask if a couple wanted to jump in the ocean together in California, and unless it was crazy hot day, eight times out of ten that usually got met with: “you crazy? It’s freezing” because the Pacific is basically never warm there. In Hawaii though, everyone shows up with swimsuits or at least an expectation that they’ll probably jump in the ocean at some point during the our photoshoot. Just looking at the cerulean waters makes you want to splash around and have a little fun! Kylie + Kālai definitely came ready to play in the ocean.

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These two grew up on the island and feel right at home by the sea. We chatted about how they’d swam with dolphins in the morning at Makua Beach where we had the session. I mean, swimming with dolphins was always something that I thought of in the context of vacation. I’d done it in Mexico, we’d seen them in Costa Rica, it was an option at a lot of resorts but I guess I didn’t realize that living in Oahu would basically blow my mind because you can just go out and do this on any given day. I don’t think I’ll ever move away because dolphins.

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Makua Beach is definitely amazing for more than just swimming with dolphins though. It also has these hidden little spots of jungly greenery that is so perfect to tuck into. If you’ve never snuggled up in your own tropical oasis, I highly recommend you visit and do so now :)

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One of the other things I find pretty rad is coming across an image that really grabs at my heart. I love the in-between moments like the one below where Kylie is dusting sand out of Kālai’s hair after snuggling up on the sand. Or the b+w that’s just a bit out of focus and gives me all the feels anyway. These little things always find a way into the galleries I deliver to clients because I tend to cull with my heart. I am drawn toward emotions over perfection.

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Anyone who travels to Oahu for an engagement session or wedding, anything like that, is in for a treat where trees are concerned too. The foliage here is SO lush and beautiful, but then you also get these funky weird beach trees that make for a perfect hang out too.

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If you haven’t been to Makua Beach yet, you’ll definitely want to add it to your list if for no other reason than the view up toward the North Shore. The coastline is just ridiculously pretty right here and combined with some of the prettiest sand (I had no idea how pretty sand could be but hey, it’s true) this is one gorgeous beach to have your photo taken on. These two cuties tossed on their suits for some sunshine + salty snuggles.

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I love a couple unafraid to get a little dirty (or in this case, sandy). It feels so different from the traditional clean cut, expected moments. Being willing to embrace those moments where you’re together, laying in the sand or in the grass, just enjoying life in such an authentic way is just raw + real in a way that pretty poses can never be.

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If you’re lucky enough to catch a brilliant sunset here, the colors are like a painting. Itching to get out to this side of the island and capture your engagement session in Hawaii? Say hey!!