FAQ's- Beach Photography Sessions

For portrait sessions, I like to start off with the "normal" formal, posed portraits as it let's everyone get warmed up and relaxed. It's also easier to keep young children's attention at the start, and it insures we've got the "safe" shots before you get wet or sandy. Once all the safe shots are done, then we get to play with more creative and fun ideas.

We'll start off in one spot, do all the family variations you've got - or different poses with couples - before moving on to another spot. Variety is always my goal - mixing it up with both environmental portraits (wide and posed shots) and candid, natural images, as well as variety in wide, normal, close, horizontal and vertical shots.

What to Bring

Not much - meaning, as little as possible, especially for beach photo sessions. During your session we will move quickly from spot to spot and need to be as mobile as possible. Sometimes you'll be standing ankle deep in water, sometimes you'll need to scramble up on a rock wall for that cool sunset shot. All you really need is sunglasses and sandals/flops. Try to leave purses in your hotel (not your car) and if you need to bring a bag, please just bring one bag only. Have a change of clothes in your vehicle in case you get wet during your session.

What to Wear

Short answer: anything that makes you feel comfortable and attractive. That said, I recommend choosing colors that complement your skin. Bright solid colors seem to work really well for Hawaii beach and sunset photography sessions. Black almost never looks good on the beach unless it's a formal wedding portrait. White works well if you have a tan or warm-toned skin, and seldom looks good if you're really pale unless it's paired with colorful accessories like leis, flower bouquets, ribbons, etc. Try to stay away from stripes, logos or fad clothing...you want images that are timeless and still look good 10 to 20 years from now. Hawaii-themed shirts and clothes often look good if they're not too loud or busy. Look thru the images on this site and notice what styles and colors you think look the best. 

For beach portrait sessions, don't bother with shoes. Wear sandals or slippers (flip flops). You'll be barefoot in the sand with waves tickling your toes for 90% of your session. This is Hawaii after all!

Men/boys should wear shorts and women/girls always look best in sundresses or shorts. Long pants only if they can be rolled up some or they just end up getting wet at the bottoms.

Change of Clothes
I recommend having a change of clothes available for after the shoot. For you more adventurous folks, it's always fun to get classic shots of you playing in the water or lying in the wave-lapped sand fully clothed...it makes for powerful images precisely because it's a juxtaposition of elements we aren't accustomed to seeing. Don't worry, we won't have you get wet until near the end of the session until we've gotten everything else. If you want images like this, make sure to let me know so I can recommend locations that have beach showers available or so I can bring rinse water and towels. 

You can change outfits during a session but beware that session time is limited and you'll need to be able to change in public on location. If you really want to change it up, keep it simple by just changing shirts or accessories. 

Location Choices  

Locations can be just about anywhere, depending on your needs and wishes (except for the 45 minute mini package). There are three great locations right near Waikiki for those who don't want to go too far, and many off the beaten path locations for folks who have transportation and want to explore. If you're a family with young kids, we go to family safe locations. If you're an active young couple who wants proposal photos with a great view, we go hiking up a steep trail for epic views. Click here for our Locations Page.


"The weather report says there's a chance of rain, can we reschedule?" I get this question often...because the weather report for Oahu always indicates a chance of rain somewhere on the island. It rains nearly every day in the mountains of the interior and yet very seldom rains in Waikiki and the beaches of the island. Even if it is raining, two hours later it can be back to fluffy white clouds and sunshine. And when it does rain, it's usually very localized. With so many beautiful locations and beaches to pick from, we can just drive to another location 15 min away and be back in sunshine. If it's truly a bad day, I'll reschedule if at all possible.

My philosophy is very simple: I want beautiful images of you just as much as you do. Be flexible, be open. Some of the best images I've taken were right after it briefly rained and the sun peaked out between the clouds. Weather is good - it adds drama and passion to photos. And don't forget rainbows!

But I'm Not Photogenic..."    

That's okay - neither am I! Every time I'm on "the other side of the camera" I feel awkward, shy and uncomfortable too. So I totally understand. Most of the people in front of my camera feel the same way you do. So I've learned tips and tricks to help myself and my clients relax and even enjoy being in front of the camera. You don't have to know what to do, how to pose or what to do with your hands...you don't even have to not be shy. Posing ideas and making you look good is my job. If you're willing to just play with me, try different things, I promise you'll soon actually start having fun. And, as I remind clients before every session, this is digital photography...if we try something and it doesn't look good, we just push the delete button and try again!

How Many Photos Do We Get From A Session? 

The number of images you receive depends on the package you purchase, but for the "all images" packages, you can expect quite a few! While I can't promise an exact number, I generally end up with roughly 150 images per hour, sometimes quite a bit more than that. It depends on how much direction the clients need, the location, the conditions, etc. After the session, I edit ALL the images and then upload them to an online gallery for you to view, choose the ones you want and then download direct to your computer. My philosophy is to give clients as many quality shots as possible, with as much variety as possible. However, quality always trumps quantity.

Are the photos high resolution, so we can make enlargements?

Yes. I use the highest quality professional Canon cameras and lenses, the Canon 5d Mark IV. You can print posters from the high resolution images it creates.

What if we want more images than what's included in the session package? 

Well, truth be told, my goal is to deliver so many amazing images that you can't walk away from the rest of them! So, of course, you'll have the option to purchase more if you wish. The good news is you don't have to decide until after you've seen the images in your photo gallery.