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.

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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. 

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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! (PS: Check out my blog article “Dispelling The Myth of I’m Not Photogenic” on my other website.")

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How Many Photos Do We Get From A Session? 

While I never promise an exact number, I generally end up with at least 150 images per hour, sometimes quite a lot more than that. It depends on how much direction the clients need, the location, the conditions, etc. For a one hour session, the fewest I’ve ever delivered was 75 images, the most 400. On average, you can expect between 120-200 images. My philosophy is to give clients as many quality shots as possible, with as much variety as possible. However, quality always trumps quantity.

Do we get the full resolution images, so we can make prints?

Yes and no. You do not get the full resolution digital images. You do receive ALL the edited images from your session at a medium resolution that allows you to print quality prints up to 5x7 anywhere you want. For prints larger than 5x7, however, you will need to order prints from me. The benefit is that I will personally fine tune the edit on every image you order from me before sending it to a professional print lab for the highest quality (Costco and Walmart’s are perfectly fine for 5x7’s, but they are not high quality labs.)

I use the highest quality professional Canon camera and lenses, the Canon 5d Mark IV, which has more than enough resolution to make gorgeous prints on metal and canvas all the way up to 40 x60.

What if we want the full resolution digital images?

That option is available. Just add 50% more to any package I offer. Example: the $600 Aloha Package would be now be $900 with all full resolution images included.

How much do your prints cost? How many prints do we get with our Print Credit?

I’m so glad you asked! The following prices are current examples but are always subject to change. Unused Print Credit is not refundable.

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Metallic Paper Prints (by a Professional Lab on the Highest Quality Metallic Paper)
8x10 = $20
8x12 = $22
11x14 = $36
16x24 = $67
20x30 = $105
24x36 = $184

Aluminum Metal Prints
8x10 = $155
8x12 = $160
11x14 = $175
16x24 = $360
20x30 = $484
24x36 = $590

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