SELF LOVE

WHERE: MAKENA, HI | WHO: COCO | WHY: FOR SELF LOVE

The lovely Coco doesn’t need much of an intro…but if you must know, she’s as smart, intelligent and driven as she is beautiful (and did I mention hella FUN?!).

We kicked off our session bright and early and she was chipper as could be and full of so much energy & confidence - it’s no wonder her beach photo session blew her own mind! And mine, of course. What made her own this session, you ask? Her willingness to step outside of her comfort zone. THAT’S IT! Simple right? Hey, it’s 2019…take a chance ;-)

Solo sessions can feel intimidating, especially if you’re not one for having your photo taken on a regular basis or even at all! Feelings of vulnerability & insecurity like “OMG do I look like a fool? Did that person see me do that? Please direct me…please, I’m awful”; mixed with feelings of “I’m fierce and I WANT to rock this because I LOVE MYSELF - I don’t care what anyone thinks - no even my photographer!”….are totally fine and natural…and completely welcomed! I’m here to help you see a beauty in you that you never knew you had (or you knew you had, but needed a little reassurance)…

I’ve heard it all, I’ve seen it all, and nothing phases me…especially because I think everyone is beautiful, inside + out. Plain. Simple. Boooooom.

Mahalo Coco, for being so magically you and embracing all that makes you so wonderful! New England is lucky to have ya!

Waterversary

When it’s your 10th anniversary...you go all out...or IN in this particular case ;-) 

Sarah & Josh dove into this session with such love, patience and FUN - I think I could have photographed them for the rest of the day. And the conditions were just gorgeous! Water was perfect with juuuuust enough clarity...the sun was shining...the morning greeted us with pastel skies and stillness... But really, my favorite part was that the beach was ALL ours. It was like Maui said..."Hey, you guys deserve a special morning, so I'm gonna give it to you. No worries - just enjoy!". 

Maui - thank you. And Sarah & Josh - come back soon. You were an absolute delight <3

I DO (A MILLION TIMES)

WHO: MATTHEW + DENISE  |  WHY: INTIMATE WEDDING  |  WHERE:  MAKENA, HAWAII

When one of my good friends contacted me on Facebook and asked if I was open to shooting their nephew's Maui beach wedding, I couldn't turn it down - and after meeting Matthew & Denise, I"m SO glad I didn't! 

It's not often that I shoot weddings - but when I do, I love them small, meaningful, and oh-so-beautiful - just like Matthew & Denise's beach nuptials. But their wedding wasn't always planned this way...at the very last minute, they decided to scrap their 300+ guest wedding plans back home and instead, elope among close family & friends here on Maui. Where? They didn't know, but that's where their amazing network of family in Maui came into play...myself included!

After much discussion on timing, locations, concerns, etc., within a week of the wedding, it all came together seamlessly; and on their big (but small) day, it was everything they had hoped for and so much more <3

Mahalo Matthew + Denise, for trusting me & allowing me to be a part of your amazing day. I'd do it again in a heartbeat! 

Officiant: Pia Aluli  |  Hair & MUA: Maui Makeup Artistry  |  Flowers by Cora  |  Venue: Kono's on the Green / Sunsets


From Korea with Love

WHO: VIOLET & JASON  |  WHERE: MAUI, HI  |  WHY: HONEYMOON SESSION

Married only days prior, Violet & Jason contacted me to capture their wedding portraits in a "not so typical way"...basically, off the beaten path and not so bright and "paradise-like" like all the other photographers she was coming across in her searches. It just wasn't her style...

Welp, luckily she found me because our visions and ideas worked hand in hand and we captured some of the most gorgeous photos ever...incorporating both her love of dance and her love of Jason, now her husband. 

After dodging a few crazy cows, cow "bombs" and dancing in the wind at sunset, we captured this modern couple's love and so so much more. Their simplicity. Because let's be honest, why complicate things? 

Congratulations to you, Violet & Jason - you two are beautifully beautiful <3

 

WHEN YOU KNOW

WHERE: MAKENA, HAWAII  |  WHO: CRUZ OHANA  |  WHY: VOW RENEWAL

They were quick to get married after only dating for about three months. They started their life together without much, but over the years, as their love grew, they began cultivating a family. Always putting their children's needs and wants before theirs, it was finally time for their grown children to give back. 

This low key vow renewal was orchestrated & officiated by their three amazing children, who are now, young adults and witnessing the true meaning of love through selfless eyes...six of them to be exact ;-) 

Prepare to be amazed by this family's love for each other, and especially, their parent's continuously growing love for each other <3

 

STILL GOING STRONG

WHERE: NORTH SHORE, MAUI  |  WHO: CHERI & BRIAN  |  WHY: 12TH ANNIVERSARY

Anniversaries spent on Maui are always something special...

Cheri & Brian took some time for themselves to come to Hawaii and celebrate their 12th Anniversary - on Molokai, Maui, and they may have even touched down on Lanai! That's truly the way to see the islands, especially Maui! 

To capture their strong love for each other, we opted for a sunrise shoot held on Maui's picturesque North Shore...and boy did the sky deliver! I haven't seen a sunrise like this in a while...and it was SO fitting for Cheri & Brian as they recited their original wedding vows to one another <3

Still going strong after 12 years is an accomplishment in itself, and I can honestly say these two will continue to go the extra miles (and miles) with their love, as it was so evident during our time together. Thank you both for letting me be a part of your gorgeous celebration of love - and most of all, Mahalo for your open-mindedness, amazing conversations and insight into XY and Z - you two are breathtakingly amazing even on your own.

xoxo

THE KACHET LIFE

WHO: KACHET J. | OCCUPATION: BLOGGER @ THE KACHET LIFE  |  MOOD: STRONG & ZEXY

"It’s pronounced /kaˈSHā/, not catch it..."

She's a lady who loves the finer things in life without sacrificing a paycheck...and SO much more. I could talk about Kachet till I"m blue in the face because she's full of pizazz, spunk, beauty, smarts and is quite the entrepreneur...but honestly, I"ll leave it up to her to explain and YOU to explore by visiting her blog at The Kachet Life.

Solo portraits are hands-down, my favorite type of sessions! Not just because I get to spend  quality time getting to know my clients and discover what their best "looks" are, but mostly because I love watching my clients find their inner confidence and strength. Each and every one of them, from the very beginning to the final shot, literally OWN the session and change a part of ME every single time. And I friggin' love it - seriously. 

That being said...multiple high-fives to Kachet for diving into our shoot with such positivity and openness - and fierceness. She embraced her inner (and unknown) water-goddess and I couldn't be more proud of her! 

Oh! And she just recently became engaged - so make sure you congratulate her ;-) Maybe one day I'll get to meet CJ...lol.

Mahalo Kachet, for being so adventurous & outgoing...but most of all, thank you for being you!

<3

Eloping in Maui is Always a Good Idea...

LOCATION: KAPALUA, HAWAII  |  OCCASION: ELOPEMENT  |  WHO: ETAN & MELISSA

Flying the friendly skies has never been filled with as much love & romance as this small elopement between two flight attendants...

Etan & Melissa met over a year ago while training as flight attendants and little did they know, it would be the best year of their lives. From training school to being on the same crew flight after flight around the world, these two developed a relationship so strong, that bouts of regular turbulence could hardly rock their cores.

You could say they both earned their wings...together. 

And now, it doesn't matter what flight, how many bumps, or whether their luggage is lost...these two will make their new adventure last a lifetime. Check out their adorable bohemian beach wedding in Kapalua, Hawaii in Maui...these are just a few of my favorites from this creative, loving duo <3

Oh, and these two travelers also own a wonderful little film company called Leni Films based out of Maui & California - See more at www.lenihawaii.com


Designed & styled by Melissa herself & her Company Bare + Rare (Instagram: @bareandrare)  |  Filmed by Noah from This is Life Films (Instagram: @this_is_life_films)  |  Officiant: Kainoa Casco  |  Photographed by yours truly, Amanda Emmes (Instagram: @amandaemmesphoto).

MAUI NUI BOTANICAL GARDENS - Arbor Day 2017

  Arbor Day 2017 "1,000 HAWAIIAN TREE GIVEAWAY" 

Since 2012, I have been volunteering at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens here in Maui, Hawaii. My responsibilities over the years has varied depending on event, however when it comes to the larger events, my chief responsibility is capturing the smiles & excitement from the attendees and community organizations as Staff Photographer. 

Maui Nui Botanical Gardens (MNBG) is dedicated to the protection of Maui Nui’s rich native plants and cultural heritage. By collecting, cultivating, and distributing native and Polynesian-introduced plants MNBG provides people with a gathering place to see and understand the important relationship these plants have to our economic, social, and cultural livelihoods.

This past weekend was the annual Arbor Day "1,000 Hawaiian Tree Giveaway". In partnership with Maui Electric Company and Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program, MNBG gave away 1,000 Hawaiian trees for free, 1 tree per person, any age! The celebration featured lectures, activities, and many community organizations sharing critical environmental information.

See some photos from the day below! 

Workshops, Cultural Demonstrations, and Garden Tours at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens are sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Susan Bendon Family Foundation, and MNBG

Open Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
General Admission: $5, 
Kama'ina: $3, 
Keiki & Kupuna: Free
Free and open to the public on Saturdays

BABYMOONERS IN MAUI

LOCATION: MAKENA, HAWAII  |  MOOD: EXCITED  |  WHO: NOAH & MORGAN

Early mornings are made for moments that last a bit longer than usual...

Typically it's because of lack of caffeine...but in this case, it was because these two were so excited to capture their first pregnancy where they were married five years prior (and a slight lack of caffeine too!).

These two laid-back Californians nestled in the early morning light together while taking in the gigantic empty beach surrounding them. From romantic glances and prolonged cuddles to slight giggles of excitement about the baby inside her who's just beginning to move around and make his presence known. 

It was a magically relaxed session for us all...and the final photos? Dreamy. Mahalo Noah & Morgan, for sharing your romance and new little one-to-be with me! 

<3

25 YEARS YOUNG...

LOCATION: HA'IKU, HI  |  OCCASION: 25TH ANNIVERSARY VOW RENEWAL  |  WHO: EVA & JEFF

It's not often I photograph vow renewals, but when I do...I fall head over heals in love with my clients! A few times a year, I find myself accompanying couples in love and their closest friends & family, to small, peaceful vow renewal ceremonies in remote locations here on Maui. Why do I only photograph these a few times a year? That's a great question! To be honest...I have no idea why...but what I will tell you is this...I cannot wait to capture moments like these more and more in my future! To witness love so pure and true, is exactly what I want to surround myself with. And the stories! Oh the stories...:-) 

Meet Eva & Jeff. They hail from the East Coast in Pennsylvania and after 25 years of blissful marriage (seriously, they're the poster children of what love should be like), they decided to jump on a plane to Maui and renew their vows at a cozy home nestled in the Haiku jungle on Maui's North Shore. And their officiant? Laki Ka'ahumanu...one of the best and warmest...and funniest. Did I mention funny? Because he is. Excruciatingly so! My new nickname is "Eh! Photographer Girl!"

The secret to 25 years of successful marriage & partnership you ask? Make them your best friend; bicker...don't fight; and love with everything you have. And a sense of humor, because lets be honest...laughter is good for the soul.

Mahalo Eva & Jeff for allowing me to witness this ceremony & deep love that you share. I wish you a million lifetimes full of laughter, beauty and peace together.

<3

WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS...

LOCATION: MAUI, HAWAII  |  MOOD: HOPEFUL  |  SESSION: OHIA MATERNITY

It started with some sprinkles and unforgiving breezes and ended with a sky that left us all breathless. Photo by photo, I was nearly taking away my own breath as the skies over Maui just kept giving and giving...and so did this adorable growing family from Florida. 

Mahalo to this Tampa beauty and her family who were less than stunned by stormy skies and innocent threats of bad weather. The result was better than we ever imagined...