GETTING GROUNDED WITH MISS VALLEY ISLE 2020

WHO: LINDSAY TAKEKAWA | WHY: MISS VALLEY ISLE 2020 | WHERE: MAUI, HAWAII

Meet Lindsay Takekawa, your Miss Valley Isle 2020.

She’s tough. She’s fierce. She’s ambitious & bright and her own light under the sun. Did I mention she’s one of the best long boarders I know? And in case you were wondering…she’s a total sweetheart.

But it doesn’t stop there…

She’s Grounded, too.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing & surfing with Lindsay for almost 3 years now, but it honestly, feels like forever. She has this presence about her that makes you feel like you’ve known her for a lifetime…even a past lifetime. She’s THAT personable and SO positive. She’ll make you exude rainbows out your ears if you’re open to it ;-) What I’m trying to say is - she’s beautiful inside and out, and she’s definitely in a class of her own.

So we chatted, we surfed, and we got creative and combined forces. Her soul of gold mixed with my camera. And the results are just gorgeous. But I had no doubts…

Some time with Lindsay Takekawa, Miss Valley Isle 2020. On land & in the sea, under the sun, on Maui. And don’t worry, this isn’t her real crown - it’s way too precious to go in salt water…

Follow Lindsay on Instagram @alohaimlindsay

Gorgeous bangles & jewelry provided by Jasmine Honey Designs <3

Maui Engagement Portraits Gone Right

Who: Nate & Saori | Where: Makena, Hawaii | Why: Engagement Love

They say when you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with…you “just know”. Well, that saying has certainly held true for these two!

It’s not easy dating these days (ladies & gents, am I right?!), let alone finding the time to go on a date….So when one of those dates finally goes right…you hang on (and you hang on tight!). And that’s just what these two did with each other...

Embracing their traveling souls, senses of adventure, earth rumbling love and amazing ability to be up at the crack of dawn looking like this (seriously stunning!)….they came to Maui to capture it all and so much more. And they chose me…

So here’s a small collection from their sunrise Maui engagement session in Makena. The perfect location, the perfect weather, and of course, the perfect couple.

Mahalo Nate & Saori for sharing your love with me x

Hair & Make-up by: Maui Makeup Artistry | Haku Lei: Bella Bloom

THEY DO

WHERE: MAKENA, HAWAII  |  WHO: JACK + LEAH  |  WHY: ENGAGEMENT SESSION

The timing just felt right - and with a trip to Maui followed by a jaunt to Paris, now seemed like the absolute best time ever...

So Jack nervously asked...and Leah said "I Do"...and together, they decided to make it officially, official. Leah initially contacted me to capture them as a couple on vacation - but little did she know that just a couple days prior to our session, Jack would pop the question - and this couples session would now become, their engagement session! 

With laid back vibes, perfect sunset lighting, a couple Coronas and some salty clothing later - these two and their love blasted through my lenses and made this session super fun, and even more chill than Jack had ever imagined (thanks Jack!).

Cheers to you Leah & Jack - can't wait to see you two again! 

WATER BABIES

WHERE: MAKENA, HAWAII  |  WHO: DARLA & KYLE  |  WHY:  FOR LOVE OF HAWAII

Hailing from Ohio, Darla & Kyle found themselves vacationing in Hawaii again after falling deeply in love with it the last time they visited.  We'd been in talks for months about this shoot, making sure we could capture nature at it's best, with some rocks and a bunch of water time.  And oh the water time we spent! It was adventurous, breathtakingly beautiful, and so worth the time! 

Mahalo Darla & Kyle for being so amazing & fun during this shoot - it was definitely one for the books!

<3

YES YES YES

WHO: MACKENZIE & CORY  |  WHERE: MONTAGE, KAPALUA  |  WHY: SHE SAID YES

It was a last minute request and I was more than happy to squeeze in the request...because just days earlier, this adorable couple of 8 years made a huge decision that would change their lives forever after...

"So you wanna do this...?" led to the sweetest reply. A simple (and giddy) yes. After 8 years...why the heck not right? Unfortunately I didn't get to witness this ever so traditional proposal, but let me tell you...the recap of it was priceless! I'm still not sure what to believe because M+C are quite the story tellers...mostly Cory actually (lol) but I was rolling on the grassy hills in laughter regardless. I"m just happy they chose ME...and only after 24 hours! 

Congrats Mackenzie + Cory on becoming forever lovers. You two rock each other's worlds already and I can't thank you enough for rocking mine during this shoot! 

Now hurry back and elope already...;-) 

A Match Made in Heaven...

LOCATION: MAKENA, HAWAIII   |  MOOD:  ROMANTIC

It all started with hope...and of course two online dating profiles.

Finding your match isn't easy these days, especially when you're busy as can be and located miles away from each other. Luckily, these two struck gold when they found each other amongst the piles and piles of other humans in "search" mode - and they haven't looked back since. They recently married in July of this year and decided Maui (and me) were a perfect match for their Honeymoon. 

Meet Dorinda & Chuck...the most adorable couple from the East Coast.

CAPTURING PHYLLIS

LOCATION: THE PAIA INN  |    MODEL: PHYLLIS LANE   |   OCCUPATION: PHOTOGRAPHER, MENTOR, AUTHOR, ARTIST   |   MOOD: F YEAH

If you haven't heard of Phyllis Lane, you should immediately click on some of her links below and educate yourself on her. She's all the things every female (and male...you know you're jealous) could all hope to be and that much more...she's simply magical and exudes endless creativity, positivity and laughter more than any human I've ever encountered. 

A mega-talented photographer? CHECK

Spiritual Mentor? CHECK

Accomplished Author? CHECK

Artist? CHECK

We came together through the magic of intuition and I can't explain how perfect our session was. Creativity flowed, great conversation and openness flowed even more, and from that, bloomed a new friendship. Now, I share with you our moments together in Paia for a sunset portrait session at the gorgeous Paia Inn.

Thank you for sharing a piece of your birthday weekend with me Phyllis - but more importantly, thank you for choosing me to capture your beautiful soul. You've left me and Maui enlightened and we cannot wait to welcome you back on your next trip. 

<3

 

GETTING PRIMAL

LOCATION: HAIKU, HAWAII   |   MODEL: LAUREN   |   ORIGIN OF PIECES: GUAM & BALI  | TATTOO: GIRL WITH THE TEMPORARY TATTOO

I'm a collector of beautiful things...I admit it. And my eyes naturally gravitate toward all beautiful things without a second thought. I suppose you could say, I have a beautiful problem... 

Must be the Taurus in me ;-) 

Over the years I've tried to gently accumulate pieces from my travels around the world...mainly one-of-a-kind leis, uniquely designed shell necklaces, and eye catching wall decor. And I use the word "gently" because if I could, I would buy ALL the pieces I've ever seen and bring them home with me! Remember Amanda, self control, self control...

I recently decided to lose some self control and create a series of portraits using some of my most prized pieces on one of my most prized friends, Lauren. You may remember her from my "For Art's Sake" blog post back in January. I keep her around not only because she's awesome, but because she's always down to shoot anything - and I mean anything. Doesn't hurt that she's beautiful (but far from a problem!). 

Get primal, get artsy, get down to your roots <3

NATURAL BEAUTY

LOCATION: MAUI, HAWAII   |   MODEL: KELLY GALLAHER   |   SUIT: FOREVER 21

When Nature and Natural Beauty collide...

AQUA JESSE

LOCATION: MAUI, HAWAII   |   MODEL HUMAN: JESSE RICHMAN |   OCCUPATION: PRO-KITEBOARDER

When Jesse Richman isn't flying high in the sky as a pro-kiteboarder, he's soaring the seas below...well below...as an avid free diver and spear-fisherman.

I recently had the opportunity to catch him before he left on another international kiteboarding trip so I could witness how he un-winds while he's home and on land, which is rare for this avid traveler and adrenaline junkie.

Turns out, this pro-kiteboarding, Maui-native fits in pretty well with everyone else here on Maui...by spending his time in the ocean day in and day out as a surfer, athlete, free-diver, fisherman and all around amazing human being.

But oh, he's broken world records, so he's not EXACTLY like everyone else on Maui ;-)  Check him out at www.jesserichman.com

And if you didn't see our latest collaboration in the Wall Street Journal's "What's Your Workout?" section, click the link within the link here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-delicate-balance-of-jesse-richmans-kiteboarding-1495278001?mod=e2twph - or see a snippet on my recent blog post at https://www.amandaemmes.com/blog/2017/5/25/whats-your-workout

Rock on Jesse (fist pound). 

PLAYING WITH FIRE

LOCATION: UKUMEHAME, MAUI HAWAII

Samoan fire knife dancing is an art. Period.  

It's not easy and it certainly isn't something that someone can learn in a year, or even three. Unless of course, you practice daily, it totally consumes your life and your dedication to it far exceeds your drive for anything else. THEN, it's totally possible, and then some. Oh...and it helps if you're this guy.

Meet Joemy.

He's talented, humble, focused, passionate, driven, and a total game nerd; and he wouldn't have it any other way. I'm lucky enough to say I've watched Joemy grow over the years into the talent you see today, and it doesn't stop there. He's also a kick-ass videographer. "Talented" is clearly an understatement. 

See him in action for yourself - he definitely doesn't disappoint. You can catch him at the Drums of The Pacific Luau at the Hyatt Maui as a full-time fire knife dancer for Tihati Productions.  

He's on fire...literally.

<3

SKY & SEA

LOCATION:  PACIFIC OCEAN / HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

"WE ARE TIED TO THE OCEAN. AND WHEN WE GO BACK TO THE SEA, WHETHER IT IS TO SAIL OR TO WATCH - WE ARE GOING BACK TO WHENCE WE CAME." - John F. Kennedy

Getting new toys makes you feel like a kid again - even if you're well over 18 years old. So lately, I've literally been giggling, getting snap happy and feeling butterfly flutters all over the place, because I was (and continue to be) fortunate enough to cross paths with a very generous and talented friend, who made me an offer I couldn't refuse. And the timing? It was beyond perfect for a plethora of reasons. 

Water time is my favorite time...it's quite obvious. After all, it's one of the main reasons I moved myself all the way to Hawaii from the chilly East Coast! When I'm not out and about photographing clients and friends on land adventures and beachy backdrops, a majority of my waking hours is spent surfing or beneath the surface with some of natures most beautiful creatures, both small and large. And to me, that's just pure bliss. Oh...and it's free ;-) 

SO - my new toy you ask? Well, let's go plural because I got severely lucky and now, can spend even more time in the water with my SPL Water Housing for my upgraded (and amazeballs) Canon 5D Mark III. Ever since these have come into my life, I've been on a mission to capture even more water portrait & sport photos that make my heart go thump thump thump to infinity and beyond, and so far, so good! 

Here are some of my latest and greatest picks of my talented friends that I like to call family. Mahalo to you all, for being my daily muses, my inspiration and now, a part of my favorite collection. But most of all, thank you for being amazing people and a huge part of my life <3