LOVE UNDERWATER (IN HAWAII)

WHO: MARCUS + KATIE | WHY: 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY | WHERE: MAUI, HAWAII

Ahhh love. Isn’t it so beautiful?

But wouldn’t it be that much more beautiful IN the water?

Marcus, an extremely talented photographer hailing from North Carolina (check him out HERE) and his beautiful wife Katie, decided to go big for their 1 year wedding anniversary…so they scheduled one of my Land + Ocean sessions and geared up for a bright + early sunrise session and lots of water play...

For their land portion, Katie wore the most gorgeous pink dress, accented with a small flower clip in her hair and minimal jewelry. While Marcus kept it simple, minimal, and classy - letting Katie, be his bling.

For their water portion, Katie followed the tips provided in my “Wardrobe Guide” and kept her underwater outfit simple, light in color, and most importantly, light in weight! She also added a nice touch of fabric around her waist to create some more drama underwater - and I’m SO glad she did! Trust me ladies…you do not want to tread water with a heavy dress on, so shop accordingly ;-)

Over + under we all went, moving with the currents, swimming up, down and all around, and making the most of the clear conditions. Needless to say, these two were definitely fish in their past lives & spent almost over an hour in the water - and believe me, it was totally worth it.

FOR LOVE - A MAUI ELOPEMENT

WHO: MEGAN & CHRIS | WHERE: KAPALUA, HAWAII | WHY: FOR LOVE

For starters, I don’t specialize in photographing weddings. I prefer to keep things small, intimate, personable, and on the less serious side. Besides, there are TONS of super talented photographers on Maui who can capture your day perfectly - I promise - so I encourage you to reach out to them…

But when one of my closest friends told me her long-time partner just proposed to her, I jumped at the occasion to photograph their wedding…AS A GIFT to them. She naturally couldn’t turn that down ;-)

Fast forward about 7 months later, a guest list of 10, and a bride & groom that couldn’t have had their “day of” go any smoother, here we are. Chris + Megan. Two of the most grounded, honest, loving, and giving people you could ever want as a part of your life. And they’re all mine for this day (forever as well, I’d like to hope…).

Perfect weather, two loving families who flew out from the mainland to witness their perfection, the perfect Maui location…and naturally, the perfect photographer. JUST KIDDING. What I meant to say was, the perfect love. Because it’s honestly, SO perfect.

My afternoon with Chris + Megan. Cheers to the rest of your lives (and mine - because I’m so lucky to call you two friends) <3

Officiant: Ernest Pua’a @ernestpuaa

Flowers: Sunya's Flowers @sunyasflowers

Hair & makeup - MeiLi Autum Beauty (MAB) @meiliautumnbeauty

Lash extensions - Alohi Lash @alohi.aesthetics

Dress - Katie May (from Nordstrom) @katiemaycollection

Suit: Topman (from Nordstrom) @topman

Shoes: Vans

5th Anniversary on Maui

WHERE: MAKENA, HAWAII | WHO: AMBER & MIKE | WHY: ANNIVERSARY PHOTOS FOR LOVE!

Where do I even begin with how sweet and fun these two were?!

With visions of warm colors, breathtaking scenery and tons of love for one another, Amber & Mike arrived at our session location and were so excited to start shooting! What time was it? SUNSET. Yup! If you want these dramatic colors and skies…that’s what you’ve gotta opt for! And believe me, it’s worth it every time…

After 5 years and two children, these two wanted to celebrate each other and their accomplishments on Maui, they’re most favorite vacation spot ever! Can you blame them?

Cheers to these two for loving hard, laughing even harder, and making me laugh the hardest ;-)

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

ROMANTIC (+) IONS

WHERE: MAKENA, HAWAII  |  WHO: HANNAH & DANIEL  |  WHY: 2ND ANNIVERSARY

It's your 2nd anniversary and your 1st time to Maui...so much to do in so little time! 

When Hannah initially reached out to me, she was looking for a candid session near a waterfall, or some foliage, or mountains or maybe a beach...or all of them if possible. The Hawaiian Islands hold a special place in their hearts, as does the landscape, and she wanted to make sure they captured ALL of it during their first time to this island. And boy did we...

I'm ALL about adventures...seriously, just take a look at my Instagram feed (@amandaemmesphoto) and you'll see I'm always hopping around the islands (or world) in search of fun! I was super eager to work with Hannah & Daniel, not only because of her adventurous spirit, but because of her amazing personality and the way she described her & her husband's love for each other. Who wouldn't want to capture that?!?

Mahalo Hannah, Daniel, Mother Nature, and beyond, for filling this session with endless amounts of positive romantic ions, sunshine, laughs and amazing conversation. I can't wait to see you two on your next anniversary! 

<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).

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