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

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

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 ;-)

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!

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! 

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

A Sorta Fairytail...

WHO: BO & COURTNEY  |  WHERE: MAUI, HI  |  WHY: FOR (MERMAID) LOVE

Ever since Courtney was a child, she's been absolutely crazy about mermaids - so much so, that she now works part-time as a mermaid back home in California, making children, and I'm sure adults, smile from ear to ear with her beautiful personality and of course, mermaid tail.

Now of course, this is just something she absolutely loves doing and it's only been a huge part of her childhood and now, adulthood, so what more appropriate than for her boyfriend Bo to surprise her with her own mermaid photoshoot! Did I mention it was her birthday too?

Bo made an appearance in a few of these, but he wanted the focus to be on her...and it seriously was. She was an absolute natural in the water with her tail - I couldn't even keep up with her! #theydoexist

Now get your inner mermaid on and check out some of my faves from their session...<3

 

A MERMAID STORY

On a calm, sunny Sunday, we decided to make it a "Fun Day" by venturing over to Maui's Upper West Side in search of clear water, some diving, plenty of sun-bathing, and good eats. And to kick it all off, some fresh squeezed watermelon + pineapple juice ;-) 

Naturally, I brought along my cameras to capture all the goodness the day had to offer, but what I ended up capturing was my amazing friend Sabine, emerging as the most beautiful mermaid ever.  

Now...I've shot her diving before and her photos were nothing short of magical...but the photos I got of her this day were some of the best to-date...and I have mother-nature to thank for it. And her ability to hold her breath for a lengthy amount of time was SUPER helpful! (Also a BIG Mahalo to Freedive HI for your guidance in making her the perfect deep water subject!)

Thanks Sabine, for always being my mermaid-muse and a wonderful human being. Can't wait for our next adventure <3

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

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

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

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...;-) 

KITEWORLD MAG #90 + JESSE RICHMAN

"LIFE IS LIKE A KITE LOOP: IF YOU HALF-ASS IT, IT'S GOING TO HURT."  

-Jesse Richman

Portrait PC: Amanda Emmes  / Action PC: Frankie Bees / Naish

KITEWORLD MAGAZINE ISSUE #90 OUT NOW!

In this issue we see kiteboarders tackling nature at its most extreme. From the challenges of polar exploration by kite in the arctic circle to big wave charging in Portugal and the biblical destruction wrought on parts of the Caribbean during this year’s hurricane season – we see what happens when nature delivers its full payload.

Jesse Richman recently flew into Nazare, Portugal on a stellar forecast (check the cover below!) . He gives us the inside line on that in KW #90 and we also get an insight into the mind of Jesse in These Things I Know.

Trust me - he's borderline genius...

Cover: Jesse Richman  /  Photo: Ydwer van der Heide  

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