MOTHERHOOD IN MAUI

WHO: GABBY + JERRY | WHY: BABY MOON @ 8 MONTHS PREGNANT | WHERE: MAKENA, HAWAII

Maternity sessions are my most popular sessions…and for good reason. I LOVE watching women blossom into motherhood! There’s a quiet beauty & strength surrounding every mother-to-be; and witnessing it as they make their way along Hawaii’s shorelines is seriously beauty at it’s finest to me. They don’t have to try…they just are.

Case in point - Gabriella (and Jerry of course).

A calm, quiet beauty who’s never had professional photos taken before and without effort, performed gracefully in front of the camera. Jerry was as understanding and patient as they come, so he helped her along the lava rocks and guided her to safety and stability when needed (but really, I think she may have guided him along more than her lol). The power & strength of a woman in general is what I live for - and my time with Gabby was no exception.

See for your self below…

WHEN TO SCHEDULE A MATERNITY SESSION IN HAWAII

The timing of your maternity photo shoot (on land or in the water) is critical - especially during your baby moon in Hawaii…

Schedule it too early, your baby bump will not be as visible and won’t take as prominent of a role in the photos. Alternatively, if you schedule your maternity shoot after the 34 week mark, you might be dealing with swelling, aches and pains, and generally feel like a photo shoot is too much work!

<<>>

Every woman is different…so listen to your body, see how it’s changing, and make the best decision for YOU.

Some women are showing earlier in their pregnancy, so booking a shoot near the 6 month mark may work great! Plus you’ll be more mobile, adventurous, show less fatigue, and generally, happier and more comfortable. And trust me, you’ll want to be mobile during your time here in the islands ;-)

In general though, the best time to schedule a maternity session during your baby moon is typically anywhere between 26-34 weeks, or at the 7 to almost 8 month mark, when your bump is big enough to be seen, and you’re still in your comfortable zone.

At this point in your pregnancy, your baby will not have started to move downward - that means you’ll have a higher tummy that looks much better in a portrait than after the baby has started to move its way lower in your body. In the third trimester, your belly will be just the right size - big and beautiful, but not so big that it’s difficult for you to move around, change positions, swim, and pose for the camera.

Dreaming of an underwater maternity session in Hawaii?

The earlier in your pregnancy, the better!

Think about it - you, the ocean, a dress/bikini, your growing bump, and Mother Nature - it’s a lot to manage! What we really want to avoid is you performing a water birth during our session (I’m SO serious) - so be sure to time our session when you’re not too far along and your tummy is still in it’s “floatation device” stage (usually no more than 7.5 months max).

READ MY OCEAN FAQ HERE

If your tummy is too heavy, it’ll feel like a weight in the water, and that’s no fun for anyone ;-) I’ll be with you every step of the way, so rest assure that I’ll do the managing - you just show up feeling & looking your best (and lightest!) .

Salt water is super buoyant, but there are currents, sometimes waves, and you may need to tread water if you really want some of the deep, underwater shots (like the ones above + below). Fabrics like chiffon and tulle do really well in the water and look amazing when you can get them to float just right - so plan accordingly to make your time in the water, as effortless as possible.

See some wardrobe tips from my blog on “Planning your Wardrobe for Your Maternity Session”.

My biggest advice? Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your photo shoot! Plan ahead with your photographer and get on their calendar well in advance - especially if you’re in the process of planning your Hawaiian Baby Moon. Trust me…it’s worth it!

FROM TAIWAN TO MAUI, WITH LOVE

WHO: VICKY + DAVID | WHY: LOVE + ACCOMPLISHMENT | WHERE: MAKENA, HAWAII

What do you get when you have two newly crowned Dentists (no pun intended), endless feelings of wanderlust, the cutest relationship ever, and an airplane or two? Vicky + David totally conquering Hawaii!

From Oahu to Maui and a sprinkle of the other islands in between, these two made their first visit to the Hawaiian Islands beyond memorable - and they deserved it! After years of schooling, studying, testing, etc., you’re now looking at two of Taiwan’s newest Doctors of Dentistry -and their families are beyond proud (because they’re dentists too!). This vacation was well-deserved, and so was this photo shoot!

My evening with Vicky + David, their silliness, their smarts, their ridiculous good-looks, and a

backdrop to die for…>>>>

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.

BABY MOON IN MAUI

WHO: MADELEINE + AUSTIN | WHY: BABY MOON | WHERE: MAUI, HAWAII

It’s funny…I feel like many of my blogs have begun with “weather issues” here in Maui - but honestly, and I PROMISE when I say - weather in Maui is 9/10 days PERFECT. Seriously! It’s only occasionally that we get weird rain, storms, etc. I just mention it because a bunch of my clients worry when they look at the weather forecast for the islands and they start thinking about rescheduling, new locations, etc.

I’ve said it a few times and I’ll say it again - weather here moves quick! I swear, those weather folks at The Weather Channel just look out the window and give a forecast - don’t listen - they’re typically wrong. Just wait and if there’s ever anything to worry about, I’ll be in touch couple hours prior to your session ;-) I promise, you’ll never be left wondering what’s next with our session!

With that said, Madeleine & Austin’s first trip to Hawaii hadn’t been going very well - it rained the whole time they were here and they didn’t get to explore how they wished they could have. With our luck, the heavens cleared and the sun brought out it’s “A” game - but not without a few clouds in sight and a small sprinkle prior to our session.

We went ALL out - three outfit changes, land + ocean photos, rocks & beach, as a couple + solo - this gal and her 34 week (super adorable) bump toughed it out and all I have to say is….wow. Mahalo to the both of you for being so beautiful, so in love, and so adventurous!

<3

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

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 ;-)

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! 

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

 

MISS ABBY

Portraiture is my absolute everything.

I live for beauty in so many ways, shapes + forms...but when it comes to capturing beautiful souls, I get so excited before every single shoot. Seriously!

Solo portraits are hands-down, my favorite. Why? Because with every client, I get to help you become more and more comfortable in your own skin, and try new things! Speaking of trying new things...Miss Abigail here wanted a few water portraits mixed in with her land portraits, but was a bit nervous because Hawaii oceans aren't like your typical oceans! Can you blame her? She's absolutely right! #strangerdanger

Well, that's where my extensive knowledge in lifeguarding, surfing, Hawaii's waters and swimming come right in! And of course I jump in the water with you so we're experiencing it all together :-)

Abby was an absolute natural in the waters here - as you'll see through her calm, natural essence in each shot. Mahalo for trusting me Abby...and seriously, amaaaazing job! You made this shoot easy peasy.

© Amanda Emmes  |  Hair & MUA by Marlee: South Shore Studio

SOC SWIMWEAR

Working with SOC is always an absolute treat - but this time, it was the cutest treat ever! 

SOC Maui's latest & greatest swimwear line for the little ones in your life...and their other little friends ;-) Introducing, their KEIKI line...swimwear sure to make all the kids smile and giggle and look cute at the same time <3