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

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

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

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

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...

Making Time...

LOCATION: MAKENA, HAWAII   |   MOOD: EXCITED!   |   TIME: REALLY EARLY ;-)  |  LOCATION: FOUR SEASONS WAILEA

When it's almost time, you make the time...

These two are expecting their first bundle of joy so very soon, so they wanted to squeeze in their first trip to Maui for a "baby moon" ASAP. It was a last minute request (2 -ish days prior to their shoot) that worked out more than perfectly - and luckily they were wide awake bright and early for this gorgeous sunrise shoot. 

Mahalo Lauren & Tamarick for being the most friendly and photogenic morning company (seriously!) - you started my day off so perfectly :-) 

UPCOUNTRY (BABY) LOVE

LOCATION: UPCOUNTRY MAUI, HAWAII   |   HUMANS: JOHN & TRICIA  |  SESSION: MATERNITY

I first met Tricia almost two years ago while paddling for Hawaiian Canoe Club and we instantly became friends the moment we were introduced. It didn't hurt that she was also the new girlfriend to my friend John, another fellow paddler. So it was a bit of a natural fit and with our paddling schedules, it wasn't hard for us to see each other often and catch up as time progressed.  Our friendship continued to bloom and so did their relationship...and I'm so happy it did.

Fast forward a bit and this beautiful couple was now on the (very close) verge of introducing a new little one into this world and they asked me to capture her final days before everything in their lives would change. Of course, I accepted with giddy giggles and couldn't wait to get them all together. So we chose upcountry Maui as the perfect backdrop for this cowboy, his son and his soon-to-be wife & new mother-to-be...

Now, a glimpse of our adventure filled upcountry shoot with John, Gavin, Tricia & her beautiful baby bump...

Update :::: Timing really is everything in so many ways! Two days after these photos were taken, Tricia gave birth to her first son Ian Hunter...and hopefully not her last.

Congratulations you guys - such a wonderfully beautiful family in so many ways xoxo

MY FAVORITE SEASON

LOCATION: MAUI, HAWAII   |   HUMAN: AUTUMN ADAMS  |   OCCUPATION: PHOTOGRAPHER  | COMPANY:   Petrichor Photo  

I recently crossed paths with this wholesome and amazingly humble gal named Autumn (who happens to be an extremely talented photographer in the Pacific North West) and we just kinda hit it off on so many levels - and then she got on a plane back to Seattle (seriously Autumn?!? I'm still recovering :(...).

Regardless, we played model for each other on a couple occasions because why not? 

Creativity shouldn't live in the form of monetary exchange all the time - I mean, we all started from this deep, well lit, artsy place within ourselves didn't we? Sometimes we've gotta create are for arts sake and quench our own inner thirst for simple, real face to face time...even if it's behind the camera & face time with genuine, crazytastic people.

Mahalo Autumn for daring to shine again in front of me. You nearly broke my camera with your internal & external beauty. A glimpse from our morning water portrait session...

 

JAYNE'S SPOT

LOCATION: MAUI, HAWAII   |   MODEL: JAYNE CHEN   |   OCCUPATION: MODEL, ENTREPRENEUR, FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF "LASHES IN A BOX"  |   HEAD JEWELS:  THE GYPSY SHRINE

Meet Jayne Chen.

She's gorgeous, hilarious, brilliant, thoughtful, fun and highly successful. And she's a fitness guru.  

Sunrise sessions are never easy, but Jayne was bright eyed and ready to hit the sand & ocean as we made our way to one of my favorite locations for water portraits on Maui. That saying, "time flies when you're having fun" is more than applicable to her session - we couldn't stop laughing while we made our way into the water and well after we were dry. Time literally flew way too fast but not too quickly that we couldn't capture a TON of beautiful Maui portraits. 

Mahalo Jayne, for claiming your sandy spot in Maui with me! #thisisjaynesspot

NATURAL BEAUTY

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

When Nature and Natural Beauty collide...

TRASH THE DRESS

LOCATION: MAUI, HAWAII   |   OCCASION: 5TH ANNIVERSARY |   PROJECT: TRASH THE DRESS

Picture this...

It's your 5 year Wedding Anniversary and you come back to where it all began...Maui, Hawaii. 

Just a short five years ago, this adorably adventurous couple was married in a beautiful ceremony in Wailea. The dress was white, crisp, and oh-so-vibrant; and the groom...so fresh and so clean. And then came the decision to celebrate this milestone just like they started it...but this time, instead of wearing her dress for the first time, she is now wearing it for the last time!

Meet Christina & Evan, two of the cutest, most positive and outgoing humans ever! Bravo to Christina for holding up and swimming in her gorgeous, but heavy, wedding dress. She made it look beyond easy, and with a smile.

Happy Anniversary Lovers! <3

SUN SHINE

LOCATION: MAUI, HAWAII

Pacific Biodiesel recently planted sunflowers as its first biofuel crop on Maui and without any hesitation, the blooming sunflowers generated overwhelming attention island-wide and dominated local social media in ways you'd never imagine. 

In my short lifetime, I don't recall ever seeing such a beautiful crop, let alone a crop paired with such a beautiful backdrop like our West Maui Mountains! So naturally, I jumped on board the photo-train and made my way over with my good friend Sabine to snap some fun photos. 

I'd like to think I was one of the first to pull over and get my sunflower "fill", but honestly, who knows! Regardless, we captured them at just the right time in their bloom before they (and the birds) began to give into natures cycle and do their thang. 

If you're waiting for me to say, "we stopped and smelled the sunflowers"...well, yes. We did. And it was awesome & full of happy, buzzing bees. 

Visit the Pacific Biodiesel website for more information, frequently asked questions, and videos about the company’s Maui biofuel crop <3