OHANA MEANS FAMILY

WHO: THE HILMES OHANA | WHERE: MAUI, HAWAII | WHY: FOR FAMILY

If you’ve worked with me, you’ll know that I don’t show up to any of my sessions with a plan - especially family sessions! Ultimately, I let the kids run the sessions - seriously. Mom & Dad are key parts of the equation, as is some discipline (and bribery), but ultimately, I want your family to show me who they are and not hold hold back in the slightest. Why?

Because it’s what makes for great photos & memories.

I’m a lifestyle photographer - that means I capture things as they happen, in a moment, not posed, not planned, but maybe strategically placed & coerced if need be ;-) Posed & stiff photographs aren’t in my portfolio, and for good reason - they don’t show any feelings or joy (or craziness). Sure, I’ll grab a couple for the grandparents, but we’ll move away from those immediately, because even I, get uncomfortable when clients start to stand there and smile at the camera. My job is to take you out of your “comfort” zone of the types of photos you’ve grown to adhere to; and make you forget I’m there and just focus on each other. It’s my job and I’m darn good at it.

Do we get sandy? Yes. Wet? You bet. Messy? I hope so. Can hair and clothing sometimes get messy? Isn’t that what childhood is about??? We’ll obviously do our best to keep it to a minimum, but in the end, when you let it (and them) be…you’ll get THIS:

And that is precisely, why I’m here ;-)

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!

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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!