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

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

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

"WE DO"

LOCATION: UPCOUNTRY MAUI, HAWAII   |   OCCASION: NOHELANI & KOA'S WEDDING DAY

Casual barbeque's take on a whole new meaning when meeting the love of your life is on the menu...

When they first met, it was by chance at a friend's BBQ and from that point on, they were inseparable in every way. Fast forward about a year or so later and it's now their wedding day in beautiful upcountry Maui. Two of the kindest hearted people in love shared their vows in front of over 350 friends & family at their beautiful home while the rain clouds cleared way and the peacocks cheered them on from beyond the forest. And maybe a few chickens and roosters too!

Cheers to Nohelani & Koa and your beautiful new family!  Mahalo for letting me be a part of your big day <3

 

MEET ROXY...

LOCATION: MAKAWAO & UPCOUNTRY / MAUI, HAWAII  

"OLD DOGS, LIKE OLD SHOES, ARE COMFORTABLE. THEY MIGHT BE A BIT OUT OF SHAPE AND A LITTLE WORN AROUND THE EDGES, BUT THEY FIT WELL" 

Meet Roxy.

She's 17 years old (seriously), cute as a button, simple minded, devoted as can be, and has a huge (and very fragile) heart of gold. As you can imagine, photoshoots like these may be the first, but may also be the last, so emotions run high, the love runs deep and the memories last forever. 

Luckily the universe was in our favor in more than one way on this day. We almost cancelled the shoot due to bad weather, but with the grace of living on a small island and VERY strong winds, the clouds parted in the afternoon, giving way to warm sunshine and blue skies.  On our way upcountry, we noticed a huge, breath-taking field full of Pincushion Protea flowers and we just had to pullover - it was so beautiful!!! The owner happened to be pulling up to the entrance on his tractor and was gracious enough to let us through and use his land for a bit (otherwise we may have hopped the fence because we just couldn't help ourselves ;-)).

Needless to say, after a few sneezes, frolics in the tall grass and tickles from the pincushions, Roxy was thoroughly enjoying herself. I'd even go as far to say she acted like a kid again the way she was running around and rolling in the grass. My heart melted moment after moment!

I feel SO honored to have been asked to capture the love between these two...it's 17 years strong and still growing <3 Mahalo Mahalo Mahalo

So cheers to you Roxy...you beautiful, tiny soul <3 I can't wait to see you again...

BENDY GODDESS YOGA

LOCATION: MAUI SUNSET, KIHEI     |     MODEL/OWNER/YOGA GODDESS: REGINA PADILLA

I've recently started working with Regina from Bendy Goddess Yoga (@bendygoddessyoga) for some yoga-inspired shoots to help promote her upcoming 2017 sunrise/sunset yoga classes at Maui Sunset in Kihei. I've taken a few yoga classes in my day, but what Regina brought to the beach tonight was something that left me utterly speechless. Inspirational to say the least! Not only is Regina hilarious, she also has such a warm soul. I can't wait to take one of her classes!

One shoot down and so many more to go! Some of my pics from our shoot are below. Let me know what you think!

You can regularly join Regina's classes at Maui Yoga Studio in Wailea: www.mauiyogastudio.net

<3