Hawaii Family Photographer – Jim Dierking // Big Island Family Photography, Hilo, Kona »

Hawaii Family Photographer – Jim Dierking // Big Island Family Photography, Hilo, Kona bio picture
  • Hi!

    I'm a family and intimate wedding photographer based on the Big Island of Hawaii, available from Kona to Hilo, Oahu, Maui and beyond!

    I'm really just a kid at heart. I enjoy creating photos with a genuine sense of love, playfulness and warmth. Rich colors and candid moments make me happy, and I would love to capture you through my perspective!

    Please let me know if there's anything I can do for you -- I'd be happy to hear from you!

    With thanks,
    Jim Dierking

The trail was all downhill and very slippery, the early morning’s dew sticking into every crevice, rock and fallen leaf. Each step was cautious, hurried, brisk. Looking up, we saw the canopy, a hundred or more feet above, and I imagined myself to be living in an old pulp comic book, swinging on the vines that hung low, maybe on my way to rescue my wife, or collect drinking water from the rivers that created this little ravine eons ago. Surviving in this jungle wouldn’t be easy, I told myself, and with that thought I became inspired for this session with the awesome Crim family, with whom I worked with back in 2012, grateful still to have met up with them again in this amazing, verdant place in Hilo, Hawaii.

We weren’t really surviving or anything, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great little adventure!
The session was not without its challenges, though! As the sun rose, the air became incredibly hot, but more than that, extremely humid as well. It was so humid that my lenses would repeatedly fog up as soon as I mounted them on the camera! We took a few minutes for it to pass, which it did, mostly, and the remaining fog lent some of the photos a really nice dreamy quality which I’d actually like to have occassionally —Sadly (but also happily), the lens fog lifted as we ventured further.
Thanks so much for having me again on this awesome morning, Crim family!

– Jim

||Subscribe by Email|Back to top

I’m about to post some wedding photos! It’s funny, though —

I am not a wedding photographer. Truth be told I am not all that interested in things like expensive wedding dresses, centerpieces, bouquets larger than a watermelon, vintage chic, rhinestone I-do’s, or resort dining halls lit to look like you’re underwater on a pink and purple planet.

Just not into the whole thing, I guess, at least not as a photographer.

Which is why I was happy to learn that neither Melissa nor Martin were into it either, and that their wedding aimed to be simple and small. That immediately checked two boxes in my inner “should I take this job” checklist, and the more I corresponded with Melissa about what she was looking for from her wedding photography, the more I knew that it was going to be a wonderful afternoon to shoot, explore and hang out with one of the funnest, kindest and thoughtful couples I’ve ever met.

If I had to describe them combined, it’d probably be a mishmash of opposing words — quiet, dramatic, moody, relaxed, grounded, goofy, together — and it was my hope to capture every one of those words in their wedding photos.

A hearty congratulations to Melissa and Martin, and a sincere thank you for choosing me as your photographer!

Also, if you’re getting married, and you feel my work might match your wedding, do get in touch. I don’t take many weddings per year but I quite enjoy capturing the ones that I do. 🙂

– Jim

  • July 29, 2015 - 4:04 PM

    Katy - Where is this location? My fiancé and I are looking to elope on the big island in a similar fashion and love everything about the feel, location, and photography of this shoot.ReplyCancel

    • August 5, 2015 - 9:14 PM

      Jim Dierking - Hi Katy — this is in the Volcanoes National Park. Cliffs are down near the end of Chain of Craters road, steam vents are, well, at the steam vents. 🙂 Send me an email if you need any help. Thanks!ReplyCancel

||Subscribe by Email|Back to top

The Big Island is a vast little place; a stunning land thousands of miles large, containing more variety than the Hilton Waikoloa breakfast buffet, which is also the best breakfast buffet I’ve ever tried.

Another favorite of mine on this incredible island of ours is the district of Ka’u, home to such sights as the Green Sand Beach, the southern-most point in the USA, and the ever-popular black sands of Punalu’u. But the district is also home to many great memories for me — it’s the district where my family and I most often pitch our tents and camp for the weekend, down on quiet, remote beaches accessible only by 4×4, local knowledge, or both. Ka’u is a place of family, history, beauty, country and tradition. The coast is a wild one, unforgiving, but full of life and nearly pristine of major development. Upland, up mauka, is a wonderland of dense jungle, secret waterfalls and small, old towns. There’s a quiet power to this place, like the tail end of a thunderstorm, reverberating its history off the slopes of Mauna Loa.

So when the Braun family, who live in Hilo, wondered if we could do a session down that side of the island, I instantly said yes.

Of course, I wasn’t enthused just because of the prospect of shooting in Ka’u. It was also because the Braun fam are such nice, easy-going and adventurous people! We had a great time back in 2012, and this session was even better.

And just like last time, we busted out the bow for a few minutes and got some epic shots. Monsieur Braun is actually a pretty accomplished competitive archer, and it was great to see him in his personal element. It reminds me of my own little dream to someday shoot a family who loves Star Wars, all dressed up as Star Wars characters.

Thanks so much to the Braun family for an awesome session! And thank  you to you for reading. 🙂

– Jim

||Subscribe by Email|Back to top

Volcano is a special place.

All of Hawaii is special, of course, and the Big Island in particular. But there isn’t anywhere I’ve been that strikes just the right balance of being out in the sticks while still having just enough “civilization” to get you by. It’s in the country, but doesn’t feel backward or underdeveloped. It’s a beautiful, private little nook of an area, but not in a “gated community” sort of way. Where I live, out in edges of Volcano, where the lot sizes are larger, there’s a DIY and get-it-done attitude, and a personal stewardship of one’s own jungled heaven. It’s a place of seclusion, quiet and relaxation, and by extension it’s also a place of independence; a practical creativity of how best to tend the land to supplement life.

And life, come to think of it, is one thing that completely surrounds us here. There is an almost mind boggling amount of it, everywhere, in every direction. Countless Hapu’u ferns grow high and wide, while native ‘Ohia trees tower higher still, their canopies heavy with red Lehua blossoms. Rolling slopes covered in moss and grass are dotted with all manner of shrub and bush, held down by the occasional Koa and cherry blossom tree that my grandparents planted long ago.

I feel so very lucky to have grown up here, and to live here still. To look out the window and see literally nothing but nature is a true blessing, and it’s something I hoped to convey from this session with the Deguara family, from California. I worked with them a few years ago and it was great to see them again, and I it was super fun to hang out with their two boys, who’ve grown into a couple of strong, rambunctious and charming young fellas. The jungles of Volcano were the perfect place for them to explore and be themselves!

Huge thank you to the Deguara family for an awesome session, and a big thanks to you as well for being here, reading! 🙂

– Jim

||Subscribe by Email|Back to top

If there’s anything that photography has taught me, it’s that I’m more of a “why” kind of guy than a “how” or “what” kind of guy — in essence I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about why I’m a photographer rather than thinking about how to be one, or what I am getting out of it in a practical sense. I think the biggest quest in my life is and will always be to find my purpose, not just over the course of my entire life, but even just day to day. What purpose will I fulfill today?

This quest applies to everything, including writing in this blog. I take these words more seriously than I probably should. I mull over my writing for weeks, despite the fact that from a business standpoint, it’s the photos that matter. But that doesn’t matter. I am not in this for the business of it, although it often feels like I should be. I revert to my old way of thought, questioning why I’m writing and why I’m doing family photography in the first place.

It’s so easy to lose sight of the “why” when faced with an overwhelming “how” and “what”. Sometimes, when things get busy, I almost feel like I’m running an assembly line, email after email, photo after photo; you know how it goes, because we all must make a living and work in this world. It’s funny because I never in a million years thought I’d become a small business owner. I always thought you had to be smart for such things, and I’m definitely not nearly as organized as I probably should be. But I do love photography, and I love my own family so much that they make me intensely interested in other families. These are the why. Everything else is secondary for me.

Because I believe with all my heart the power a family can hold. The incredible effect, for better or worse, that one’s family life can have on their lives, for the rest of their lives, and in turn, the lives of their children and their children’s children. This cycle of generations is a thing to behold. A thing to respect, a thing to work for, a thing to love. I am so thankful to have my parents, who have taught me sincerity, honor and kindness. I am grateful for their parents, for teaching me as a child things like joy, warmth and wonder. I love my brother and my cousins for showing me amazing friendship. And with a full heart, side by side with my wife, I look forward to teaching our future children all of these things, and having them teach me new things as well.

What I wish to capture is some small sliver of this in action. A moment in time that transcends the moment in time. I wish to capture it as it happened, but with vibrancy, organically, better than memory. It’s an obvious, elusive little thing, like standing out in the rain trying to catch a drop in your mouth while the rest of you gets soaked. I feel like I’m getting closer and closer with every year. Almost there.


And when I think of this quest of mine, when I think about the “why” of it, I am simply reminded of the “who”. And they are people like the Torres family here, hailing from California, all happiness and sunshine. I’m incredibly thankful for them, not just for a great session, but also just for their company! I thought it was super cool, too, but Dad Nick Torres is a rad artist who has worked in the videogames industry (something I wanted to do when I was younger), and has even made a children’s book about Dinosaurs (something I wouldn’t mind doing now)!

I suppose I didn’t come anywhere near the videogames industry because I didn’t know why or how to do so. A different story with photography. Let the quest continue!


– Jim

||Subscribe by Email|Back to top