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 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. Inspired by my own journey through fatherhood, I enjoy creating photos with a genuine sense of love, playfulness and warmth. Rich colors and candid moments set my creative soul aflame, 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

I’ve always been a sensitive, sentimental person, having felt deeply sad as a child when I found my favorite foam football chewed to pieces by my dog. Staring at the bright orange chunks on the ground, I remembered all of the good times I had with that ball, and ruminated over the games of catch we would never have after its destruction.

Funny enough, and I think I’ve said this somewhere on this site a couple times, but I still am that same sentimental kid at heart — a prime example being that there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t wistfully thought about what I wrote in this post, over a year ago, about me quitting weddings.

I reflect on it often. I remember the intensity of each wedding, the challenge and the beauty. I remember the feeling of being a part of such an important, happy day. I remember having a really hard time wiping away the tears, unleashed by my sensitive eyes, that welled up in my camera’s viewfinder. But more than anything, these days I keep wondering if I should start photographing them again. I stopped because I wanted to devote my time and attention to personal projects, and to focus on family work, which has worked out pretty well.

But I guess I just miss making the photos. These photos.

I also think it’s because back in January I asked my Syreeta, the most amazing girl I’ve ever met, if she would marry me, and she said yes in a flurry of tears. Since then I feel so much more in-tune and connected with not just weddings and love in general, but also with my past wedding work… including this incredibly serene honeymoon session with Dottie and Tim, at the Four Seasons Hualalai.

It’s a wonderful thing rediscovering the past and finding new ways to appreciate it. I’m proud of the wedding work I did before — even more so now, because I have a deeper emotional connection with it through my own relationship.

The truth is that I am really excited to get married, and likewise, I am really excited to see others get married too, and capture it in a way that is hopefully beautiful, honest and vibrant! So, from this post forward, I am open for weddings once again. I will be pretty selective about which ones I take on, but If you’re interested, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do. No power in the ‘verse can stop us!

– Jim

PS. I eventually got a new football. It was green. Like this flash. 🙂

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Time spent together
Importance underrated
Family summers

Ah, yeah… I’m not the best at writing Haikus. Maybe I should stick with being a family photographer instead!

The lengths parents will go to so their kids smile for the camera… 😀

Okay, one more — can’t resist.

A perfect sunset
First rainbows are lit ablaze
Then cooled with night’s gaze

– Jim 🙂

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Here’s an awesome afternoon I spent with two families, the Browns and the Blews — friends back home, vacationing on the Big Island together. Mr and Mrs Brown had a beautiful wedding vow renewal mid-session; so beautiful that it made it obvious to me that I would love to shoot more vow renewals, and thankfully I have since.

If a wedding feels like the arrival of a summer swell, forming pristine waves across a beach, a vow renewal would be the calm rise of an evening tide, gentle, knowing and patient. Very touching to capture!

Funny, I’m sure you can guess which family is which based on their outfits! 🙂


I really should blog more; just looking at these photos brings back a ton of good memories, and reminds me that I am very lucky. Thanks so much for reading and viewing!

– Jim

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Being a family photographer always seems to offer me lessons in life; wisdom hidden in everything around me.

This session with the Ito family, hailing from Alberta, Canada, had such a lesson. I arrived at the Fairmont Orchid greeted by grey clouds and relatively dark skies. There would be no real sunset that day, just a fading of light toward the western sea. But those same clouds and lack of sun gave us incredibly soft light to enjoy, atypical of the bright afternoon sun I usually work with. The temperature was comfortable, and not the usual sweat-inducing heat during most sessions. At first glance I was a little worried that the sun wouldn’t make an appearance. But like all things in life, nothing is ever distinctly good or bad. Every moment simply is, and how I react and make use of any given situation is for me to decide. So we made good use of the soft light and captured some great photos! 🙂


And here’s a random photo of a hibiscus! 😀

– Jim

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My girlfriend and I have this thing, where we come up with the name — well, the theme — of the year ahead. A single word that encapsulates everything that we want our lives to be about in that year.

Last year, the word was WILDFIRE. We had first met in January, not much more than a year ago to the day, and we were both at the same place in our lives, where we desperately, simply, wanted to live. We wanted this passion to spread like fire, engulfing everything we did. And you know, we did well, by gone. Our trip to India was the highlight of it; a 2 month foray into a foreign planet. Every moment either a triumph or disaster, each one large enough to warrant remembrance, yet still so bizarrely minute that, now months later, we can barely believe that we had lived them.

I guess that’s how a lot of life’s moments are, especially the small, surprising ones, like that time I was carrying a full basket of laundry out back in the rain, and slipped smack onto wet concrete. I remember being surprised that it happened and surprised that it did not really hurt as much as you might think it would. And again, I guess that’s how a lot of life’s moments are, including some of the bad ones. Each moment a lesson, every day a blessing.

2014 is FOUNDATION. It will be the year where Syreeta and I lay the groundwork for not only the next year, but for the years and decades ahead of us. This year will be our newly poured wet concrete; solid at heart, ambitiously made, to be traversed with care. My professional photography will be a big part of it, and I’m hoping to take it to a level above anything I’ve done so far. Which I guess isn’t too hard, since I haven’t gone very far!

But just as concrete continues to harden over time, I never seem to stop learning new things about photography and myself. Each session a new dawn, every image a chance to grow. This year I want to really solidify my work into something that truly speaks for me. I have such a strong sense of gratitude for family, love and memories — the simple fact that these things even exist to begin with — and I know in my heart that there is a way for me to express this through my work, with my clients. I feel like I must express it.

Among others, this session, with the very fun Gramm family, is close to what I have in mind.
Life is nothing short of beautiful. Cheers to a great foundation, everyone. 🙂

– Jim

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