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

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

    I'm really just a kid at heart. I love to create photos with a genuine sense of love, playfulness and warmth. Rich colors and candid moments make me happy, and I would love to capture your family 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

Winters in the Volcano area of the Big Island are chilly, but still mild compared to the mainland.

Or so I try to tell myself, so I feel better. After the 30th consecutive night of ± 15° C temperatures, ice cold rain and the occasional fog bank, you begin to question if you really do live on a tropical island.

And of course, the answer is no. The Big Island is a lot more than that. It’s a world unto itself, with more variety than your grandma’s old spice rack. A fitting place for the Smith family’s reunion.

Living in or hailing from Burma, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, the UK, and the US, it was an amazing experience to be there with them. Not just photographically. But simply to be there, to see a great family together again. To hear them talk to one another. In spanish. Very expressively. To witness the zest for life they have was truly inspiring.

Great times!

One thing that this session did for me, and continues to do, is to remind me that the Big Island, as rich and “varietous” as it is, is simply a rock out in the middle of the world. A microcosm. I caught a good glimpse of this during my travel to the Philippines last year, and spending time with the Smith family made me hungry — desperately hungry — to experience things beyond here.

Will be a good thing to blog about.:-)

- Jim

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From an early age, I figured myself to be the kind of guy to have an exciting job. But I never would’ve thought that an exciting job would bring me to places as relaxing and beautiful as St Peter’s, also known as the Little Blue Church, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

I suppose it’s because I’d thought that an exciting job meant traveling into dangerous, distant lands. Desert bandits! Secret missions! Intrigue! That sort of thing. But I was missing a very important point — maybe because I was like 8 years old — but the point is that love, being in love and capturing love, are by far the most exciting things in life.

I was reminded of this fact at Tom & Tracy’s wedding…

After having a bit of fun around the church, we headed up to the Four Seasons Hualalai for a few photos at sunset.

I have to give a big thank you to Elena Graham, who was my 2nd shooter for this wedding. She captured the two tender closeups above, as I simultaneously went for the epic wide shot.:-)

As the sun fell, Tom & Tracy retreated to their private dinner on the beach. Tom even managed to sneak in an adorable call to his mother, to tell her he and Tracy were married.:-)It was a beautiful moment.

Right about then, at the end of the wedding, was when I decompressed and let it sink in.

I’m on a beautiful beach, and I just photographed two people who are having the best day of their lives. Two people truly in love, and committed to that love.

I had always wanted an exciting job. A cause, or purpose to work for… to live for. I don’t want to get too cheesy here and say something like “My cause is love. I live for love“, because I’m too modest for that. But you know what?

I do.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

- Jim


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  • February 29, 2012 - 1:09 PM

    tahiti - “I’m on a beautiful beach, and I just photographed two people who are having the best day of their lives. Two people truly in love, and committed to that love.”

    omg. so true jim! this is the kind of thing that always reminds me of how much I love what I do!ReplyCancel

New Year’s Resolution # 12: Take more pictures here –

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a truly beautiful place. An epic place. The kind of place that makes you want to hike through a crater in the fog, like some Nordic warrior of old, and let out a battle cry when you reach the other side, because that’s what you do when things are so epic.

It was wonderful to be there with Andy & Christie that afternoon. Rather chilly, with the sun going in and out of the clouds, the breeze and all. But the air had a good snap to it, and Andy & Christie were like static cling on each other. Cute & totally cuddly. No Nordic battle cries to be had, but their constant laughter was just as good!

And yeah… you guessed it, like all of my clients, they have cool jobs! Andy is in law enforcement, while Christie is a photographer too! He keeps the streets safe, and she makes great photos.

A huge thank you to Andy & Christie for having me there with them in such a beautiful place. And really — THANK YOU to every one of my wonderful clients from 2011, who gave me the privilege of continuing my journey as a photographer, as I captured yours as newly-weds and families. I am so lucky to have all of you.

Not to mention my new clients for 2012 — I’m pumped to meet all of you too!! This year is going to be awesome, due in no small part to all of you! Which reminds me of another of my resolutions…

New Year’s Resolution #4: Be more thankful.

Thank you, all.:-)

- Jim

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  • January 6, 2012 - 3:52 PM

    Christie - Thank you so much Jim! We think you did an amazing job and can’t wait to come back to the Big Island with our son so you can take some family portraits for us!! Wishing you all the best in 2012!ReplyCancel

  • January 9, 2012 - 3:29 PM

    James Rubio - Dude that opening shot is killer!ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2012 - 2:25 AM

    Jim Dierking - Christie — TOTALLY! Would love to work with you again :-D Thank you!

    Thanks James! You’re killer-erReplyCancel

The North Shore of Oahu is one of my favorite places in the world.

It’s a place of big things. Big waves, big sand dunes, big rocks, big daydreams. There’s a sense of scale to it that I remember vividly from my childhood.

During the summer, my huge family would round up our big 4×4′s  and drive them right up onto the enormous sand dunes of Mokule’ia, to pitch a big-top canopy right smack dab in front of the pacific. We would live on the sand for a week or more under the comfort of our circus tent. We swam all day, ate fresh fish in the evening, and slept under the stars together.

So I was absolutely thrilled when Aaron & Vicky inquired about joining them on the North Shore for a photo session during their honeymoon… more so when Aaron told me that he grew up cruising the North Shore too. It was truly special to return there, not simply for my own sense of nostalgia, but also because I was documenting Aaron & Vicky’s love for one another, as they experienced this big place as husband and wife.

I’ll just come out and say it. Aaron & Vicky defy the laws of physics. Yes they do. Somehow they are both incredibly laid-back AND very thorough in how they plan things. It’s like combining blue and red and getting green instead of purple. Our back and forth emails were the epitome of planning mastery. Talks of “recon” trips. ETA’s and time of sunset. “Favorable line lengths” at Aoki’s Shave Ice.

And yet they were so easy to be with, and so nonchalant about everything. They were focused entirely on each other, on their love for one another and making each other happy. Even I ceased to exist.  The camera wasn’t there. They were just being themselves. Spontaneously. As if they planned it…

Their cool jobs might have something to do with their sweet planning skills. Both Aaron & Vicky are Engineers. Aaron works in the Solar energy industry, and Vicky works in medical technology. Very cool!

All of that said, you can’t plan something like this.:-)



That last photo is interesting. It was getting really dark and I was already “off the clock”, but I liked the look of the dusk sky and the trees. And to be honest I had seen that spot many times before and had always wanted to go there. The basketball courts and the streetlights, the walking paths and palm trees. It’s just an interesting looking place. So we stopped for a few minutes and made this little moment; one of many, for which I’m so thankful to have created with Aaron and Vicky.:-)

And one of thousands that I have from a lifetime of visiting the beautiful North Shore of Oahu. I can’t wait to return again.

- Jim

Want to see photos from my own North Shore experiences? I posted some! Click here, it’ll open in a new window.:-)


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  • December 7, 2011 - 6:31 PM

    tahiti - umm second shot in??? UH MAZING!ReplyCancel

  • December 7, 2011 - 7:28 PM

    James Rubio - Really beautiful set Jim! Might be my favorite session from you! I also 2nd what Tahiti said. Looks like it was a perfect day and perfect couple!ReplyCancel

  • December 7, 2011 - 8:43 PM

    Kirk - Beautiful images. I love every one of them.


  • December 11, 2011 - 9:06 PM

    Jim Dierking - Thank you for the kind words, friends! :-D It really means a lot coming from such talented people as yourselves.ReplyCancel

  • March 15, 2012 - 8:07 AM

    MALIA - This is my hometown, Haleiwa! I love it!ReplyCancel

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