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

This beautiful little wedding happened exactly a year ago on a puffy-clouded sunny day in Hilo. Happy Anniversary to Alistair and Kerrie! Such light-hearted, happy souls. ūüôā

Light hearted indeed!


Great times! Thanks to Susan of Aloha Wedding Planners for setting this up. And a special thanks to my friend Joycelyn Cabal for being my 2nd shooter (and later that day taking the photos of me you see on this website)!

– Jim

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Life is a window.

Sometimes you’re looking out a clear window at a dark storm. Sometimes you’re looking through a fogged, dirty window at a sunny day. Other times still, we keep the window shut, in fear of what lay beyond. I like to think of us all as windows; the size and quality of the glass is how we see things, and the circumstances we face in life are the vistas before us. The things we go through, good and bad, are separate from how we perceive them, and how we perceive them has a tremendous impact on how we handle them and, as a result, who we are as individuals.

Compassion through¬†encumbrance. Kindness toward anger. Strength over adversity. Coffee through sleep deprivation. In a perfect world, all of our windows would be one of love and strength, looking at whatever situation we face… but none of us are truly ideal people. We’ll always have faults. Our windows all have chips, stains and fingerprints, from ourselves and others. Sometimes our perspective becomes so dirtied by past events that we prefer to keep it shuttered and hidden; we prefer not to look through our own window, or let anyone see it; instead we might dress it up with material things, which of course is about as effective as spraying Febreeze on fresh manure. From my experience, the only way to replace a dirty, cracked window is to first break it completely.

I had mine broken last year in July, not too long after I photographed this amazing Trash the Dress session with Chris and Brooke. Overly high, life-long standards for myself and a continuing inability to reach them had left me with a nagging sense of inadequacy and insecurity, which in turn made me a bit immature and a little depressed. But a series of bizarre circumstances, all of them my fault, rocked my world and left my window in pieces. It all came crashing down, and I hit “rock-bottom”. Severe, clinical depression came.

And then… from this bottom, the pieces of a new window slowly began to emerge. I realized that all of my insecurity was unfounded. I realized that my standards for myself were not only unrealistic, but also completely¬†unnecessary, because our value and worth as people come not so much from what we achieve, but more from why and how we try to achieve them. I realized that I had a good heart, good mind, and a good idea of what I wanted to do in life. I realized that it’s not the view that is important; rather, it’s the window through which we look at it.

I realized that I alone am responsible for keeping my window clean, and that I alone am entirely capable of this. We all are. And if we keep them clean and our motives correct, good things will happen. Editing Chris and Brooke’s Trash the Dress session helped with this realization. Their love was so true, so simple and plain to see. Their windows: clean individually, yet one in the same; united, looking toward the future together. Soulmates… or “windowmates”. I’m grateful that I was there with them, and that I had their photos to edit during my darkest days. It lifted me up, and gave me hope.

… to be continued, with Chris and Brooke’s wedding, which¬† I’ll post up soon I just posted!¬†I haven’t yet mentioned that replacing my own window lead to the opportunity of finding my own “windowmate”…. my soulmate, just a few months ago. I’ll write about that too! Thank you for reading!

– Jim

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One thing that I’ve enjoyed about paid photography work from the very beginning is the very notion of doing “paid photography work”. The very act of following my dreams. The journey! The adventure! The feeling that I am actually doing it! Who knows where such things can take us?

But, like any dream, this one has been full of twists, turns and, more than anything, the feeling that I am not really in control of what will happen. We can try to be in control, and I can think that I am, but I honestly had no idea that I’d ever photograph weddings, and at the beginning I was actually opposed to doing family sessions — I not only never thought I would do them, but at the time,¬†I didn’t even want to. Heck, I actually started off wanting to photograph war zones!

I think life has a way of giving us exactly what we need, when we need it, and never what we want when we want it — and all the better, because from my experience, a lot of the time we don’t really know what we need, nor do we know what we want, at least not from the start. Both weddings and families have become the biggest career related blessings I’ve ever had. I can’t see myself not doing either of them. They have pushed me further than anything ever has, and they continue to contribute immensely to my photography and my life in general.

I won’t be photographing any war zones any time soon, but my love for the basics of creativity, vibrancy, love and storytelling will always be with me. The future is never certain, but the lessons, memories and moments we live through,¬†foreseen¬†or not, give depth, meaning and direction to us as we forge ahead.

The best we can do is to do the best we can. This session with the Gold family helped inspire me to do just that, and it continues to do so today, because I’ve since become inspired by¬†Daniel Gold himself, and his company, DEG Consulting. He’s a productivity consultant, speaker and author… and an all-around great guy. His writing has helped me become motivated to increase my organizational skills, which were a bit lacking, being the classic “eccentric artist” type that I am. Thank you for the awesome e-books Daniel, and thank you for a great family session, too!

Ready…….. set…GO!The winner!The other winner!

Perhaps my dream is not anything so specific as being a war photographer or wedding photographer or family photographer, or even a photographer in general. The future is never certain, and I should never cling vehemently to expectations of where I’ll go or what I’ll do. The things that remain the same are my innate love of creativity, love itself and the stories and emotions of people’s lives.

I think my real dream is to simply let that love flourish. To not be a photographer so much, but to simply be the best “me” that I can be.

And that is what I’ll be.

– Jim


  • March 11, 2013 - 11:18 PM

    Bev - Cute family!! Well captured, Jim! Love them all! Especially the shot of “the other winner”! :O)ReplyCancel

    • April 4, 2013 - 9:01 PM

      Jim Dierking - Thanks Bev! You and your hubby are the bomb!ReplyCancel

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I get the feeling that this year is going to be an important one. A year to remember and look back upon.

But I don’t think this awesomeness is going to come from the things I want to do or the places I’m planning to see; it’ll come from the things that I won’t see coming. The unexpected, the “windfalls”, the surprise attacks that always happen in life. Last year was full of them.

Many were difficult. Some were very nice.

And others still were truly special. This dream of a wedding, with¬†Eli and Candace, at the beautiful¬†Honuala’i estate¬†in Puako, was one of the special ones.

This moment. I began to cry at this moment. No sound but the ocean and the wind. E & C wrapped in a Hawaiian quilt, their family and friends giving them their blessings.

What will this year bring, I wonder? Better to not think about it too much. Best to simply be myself, do everything with passion and heart, and be grateful for everything I have, including the opportunity to spend the day with these two great people. Thank you, Eli & Candace!

– Jim

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone! ūüėÄ

I always feel like a kid this time of year. Santa does exist. Reindeer can fly. The North Pole is filled with elves who are making amazon giftcards and photo gear. That gigantic box under the tree is not a $120 Lego set, no sir. It is in fact a suitcase that can turn into a hovercraft.

For this one day, I believe as kids do. Christmas is a children’s holiday in my heart; an ode to children around the world, going back two thousand years and going forward four thousand more. We grown ups can learn so much from them — from ourselves, when we were their age. Our ability to dream and imagine should never fall victim to the cynicism and seriousness of the real world. We should always look at the smallest things and recognize them for the miracles that they are, whether it be an earthworm poking out of the ground, the water on a flower petal at dawn, or the sound of a child laughing. They laugh not because there is something funny, but rather because at that moment, there is nothing that is not funny.

So here’s my little photographic ode to the kids. Most of them are my clients; a few are my younger cousins, niece and nephew (couldn’t resist!). For all of them I am incredibly thankful.



– Jim

  • January 6, 2013 - 5:48 AM

    Syreeta - Beautfiul. Makes me want to go to never-never land;)ReplyCancel

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