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

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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This session was just a smattering of good times… probably from the fact that the Mayer Ohana is one of those families who unintentionally “own the room”, because their affection for one another is so loud and obvious and not at all dull.

They are what I think families should be. They are loving, honest, joking people — and by “joking”, I mean that at the beginning of the session they jokingly told me something along the lines of “GOOD LUCK BUDDY HAHA!”. Or maybe that’s honesty. 😀 They embody the ability for a family to have fun, let loose and enjoy the moment together… because each and every moment is all we really have.


Huge thank you to the Mayer family for letting me be a part of their stay on the Big Island! And thank you for not holding any bit of your personalities back — the best photos from this session will never be shown here, simply because they’re a little crazy (and they involve the guys taking their shirts off and stuff). But hey! Great photos always come from such honesty, and I’m grateful for theirs. 🙂

– Jim

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Back home in Hawaii after 2 months in India, although it feels like we spent 2 months on another planet entirely. It was a surreal, beautiful time, and I’m still gathering my thoughts on all of it, in preparation for what might be a gigantic blog post full of words, photos and exclamation points. Or an entirely new website.

Until then, here’s a session from back in May, with the wonderful Roscoe Family!


“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”


“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.”



“The roots below the earth claim no rewards for making the branches fruitful.”



“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time, like dew on the tip of a leaf.”



“It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.”


“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”


“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”

(Above quotes are by Rabindranath Tagore)

Thank you for reading!
– Jim

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Whew! Things have been really busy here, having done more family sessions in the past few months alone than I did in all of last year. A few great weddings were squeezed in there too, as well as numerous trips to Oahu to spend time with Syreeta, my girlfriend/soulmate/inspiration (although I built a new editing computer specifically so I could work there too, so these trips weren’t exactly vacations). I have lots more editing to do, and I’m a little stressed out, but I’m thankful for it too. Life has been amazing lately.

Still to come is the most amazing of all, and the reason I thought an update would be a good thing. Along with my photo editing, I’ve also been super busy planning a 9 week long trip to India, for which Syreeta and I will depart on September 3rd!





The map above shows an outline of where we’ll be going, with each color representing about 2 weeks worth of time. We’ll experience Himalayan Buddhist monasteries, desert village life, chaotic train rides lasting 40+ hours, and the massive festival of Diwali in the holy city of Varanasi! My hope as a photographer is to capture it all in a cohesive, vibrant, intimate way, using the skills I’ve learned here to get a more family-oriented look at life in India… similar to what I do here. Just there. 🙂 Syreeta and I will also be making a short documentary film about our lives leading up to and going through this journey, which will likely just be a grand personal memoir, but could become part of a bigger idea her and I are dreaming up.

Wi-fi and internet access should be pretty okay over there, so I plan to post lots of snapshots through my Instagram the whole way through — click here and feel free to follow me to see what we discover!

We won’t be back in Hawaii until November 8th, and obviously I won’t be shooting any sessions until then. I’ll still be answering my emails the best I can while I’m there though, so if you’re interested in working with me after I get back, send me a message and I’ll get back to you! I currently have a lot of availability in November and December, and will be hungry to get back into the groove after I return.

Finally, I just wanted to thank all of my clients, past and present. Without you this trip would not have been possible. It has been my dream to travel to far-away places; places I’ve imagined since childhood, and I’m incredibly grateful that I have the chance to make this dream a reality. Thank you so much!

Now, time to edit. And then… onward!

– Jim


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