Melissa & Sean’s Honeymoon Session

From the very first email I received from Melissa, I knew I definitely wanted to be the photographer for her and husband Sean’s Big Island Honeymoon:

“We will be on our honeymoon (getting married here in CA in May of this year) and would like photos of us taken against the beauty of the water, islands, scenery, etc.”

“I really want photographs that capture the beauty of the Big Isle and I want these pictures to evoke the feeling that the location is Hawaii & not CA.  For example, if a guest came in our home & if they saw the photos, I’d want them walking away with “I’ve never been to the Big Isle, but I want to go now.”

Evoking feelings? Showcase the Big Island? Sign me up, please! That’s just my thing — evocative, epic photos are exactly what I’m best at.

And after we exchanged a few emails back and forth, I quickly saw that Melissa was a really cool person. Cool in a way that I could readily understand. She used words like “plethora”, “stabilizing” and “hella” within the context of a portrait session. She had a certain indomitable geekiness to her, as our emails turned from planning the session, to talking about Spam Musubi as a suitable meal for the Easter holiday.

Which it definitely is.

Melissa is cool — we’ve established that. What about her husband Sean? Well, no matter what Melissa might tell you, Sean is a really cool guy. Cool in a way a guy should be. Cool how I wish I was. He’s as mellow as a sunset and as patient as the shore is with the waves. And smooth — he knows just how to make Melissa smile. In fact, she hardly stopped smiling the entire time! Just look:

Oops… maybe Melissa wasn’t smiling all the time…Never mind, she’s smiling again!A hawaiian sunset is more than just the moment when the sun is about to split the ocean; it’s a story that should be told over time. I wanted to clearly show this progression of time in the photos, and I hope I was successful. You be the judge.

After the sun went down for the day, we randomly decided to make a quick stop at the always awesome King’s Shops at Waikoloa for a few “Retail Vacation” themed photos. I thought it’d make the entire collection more varied, and I had always wanted to do some night time, location-lit wedding portraits…Compared to Melissa, Sean is more reserved, but when he does talk, apparently it’s smooth as butter. Oh, and I loved the light this ad box was giving out!What an awesome afternoon and evening it was! I was excited since Melissa, Sean and I would have a second session the next morning, at Onomea Bay, in Hilo…..And in typical Hilo fashion, it was raining when we arrived. After a few minutes of shaking my fist at the sky and pondering my list of sheltered back-up portrait locations, the rain passed and the skies cleared. Thank you skies! We were worried that it might rain again, but these worries turned out to be unfounded when we walked down the trail into the bay proper…I have to say, Melissa is one talented newlywed. She made both of her dresses you see here. And both of Sean’s shirts too! — the 2nd of which is a Barong, traditional Filipino wedding attire for the groom. Great work, Melissa!

So happy to be on such a beautiful island. I really tried to give the Hilo photos a truly “Hilo” feel.The awesome jungles of Onomea. I was half expecting to see a blue alien yelling “I am Toruk Macto!” flying around the canopy.

Congratulations Melissa & Sean, and thank you for having me along for 2 fun days of photographic adventure!

– Jim 🙂

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