The Porter Family at the Hapuna Prince

Most of my family photo sessions are near Kailua-Kona, or in Waikoloa — home to beautiful sunsets, great beaches, and expansive resorts. But I live in the town of Volcano, about 100 miles away… so my commute home tends to be at night.

I have to admit that I always try to take advantage of that brief moment, when you’re driving by a house in darkness, and you try to figure out what they’re watching on TV just by the tiny glimpse you get through their living room window.

Anyone else do this?

It never fails to fascinate me. Every one of us has two powerful stories — the one we broadcast to the world, and the private one we leave at home. What we watch on TV can be an intersection of those. A gateway for others to peer into. I feel a little creepy doing it but my curiosity makes it too hard to resist.

I try to imagine what their lives might be like; a stressed middle-aged father sipping on a beer during ESPN commercial breaks. A grandmother, relaxing after watching the grand-kids all day, seeing another case solved by the Special Victims Unit.

Or perhaps someone might drive by my house, and see a computer screen illuminating a slightly ragged photographer every night near midnight. Although truthfully I look ragged all day (thank you stay-at-home-parenting life).

Who are these people? What can be inflected from the screens they observe?

I like to think of family photos as a similar window into people, but for each other to look into. One day, the photos from your session will let future generations ask those same questions about you. I love seeing faded B&W photos of my great-grandparents, whom I’ve never met. On my Mom’s side, they were born in Okinawa, in the 1800’s. A completely different, much tougher world than the one I inhabit today.

Photos are a gateway — an intersection in time — that lets us cross from our lives to another.

I guess that makes me the guy that controls the Bifrost of Asgard, from Thor? Or perhaps I’m just a lucky guy illuminated by a computer screen at midnight.

In any case, here are a few photos from a wonderful session I did with the Porter Family from California. They wanted a smattering of posed photos to be used as a grand display in their home, as well as some playful candids that show a bit of who they are individually and collectively. Pretty sure we nailed it, thanks much in part to how easy they were to work with!


hapuna beach family portraitfamily sitting on the grass in hawaiisenior portrait in hawaiicollege student relaxing on the big islandsenior portrait on the big island of hawaiiyoung man looking cool in hawaiiportrait of a kid at the hapuna princekids joking in hawaiitwo brothers in hawaii relaxingfamily having fun on hapuna beacha mother and her sonsa father and his daughterssiblings playing tag in hawaiisiblings running on a beach in hawaiikids cruising on a beach at sunsethawaii big island sunset

A huge thanks to the Porters for allowing me to photograph — no — for allowing me to summon a gateway so their future grand kids can look back into the past! 🙂

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