Big Island Family Photographer | Jim Dierking | Family Photography in Kona, Hilo and Hawaii »

I drove around the south end of the Big Island; a beautiful route I normally don’t take. It’s out of the way for my usual shooting locations.

But Allison and Nick’s wedding wasn’t at any of my usual locations. For their wedding day they had secured an oceanfront estate in the stunning Kealakekua bay. To say that I was excited to be in such a magical place would be an understatement!

Despite being a popular tourist attraction, it has a quiet, off-the-beaten-path and rather local vibe to it… which, it turns out, was absolutely perfect for Allison, Nick and their family and friends.

I entered the estate well ahead of schedule and found the place to be quietly, confidently moving along with preparations. Some weddings I’ve done have had a hurried feel, a nervousness, which is understandable… because it’s a wedding. But for these two and their loved ones, it almost felt like just any other day, and I instantly felt a calm wash over me as I introduced myself to everyone. Allison in particular had to have been one of the calmest, most relaxed brides I’ve ever met, and Nick was charming and hadn’t broken a sweat even in the coastal heat.

The rest of the afternoon proceeded just as smoothly, and I had such an enjoyable time capturing it all.
This, I believe, is the universe in perfect alignment. Thank you, Allison and Nick, for having me there to document it!


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Sigh. I like the families I get to work with.

It’s a good feeling, a comforting feeling, like putting your hands right in the warm air blasting from your car’s vents on a cold day. Or slumping down on your couch after a long day. Your feet might ache, your back might ache, even your heart might ache, but you’ve got that couch and for a brief moment, it’s all you need.

And this, right below, is all I need to be pleased as a photographer. A rockin’ family, a beautiful location, and an hour or so of time. Spector family — you guys are amazing and I am so thankful to have hung out with you all!

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The sun was high and bright that day on the Big Island of Hawaii, casting the sort of light that instantly made you want to sit in the shade to get to know a good book, take a nap, or find a different kind of shade, underwater, with a mask and snorkel.

But even the water was bright that day, as the waves reared up and enjoyed the sun themselves, glowing aquamarine. They crashed and dredged the sandy shores, revealing countless small lava rocks, glistening in the sun.

It was a beautiful scene for the Brown ohana, a wonderful group of nine from Arizona. They were just as sunny as the beach that day — a perfect mix for family photos.

A hearty thanks to the Brown family for having me! And a big Mahalo to the Big Island… for everything. 🙂


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This was a wonderful, quintessential Hawaii family session!

A mother’s love, a father’s joy, and a little one’s amazing moments of zest, with a backdrop of black rock, white coral, and a sky of yellow, blue and salmon blending into each other and fading into the sea.

Simple perfection; I love it.
The Davis ohana, hailing from California, were great fun to hang with; I took them to a secluded little spot not far from the Fairmont Orchid, and we kept things as simple and heartfelt as we could — an easy feat with their incredibly cute son! He’s around the same age as my own girl, so it was awesome to connect with fellow new parents.Thank you so very much to the Davis family for having me over for a session!

One last photo of their boy with a cool drink, well earned. 🙂

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“Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion, who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment, because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived. After all, Number One, we’re only mortal.”

– Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: Generations

With the passing of time, things change. People and experiences flow in and out of our lives. Autumn leaves fall and new ones take their place in Spring. Even the ground beneath our feet is moving. None of us ever truly have control — we’re all simply sailing through time, hoping for fair winds and powering through whatever life might give us. But some things are best left unchanged. Those abstract concepts that my brain can’t help but return to. Love, and family, and even friends. 

Painful as it is to admit, I am not the best friend a person can have. It’s just that between spending time with my wife, caring for our daughter, and maintaining my photo business… I kinda don’t have much time for friends. Even if I made time, they would be at the bottom of my priority list, because I’d really rather just spend every precious weekend with my family. I miss my wife when she’s working on weekdays. I miss our girl when I’m shooting sessions. I even miss just having some “me” time, playing videogames. It’s hard for anyone to compete with these things, so I suppose I’d prefer not asking anyone to try.

One thing that I do sometimes wish I had were co-workers. The solo-freelancer life I’ve lived for a decade is a quiet one. There is no lunch-room banter about how the work is going, or small talk about life with the new guy down the hall. Because it’s just me running this thing, being my own boss, clerk, editor, blogger and photographer, headphones on and hunkered in front of a computer with an 18 month old sleeping in the other room. If you google “lonely creative freelancer”, there’ll be plenty of articles about it, and they’re true: This is a pretty lonely line of work.

Being very introverted, the solitude is intoxicating, and often addicting, but I know it’s bad for my overall mental health. I can feel it if I go too long without a session, as I ask myself “How do I talk to adults again?” just before I introduce myself in person to a family.

And that’s why being out there and getting to talk with every day people is a big deal for me. You are my co-workers. And my bosses, in certain ways. I’m grateful for every one of you who will let me be a part of your stay here.

Similarly, it was awesome to see my old elementary school buddy, Alex, and it was wonderful to meet his family during this particular session! A lot has changed in both of our lives — obviously we’re both grown up a bit, both married, and we’re both Dads — and yet funnily enough we’re both roughly the same people we were back then. The biggest memory I have from those days was swapping Nintendo 64 games with him, and sure enough, we’re still geeky, and still nice guys. Time changes a lot of things but it hasn’t changed those, apparently. 🙂

I suspect he’s still smarter than I am, too. Ah well.

Thank you to the Lindsay ohana for having me there, and thank you for reading!

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