Luxury Retreats Maui Family Portraits at Honu Kai

We’re ending our week the same way we started it - with LUXURY RETREATS Maui family portraits at Honu Kai!

Upon the Bartlett’s arrival to Maui, they checked into their villa and really didn’t leave.  Honu Kai is arguably one of the most romantic (and relaxing) of the Luxury Retreats on this island.  And they really had no reason to leave.  I can’t describe to you the feeling of the property.  It practically drips with quiet relaxation.

The family wanted a quiet portrait session at their villa with their six month old baby.  And that’s exactly what they received.  I walked in with my camera and began photographing them just as they were.  Right where they were.  Doing what they had been doing all week.  They put their feet in the pool.  Relaxed on the lounge chairs.  Laid in the hammock.  Played in the grass.

When the backyard options were exhausted, we hopped in the car just in time for a tropical downpour.  It was a quick mile jaunt down to the beach.  The water was dark and the sky stormy, but we had the beach to ourselves.  And it was still gorgeous with the rain.

Hair and makeup services by MeiLi Autumn.

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Luxury Retreats Maui Family Portrait Session: the Campbells

We’re kicking off the week with a Luxury Retreats family portrait session for the Campbells!

When Heather booked her session, she told me of the extra special reason their family was making their way to our little island across the ocean from their California home.  Her grandmother was turning 100.  And Maui was on her bucket list.  So they pulled the family together.  Booked the gorgeous South Beach villa.  And celebrated Luella’s centennial birthday in style!

I met the family at their private villa, and photographed until there was no light left.  The evening was a little windy, and Luella’s hair was freshly done.  But we managed to sneak her out onto the front patio for a few portraits.  And we snuck in a couple with Heather’s brother.  And then soaked up the rest of the light with Heather’s family.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love photographing siblings.  I love their silliness.  I love the way they know just how to tickle each other in the most ticklish places.  I love the genuine love when they’re too little to truly appreciate each other.

And Heather’s boys were no exception.  After we got the real work out of the way, I had them shake the silly out.  And run on the beach that was their home for the week.  They told be about the protected nest of turtle eggs just up the beach that would hatch any day.  And they climbed trees.  And cuddled their sister.

They were the best kind of models.

Happy Monday!

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Relaxed Lifestyle Newborn Photography Session

I had the absolute pleasure of photographing one of the most relaxed lifestyle newborn photography sessions I’ve done to date a couple of weeks ago.  It might have helped that it was my twin sister.  And we spread the photos out over a couple of days.  But I think what I love the most is that she wanted to be in the photos.

A lot of moms don’t feel at their best right after having a baby.  Because of that, they don’t want to be photographed.  But one of my very favorite things is when a mom wants to be in the photos with her newborn.  Because that’s more real life than anything.  I’ve done the posed baby on an indyllic background.  I’ve done the heater and the bending and the soothing for two hours to get a small handful of photos.  Honestly, the last session I did like that, the baby just wouldn’t settle in.  We tried our hardest, just when she fell asleep she would start crying again.  So we abandoned “those” newborn photos.  The next day, I received a text message that their brand new little girl was in the hospital with an infection.  She wouldn’t settle in because the positions we were putting her in exacerbated her instead of soothing her.

I felt sick inside.  Because all she could do to communicate her discomfort was to cry.  I decided right then and there that those types of newborn sessions were no longer for me.

And these are.  The family playing together.  Dad tossing his two year old a baseball as he’s learning how to hit for the first time.  Bringing the brand new tricycle onto the blanket for a photo because the same two year old was much more enamored with it than with his brother.  Not shooing the dog out of the frame because she, too, is part of the family.  Then sneaking in some quiet portraits in the nursery during nap time.

I instagrammed a sneak peek yesterday for my sister.  Even though these photographs were taken just four weeks ago, she sent me a text.  She already looks so different.  The initial just-had-a-baby fluff has faded.

A lot of women don’t like the fluff.  The bloat.  The weight.  The puffiness.  They prefer to not be in the photographs because they don’t want what they perceive as the worst version of themselves recorded.

As a woman who has been unable to get pregnant, I have one simple request to the new mommies: get photographed with your newborn.  Because as quickly as your body will change after you give birth, your child will grow just as quickly.  And there’s a certain sweetness to a mother holding her tiny little bundle of love in those first days.  A sweetness that will never be captured again.

Happy Thursday!

Maui Hawaii Newborn Family Photography

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  • October 30, 2014 - 10:42 pm

    Heylen Thienes - LOVE that last photo!ReplyCancel

  • October 31, 2014 - 1:30 pm

    Jody - Beautiful. Beautiful pics, beautiful mom, beautiful story you have captured of real life :) ReplyCancel

Maui Family Portraits Wailea Beach Villas

It was this Arizona family’s first trip to Hawaii (and their first Maui family portraits at the Wailea Beach Villas).  The beautiful property quickly became their home away from home.  The boys had a whole extra bedroom to themselves, but chose instead to camp out on the sofa bed together all week (I love that!).  They snorkeled.  Body surfed. Jumped between the pool and the ocean.  And surviving one rogue jellyfish sting.  It was clear by the looks on their faces when I arrived: Maui had shown them a great time.

I had the pleasure of photographing them on the last night of their trip.  We started off in the lush, tropical greenery of the resort grounds.  We ended with our feet in the ocean as their last Maui sunset dipped beneath the horizon.  I just love getting the more formal portraits out of the way, and watching personalities come out once it’s time to goof around.  And I especially love photographing siblings together.  Making each other laugh.  And just flat out being silly.

Thanks boys for being so much fun to photograph.

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An All Black and White Georgia Portrait Session

Continuing along with the blog posts from our September traveling extravaganza, brings us to our next stop: Georgia!

As soon as the plane touched down, I hopped into Eva’s car and drove straight to her house where she squeezed in a quick portrait session before her husband left to catch a plane of his own!  I photographed this gorgeous family for the first time five years ago:

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This time, Eva requested an all black and white session, which is a little different for me.  I’m always on the hunt for amazing color, and approaching a session knowing it will be solely black and white stretched me in a way that surprised me.  Here are the highlights from our time together!

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In addition to being the mom to her beautiful girls, Eva is a creative genius in her own right.  She is the owner and mastermind behind Belle of the Ball Events, and the creative engine behind the gorgeous event that was Coy and Kylie’s wedding.  After we wrapped up her family session, I had to grab a few photos of Eva in her home office:

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  • October 10, 2014 - 10:55 am

    Eva - Jane… you’re so talented!! We’re overjoyed with these images you artfully captured. We LOVE you!!!ReplyCancel