Ah, today is the day! It’s finally Friday; it’s the first day of Spring, AND it’s the day I’ve been waiting for to show you the last half of Michelle & Ajax’s destination elopement on Oahu’s North Shore!
After their amazing, emotional ceremony on Ke Ike Beach, we shot some of my all time favorite bride & groom portraits to date. I left this shoot with a heart SO full. So full of joy and gratefulness.
Sometimes epic shots are just luck. You now, those career defining photographs. That people come to recognize and associate with your brand. The one that gets published in a magazine. The one that’s front and center on your portfolio. Yeah, sometimes those are just luck.
Especially when a typical wedding day is moving 90 miles per hour, the ceremony ends, the marriage license is signed, the family portraits are done and we have just about…. 15 minutes for bride & groom portraits. Despite my education and forewarning tot the couple eon this, sometimes, yes we end up with only a mere 15 minutes for our couple’s portraits. And maybe once in a while I get a dream shot within those 15 minutes. But chances are the couple is stressed from family portraits, they’re anxiously awaiting their reception entrance, they’re hungry, and their feet hurt from standing so long in the ceremony in either uncomfortable heels or tuxedo shoes. I’ve seen it all.
But then there are days like Michelle & Ajax’s.
When epic shots are not just luck. They’re a result of careful planning, education, and mutual priority to all parties involved. These two gave me nearly an hour of sunset time with them to do just bride & groom portraits. And earlier that morning, after photographing Michelle’s amazing, flowy, magical Grace Loves Lace gown, I ran the idea by her… “What if… at the end of the day… you can totally veto this idea… you and Ajax waded into this really amazing calm tide pool that I found yesterday while scouting, and we laid the top layer of fabric on the glassy ocean top?”
She said herself she’d be lying if the thought of getting in the ocean hadn’t crossed her mind.
My kind of bride.
We played the day by ear and at the end of the day, with nothing left to lose, Ajax and Michelle happily took the plunge.
And boy was it epic.
We laughed, we cried, we celebrated, we all got soaked to our waists. We shot and shot and shot and made some of my favorite images to date. All the stars aligned: the perfect couple, with perfect attitudes and energy, the most glorious sky and sunset, and the prettiest blooms you ever did see.
And when the sun had finally sunk into the teal, blue ocean, we waded out of the tide pool, and did a heartfelt, “We survived! I love you! three-way group hug. We pulled out of our embrace and turned around to witness a crowd of about 20 people watching and photographing and cheering for US.
Such an amazing moment to share with Michelle & Ajax. I am SO grateful for this couple who TRUSTED me. Trusted me to take them, take their wedding day memories and CREATE something remarkable. Yes, we documented. All day we documented. But these two, waded into the water with me to try something new and to create something we’re all so proud of.
See for yourself.
Ajax and Michelle, I cannot wait to see you again in June for your Korean and Taiwanese ceremonies. I am honored by your grace and your trust. THANK YOU for inviting me to be a part of this journey.
With love and joy,
A special thank you to:
Our professional driver Joy for getting us to the sunset on time
Grace Loves Lace who designed the most magical gown I’ve ever shot
Easley Designs for creating the epic leis, head piece, and bouquet
Erin Randle & Turtle Bay Resort for the flawless styling on Michelle
And Pastor James Chun for being so patient while we shot these first round of images