We were fortunate to spend a week on Maui with my husband’s family in April to celebrate his father’s 70th birthday milestone! In an effort to preserve our memories of this incredibly special trip my husband and I decided to hire a professional photographer to capture our family all together. I loved the photos so much that I couldn’t resist sharing a few favorite snaps from our shoot and talk a bit about our experience with Maui Family Photography!
(Our outfit details are shared at the end of the post)
First things first: when I started searching for our photographer I definitely had an aesthetic in mind. If you’ve seen any of our other professional photos (engagement, wedding, pregnancy announcement, maternity, newborn) by Blue Rose Photography, you’ll know what I’m referring to. I love when photos have a natural, light and airy look to them. When I stumbled upon Maui Family Photography on Instagram, I knew immediately that Jess would be the perfect fit for us.
Jess’s photography aesthetic definitely has a signature vibe. She seems to love natural light and definitely knows how to play with / capture it well. I was immediately drawn to the sample images I saw on her social media and on her website because while they looked very sunkissed and beachy they still had that same light and airy look that I adore. I was very excited to discover Jess because her photography style looked like it would have a cohesive look with all of our other milestone photos!
I want to start off by saying that Jess was amazing to work with from beginning (booking the session) to end (e-delivering our photos) and I wanted to share our experience of working with her!
When I went to her website to book our shoot I saw on her calendar that she wasn’t available during the week that we would be on the island and was super bummed, but then I noticed a memo she had posted which said to email her if the dates we were looking for weren’t available on the calendar. I sent her a note with our hoped-for dates and she wrote back quickly explaining that she had planned to start her maternity leave that week (!!!), but was selectively taking a few clients and would be willing to capture our family!
I was so thrilled, but mildly apprehensive for two reasons: (1) I can’t imagine being on my feet for 90 full minutes (in the sand!) while that far along in pregnancy and wasn’t sure I felt comfortable asking someone else to, and (2) babies are on their own schedules so I was a bit nervous that her little one might decide to arrive early which meant that our family would be out of luck. I messaged to ask (1) if she was sure that she was comfortable capturing our family while being so far along in her pregnancy and (2) if she could recommend any other local photographers that we could use for a Plan B (just in case!). *P.S. This is fairly common practice for photoshoots and nothing to be afraid to ask for — life happens and it can’t hurt to have a backup plan. I learned from Brittany and Joe that I needed to ask this when we were interviewing for wedding photographers!
After Jess assured me that she was comfortable continuing to work up to that point in her pregnancy and then kindly humored me by suggesting an alternative photographer to ease my concerns (😜) we made it official and booked our Extended Ohana session! After booking, Jess and I had a little bit of emailing back-and-forth to discuss logistics: date, time of day (sunrise or sunset), location, and then I provided her with my phone number so that she could text me closer to the day of to confirm and then coordinate our meetup.
Thankfully, when the day came for our shoot, Jess’s little bundle had decided to stay put and we were able to meet up with her for our session! We decided on a sunset session at a little beach near our resort in Wailea. About ~10 minutes before our shoot was scheduled to begin, Jess texted me that she was quickly scouting out an alternative location nearby just in case our previously chosen beach was too busy. Apparently, she had driven by our originally selected location the evening before and saw that there were a lot of people camping out there (like with full blown tents!?) so she was a bit concerned that they would still be there for our session. I really appreciated that foresight and anticipation in case we needed to shift our plans. Miraculously, there were no tents to be found on our shoot day and the area was perfect for our photos. I wish I had taken more photos of the beach space, but I was so busy juggling a wiggly Sophie and her diaper bag that I didn’t even think to take my phone out to snag many of my own pics.
Sophie’s first time experiencing sand! I’m so glad we have this documented… it was so precious! Those tiny sandy toes just kill me.
A few things to note when booking your shoot (items which Jess also addresses on her website):
(1) afternoon / evenings get quite windy on Maui (especially in the Wailea area) so a morning session would be a lot calmer (this is a concern especially if you have long hair like I do because mine was swirling around like a tornado for most of the session), but we have some late risers in our group so I decided that for the good of everyone we’d just avoid the morning grumbles;
(2) if you have little ones with you, they can often get cranky by the evening so morning shoots are recommended for babies and kiddos… Sophie did okay during our sunset shoot, but it was a lot of new for her (environment: wind, ocean, sand, etc. plus there were a lot of relatives that she isn’t used to seeing often) and just generally being a little tired so she struggled a bit. Just something to consider for my fellow parents!
Our situation was far from a negative experience, but I still think that with any future sessions we’re going to go with sunrise for the aforementioned reasons.
I also want to bring to your attention that this amazing wonderwoman was 38 weeks pregnant when she shot our family photos… please note that full term is 40 weeks, so we were definitely cutting it close (and look how cute she is in her element with her sweet bump)! Jess gave us great direction, snapped so many sweet, naturally candid images, and was open to us making a few requests toward the end of our shoot (a fun group photo with all of us doing a signature “look” that we always try to incorporate into family shoots, a group shot with a cutout that we brought with the head of one person who couldn’t make the trip, and Jess was even gracious enough to snap a photo of all of us on my brother’s Instax camera).
In conclusion: I can’t recommend Jess enough if you are looking for a photographer to capture your family while on Maui.
She was kind, helpful, accommodating and very professional while also having a very “Hawaii casual” demeanor which helped all of us feel as comfortable as possible in front of the camera. We will absolutely be booking her services on any subsequent visits to Maui!
My exact dress is linked, but Sophie’s bubble romper is from Baby GAP last year and my husband’s exact Ralph Lauren polo color is also from last year so I included some similar alternatives for both in the widget below.
*Please note that I am only including photos of our core family of three in this post in an effort to respect our family members’ privacy, but please know that the rest of the photos of the group are just as wonderful! We loved them all so much that we ended up buying all of the images!
We had such a fun time together on this beach shoot and will treasure the photos from our special trip forever. Jess, from the bottoms of our hearts, thank you again for capturing our family and congratulations on the arrival of your baby boy!
Sending hugs —