Winter Birding

Joshua and I spent our new year/regular winter birding time on the Big Island of Hawaii this year. Within the first handful of days, my youngest brother Joseph (who is stationed on Oahu) called me up. "I'm getting married! Wanna hop over this way and snap some photos for us?" he excitedly asked.

Obviously I excitedly said yes and a week later, hubs (also my go-to lighting assistant) and I were on a flight to Oahu.

I always love photographing weddings in general - so many tender moments that I get to witness and capture for each couple - but when I am allowed to be a part of my family's beautiful moments, it means so much more.

Apparently, my brother and his wife Alexa tried to get married a couple of weeks before Joshua and I were on the Big Island - but getting hitched in Hawaii isn't just a show up, and fill out some paperwork the day of kind of state....which I'm ever so grateful for! Happy accidents are the best kinds!

The morning of Alexa and Joseph's wedding was nice and simple - hanging at their apartment on base, Facetiming family back home on the mainland, and picking out clothes to wear for the day.

Once everyone was all dolled up, we climbed into Alexa's Jeep and made our way to Hawaii's Civil Marriage office. As we were driving around in circles looking for a good parking spot we passed this beautifully bright mural and all I could think was "we HAVE to snap some portraits here!" luck would have it, we wound up walking right past it on our way to sign the official papers!

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Alexa's parents and their lil' pupper met us on our walk in to the office space and just as the simple ceremony was starting, Joseph's best Army buddies showed up as well. Luckily the officiating judge used to be a photographer back in the day, so after he made Joseph and Alexa husband and wife, he was able to snap a photo of Joshua and I with the newlyweds!

After having a bit of goof-off fun in front of the civil marriage office, Joseph's buddies had to get back to work and Alexa's parents let us steal the newlyweds away for the portrait portion of the day. On the way to the couple's favorite beach, we swung by a yummy smoothie bowl joint so that none of us would get the hangries during the beach time photoshoot.

Papailoa Beach Portraits

The four of us spent the rest of the beautiful day snapping gorgeous portraits of the newlyweds as well as had some fun splashing around and exploring the beach itself. Not a bad way to celebrate just getting hitched if you ask me!

I absolutely ADORE photographing the non-traditional weddings - they're full of unique opportunities that offer up so much room for amazing portraits.