• Hawaii family and wedding photographer, Keao's Photography, is based out of Oahu and provides beautiful professional photography for couples and families just here for a visit or those fortunate to call these islands home. We photograph weddings and families all over Oahu, including but not limited to Honolulu, Waikiki, Ko Olina, and the North Shore. Our services include Hawaii wedding photography, destination weddings photography, vow renewal photography, family photography, and wedding officiating.0

I grew up across the street from the Honokaa rodeo on the Big Island of Hawaii.  I remember running up there to play during rodeo weekends, lured in by the hum of the crowd, the clop of horseshoes on the dirt paths, and the clanging of the metal gate as riders rocketed into the the arena.  Although I live on Oahu now, it is a new family tradition to visit home on Memorial Day for the Honokaa Rodeo.  We were really disappointed to miss it this year.  Still, we had our own cowboy experience when we visited  the Big Island at the end of July instead for our large Edward Kikini Kaupu family reunion.

A part of my family, including myself, has migrated over to Oahu and it is a rare moment when we are all together on the same island.   My uncle came up with the idea to ask my brother-in-law, Marti, for a chance to ride horses.   Despite my love of the rodeo, I must confess the only time I have ever been on a horse was as a kid at the Farm Fair in Hilo.  I was pretty nervous.  But I figured, if I was going to look like a fool, at least it would be in front of my family…who would be sure to hold on to the memory and mock me for years to come.   Marti and my sister, Genesis, treated us to a day of horse-riding at the Honokaa Rodeo Arena.  Even their little 2 year-old girl, Anaiah, showed off her obvious familiarity with being on a horse, right down to her adorable mini cowgirl boots.

beautiful Hawaiian horsesMarti and his horses

black and white photo of mom and daughter

Just another day in country life for my sister and her little girl.

city cousins checking out the horses

The kids were so excited for their first time on a horse.

Big Island Hawaii activities with professional photographer

aunty linda riding horse

black and white photographer of Big Island cowboy

Big Island family photography has a day at the rodeo

Things to do on the Big Island include horse riding

 

My four year old daughter is a bit fearful and horses, as adorable as they may be are large and intimidating up close.  I was hoping she would have a chance to ride but I really did think she was going to be too scared.  So I felt rather silly when she eagerly squealed as Uncle Marti swung her up on top of the horse.  These kids were naturals.  They never wanted to get down so we had to double them up so they could get more riding time.   She buddied up with her cousin  as Uncle Marti walked them around and around…and around…and around…well, you get the idea.

My niece even renamed one of the horses.  The minute she saw him appear, she shrieked and excitedly exclaimed that it was Maximus ( a Tangled reference for those of you not well-versed in cartoon movies).  And thus, he became known as Maximus.

Hawaii family photography with horse riding

Hawaii family photographer at the rodeo

horse riding with Big Island photographer

Even the youngest in our party, my little nephew got a ride with Aunty Genesis.

 

color photos of Hawaii family having fun at the rodeoblack and white photos of horse riders at Honokaa Hawaii

having fun at the Honokaa Rodeo Arena

Big Island Photographer taking family photos at the rodeo

Big Island Hawaii family photographer at Honokaa Arena

all smiles for little girls getting the cowgirl experience

My niece, Anaiah, was thrilled to spend a day with her city cousins and show off her cute boots.

little cowgirl riding horse at Honokaa rodeo arena

horse riding in Hawaii Honokaa Rodeo

Now that I can add this to my short list of horse-riding experiences, I am hooked!  And a huge heart-felt thanks to Marti for getting the horses together and ready and walking a half-marathon so we could have fun.

 If you’re visiting the Big Island or Oahu and you’re not fortunate to have a cowboy in your family, there are many horseback tours available on both islands.

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  • Mike Coulson - August 10, 2014 - 5:26 pm

    Keau you should write that into a children’s book! You have the gift of writting as well as photography! Very enjoyable read!

Keri emailed me at the start of summer.  They were planning a trip to Hawaii as a family to celebrate her husband’s 40th anniversary.  It had been over TEN YEARS(!!!) since they had a family portrait together and with their 13 year old twin sons shooting up like weeds, they didn’t want to wait any longer.  They were staying at the luxurious Ko Olina Mariott Beach Club in West Oahu, just 30 minutes away from the heart of Honolulu.  The Beach Club especially caters to families with lagoons perfect for swimming or just basking in the golden sun and you’re just a few steps away from the exploring the Disney Aulani hotel.  When I’m working with families or couple to plan the location, I always ask if they have access to a car because I usually like to get them out of the city and show them the hidden treasures on Oahu.  But when I find out they’re staying at the Mariott or Aulani, I say “perfect, stay right there…I’m coming to you!”

Despite the early hour, everyone was in such a great mood.  They were such a sweet family and I loved getting to know them.  The boys might have seemed a little sleepy at first but woke up quickly as they saw the gorgeous lagoon that was our location.   We climbed on some rocks, dipped our toes in the ocean, and by the end, they were wrestling with dad in the sand.  I love to mix posed and candid shots in photos, I always plan for some free time because that’s when you really see what personalities makes up a family.  And I’m a ninja with my camera, I don’t want to miss any action.  So, dad can have those photos that one day he can point to and say “remember when you teamed up on me but I still won.”  

 

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Planning a dream vacation and looking for a Honolulu family photographer? Contact me for more information on how to book your own family photo session.  Keao is a Honolulu family photographer available on the islands of Oahu and the Big Island.  She loves books, chewy chocolate chip cookies, and telling your family’s story with stunning photos.   If you would like to schedule a family photo shoot or book one of her amazing wedding packages, fill out the contact form found above in the menu.  Mahalo!

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Senior photos are one of the high school passages in our culture.  Heck, I still remember the day I took mine.  They had set up backdrops and lights in a room at school and you were assigned a date and time to show up.  I brought my girlfriends and two (exactly two) of my best shirts.  Typical senior photos used to involve sitting behind a table or desk so a whole outfit was not needed!  My family was back home on the Big Island so instead, I brought my friends from my dorm.  They lightened the mood and I really thought their presence was going to be to my advantage.   But imagine my surprise when I received my photos a few months later and found that in each and every photo, I had a section of my bangs sticking straight up.  Wish my friends had thought to point that out sometime during my photo shoot!  They’re awesome friends, so I couldn’t be too mad.

Times have changed and Oahu seniors are ditching the gray backdrops and hot lights for gorgeous scenery and golden sunlight.  Senior photos are now a fast-growing market as high school seniors jump on the chance to celebrate in style with photos that display their personality.  

When Caitlin first contacted me, she said she wanted to be able to give truly special senior photos to her teachers, friends, and family members to thank them for all the supoprt they had given her through her years of schooling.  She’s impressively accomplished, a former basketball player, cross-country runner, and scheduling time for a session was tricky since she was practicing nightly for  her school’s performance of Xanadu.   Busy girl! 

Caitlin isn’t typically a beach person (hey, I’m not the only one on this island!!) but she still wanted to include some beach photos to take a piece of Hawaii with her to college.  We started off at beautiful Makapu`u, one of my favorite places.  The ocean is so deep and blue and the black lava rocks create a dramatic background.    And because a beast of rainstorm had just whipped through right before we arrived, it was beautifully empty and all ours!  Then we finished off our fun shoot with a field beautifully colored with golds, greens, and reds.  Perfection in one afternoon!

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Just to be sure that we didn’t have another “fly-away bangs” incident, I made sure to bring my assistant, Joy, along and put her on hair-watching duty.  We don’t take chances!!  It turned out to be a photo session party as Caitlin’s family also asked to tag along.  Her mom, dad, and younger sister joined us.  I was slightly worried that her family might get bored waiting patiently behind the scenes.  Boy, was I wrong.  I turned to check on them and cracked up when I saw them having their own little photo sessions.  They loved the locations so much that they whipped out their cell phones and took turns taking photos of each other.  Soon, everyone was laughing and I grabbed a quick shot of Caitlin with her sister, Maile.

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 Now is the perfect time to book your own photos!  Keao is a Honolulu family photographer located on Oahu and available for all neighbor islands.   If you would like to schedule a portrait photo shoot or book one of her amazing wedding packages, fill out the contact form found above in the menu.  Mahalo!

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Over the busy holiday season, Sherrie hit a road block while trying to put together a family photo card…she realized that she didn’t have a lot of great photos with everyone in the family together.  She and her tall, handsome hubby, Mike, are both from Hawaii and met in college on the west coast.  They married and became parents to a gorgeous little girl while both of them attended medical school and went on to start their residencies.   Now, their tight-knit family is split across the Pacific Ocean as Sherrie carves out a place for their family home in the islands until Mike finishes his residency and can join them.  Family time is always important but now it’s even more precious.

We chose Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu for their family photos.  It’s paradise and a little oasis tucked away in the midst of the busy city life.  Meandering paths and towering trees delight the hearts of any child…and this child-like adult right here.  We explored, we twirled, we leap-frogged, and took a few lovely photos along the way.  Ashlyn with her silky straight hair and wide-eyed “ohs” at every sight and sound caught my heart, and I know she’ll capture yours.

Sherrie and Mike really wanted to include their parents as well to remember how much their families have supported them.  Sherrie’s mom stayed with Mike and Sherrie in Oregon for 3 years to help care for Ashlyn while they were going through the grueling schedule of residency.  Now that they’ve moved back to the islands, Ashlyn has all her doting grandparents on hand and this little girl is so loved!

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On your dream Oahu vacation or are you fortunate to call Hawaii your home?  Now is the perfect time to book family photos here in island paradise.  Keao is a Honolulu family photographer available on the islands of Oahu and the Big Island.  She loves books, chewy chocolate chip cookies, and telling an unforgettable story with just a stunning photos.  She would absolutely love to tell your story next.   If you would like to schedule a family photo shoot or book one of her amazing wedding packages, fill out the contact form found above in the menu.  Mahalo!

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It’s throwback Thursday (I keep seeing this trend everywhere) so I think it’s it’s time I take you back to my first family photo session of 2014.  And when I say “first,” I’m not exaggerating.   We had a New Year’s Day Photo shoot.   I’m a busy girl, I don’t take holidays!  Holidays happen to be the busiest time for Hawaii photographers, and I loved starting off 2014 spending an afternoon getting to know Mitesh and Falguni.  They were vacationing in Waikiki with their beautiful daughter, Aashi, and wanted to update their family photos while enjoying our beautiful beaches.

It was a holiday so the beaches were more busy than I’m typically used to but it just made it more fun.  It seemed like the whole island had a blast celebrating New Year’s Eve and were thoroughly enjoying a gorgeous, sunshiny day at the beach.   For all the photo shoots I have at the beach, I don’t have much time to actually go on my own so I enjoyed the moment to take in the golden sunlight and the sound of the crashing waves.  I even volunteered to be a spectator for this epic sand war that was happening.  I don’t know who won but I get the sense they carried some of that sand home with them.

fun on the sandsand fun

Then I turned my camera on to this sweet family from California and the laughs didn’t stop. I took Mitesh and Falguni aside for some couples photos and every time I would step back to get my shot, Mitesh would lean over and whisper  and Falguni would burst out in giggles.  She was laughing so hard, she couldn’t tell me what it was that was so funny but with laugh-induced tears in her eyes, she pointed at Mitesh.   I couldn’t hear what he was whispering in her ear but from the mischievous twinkle in his eyes, he was enjoying every moment of it.  I have the feeling that joy and laughter is a never-ending constant in their lives.

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Thank you for starting my 2014 right!  Come back and visit soon!

On your dream Oahu vacation or are you fortunate to call Hawaii your home?  Now is the perfect time to book family photos here in island paradise.  Keao is a Hawaii family photographer available on the islands of Oahu and the Big Island.  She loves books, chewy chocolate chip cookies, and telling an unforgettable story with just a single photo.  She would absolutely love to tell your story next.   If you would like to schedule a family photo shoot or book one of her amazing wedding packages, fill out the contact form found above in the menu.  Mahalo!

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  • Pinky - April 9, 2014 - 11:24 am

    aww love it! love the light, and the sand photos look fun! =)

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