• Hawaii family and wedding photographer, Keao's Photography, is based out of Oahu and provides beautiful professional photography for couples and families. 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. Please nquire about availability for the other Hawaiian islands.0

We can’t help ourselves.  We’re fascinated with proposal stories.  They come in all colors and shapes; funny, endearing, sentimental, laid-back, elaborate, romantic, or short and sweet.  They’re as diverse as the couples in love and despite how different they are, they’re always heartfelt and always memorable.  It will be a story that you will tell and tell often.  It is one of the most private and intimate moments of your life that is quickly followed by a joy that you will want to share with everyone you love and who loves you.  And with the right photographer, you can share that moment with photos so even if they weren’t there with you, it feels like they were.

Joe and Momo are the sweetest of high school sweethearts. Joe was working long hours in the days leading up to the big proposal so we didn’t have much time to talk and plan. But we had a time and a place.  This proposal story was definitely generous with romance and gorgeousness.  Joe planned a picnic date.  They picked up food on the way and ate it on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  They lay on the rocks warmed by the setting sun and read together.

I knew the spot well and I knew there wasn’t many places to avoid detection so I made sure I brought the right camera gear to capture the proposal from afar.  The backdrop was freaking amazing and that helped in more ways than one.  A few others had trickled nearby to take photos of the incredible sunset. I introduced myself and made friends with a group sitting nearby and blended in with them.  But I wasn’t looking at the sunset, I was looking at the couple at the ocean’s edge that were now holding hands.

He held her hands and asked for her forever.  And she said yes.  Cue tears and hugs and a slew of cell phone selfies.

He laughed when she wistfully wished there was someone to take a picture of them together and he pointed in my direction and waved me over from my hiding spot.  Joe really had thought of everything!

perfect spot for oahu surprise proposal in hawaii

a surprise proposal and engagement by honolulu photographer


a photographer captures a couple right before the surprise proposal in hawaii

moment of the big surprise proposal in hawaii

kiss between newly engaged couple after marriage proposal

tender moment in East Oahu

newly engaged couple in Oahu photo shoot

suprise proposal in hawaii caught in photos

honolulu engagement photograph after surprise proposal

first kiss as newly engaged couple in Honolulu


she said yes oahu surprise proposal photographed by hawaii photographer


Planning a wedding or proposal on Oahu? Tell me all about it.  Use the contact form above or email keao@keaosphotography.com.

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Mia and her family were planning a vacation at the Aulani Hotel on the west end of Oahu and they wanted to take family photos. When Mia emailed me, she mentioned that she had grown up in Japan and in the United States. She, her husband and her two beautiful children are now living in the US but her parents live in Japan. S0, every year, they plan a family trip and meet in the middle, in Hawaii.  They look forward to this time they have together, especially since it comes just once a year.

It made me think of the growing up here in Hawaii.  We don’t get to see some of our loved ones very often, as we are separated by islands and continents.  But, my husband’s parents live just down the road from us and our girls get to spend time with them every weekend.There’s something remarkable about the bond between grandchildren and grandparents. We’ve taken family trips together and there is something so special about that time together. And at the end of the trip, the highlight for our girls will always be that everyone they loved was under the same roof.  And as I was taking photos of Mia’s family, I saw that same love and excitement.

So, plan those trips and make those memories! If distance seems too large, meet in the middle.  And save a sunny afternoon for me and we will take photos of these precious memories.

anniversary photography by Ko Olina Aulani photographer

childrens photography Ko Olina Photographer

childrens photography Ko Olina Photographer

mom and kids photos by Aulani Ko Olina photographer

mom and kids photos by Aulani Ko Olina photographer


take a family photo on vacation at Ko Olina Hawaiigorgeous family photos in Ko Olina Oahugrandparents with their grandkids Ko Olina Hawaii

photo of siblings in Ko Olina by Oahu photographer

Ko Olina Oahu Photographer-Three generations of women


Aulani anniversary photographer on Oahu


The sun was blazing and the kids could not be that close the to the Pacific Ocean and not be in it.  So with camera in tow, we abandoned land for the welcoming sea.

Ko Olina family photos in the water

family photography at Ko Olina near Aulani

family photography at Ko Olina near Aulani

Ko Olina Family Photographer photos with fun

Oahu Family Photographer at Ko Olina

Staying at the Aulani, Mariott Beach Club, or Four Seasons Ko Olina and want family photos?  Use the contact form in the menu above or email keao@keaosphotography.com with the dates of your visit and the number of people in your family!

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  • Elsie Barnes - May 24, 2017 - 5:45 pm

    What an awesome story! These trips will become an heirloom for those kiddos! Beautiful people and photographs!!!

  • Vanessa Hicks - May 26, 2017 - 11:11 am

    These are great! I didnt know you grew up here!! I grew up here when I was a kid until 13! Im so happy to be back!

The holidays felt busier than before, December was a blur of photo sessions, print orders, family dinners, gingerbread house decorating and a LOT of Christmas music sing-alongs. As much as I love meeting families and updating their family photos in time for holiday cards, it can get a little crazy, and  there’s something so special about taking family photos in the peaceful calm of a new year. It has been a cold winter (for Hawaii, of course, don’t laugh too hard) and it’s been a while since my girls have been able to enjoy a beach day in this windy weather. So, I had my fingers crossed for this family photo session.  Sophie and Robert brought their little girl here from the other side of the ocean to celebrate a special birthday and the new year. And the sun answered with glorious sunshine and a beautiful day by the water’s edge.

Just recently, my husband and I took our family up to visit friends in the Pacific Northwest.  We were fascinated with all things snow and loved every moment exploring a new place.  I remember my friend showing us the extra set of warm outerwear they keep in their cars at all times in case they get stranded during the winter season.  I found that fascinating and smart and something I would never have thought of coming from the balmy tropics. So, if you’re visiting our islands, let me share with you a helpful tip for car accessories that we like to follow here in Hawaii.   Always keep a set of towels and extra clothes in your car because the allure is strong and  just never know when you’re going to end up splashing in the Pacific Ocean.  Trust me, even when you don’t plan for it, it’ll happen it will be worth every inch of wet denim.  We played and played in the ocean until the day faded into night.

family photography on a beach in Hawaiifamily special moments in hawaiimother and daughter photo in hawaii forestfamily photos in Hawaii tidepools at Makapuulittle girl exploring waters edge in East Oahu during family photosfun family photo shoots in Hawaiibeautiful family photos in ocean Hawaiisplashing fun family photo in East Oahufamily cuddles in Hawaii beach

exploring tidal pools in Honolulu family photographs

ocean family photography on Oahu

beautiful anniversary on Hawaii beachfamily beach photo Hawaiiwindward family east Oahu
Thank you for sharing your family moments with Keao’s Photography!!

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Workshops for the Fall are being posted and the next workshop is already open for registration.  Check out the workshop tab in the menu above for more information and to register.

Email keao@keaosphotography.com or Facebook our business page to be notified of other workshops.  They fill quickly so grab your spot now.

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Hawaii is unique for a multitude of reasons.  It’s an entire state made up of islands and isolated by the vast Pacific Ocean.  And what happens when you live on one island but you get into the school of your dreams on a different island?  Your 11 year old self will find herself living in a dorm with other neighbor island boarders.  I was heartbreakingly homesick for the first year but my saving grace was the friends I made.  Over the next six years, we would see each other through the awkwardness and excitement of our teenage years and support each other as we ventured off to the different ends of the US for college and eventually life.  We picked up new friends along way and became family.  We don’t get to see each other often anymore but when we do, it’s like we never left.  Kelii, our Maui girl, is now living the life in North Carolina and hadn’t been home in almost 4 years.  When she said she was coming home to visit, we said “make room because we are coming over!!”

1 IntroOne year in high school, instead of returning home to the Big Island, I spent Spring Break with Kelii at her home in Wailuku.   It was my very first trip to Maui.  I’ve been to Maui many times since then but this reunion trip mirrored my high school experience.  Some things were a little different this time around.  We all have driver’s licenses this time around and carry illusions that we are more grown up,  and now there’s these little miniature versions of ourselves that tag along.  But some things remained constant.  Kelii is still the mama bear, cooking for all of us and making sure we were comfortable.  Nalani, eternally cracking us up and keeping us entertained.  And me, once again being falsely accused of poor bed-sharing and sleep kicking.  I don’t know where people get that from, I am still as a rock when I sleep.  Still, I found myself kicked to the air mattress and everyone slept a little better.  Which turned out great, because we were all well-rested for our adventures on Maui.

Maui vacation

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2015 12 28 Maui Reunion_130

If you’re visiting Maui and looking for something fun to do, I am going to recommend one of my favorite places…nay, not just on Maui, but in the entire state…the Maui Ocean Center.  Oahu boasts the Waikiki Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, and Sea Life Park and I’ve even been to the Pana`ewa Zoo on the Big Island but personally, I would take the Maui Ocean Center over them all.

The Maui Ocean Center boasts some impressive stats.  Covering 3 acres, it is the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere and houses the largest collections of live corals in the US.  It’s a really beautifully designed marine center that we enjoyed exploring.  After consulting the map, we started off at the at the touch pool to test our courage.  My five year old won the bravery award for the day but I’m proud to say that we all got our hands wet.

Maui Ocean Center, Things to do on Maui

Maui Ocean center, family activities on Maui

family photos at Maui Ocean center, family activities on Maui

family outing at Maui Ocean Center

touch pool at the Maui Ocean Center

family fun at the touch pool of the Maui Ocean ceanter

touch pool with the family at the Maui Ocean Center

The one thing that the Maui Ocean Center does so well is use a variety of exhibits to draw you in and educate you.  I found myself fascinated by each display and informational placard.  I wanted to spend longer at each exhibit but I was dragged along by a little one who isn’t plagued by the ability to read and thus was constantly pulling me to the next display.  Besides the wealth of information, there’s tons of neat little interaction tools that’s fun for the littles and the not-so-littles.  Peeking into a underwater research submersible, experiencing what a school of fish trapped by a bubble net sees and hears, and even recording yourself learning the songs of a whale pod.  I’m resurrecting a video from a visit to the Ocean Center from a few years ago but I’m still proud of my whale song…I haven’t been able to top it yet.

The Marine Mammal Center had a free interactive craft and the we kept the buttons my daughter made as great souvenirs.  While waiting for her to finish, I talked with volunteers and learned that unless an area is roped off, it is recommended to stay at least 150 yards away from Hawaiian monk seals when they’re resting on the beaches.  Besides educating the public, the Maui Ocean Center is also a part of programs like the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Education Loan Program.  They raise hatchlings born at Oahu’s Sea Life Park and release them into the ocean when they are old enough.  They’re marked with clear blue numbers on their shells and so if you should see one in the water, be sure to call (808) 270-7000 or email info@mauioceancenter.com with the day, time, location, and the marking.

family outreach at Maui Ocean Center

learning fun at Maui Ocean Center

button making for the kids Maui Ocean Center

dive sub exhibit Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center jellyfish exhibit

Probably the most stunning attraction at the Maui Ocean Center is 750,000 gallon open ocean exhibit.  The viewing room was dark, cool, and quiet and the view was spectacular.  I felt like I was in a movie theater watching a riveting show and the kids were clearly mesmerized.  I honestly could have just sat there all day long.  But of course, we continued on pausing in the 240 degree acrylic tunnel that was super cool.  Sting rays and sharks swam right next to us and over us.  I’ll be honest, a part of me is still haunted by the aquarium tunnel scene from Jaws 3 so I kept a sharp eye out just in case=)

Open Ocean exhibit shark tank Maui Ocean Center

Open Ocean exhibit shark tank Maui Ocean Center

Open Ocean exhibit shark tank Maui Ocean Center

peek into marine life at Maui Ocean Center

black and white sea horse display

seahorse at Maui Ocean Center

getting lost at Maui Ocean Center So, if you’re looking for something to do on Maui thats family-friendly or anyone-friendly, check out the Maui Ocean Center.


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