Moanalua, Hawaii Photographer | Family Photos | Sonya and Mike

It’s crazy how our social circles are now shaped by Facebook and social media.  I used to think Facebook was frivolous but used in the right way, it’s amazing at building relationships and rallying communities together.  It seems like I’ve known Sonya for years but I can’t place exactly how and when we met.  We just kept crossing paths online and a friendship sparked.  She’s also a photographer and we began faithfully following each other’s blogs.  Her posts about motherhood crack me up.  She doesn’t sugarcoat life with a brood of energetic kids under the age of five but she can’t hide her fierce devotion and love for her family.  Watch out, she’s a protective mama bear!

She’s become one of my faithful supporters, a constant source of encouragement with words of hope and sympathy when my family and I went through rough waters.  She’s become someone I consider to be a good friend and just an awesome person, so it’s amazing to think that we never actually met in person until 3 days before her family photo shoot.    How weird is it to feel like you know someone so well without ever actually meeting?

We met up on a weekday afternoon at Moanalua Gardens.  Developing a relationship online through emails, stories, and pictures is like reading a book before seeing the movie.  I was a little nervous.  We all know that you can’t read a book before the movie, movies are just never as good.   Sonya is that exception.  As soon as she jumped out of her van, her warm smile was instantaneous and her hug sent me over the edge.  She was everything I imagined but multiply kindness and humor by ten.  I fell in love even more.

I would like to nominate this family for ‘best-dressed.’  It’s the most common question that every family asks when getting ready for their family photos, “what should we wear?” This family was perfectly dressed.  They had a bright color scheme with blues, whites, and yellows that complemented everyone but also really popped in the photos.       Not only did everyone’s outfits work together  but they were all so thoughtfully styled that they shone in the the individual portraits.  Big sister (and only girl) “S” wore an A-line yellow and white print dress with a green crochet neckline.  It was super cute with a slight 70’s feel.  And she added a touch of her own personality with her favorite footwear, PINK cowboy boots.  Next in line was “C” with his mop of bronze ringlets.  He was ecstatic when he was able to put on his cowboy boots halfway through the shoot.  He showed them off proudly, during the brief 5 seconds he wasn’t chasing birds and climbing trees.  Baby “H” alas, apparently couldn’t find cowboy boots in his size so he embraced his local boy side and enjoyed being barefoot the whole time.  So, he just made up for the lack of footwear by charming us with his long eyelashes and cheeky smile.

Another huge plus of working with another photographer’s family.   No one was a stranger to being in front of the camera. Handsome hubby, Mike, was good-natured and easy-going as we jumped from pose to pose.  And I found out that they were college sweethearts (okay, everyone say it together “aaaah”).  There was no need to bribe the kids with sweets, they ran into place when it was their time for their solo time in front of the camera.

Sonya and Mike, when can we do this again, pretty please?!!

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