• 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

On the rare occasion I find the time to get my hair cut, I use that time sitting in that cool, twirling chair to ponder deep, meaningful questions like “I wonder who does my hair stylist’s hair?”  Seriously, does anyone else ever wonder that?  Salons are always covered in mirrors so all you can see is the stylists and they are always sporting such stylish looks.  When your livelihood is about knowing great hair, who you choose to do your own hair says so much.  I guess I feel the same way when I am lucky enough to be chosen to photograph another photographer.  It comes with a different level of pressure, but I am always blown away by the honor.

Debbie is a fabulous photographer from  Washington but found a way to carve in some quality family time visiting Hawaii.  Debbie and her family were staying at the beautiful Hilton Hawaiian Village on the south shores of Oahu.  We chose a gorgeous location away from the busy city, a location that showed off Hawaii’s natural treasures, blue crystal waters alongside a white sandy beach dotted with swaying palm trees.  It’s summer in paradise so beach space is a hot commodity.  We planned it so we hit the beach nice and early to enjoy it all to ourselves.  I knew they had spent the night before enjoying a Hawaiian luau so I expected a slow-paced start to our photo session.  But they popped out of the car smiling brightly looking like they had enough energy to run a marathon. It was wonderful contagious and after a few minutes laughing with them, even I, the non-morning person, felt ready to run.

As with all my families, I had sent them a style guide as we planned for their session and one thing I always encourage is incorporating multiple outfits into your photo shoot.  Debbie smiled shyly and said “we were having trouble narrowing down so we just thought we would bring it all” and revealed an armload of clothes.  I loved it!  We found the perfect tree and set up our own little on-location wardrobe organizer…it was awesome!!

a hawaiian closet at family shoot at ko olina

Family photos are always special, no matter the milestone.  For Debbie, this was a way to capture photos of a special trip with her husband, Kevin, and her son, Adam.  Adam is entering his senior year this Fall and will going off to college in less than a year.  Knowing this would be their last family trip together before he graduates from high school, they really wanted to remember this time together.

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family photo standing in Hawaiian lagoon

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Thanks, Jones family!!

Looking for a Hawaii family photographer?  Keao is a Honolulu family photographer available for all of Oahu, including sessions near but not limited to Ko Olina, Waikiki, and the North Shore.  Specials are available for the Big Island (Hawaii), Maui, Kauai and Lanai.  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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“Let’s see if we can get you out of Waikiki.”

It was exactly one day from the time Vivian called me until the moment we met on an empty stretch of white sand for their Hawaiian family photos. It’s not my only 1 day booking but it is a rarity. Most of my clients book their photo sessions months in advance as soon as they have their Oahu vacation planned out. And on the occasion I do get a last-minute inquiry, I am usually booked.  But it breaks my heart to turn anyone away. I am such a softie for families who realize “Oh my gosh, we’re in Hawaii!! We need to get family photos before we leave!” So, when Vivian called to say that her family was leaving in just 36 hours to go back to their home in California, I hated having to tell her that I was unavailable.  I hesitated as I mentally ran through my calendar shifting things around and figuring out where I could squeeze in more rounds of editing… “We can make it happen!”

And I insist that every family still gets the full experience of working with Keao’s Photography, even if I have to fit it into one day of planning. We went over tips on what to expect, what to wear, and of course…location, location, location. They were staying in Waikiki but they really wanted something a little less crowded and a little more island style.  I remember telling them “let’s see if we can get you out of Waikiki.” I don’t know if it is just from growing up in Hawaii country, but I love getting my families away from the hubbub and busy-ness of the more congested areas on Oahu. If you’re staying in Waikiki, I will come to you and we will get absolutely lovely photos. But Waikiki is one of the most populated areas on Oahu. I had one grandpa turn to me halfway through their Waikiki Beach Photo shoot. He gestured to the towering hotels surrounding us and asked “can we try not to get this in the photos? I’m not a real fan of buildings.” Me neither!

I am so glad they trusted me because we ended up on a sandy stretch of paradise. Vivian and her husband have two beautiful little girls. These sweet sisters held hands as they ran through the sand, peals of laughter ringing out over the serene beach. We climbed on tree swings, ran through the foamy edge of the ocean, and twirled until we fell in giggling heaps on the sand. And not a person or building was in sight.  Just one very beautiful family enjoying their last day in Hawaii together!

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Looking for a Hawaii family photographer? Contact Keao’s Photography for more information on how to book your own family photo session.  Keao is a Honolulu family photographer available for all of Oahu, including sessions near but not limited to Ko Olina, Waikiki, and the North Shore.  Specials are available for the Big Island (Hawaii), Maui, Kauai and Lanai.  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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I’ve been holding on this maternity session for so long, it’s been agony.   Nina and Hadden had experienced a loss in their journey to become parentst but were happy to find that they were pregnant again.    Rainbows, or na anuenue in Hawaii, appear after the storm.  They don’t lessen the heaviness of the storm before it, but bring a reminder of hope and promises of what lies ahead.  They felt so uncertain throughout the pregnancy but with just weeks left, realized that the hope and promises had come true and they were now just a few weeks away from meeting their daughter.  Nina emailed me after looking for a Honolulu maternity photographer and apologized for the short notice.  No problem!!   I’m such a planner and love having everything scheduled to the day for the next 3 months, but I also love the spontaneity of meeting new people and helping make their dreams come true.

And Nina had a very clear vision of how she wanted to remember this time.  She had become an avid surfer and surfed throughout the first six months of pregnancy.  She is convinced that it helped her get fit (um, yes, wait to you see her stunning physique) and she found her sessions in the ocean to be a peaceful, healing experience.   She wanted to capture the feelings of calm and joy surfing brought to her pregnancy.  Also, she and her husband are just living here for a few years and they wanted to showcase the aloha spirit so they could always remember what a special place their daughter would be born in.

We met on a crowded weekday afternoon and Nina wore this beautiful gown with deep colors.  She didn’t hesitate when it was time to jump in the water.  The sun was setting behind the harbor and the sky was pink cotton candy with tinges of violet.  Now mind you, this was not an underwater maternity photography session.  Although I brought an underwater camera, the water was a bit too murky.  So, I just waded in…very very very carefully…holding my precious land-loving, non-waterproof camera.  Oh, boy, my insurance company would have had a fit if they saw.  But as soon as Nina got in the water, magic started happening.  She had always wanted the iconic slopes of Diamond Head as the background and the ocean was just beautiful.  And Nina was such a great sport when I proposed that she try lying back on her board.  It was definitely not easy, the ocean may look calm in the photos but there were some good-sized waves rolling through.  But my assistant, Joy, was in the water right next to her and Nina made it all look effort-less.


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Here is what Nina had to say on our Facebook page. “I went to Keao with an idea in mind for my maternity shoot and she took it to the next level! I wanted to get pictures of myself on a surfboard which was not easy at 37 weeks but Keao was totally enthusiastic. She literally jumped in the water with me. She made me and my husband feel very comfortable. The pictures came out beautifully and she took other set ups that I hadn’t thought of but now love. I will cherish the pictures forever and look forward to hopefully working with her again for future family photos. I also would like to add that my shoot request was very last minute but Keao could not have been more accommodating. It was also great to have Joy, her assistant, there to help make the shoot even more fun.” 

Thanks for the kind words, Nina!!!  Congratulations to both you and Hadden!  A truly special little girl born in a truly special place.

Looking for maternity or family photos here in Hawaii? Contact me for more information on how to book your own gorgeous photo session.  Keao is a Honolulu  photographer on the island of Oahu and available for family and wedding photography on all islands.

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Sign up at http://www.keaosphotographyblog.com/workshops/ Occasionally, I take a little break from photographing families and weddings and I spend some time helping others get behind their camera.  Participants who have taken my Intro to dSLR and Photography workshops in the past have ranged from those who have never taken a photography course in their lives to photographers who were starting up their own photo businesses.  No matter what level they’re at, I love seeing them walk out the door with a better understanding of what their camera can do and the improvement in their photos can be seen immediately. So, I’m holding one last workshop for the year.

Topics covered include but are not limited to:

-Composition tips to enhance photos
-How a camera works
-How to clean and care for your camera
-Controlling focus
-Exposure Compensation
-The Exposure Triangle (ISO, aperture, shutter)
-Controlling exposure in all modes (including manual)

And since I think everything is more fun with a friend, you save on registration when you sign up a friend too.  Special prices on registration until Friday!

And because photos speak louder than words, here are some photos from past attendees taken during our workshop active practices.


Photo Credit: Jessica Callan



Photo Credit: Jessica Callan

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Photo Credit: Kardyn Flores

Joy (39) processed

Credit: Joy Pishcura

Joe (15) Processed

Photo Credit: Joe Flores


Photo Credit: Gina Karas

Sign up at http://www.keaosphotographyblog.com/workshops/

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Steph stepped out of their car in this beautiful, flowing blue dress that reminded me of the shades of the  ocean on a clear, sunny day.   The third sentence in her very first email to me had been  I always wanted to have photos on the beach and have the pretty blue ocean in the background.”   She had really hoped for wedding photos on the beach with the beautiful blue ocean, but hadn’t been able to make that happen.  She was so excited about taking family photos with her husband, Danny, and their 2 year-old son but it was even more special because she was pregnant.  This was a precious opportunity to capture moments with her son before his sibling came into the world.  

I remember those years before our youngest daughter was born.  It was just two years ago, but already feels like a lifetime has flown by.     Our house is whole lot louder and chaos rules on a daily basis, but it’s this incredible whirlwind of joy and laughter.  I can’t remember what it was like before there were two little princesses teaming up to wallpaper our house with a gazillion stickers.    Even now as I sit here typing, I am looking down at my office desk tagged with little Angry Bird stickers.  Remind me to hide the stickers better.

We chose Makapuu as their photo session location.  The water has every shade of blue from deep, rich blues to pale blue-greens.  And I love the vivid green of the napauka plants and the jet black rocks that line the shore.  They also wanted to avoid crowds so Joy and I went early and staked out the only empty spot on the entire east coast of Oahu.  We were high five-ing and dancing silly happy jigs in glee. Steph is absolutely beautiful and sweet as can be.  Her little prince, M, took a little time to warm up to the idea of this beach themed photo shoot.  But working with children is my favorite part of the job and I have an ace up my sleeve.  I took Steph and Danny for some couple photos on the rocks while Aunty Joy entertained M right next to us.  She was showing him how to throw pebbles into the tide pools and when we scooped him up for some family photos, he was ear-to-ear smiles.  Aunty Joy might have done too good a job, he was quite upset when photos were over and it was time to leave.

I loved how the photos turned out but what I really loved was how happy Steph and Danny were.  My heart melted when I found this sweet review on my Facebook Business page.

“I seriously cannot stop looking at the photos that Keao took of me and my family! They are so beautiful! Keao is so awesome and so is her assistant, Joy! I admit I was a little stressed since my little man didn’t seem interested in taking any photos, but Keao really captured such great shots of him! My wish for this shoot was to have photos of my family with the beautiful blue ocean…lucky we live Hawaii! Thank you, Keao, for making my wish come true and for capturing images that me and my family will cherish forever! We are very grateful! We look forward to having more photoshoots in the future!”Honolulu maternity photography at MakapuuMakapuu maternity sessionOahu beach maternity photosHonolulu maternity photos at Makapuu beachhawaii maternity photographer at makapuu beachblack and white maternity photo on the beachproud parents at an Oahu maternity photo sessionsweet couple embrace pregnancy photofamily photo on the shores at Makapuuwave spluttering behind a family photo at makapuu beachfamily maternity photograph on oahufamily beach landscape photo Pacific OceanPlanning a wedding or dream vacation and looking for a Hawaii photographer? Contact me for more information on how to book your own family photo session.  Keao is a Honolulu  photographer on the island of Oahu and available for family and wedding photography on all islands.

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  • Steph :) - September 13, 2014 - 4:24 pm

    I love this write-up, Keao!! It is so beautiful and really sweet! I really love the beautiful images that you captured of me and my family. They are wonderful keepsakes that I will cherish forever! Thank you and Joy for making it so much fun and making me feel special too! Much aloha!

  • Reti - October 13, 2015 - 10:37 am

    Kia ora everyone!

    If you are considering Keao as your photographer, please do yourself a favour, reject the stress and just do it! We came all the way from Aotearoa New Zealand for our special sunrise wedding and it was way more than what we expected. The photos are spectacular, we look like models!!! We look fantastic, our guests look fantastic and the scenery had everyone gasping when they viewed our photos.

    Keao herself is just beautiful, and her assistant. Keao came highly recommended by a mutual friend so we absolutely trusted her from the start. From first contact to now, we connected. We were so taken care of and made to feel so comfortable, I could do it all again.

    We had our 8 month old baby in tow and he rocked the camera! Keao captured precious memories of us and our boy on our special day and I will always treasure them.

    Mahalo nui ki te whaea Keao.


    Karen, Tony, and baba Hawaiki xxxxx