• 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

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

Kardyn (56) processed

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!

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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