Oahu Family Portraits

V A C A Y by Elsie Barnes

You only get 18 summers with your kiddos before they are off to summer jobs, school, and vacations with their friends. But you also get 18 summers to record the amazing places you’ve been, and the bond you share as a family!

“Remember that one time we went to Oahu, and mom hired that crazy photographer that kept making all the fart noises and asking us to “Shaka”? (yes, that was me!) Maybe this family won’t say that verbatim, but I’m certain they will look back at their summer vacation, and realize that mom was making this memory extra special.

No matter how old they are, mom’s consider their children their babies for life. Make sure you capture every milestone your babies conquer. And better yet, hire someone to do it for you, so you too can be a part of such a special moment.

C A C T I C O U P L E by Elsie Barnes

Saying “YES!” to new possibilities!

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F A L L by Elsie Barnes

If you are from the mainland, you fully understand that no matter which state you live in, you will have some sort of season change. Some states like Texas and Florida can have all four seasons in just one day, and other states like New York or Ohio, seem to have several variations of winter, and 2 weeks of summer. But when you live in Hawaii, the seasons don't change...AT ALL. 

So when I was approached by the McFarren family to incorporate fall in Hawaii, I knew I was up for the challenge. My goal was to incorporate everything that made fall cozy without drenching it in pumpkin spice. Sorry Starbuck, but some of us are just regular coffee kind of people. 

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Enveloped in the orange hues of the sunset, and the tall grass of the westside mountain ranges, we trucked on to a pretty steep hill to capture our version of fall in Hawaii.

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Between the military demands, a fresh surgery, kiddo's first haircut, and missing all things fall back home, the McFarren's needed a memory captured for this hectic time in their lives. They showed me that no matter what is going on in the world outside, their love for each other is all they need to continue in their happily ever after! 

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It may not be chilly here, but we always find a reason to cuddle with the people we love most!

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Its not too late to schedule your family portrait session before the holidays! Reach out to me at here, and lets get started on your happily ever after!

L A N I K A I by Elsie Barnes

Before my husband and I packed up our belongings in preparation for our new duty station, we were frantically searching for our next home in Oahu. We searched the internet high and low, attempting to find a home that would satisfy our wishlist. A friend referred us to an awesome realtor who had built a Facebook page for military families moving to the island. This page was a lifesaver. The community that participated in this group were a wealth of knowledge, answering even the silliest of questions. Days before we had arrived on the island, Brandy Saulnier of Military Home Source had already a list of homes for us to view.

We arrived on a Friday, exhausted, sleep deprived, and hungry. By Sunday, Brandy was already at our hotel room and on a mission to find our new home. She picked us up, and immediately we were smitten by her. She treated us like family, and showed us the true meaning of Aloha. The car ride was filled with cultural education, myth busting, and so much laughter as we traveled the majority of the island. We truly enjoyed her company, and my daughter adored "Ms. Brandy." As the weeks progressed our friendship grew. I had become in charge of caring for her kiddos, and she had lent us her van so that my husband have transportation for work. Little did we know that Brandy was not only a realtor, and admin for the Facebook group, but also a host of a radio show, and participates in several events around the year helping our veterans and their families. Its a very impressive resume to say the least. To this very day, I am in awe of everything she is able to accomplish while raising a family. She is definitely the definition of #bossbabe. I look back at it now and I am grateful she was our very first friend, and we are truly indebted to her and her family for welcoming us into their hearts and home.

Fast foward a year later, and the dust has officially settled. From game night, to family dinners, and spending holidays together, we always find a way to hang out and spend quality time with her, but had yet to work with each other. You can imagine my surprise when she requested a family's portrait session. This was the perfect opportunity for me to repay her for all of the wonderful things she did for my family when we arrived. 

Lanikai, her favorite beach, would be the setting for her portrait session. Enveloped in cotton candy skies, teal water, and baby powder sand her family and I were ready to capture the dynamic that makes her home so special. The session was flawless, except for the occasional "Don't step on the jellyfish!", which I'll admit was fascinating to see unclose for the first time. We had such an amazing sunset, that it definitely didn't feel like work at all! 

There's a quote that says "Some people are put in your life for a reason or a season." I truly hope that she and her family stay in our lives for a lifetime.