I’m so excited you’re considering planning a Hawaii adventure engagement shoot! Because if you’re already planning an engagement shoot, why not make it an epic trip as well? And the landscape in Hawaii has so much to offer to ANY couple. From beautiful white sand beaches, active volcanoes to mountains and rainforests, the Hawaiian Islands truly has it all!
Here you will find my 8 steps for planning your Hawaii adventure engagement shoot! I’ll cover all the details to ensure you aren’t just prepared logistically, but that your hearts are prepared too! Because your engagement shoot shouldn’t be just another thing to check off the list of to-dos. It should be a fun and stress-free experience where you two feel connected and carefree! I will also share some of my favorite local vendors( on the Big Island) for hair, makeup, and florals! Because adding a Haku lei (flower crown) to your Hawaii engagement shoot can be the perfect finishing touch!
This part is easy. Because anytime is a great time to travel to Hawaii! August-October is Hawaii’s hottest months. Sep- Early November and April- June tend to be less crazy with visitors. You will probably run into a little more rain between December and March. But you can guarantee that you’ll have warm weather, beautiful beaches, and sunshine whatever the time of year!
If your travel dates are flexible, sometimes this step can come first. Especially if there is a particular photographer you want to work with and ensure they are available. Instagram and Google are, of course, great places to look for a photographer! My advice is to pick someone whose work you connect with and someone willing to help with the planning of your shoot! Destination shoots can be challenging for couples. Finding a photographer who helps with your travel plans, answers questions, and offers helpful tips is a win for you!
I have a lot of couples requesting unique Hawaii locations, as opposed to the quintessential ocean, palm tree vibe(Which there’s nothing wrong with doing a shoot on a lovely beach) But if you’re a bit more on the adventurous side, then consider taking a trek through some of the breathtaking valleys, volcanoes, or mountains the Hawaii terrain has to offer! This would also be a great opportunity for you to brainstorm with your photographer, and then they can offer suggestions!
A Haku lei (flower crown) is a beautiful piece of Hawaii tradition to incorporate into your Hawaii adventure engagement shoot! And if you’re on the Big Island, check out Haku Lei by Mei, or Grace Flowers Hawaii. They are two incredibly gifted women! For makeup and hair, check out Big Island beauty and Bridal or Indigo Grace Artistry!
This doesn’t mean that you need to go over the top purchasing a high-end outfit, but I believe that this part of your shoot should have some thought put into it. For example, I love blues and burnt oranges in a green scenery. On the beach, I love the look of neutral tones. Will we be at a windy location? Dresses add an extra element of movement and beauty to images! But most importantly, pick outfits that are true to your personality and that you’re comfortable moving in! If you plan on hiking and don’t want to get your nicer outfit dirty, you can wear casual clothes for the hike and pack in the outfit you plan to wear.
This is important. The key to a successful shoot is a couple being well-rested! If you want to have a late-night celebratory dinner, consider doing this the evening of your engagement shoot, not the evening before! Sleep well, stay hydrated, and make sure not to toast your body in the sun before your shoot! Nothing will ruin a Hawaii engagement shoot faster than a terrible Sunburn!
Wake up early and have coffee together. Go for a morning run and a late morning brunch. Whatever you do, take your day slow, and don’t fuss too much over the details of your shoot! If you plan to get makeup done or need to pick up flowers, plan your day so that you’re not at any point rushing from one place to the next. Remember, this is a special occasion that should be enjoyed, not hectic!
This might sound a little silly but trust me! It can be nerve-wracking knowing you’re on your way to getting your photo taken. I love to have my couples do this and have received really positive feedback. There’s no better way to feel connected to your love than through the shared memories music brings. Whether your drive to the shoot is 10 minutes or an hour, take the time to talk about your favorite dates, favorite moments of your dating relationship. For my couples, they know ahead of time that they won’t be posing or doing awkward things. I want to capture my couple’s story in all of its realness. The best way I can do this is to create an intimate environment where the couple feels comfortable, connected and can be themselves.
Why let the fun end after your shoot! Make the whole day a special occasion! If you’re on the Big Island, check out Napua Restaurant for a lovely farm-to-table dinner. Or if you’re up North near Waimea, you can’t go wrong with Merrimans.
Is budget not an issue, and you’re looking for something even more intimate? Check out the Four Seasons for their Dinner Under The Stars! With Dinner under the stars, you get to enjoy a private dining experience on the beach with your very own private chef!
Click HERE to contact me for more info!
Click HERE to view my guide to planning your Hawaii elopement!
Join our email list and download our free guide to whatever you can offer your clients of value!!