Have you ever had a dream of travelling somewhere far away and exotic? Maybe it was to Florida, Mexico, maybe Italy, France, or Iceland. For me–one of my all time top destination stops was always Hawaii. As our fiftieth state and one that absolutely requires airfare or some hella endurance and some amazing kayaking skills (that’s a joke), Hawaii has always been a place that I’ve wanted to visit. Without gushing too much about it–at least for now–I wanted to share about a few of our meetings while we were there with some very special people. Here’s a A Hawaiian Family Session in Honolulu Hawaii!
I met Harold through a photography forum on a website called Reddit. We were discussing the latest trends, photos, and everything else related to photography over a few months before I decided to ask him if we could just be Facebook friends instead. Since we had such a mutual love of photography, it made total sense to take our friendship “to the next level.” 😉 Over the past two years, I’ve gotten to know Harold, his lovely wife, Abbie, and their children, Harrie and Miss Hailey through interactions online, the sharing of marketing ideas, photo swaps, editing, and just about everything photo related. Since meeting Harold and Abbie, my hope was always to visit with them in Hawaii, swap sessions, and get to spend a little time catching up with someone who I’d never met in person. When we visited Hawaii, we FINALLLLLLY got to meet the four of them and they were kind enough to take us to a Filippino restaurant to try out some of their favorite cuisines from their homeland.
Getting to meet Harold and Abbie was one of the favorite parts of my trips because it was just like seeing a friend who I visit with regularly in my hometown. There wasn’t some weird pause or some crushing silence that might accompany some strange first date. No, Harold is like a brother and it was so exciting to finally meet my friend from across the world, in person.
We tried all sorts of delicious foods that evening and had a tug-of-war over the bill. We learned, over the family style dinner, that Abbie and Harold met when they were in high school in the Philippines through a messaging app popular with the kids back home. Harold had asked for a texting buddy from a friend and had been connected with a girl, who he assumed was Abbie.
Without confusing you too greatly, because the story was quite entertaining and also just the slightest bit confusing–it turns out that the friend Harold had asked, who was a girl, was actually the one courting him via text message, with an alternate persona. Almost like a catfish without the foul intentions that come with the implication. (Still following along?) Harold, being astute, knew that his friend was texting him and suggested that they meet in person after texting back and forth for a few months, to catch a film. Since his friend couldn’t very well show up and reveal herself as the culprit of this very elaborate texting/courting scandal, she invited Abbie out to go on a date with Harold. Each time Harold would ask Abbie a question, Abbie would have to confer with her friend who had created an elaborate backstory, to ensure that the story remained seamless.
Through it all, Harold told Abbie that he knew his friend had been the one sending the messages and he suggested a redo to their date. The rest is history. These two were married in 2014 and have celebrated the birth of two children, moved to the United States, started a successful photography and videography company called Alvea Studios, and continue to love one another and grow their relationship each day.
Abbie and Harold are the quintessential example of Hawaiian hospitality and kindness and if it weren’t selfish, I’d wish that they lived closer (but who would want to live in the midwest when you can live in Hawaii?) Getting to meet their children, Harrie and Hailey was also a treat as I’ve followed along with all of their adventures as well and it was so sweet to spend our final evening in Oahu with the family, celebrating our 7th anniversary of dating. This was the perfect ending to our stay in Oahu by photographing this Hawaiian family session in Honolulu, Hawaii.
To commemorate our 7th anniversary of our first date, I had worked with Harold to capture a renewal of our wedding vows. I knew I wanted some amazing and epic portraits in Hawaii but also wanted to get our vows our camera and audio. He was kind enough to swap sessions and go ABOVE and BEYOND my expectations for the experience. We hiked up a small southern peak in Oahu, stood barefoot on lava rocks, and with an extinct volcano in the background, the Pacific Ocean crashing below us, and the beauty of a Hawaiian sunset, we shared with each other, what I will refer to as “updated” wedding vows.
Not that our own wedding vows don’t mean as much but they simply laid the foundation. This time, we were able to be specific in what we shared with one another and I am so glad that we did. I’ll link our vow renewal below so you can see just how beautiful it was and just how silly I look with my slides (or ‘slippahs’) and my rolled up pants on. You’ll also see how much fun we had in Hawaii, how silly we are together, and how much we love one another.
Harold, I am so grateful for your willingness to share a special moment with us in Hawaii and to capture it and curate it the way that you did. I would have paid any amount of money for this and I appreciate all of the kindness that you and your family shared with us. We cannot wait to come back and visit you four again and hopefully collaborate on some future wedding projects together. Enjoy this Hawaiian Family Session in Honolulu Hawaii!
Nate and Felicia’s Vow Renewal by Alvea Studios
Interested in travelling to Hawaii and having your portraits done there? Or maybe you just want something a little closer? Send me a message here!
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