Kaanapali Maui, Hawaii wedding: a Oregon Photographers dream.

Maui, Hawaii wedding: a Oregon Photographers dream. Paradise found.

Sunset, Napili Bay, Kaanapali Maui (7bb

Matt and Larissa James currently reside in Louisiana.  Matt is stationed there in the military (Army).  He is originally from Clatskanie (Oregon) and Larissa is from South Korea.  I was so, so honored that they hired me to photograph their beautiful Hawaii wedding on Napili Bay beach near Kaanapali, Maui.  Not only did we have a lot of fun together and got to know them and his family, we became friends too.

james maui wedding venues kaanapali

When I arrived with my daughter in Maui, it was pouring rain.  Warm rain, sure, but still rain.  I was immediately worried.  They put us up at a gorgeous venue,  the Kaanapali Beach Hotel.  (I always liked pools with waterfalls!) The weather cleared and it was gorgeous.

kaanapali beach hotel maui hawaii

Later that day, Ron and Cindy James (Matt's parents) treated us and the wedding party to the Old Lahaina Luau.  Held outside.

old lahaina Luau Maui (28)

It was a great spectacle and a whole lot of fun.  Plus...all the drinks you wanted.  After my Mai Tai, I went sans alcohol-with 3 great beverages like the Lava Flow.

Since it was supposed to be a 60% chance of rain the next evening at the time of the wedding, I thought it best if I took some images at the Luau to insure we got something with sun :-)

james lahaina maui wedding photographer

We even got lucky with a pretty sunset in Lahaina.

lahaina sunset in Maui Hawaii wedding

I must admit, when I see images like this, its really fun being a destination wedding photographer.

Flora in Kaanapali Maui (26)

The next morning at 2am many of us got up early to see the sun rise at the famed dormant volcano, Haleakala.  Being up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a clear evening (morning?) at 10,000+ feet really brings one close to seeing more stars than I've ever seen before (which includes the Oregon coast and Eagle Cap Wilderness). This image includes the Silver-sword plant, which is only found here on Maui and is now endangered.  I used a flashlight to paint it for effect.

I will be posting more scenic images from Maui on this blog in a few weeks....

silver sword plant haleakala maui hawaii photo

Watching the sun rise, makes you feel like you are experiencing God creating the world.  Quite a cool experience.  Cool...like 45 degrees, not like the 80-90 degrees down by the ocean.

Haleakapla Sunrise, Maui (41)

We did some photographs not only at the Maui wedding venue that the wedding coordinator found, but started out at the hotel.  Gotta get a waterfall in Hawaii, right?

Kaanapali Beach Hotel in Maui Hawaii

Driving north for 15 minutes, we encountered, you guessed it, - rain.  I felt disappointed to come from (rainy) Oregon to (sunny) Hawaii to see rainy Hawaii while it was sunny in Oregon.  Hmmm.  Fortunately it stopped after just 5 minutes and I was grateful for cloudy, rain-less skies. But what to do to amp up the images?

Here is what I was getting...(which looks great in black and white, but in color, its lacking.) kapalua maui hawaii wedding photo

I color balanced my light to tungsten (makes skies blue) and used a colored gel to turn the light white for this effect.

Tungsten Lighting gray skiies in Hawaii

I love beach weddings.  No shoes.  Soft.  Warm breeze.  Perfect!  As the beach wedding started, the clouds begin to part so the sun started shinning. Actually, you get the best sunsets AFTER rain.

wedding couple on the hawaii beach at sunset

After the wedding ended, the clouds started to break up and we were blessed with a gorgeous sunset.

sunset wedding photos in Hawaii and Maui

Later that night, we all went to the wonderful Sea House restaurant for dinner.  Delectable food, wow!  Two days later, Matt and Larissa did a "Trash the Dress" in the water session.  I chose Kapalua Beach because it was a bit less crowded.  Plus, that morning, the skies were clear.  God really shined on us!

Here is Matt by some surfboards (quintessential Hawaii, no?)groom by hawaii surfboards

I really liked the cool angles of this wood fence for a portrait of Larissa.

 asian american bride photo

Hiding people behind them so it looks like they are in the middle of nowhere for their Hawaii destination wedding pictures.

alone on a beach wedding picture in maui wedding photographers

This image was using my infra-red camera, which turns blue skies black and foliage white for a unique effect.

infra red palm trees in maui hawaii of a wedding coupleHad to do the Burt Lancaster movie, From Here to Eternity look for the Trash the Dress photos.

trash the dress on the hawaii beach

Thinking of hiring Bruce for your wedding photographer? “Patient and enthusiastic! Fun to work with! A true artist with an eye for that perfect shot. Work with Bruce, and you will have pictures just as amazing as your memories. It will be the best decision you ever make.”  Matt James, Louisiana 

Later that day, four of us went snorkeling near black rock and got to swim with the Honu, the large 4-6 foot sea turtles.  I loved seeing dozens of different colorful fish, but they don't compare to the graceful turtles. This was my first underwater photo shoot.

turtle honu in maui

The following weekend, the couple held their reception at the Oregon Gardens Resort, near Salem (and Silverton) Oregon.  Its a great wedding venue.  They actually had 2 other weddings that same weekend at other areas its so huge.

oregon gardens in Salem Oregon

Here are some of my faves from Oregon gardens.

oregon gardens Salem wedding


couple embracing


oregon gardens

Couple in wedding attire with their dog

At the wedding reception,

james wedding cake dancing oregon gardens Maui, Hawaii wedding:  a Oregon Photographers dream. We played this short little trailer video from the dream wedding in Maui.

Flying home to Oregon from Hawaii my 17 year old daughter told me, "Dad, I want to go to school at Maui Community College"  Right.  I'm sure you'll study hard too!

We recently asked Bruce to photograph our son’s wedding and reception.  The experience was unlike any previous encounter with a photography studio.  It was more like commissioning a work of art.  He accompanied us to Hawaii and spent countless hours interacting with our family to create the most beautiful, creative images we have ever seen.  Bruce is a gifted photographer whose personable demeanor evokes spontaneity and authenticity.  Ron and Cindy James, Oregon

Maui, Hawaii wedding: a Oregon Photographers dream.