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Kauai Photographer

What Makes a Photo Great | 5 Key Ingredients

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What Makes a Photo Great | 5 Key Ingredients

As a photographer, it is crucial to understand what makes a great photo. Here’s the good news, anyone can make a great photograph. The key to capturing great images is the consistency in each photo. Here at Pacific Dream Photography, we have compiled a list of qualities that make good photos great! Here are the six qualities that make up great photographs.

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  1. Composition – Every image must have a solid composition and be organized. Composition is what attracts the viewer’s eye and keeps the viewer’s attention. Composing an image starts by arranging the objects or subjects, and placing them in a suitable place within the frame.
  2. Tells a Story – The best photographers tell a story through each image. Strong photos express a story and bring to mind a response from the viewer. As a photographer, it is important to step back and take the image from the viewer’s point of view. This keeps the photo original and tells the story more clearly.
  3. Lighting – Lighting plays a huge role in making a great photo. Lighting determines the atmosphere, tone, and overall mood of the image. A good photographer knows where to place the subjects, so that the light is just right. Great photographs contain well-lit subjects and a good temperature balance. Most importantly, a good photographer takes advantage of shooting at sunrise and sunset. Take a look at one of our earlier posts on why sunrise and sunset are the best times to shoot at.
  4. Creativity - What’s a great photo without the creativity? The secret to a great photo is the photographer’s creative edge. Yes, it is key to understand lighting, equipment, and composition, but without creativity everyone’s photos would look the same. Creativity is what makes a good photo a great photo!
  5. Timing - Timing is everything. The right sense of timing makes a great photograph. Capturing great photos start by snapping the shutter at the perfect moment. Often times, photographers miss the best moments. It’s important to always have the camera in ready position and be prepared at any given moment.
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Written by Julia P. (Pacific Dream Photography at the St. Regis Princeville)

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Engagement Photos || What to Expect

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Engagement Photos || What to Expect

Your wedding is weeks away and the anticipation is so exciting. Being engaged is an important time in your life, as you transition from a couple to a married couple. Engagement photos share the connection that brought you together in the first place. It also makes it much easier to relax and enjoy wedding portraits on the big day.

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Here at Pacific Dream Photography, we believe that having an engagement session is important for many different reasons. It allows you to get comfortable in front of the lens and showcase your personalities in a fun setting. Engagement photos have many different uses such as, a guest signature board, save the date cards, or even decorations for your future home.

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Wear something that makes you feel comfortable. Of course, this is a great excuse to dress up, but it is important to wear something that makes you feel like you. Engagement photos are going to reflect who you are, and what your like on a day-to-day basis. Don’t forget, the ring is the star of the show, so make sure to give it a little cleaning for extra shine.

If you and your fiancé are feeling a bit camera shy, ensure each other that you look amazing. Make your significant other laugh and have a great time. This will help you both relax, smile, and enjoy yourselves.

As you prepare for your engagement session, remember to trust your photographer and allow them to be creative. Your photographer works with everyday couples all the time so there is no need to be nervous. Amazing things happen when you trust your photographer, and give them the creative freedom to take one of a kind images that you will cherish forever. An engagment photography session is also a great way to get to know your photographer and test them out to see if they would be a good fit for your Wedding Day.

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Lastly, be on time. Timing is very important. Photographers are dependent on the sun. We want to make sure that your images come out breath taking and lighting is the key to a successful photo shoot. Take a look at a previous post on why lighting is so important.

That’s it! We hope you have a better idea on what to expect for your upcoming engagement session. Most importantly, have a wonderful time!

Written by Julia P. (Pacific Dream Photography at the Grand Hyatt Kauai)

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6 Tips for Great Family Photos | Photographer Tips

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6 Tips for Great Family Photos | Photographer Tips

The Hawaiian Island of Kauai is one of the top destinations in the world. From its vibrant underwater world, to tropical landscapes, the islands of Hawaii are simply captivating. With so many family friendly activities Kauai is a dream vacation for families. What better way to treasure your Hawaiian vacation than with timeless family photos? Photos are a way to help keep your family memories alive. Here at Pacific Dream Photography, we have lots of tricks up our sleeve. After all, nothing beats reminiscing about some of the best memories as the years go by. Here are 6 tips for taking great family portraits.

Bend It The number one obstacle we face while photographing families or people in general is stiffness. As soon as the camera comes out, so does the stiffness. It is our job as a photographer to make sure our subjects are as relaxed as possible. This creates natural photos. Ask your subject to shift their weight on to one foot, away from the camera. This creates a natural look, as well as a flattening angle. Ask you’re subject to place one hand in their pocket. This creates a relaxed look.  The best way to show someone how to pose, is to face your subject and do the pose yourself.

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Let the Kids Be Themselves It is very common for parents to tell their kids to put on a big smile and be on their best behavior. While this can be a good, our goal to capture natural photos. The best way to capture natural photos is to let the kids enjoy themselves and have fun. When kids are having a good time, their personality comes out. That’s what we like to see. Let the kids be kids, and be ready to capture the moments.  

Lighting Matters Lighting can make or break any family photo. At Pacific Dream Photography, we book our sessions at sunrise or sunset photo sessions to ensure the best lighting. It is important to make sure that there isn’t too little or too much light on your subject’s faces.  You may have the perfect family or an incredible backdrop, but without the right lighting, you can still be left with a dull photo. The right quality of light will bring your photo to life. 

Wardrobe It is important to inform your family on what to wear. The right clothing can change the whole look of a session.  By choosing simple, classic clothing, your images will give a timeless feel. After all, your family will look at these photos for years to come. Inform your family on coordinating colors, but not matching completely. Clothing that fit into the right color scheme are much more exciting than white shirts and blue jeans.  Tell your subjects to limit patterns and logos, as this may aid in distraction. 

Get Close Even though they are a happy family, they probably aren’t getting close enough. Closing gaps between heads and shoulders completes the overall composition of the photo. Laugh, joke, and have fun with this. Get the siblings together. Better yet, tell the family to give each other a big group hug.  

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Have Fun Keep the energy up! Create some fun shots near the end. Families love to laugh and have a great time. Tell your family to jump in the air, make funny faces, or squish together. Ask the siblings to get on each other’s backs and race down the beach. This creates candid photos and lightens up the overall mood of the shoot.

As Hawaii photographers, it is our job to create timeless family photos. Use these tips at your next photo session and your clients will be in for a treat! For even more tips, check out our older blog post on posing here.

Michael W. (Pacific Dream Photography at the Grand Hyatt Kauai)

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Couple’s Session || Daniel & Courtney

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Couple’s Session || Daniel & Courtney

You can almost see it, the pristine beach, the warm sand between your toes, and the sunny blue skies as you hold your lover’s hand among the shoreline. Just the name Hawaii sounds romantic. For many, Hawaii is a dream destination and if you are lucky enough to pay Hawaii a visit, you are in for a real treat. 

We recently had the pleasure of photographing Daniel and Courtney at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. If you want to see Hawaii on a grand scale, stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. Nothing can top this place for a romantic getaway. The tropical grounds smell of sweet scented plumeria and you can’t forget the stunning ocean views. 

This very much in love couple opted for a sunset session to celebrate their seven-year anniversary. There is no doubt that Hawaii is for lovers. We have the joy of capturing lovers every day and we couldn’t be happier. 

Whether you are celebrating your anniversary, honeymoon, or a romantic getaway for two, you won’t go wrong booking a session with Pacific Dream Photography.  Between all the romantic places and fun activities, remember to leave some time to capture these breathtaking moments. Tell us your story and together we will create something beautiful. Don’t be afraid to show us your genuine, quirky, fun love that you share together. This will allow our team to capture the story behind your true love. 

As you can see, Daniel and Courtney’s love radiates through the camera lens. After seven years of marriage, this young couple is still as giddy as when they met. What better way to spend sunset than strolling along Shipwrecks Beach, while capturing the moment? 

Daniel and Courtney spent their days on Kauai exploring countless waterfalls, Waimea Canyon, and enjoying the natural paradise. Not to mention the scenic drives and glorious beaches. No wonder why Kauai screams romantic getaway! To end the night, the happy couple shared an intimate candlelight dinner at Tide Pools restaurant. What an amazing night in tropical paradise.

From everyone at Pacific Dream Photography, Happy Anniversary! Daniel and Courtney, thank you for celebrating with us.

Written by Julia P. (Pacific Dream Photography at The Grand Hyatt Kauai

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Feeling Comfortable In Front of the Lens || Camera Shy?

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Feeling Comfortable In Front of the Lens || Camera Shy?

When the camera comes out, so do the nerves. For some, getting in front of the camera can be slightly uncomfortable. At Pacific Dream Photography, our goal is to give you a stress free enjoyable experience. Remember, our aim is to capture effortless photos. Here are a few helpful thoughts to consider before your Hawaii Photo Session. Use these tips to dismiss nerves and gain an extra boost of confidence.

When you begin your lush Photo Session under the blue skies of the Pacific, it's natural to focus on posing. You may ask yourself, where do I stand, or where do I place my hands? To capture photographs that show off your personality, it's our job to help you relax your thoughts and loosen up. It's your job remember that your Pacific Dream Photographer is here for you. The camera is our tool to capture and create timeless keepsakes that will last a lifetime.

To create these special moments, we begin by taking you to a beautiful location. As you arrive at your first location, engage in your thoughts and surroundings. Simply, focus on the beauty around you. Most importantly focus on treasured loved ones. Just have fun with the flow of the session and everything will fall into place. Chances are, you may get to witness an Out of this World Hawaiian Sunset, while taking photos and creating memories.

The key to feeling comfortable in front of the lens is staying genuine to you. Choose an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Take a look at our Blog for Simple Outfit Suggestions. Don't worry too much about making mistakes. It's our job to provide you with a smooth experience. If we encounter a few silly moments, it's better to laugh them off and be present in the moment. It's those fun moments where we come across your bubbly personality and snap stunning photos. 

Have you ever heard the saying Practice makes Perfect? The commonly used quote is spot on. When choosing your Island Inspired Outfit, try different poses in front of the mirror. Decide which side works best and which poses work well for you. Having an idea of how you look can ease your mind and ultimately help you feel comfortable in front of the lens.

As Professional Photographers in Hawaii, we have a couple tricks up our sleeve to set the most flattering camera angles. One simple tip is to turn your face slightly to the side. This will create natural highlights and give your face a slimmer appearance. Always remember to smile! A smile doesn't just affect your emotions, it affects your entire look overall. Allow yourself the freedom to laugh and share your beautiful smile. Even if you’re still feeling a bit nervous, a smile will give you that extra boost of confidence. 

Present your photographer with some of your ideas, such as poses or locations. At Pacific Dream Photography, we are always open to new thoughts and ideas. 

We hope this helped you relax and mentally prepare for your Tropical Hawaiian Photo Session. Not only do we hope your mind is at ease, but we look forward to capturing your confident smile in each and every photo. From all of us at Pacific Dream Photography, Hauʻoli kēia hui ʻana o kāua! Pleased to meet you.

- Written by Julia P. (Pacific Dream Photography at The Grand Hyatt Kauai)

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Tips for Choosing Your Favorite Photos || Kauai Family Portrait Photography

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Tips for Choosing Your Favorite Photos || Kauai Family Portrait Photography

You and your family just had a fabulous photo session with Pacific Dream Photography and now, it's time to choose your favorite photos! By the next day, our team of photographers have your images professionally edited and ready to be viewed. For some, this is the most exciting part of the photo session. This is where the session comes to life as you get the opportunity to reflect on precious memories from your unforgettable trip. Although looking through many amazing images can be fun, it can also be a bit of a challenge narrowing down your favorites when there are so many great ones to choose from! Fear not, here are five timeless tips that will help ensure you with a collection you'll be forever ecstatic about.

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1. Choose The Images That Reflect You and Your Family

This is a very important step when selecting your favorite photos. This is what makes your favorite images stand out from the rest. The best images are the ones that tell a story while allowing your personalities to shine through. 

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2. Eliminate Photos That Are Similar

You may have photos that look similar. You don’t want both, but you would like to choose one. So which photo should go and which photo should stay? Choose the photo that speaks to you. Pick the photo that allows you to achieve what you hoped to gain from your shoot.

 

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3. Don't Miss Hidden Treasures

Maybe you’re in love with the facial expressions in a photo, but there’s something a little off. Maybe it’s a small spot on your hubby's shirt, or a tiny distraction in the background. Don't be afraid to let your photographer know! With a little magical editing, the photo might end up being your absolute favorite. Look for photos with genuine emotion. Some of the best images aren't posed, but suggested by life itself.

 

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4. Go With Your Gut Reaction

Going with your gut reaction is one of the best options. Ask yourself, does this photo draw my attention? What makes this photo stand out from the others?

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5. We Have Tricks Up Our Sleeve

At your viewing party, it is time to sit back and relax. Here at Pacific Dream Photography, we have a couple tricks up our sleeve that allow us to help you pick your favorites. As Professional Photographers, we have the tools to help you choose the best. We wouldn't let you leave the islands without your favorite collection of your paradise getaway! 

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- Written by Julia P. (Pacific Dream Photography at The Grand Hyatt Kauai)

 

 

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Group Portrait Photography || Tips from a Professional Photographer

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Group Portrait Photography || Tips from a Professional Photographer

Group portraits are a fantastic way for friends and families to spend quality time together and capture unforgettable memories. Whether you're taking a much-needed family reunion trip to the islands or looking to update your photos of friends and loved ones, who wouldn’t want group photos on a lush beach in Hawaii to remember your time in paradise? Capturing photos of a large group can be a difficult task, but fear not! With some helpful tips; let our artists at Pacific Dream Photography make your group photo session a success by providing you with ever-lasting commemorations.

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A relaxed photo is important, but a little direction is always a great key to ensuring a successful photography session. Most of the time a group will pose themselves naturally with tall people in the back and short people in the front. But if needed, feel free to take control of your group and position others in visually ideal positions.  Here at Pacific Dream Photography, we like to make sure our subjects feel comfortable without feeling too forced, so loosen up and don't forget to take in the beautiful scenery!

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When posing your group, place people according to families and couples. This makes it easier for everyone, as they are able to locate themselves easily when looking through their photos. If you'd like the session to be centered on two specific people, place them in the middle of the group.

It is very important to make sure that everyone's faces are visible. If they cannot see the camera, they will most likely not be seen in the photo! As a professional photographer, it is our job to scan the group and make sure that everyone is clearly visible. If one or more subjects are looking away, it may take away from a potentially perfect photo.  

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To avoid awkward spacing in group photos, use a wide angled lens and tighten up the frame. Closing in any unwanted gaps between individuals is a great way to unite your group. One effective technique is to tell your group to lean their heads in close together. Allow your subjects to hug and hold each other and be ready to capture big smiles at any moment. 

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As professional photographers in Hawaii, we take pride in sweet moments with family and friends. Your group will thank you for a great time and stunning group portraits.

- Written by Julia P. (Pacific Dream Photography at the Grand Hyatt Kauai)

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Sunrise or Sunset? || Couple and Family Photography Sessions at the Grand Hyatt Kauai

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Sunrise or Sunset? || Couple and Family Photography Sessions at the Grand Hyatt Kauai

Kauai Sunrise Sunset Pacific Dream Photography

One of the most important options to consider when booking your reservation with Pacific Dream Photography is whether to choose a sunrise or a sunset time. For some of us, who aren’t early risers, the sunset time is an easy choice; although, the sunrise light is exceptional! Here at the Grand Hyatt, Kauai, there are advantages and disadvantages to each time.

 

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The sunrise session is one of our personal favorites. The quality of light is gorgeous! You’ll notice a crisp quality of light, soft flattering skin tones, and a rose gold hue to the color, on some occasions. It is also important to consider the metaphors associated with a sunrise, for example: new beginnings. If you will be joining us celebrating something like an engagement or baby-moon, you might want to consider this time. It can also be a little more private with less people on the beach.

 

Kauai Sunrise Sunset Family Pacific Dream Photography

Typically, the sunset session is the most desired time. The light is rich and golden with saturated colors and strong contrast, making for striking imagery. The sun sets in the west and lights up a golden Shipwrecks beach cliff, creating a beautiful color contrast between the blue sky and ocean. The one possible downside to a sunset session is that there might be more people on the beach, and in the background of your photos.

Kauai Sunrise Sunset Family Pacific Dream Photography

 

So, choose wisely! You can’t go wrong with either choice; but we certainly want to capture you the way you’d like to be remembered.

- Written by Michael (Pacific Dream Photography at The Grand Hyatt Kauai)

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You Said Yes! || Tips For Your Hawaii Engagement Photography Session

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You Said Yes! || Tips For Your Hawaii Engagement Photography Session

You've both decided on forever and now it's time to begin the planning! Professional photos are a fabulous way to kickstart your engagement and we at Pacific Dream Photography want to capture your love for each other with a romantic photo session. 

Hawaii Engagement Couple Photography

 

Whether you've had professional photos taken together before or not, it's always a good idea to first discuss what your vision is for your engagement photos. The key to a successful engagement shoot is to relax and let your relationship shine through the camera. 

Hawaii Engagement Couple Photography

 

Candid photos provide for an endearing look into your relationship. Focus on each other and forget about the photographer! By capturing the two of you laughing, walking, or stealing a kiss, you'll be thankful for the authenticity of your Hawaii photos.

Hawaii Engagement Couple Photography

 

Now, what to wear? If you're planning to use the photos for your Save the Dates, perhaps you already have a color theme in mind. With that idea, you two can coordinate together to dress down for a more casual feel, or suit up for a more formal look.

Hawaii Engagement Couple Photography

 

Have fun, be yourselves, and your love will effortlessly shine through our lens for your breathtaking engagement photos. Lastly, don't forget to snap a stunning picture of the newest accessory on that finger! Your friends and family will thank you for it.

 

- Written by Samantha (Pacific Dream Photography at the Fairmont Orchid)

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8 Must-Know Tips About Photographing Kids || Hawaii Family Portrait Photography

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8 Must-Know Tips About Photographing Kids || Hawaii Family Portrait Photography

 

Photographing children is something that many photographers avoid. While it can be a challenge, here at Pacific Dream Photography, we have a blast! We are going to share a few pointers on how to take the stress out of photographing children. These simple tips will help you achieve natural effortless photos. 

Kids Beach Photography in Hawaii, Pacific Dream Photography

 

1. Be Prepared. Preparing for a session makes all the difference in the world. If an infant or toddler is joining the session, it's important to bring a few toys to keep them engaged. Bubbles are a great way to keep kids occupied during the shoot and will result in giggles and smiles all around. The right lens also plays a huge role when photographing kids. Having the right equipment and settings will result in better photos.

Kids Beach Photography in Hawaii

 

2. Have Patience. Photographing children requires patience and time. Some kids love having their pictures taken, while others may be camera-shy. Just roll with their behavior and don't force anything. Kids will have a great time if you simply hang out with them. Engaging with the child and building their trust will allow them to warm up to the camera! Ask questions, tell jokes, and find out what they are interested in. Be ready to snap pictures at any time. You never know when they might do something unexpected resulting in a fabulous photo!

 

3. Smiling Is Not What's Most Important. The goal is to allow kids to feel like they are right at home. When kids are comfortable they will share their personality with the camera. Kids possess an array of emotions, quirks, and funny faces. Sometimes asking kids to smile will result in the typical forced "picture day face." Here at Pacific Dream Photography, we like to capture authentic timeless moments. After all, real life moments are the most memorable ones.

Kids Beach Photography in Hawaii

 

4. Get On Equal Ground. This tip might require getting a little dirty (or sandy!), but thats okay! Remember you are working with kids! Standing over them will make them look even smaller, so It's okay to get down on your knees or even on your stomach! Getting down on their level will make you instantly more approachable. Photographing the world from a child's perspective can create stunning images with different angles. 

 

5. Give Them a Sneak Peak! Children love to interact and see whats going on behind the camera. Sharing the images that you are taking can be very beneficial. It allows the child to be a part of the shoot rather than just the subject. Building a bond with the child will help you achieve more ideal results.  

Kids Beach Photography in Hawaii

 

6. Get Close. Don't be afraid to get close to your subject. It is important to fill the frame with the child. Capturing their facial expressions will result in extreme cuteness! Choose the right backgrounds, making sure there are no distractions around the subject. Ideally, the background should look blurry and soft. 

 

7. Get The Parents Involved. It's all about the family! During a session, parents are the key to a great shoot. Include the parents in the pictures. This will allow the child to relax and feel comfortable. Not only does this create beautiful images of the child, it creates memories for the whole family. 

Kids Beach Photography in Hawaii

 

8. Be Funny. It's okay to be silly during a session. Don't be afraid to make funny faces, dance, make silly noises, and have a great time. Don't worry about getting the perfect image, candid shots are a better option when photographing kids. Most importantly, have a great time! When the photographer is having fun, the child will have a wonderful time.

 

Written by Julia P. (Pacific Dream Photography at  Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa)

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