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5 Tips to Better Capture What You See || For Photographers


5 Tips to Better Capture What You See || For Photographers

At Pacific Dream Photography, it is our job is to share the world around us. We see things from an artistic perspective. Of course, the beautiful backdrops of Hawaii give our photographs an extra advantage. Here are five simple tips that will take your upcoming photo shoot to another level and give your photos an extra advantage.

1. Be Ready

Remember the time you nearly missed the most important moment of the wedding, the kiss? Maybe your camera was turned off or your settings were wrong. These types of moments come and go very quickly. It is more than important to constantly adjust the settings on your camera, frequently checking the exposure. Nothing is worst than missing the most important moments. After all, those are the most cherished ones.

2. Holding the Camera Properly

This tip is crucial to better capturing what you see. Here at Pacific Dream Photography, we take note on everything that is going on around us. We are always prepared to capture life’s special moments. Holding the camera properly makes a huge difference while shooting. Of course, each photographer has his or her own unique shooting style. By holding the camera upright at shoulder level, it prepares the photographer to get the shot. By holding the camera upright, you are bound to get the perfect candid photos.

3.  Creativity

Don’t be afraid to use your creativity. This will set your photos apart from others, and make them unique.  Keep an eye on the colors, quality of light, and composition of the photo. Creative photographers come up with fresh new perspectives and ideas.

4. Use Your Eye

The human eye has a better dynamic range than the camera. Portraying your inner vision through the camera is more challenging than it looks. It is important to properly expose an image. By properly exposing the most important portion of the image, the photo will be more appear more accurate to what your physical eye observed.

5. Be Present

Being present will allow you to capture natural images.  After all, isn’t this the goal? Make eye contact and engage with your subjects. The more comfortable you are the more comfortable they are. Have fun, laugh, and get to know your subjects.

As professional photographers in Hawaii, we take heart in capturing memories that will last forever.  Ultimately, it is our goal to make sure our subjects have an amazing time!

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


Anniversary || Year One


Anniversary || Year One

Is there anywhere more beautiful to celebrate life and love than here on Kauai?! From the moment you step of the plane in Lihue you will be hit by a wave of humidity. Get prepared to slow down, relax, and enjoy a well-deserved break from life. As the oldest of all the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai’s ancient lush beauty is hard to overlook.

Celebrating their first anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Kelley knew they chose wisely by coming to Kauai, and staying at the Grand Hyatt. Enamored by the island, they spent their days here resting near the 5-acre pool, and also doing a fair share of exploring too.

With so much to offer, from the spa amenities to a salt-water lagoon you can actually kayak in, it’s easy to stay close to the resort; but, don’t miss out on what Kauai has to offer. Kauai is very unique compared to the rest of the Hawaiian island chain.

The Kelley’s discovered this and set out to explore the Waimea Canyon, which is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Imagine the Grand Canyon carpeted with a vibrant green jungle landscape, littered with trails and gorgeous scenic overlooks.

Head east and discover the largest navigable river in all of Hawaii, the Wailua River. Kayak or take a boat tour to top and find the river’s fresh water pouring down from Mt. Wai’ale’ale, one of the wettest spots on the planet. It lands at the Fern Grotto, and along the river at the sacred capital of ancient Kauai and the birthplace of the island’s Ali’i, or royalty.

Whether you are visiting Kauai for the first time or the tenth, there is always something to do or somewhere new to explore.  The most difficult part of vacationing here with us at the Grand Hyatt, Kauai, is deciding what you want to do first. 

Written by Micheal W. (Pacific Dream Photography at The Grand Hyatt Kauai


Tips for Photographers || Posing


Tips for Photographers || Posing

I’ve been a wedding and engagement photographer now for over 8 years and the one question I get from many photographers is how do I pose my subjects? It’s simple, you don’t. Ok, well kind you kind of do. Let me explain.

I have a few “poses” I default to. Holding hands, getting comfortable in each others arms, looking back, walking, etc. I try not to get too hung up on the technical of posing. If your subjects are uncomfortable, it’s going show. So what’s the key to getting those natural candid/relaxed looking photos?

If you follow these 5 steps, you will be on your way to delivering comfortable natural poses and photographs for your clients.

Step 1. Exposure

Believe it or not, the first and most important step to getting couples and families comfortable in front of your camera is knowing how to operate a Dslr timely. Know it like the back of your hand. Exposures, ISO, Fstops, shutter speeds, shooting fully manual or shooting aperture priority. Know what you’re doing! Clients always feel confident when you’re confident behind a camera. You need to get to the point where it’s not a challenge to operate your camera. This gives your attention to the clients and makes them feel they are with a pro!

Step 2. Before you even shoot

Getting comfortable and acquainted with your client before you even pull the shutter. Be outgoing, genuine and interested in their lives. Ask where they are from, what brings them to wherever you’re shooting. Connect with them. I always try to connect with sports. You’d be surprised how many women love it when their husband/fiancé is involved in the shoot because to be honest, usually the wife has to drag the whole family to get their photos taken. When they see their husbands at easy (probably easier for me cause I’m a guy) it makes them think “cool, we’re all having a good time.”

If you’re not a guy, or can’t connect with the husband, try connecting with the kiddos or the wife/bride. Get personal without prying of course and let them get their minds off of the photo session for a bit. It’s always intimidating having a lens stare you down!

Step 3. Get them Comfortable

Have 3-5 poses you know down pat, but don’t let the pose rule over comfort.

For different scenes and settings I have a few different poses I default to, but my aim is getting couples comfortable in front of the camera. When couples or families are comfortable, it always provides better photos. I already know my cameras settings, so that doesn’t get in the way of anything. I’m having fun, cracking jokes, shooting and working fast! It’s a rush and I love it. I’m in the drivers seat and my client trusts me. They already feel good and know their images are turning out great. The laughs and smiles are real and genuine, not forced or unnatural.

Step 4. The experience

People will always forget what you said but will remember how you made them feel. This is probably more important than the photos themselves. I’ve never been one to get so technical I lose the subjects. Keeping the flow of the shoot is key. I hate downtime. If I have to figure out a shot, look for a location, guessing, or not sure. This always gets in the way of delivering a positive experience.

I have a few jokes on hand if I need folks to crack a smile. Most of all have fun and include the client. They love that!

Step 5. Find your groove

Posing like a lot of things is preference. Hands are something that can really bother me. If the hands look claw-like or stiff it throws the whole photo off (for me). That’s my pet peeve. For someone it might be posture or something else.

My rule of thumb (pun intended) is if the hands and fingers (and thumbs, kidding) look good, and we’re having fun we’re good to go!

Find your grove, practice, practice, practice then practice some more! The key is to avoid those awkward moments “what now” kind of feelings in a shoot!


- Written by Brent S. (Pacific Dream Photography at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel)


Why It's Important To Print Your Photos || Metals, Canvases, Prints


Why It's Important To Print Your Photos || Metals, Canvases, Prints

With FacebookInstagram, Twitter and other Social Media sites, it’s very common to see professional photos go up as new profile pictures.  A very popular question that photographers receive almost daily; “Will I get the digitals?”.  With Pacific Dream Photography, the answer is “Yes!”.  However, there are some things to consider when getting your digital copies. 

Our clients love the idea of having these special moments saved on their phones as their new background or sending these photos to loved ones. Luckily, we offer client’s an online gallery to view their photos and order gorgeous, one of a kind products from our trusted professional vendors.  Here are some ideas on what you can do with your professional photos:

1.) Metal Prints: These prints are sleek and vibrant. They are thin but durable and create a bright and beautiful presence in a room.  

2.) Canvases: Wrap around canvases offer a clean and soft look to your photos. When put on the wall, they are 1.5” from the wall, so the photos really stand out, literally!  

3.) Prints: They come in all shapes and sizes and are easy to customize to best fit the location of the photo. You can pick out special frames that best suit the room and your personality!  Another option is photo albums! When printing photo sizes such as 4x6 and 5x7 it is simple and fun to create a luxury photo album with the photos you choose. These are a favorite because they tell a story while displaying special moments in your life.

We live in a digital age, and it’s completely normal to want to have digital copies of your images on your phone and computer. But when you hold your photo or look at it every day on the wall, it becomes a whole new experience that will always be there. It also serves as a backup in case your phone breaks or computer crashes. That’s exactly why our team offers print credits with our packages to make it easy for our guests to have access to our professional vendors!


- Written by Savannah S. (Pacific Dream Photography at The Montage Laguna Beach)