Enchanted Hawaii Elopement with Flower Hakus in the Forest: Meet Kayla & Vissin

Meet Kayla, a gorgeous, glowing, sweet, jewelry designer, mama, bride and Vissin, her totally in to her, ridiculously cut, handsome, Hawaiian surfer groom and father to their precious little one.  We met up one lovely Friday afternoon in a fantastical (made up word) magical wooded area located on the windward side of Oahu.  Vissin is the little brother, of the ever so talented, Makane, a wedding florist and flower crown designer/owner of Ocean Dreams of Flowers located in Kailua, HI.  She styled this shoot and designed all the dresses and leis seen here.   I was lucky enough to meet her one late Saturday night at a fashion show in Honolulu, HI.  We’ve since then collaborated on several shoots together, this being my first one to blog, with more to come later on.

The chemistry between Kayla and Vissin is thick, sweet, syrupy, thick.  It’s palpable, tangible, and lingers in the air with slow, long, lovers’ gazes and playful sweet kisses.  These two have what other couples sometimes want.  They still like each other.  They still flirt.  They stare and stare and stare at each other.  They hold hands.  Even from an outsider’s perspective, time seems to stand still when they are together.

According to Hawaiianencylopedia.com, the lei is symbolic of aloha. There’s a Hawaiian proverb which states, “E lei no au i ko aloha” meaning “I will wear your love as a wreath.” A lei for the head is known as lei po’o, one worn around the neck is known as lei ‘a’i, while those worn on the wrists or ankles are known as kupe’e.  The follwing are different ways that a lei can be made Wili (twisted), Hipu’u (knotted), Hili (braided), Haku (mounted), Humupapa (sewed onto backing), Kui (strung with a needle), or Micronesian style (tied or woven flat).  Makane’s grandmother taught her mother the art form of lei making, which was then passed down another generation to Makane and her sisters.  If you’re looking for a beautiful, hand crafted, Hawaiian haku custom made for you, contact Makane at EarthLaughsinFlowersHI@gmail.com or (808)372-5400.  Are you a destination bride thinking about eloping?  We are just the girls for you – photography, location scouting, event styling, and flower hakus all in one:)


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Hawaii Couple’s Portrait Photography: Under the Pier with Corina & David

Meet Corina & David, a fun, playful, Hawaii couple, who happen to be high school sweethearts.  We met at the Pier for a creative, natural light, portrait session at the beach.  Corina was immediately endearing, sweet, and adorable! David was good natured, charming, and easy going.  All in all a fantastic, colorful combination.  Corina actually entered a Valentine’s Day contest I put on in February, where each couple was required to submit a photograph and a mini essay detailing why I should choose them for a free portrait session. Here is an excerpt from what she said, “David and I have been together since we were 17 and in High School. We moved to Hawaii about 8.5 years ago and got married 5 years ago. We have been together for 15 years, but we fall in love with eachother more everyday.”

Something about enduring love gets me every time.  The type of love that perseveres through obstacles, celebrates victories together, and holds your hand whether everything is cloudy grey or sunshiny yellow.  The type of love that remains even if the other person changes, for better or worse.  I’m a big fan of the type of love that  can’t be bought with expensive unoriginal gifts, or the perfect Hollywood romantic comedy words every single time.  Don’t get me wrong, I like big, bold, grand gestures of romance – European trips, songs written for you, bathtubs with candle light and Frank Sinatra playing, but I also like ordinary, everyday love.  The type of love that comes home and says, “You look pretty” (when really, you know that 3 day bed head, I’ve had the flu, I thought I wasn’t going to make it look you’ve got going on isn’t pretty, not at all, in fact it’s a little rough, lol.)  Or perhaps it’s the type of love that goes to the store at 10 pm at night when you have a chocolate chip cookie craving.   I like the love that holds you close and dear after you’ve had a baby and you don’t recognize the woman in the mirror, with 38 extra pounds on her small frame.  I like the love that kisses you good bye every morning.

I like seeing other couples succeed.  It makes me happy. There is something so beautiful and rare when you commit to someone, daily choose them, and patiently discover the ins and outs of their soul.  I’m thrilled you two have each other to grow old with.

So from one 5-year married couple to another – Happy 5 year wedding anniversary!! Wishing you both all the joy in the world.


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For Boston, With Aloha From Hawaii

My best friend is a triathlete, a marathoner.  What if she had ran in the 2013 Boston Marathon?  Crossed the finish line, just as the unthinkable occurred.  Today is hard because evil violated anyone who has ever dreamed their dream and then followed through.  Today the best of the best, ran their heart and soul out.  Their loved ones were waiting on them to cross that finish line. I’m not sure who didn’t get to say goodbye to who, or what words were left unsaid, or embraces left undone, but I am sad for them.  Sad for their loss and their unspeakable heart ache.  Sad for the celebrations that can never happen, the disabling of innocent people.  The loss of our precious children.  May Jesus give peace to all those hurting.  I’m praying for you Boston.

I’m at a loss for words, so I’ll say the rest in pictures.

- Crystal


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May 6, 2013 - 7:44 pm

ashley goodwin - OooooOOOooooOOOo these are AMAZING!

Lanikai Maternity Portrait Photographer: Meet Shawn and Z

I was sitting in the Kailua Starbucks several weeks ago sipping my iced soy chai latte, and in walked one of the most radiant pregnant women I have ever seen.  Seriously, I couldn’t take my eyes off Z.  She was practically glowing. She looked so content, standing next to her husband, who bore a striking resemblance to a young Barack Obama.  So like any good photographer does when they see a beautiful subject, I boldly approached the two of them, and asked if they were in need of a maternity photographer.  Lucky for me they were.

Shawn is a military JAG (attorney) , which I think sounds so cool to say out loud, try it, “JAG.”  He’s been deployed several times already.  Z, also an attorney, is a former beauty queen, and now a new mama madly in love with her precious little son.  These two know the meaning of enduring love.  When I think of them, the lyrics from the Mumford and Sons song, I Will Wait, come to mind.

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

‘Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

Z patiently waited and waited for Shawn to come back home to her and he did:)Now they’re celebrating the most heavenly blessing known to man – a sweet, perfect, innocent child.  Congratulations you two!

Yesterday, I got to hold a little 10 week old in my arms.  I breathed in his sweet baby scent and marveled at how tiny his little socks were.  His sleepy eyes and dreaming half-grins reminded me of when my little Ava was a teeny, tiny, lovey, too.  Now she is 17 month old toddler.  Indeed, life is a grand miracle, but a fast one too.  So hold your babies close, breathe in their sweet smell, and kiss every inch of their little, chubby bodies, a thousand times over. I know I will.


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April 10, 2013 - 7:23 pm

Marina - Wow….she is definitely the prettiest pregnant woman! I would have approached her too! lol

May 6, 2013 - 7:45 pm

ashley goodwin - yo, this spot is pretttyyyyy! :) Love the color of these, gorgeous! And good looking couple too!

July 11, 2013 - 7:28 pm

Laura Nelson - So beautiful!