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Kauai Engagement Surprise! Brendon’s Kauai Proposal to Roshi

Kauai Engagement Surprise! Brendon’s Kauai Proposal to Roshi

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In this Kauai engagement surprise, we helped Brendon plan a Kauai proposal on Kauai’s Maha’ulepu Beach and hid in the bushes to take photos!

What a high-energy Kauai engagement surprise this was!

Today was one of those days that made me remember how much I truly love the excitement of working in the wedding industry. A couple of weeks ago a man in his early 30s from Northern California named Brendon contacted me about helping him plan a proposal for the love of his life, Roshi. Since I am the queen of surprises, I am a great person to ask (see our page on Kauai engagement consulting)! So I helped Brendon plan a beautiful Kauai proposal where they hiked from the Hyatt on the south side of Kauai to beautiful Maha’ulepu Beach.

Enhancing a Dazzling Kauai Engagement Location

We planned ahead via phone and email using maps and came up with the secret code. I put a row of shells in the sand near the water’s edge so he would know where to stop and get on one knee. Since I’m a photographer, I look at things from the point of view of how to make the pictures look great, so I got there early and set things up for the optimum photographic angles.

I prepared a beautiful picnic blanket with orchid heads and had glasses ready for the toast. I also provided gorgeous tropical Hawaiian leis for the couple as well as for Brendon’s family who were hiding in the bushes waiting to congratulate them (good thing she said yes!).

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Finishing Touches for the Kauai Engagement Surprise

I had brought a rake to make the sand look smooth and perfect and then carefully wrote the proposal date out in shells which I had brought along for the occasion. (Later, Roshi would eagerly take them home as a keepsake from one of the most romantic moments of her life.) The couple was running a little late so we waited anxiously as we tracked them on Google Plus. I pretended to be a tourist on the beach and when the couple finally arrived I acted like I had just been there taking pictures anyway.

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Maha’ulepu Beach, Kauai

Brendon asked Roshi to walk down this lovely beach so he could take a picture of her walking along the ocean. When she turned around to walk away he quickly laid down his stuff, took out an exquisitely gorgeous (and large) diamond ring and got down on one knee. By the time Roshi turned around he was down on one knee. In that perfect moment, Roshi’s romantic childhood expectations were completely surpassed as she was proposed to on a gorgeous deserted Hawaiian beach at sunset surrounded by whales, shells, flowers and her family.

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Roshi’s Happy Hawaiian Moment – Unforgettable Kauai Engagement Surprise

As soon as she realized what was happening, she ran towards Brendon and collapsed in his arms, crying on his shoulder. Speechless, she excitedly and eagerly nodded her head “Yes!!!” Roshi was so swept up in the moment she gave him her right hand (instead of her left hand) for the ring … they were both so excited that no one noticed. It was funny because the ring wouldn’t go on … he tried to get the ring on but it still wouldn’t go on! The happy couple were crying and hugging as the family ran out of the bushes and of course I was taking pictures the whole time – I was up very close by this point.

Kauai Engagement Bliss

Eventually she looked up and said “Thank you, thank you, thank you” to me. Even though she didn’t know who I was yet, she could tell I was involved. It was probably the happiest moment of her life. She saw her new in-laws asking them “Did you know about this? … I can’t believe it!” and started jumping up and down holding out her hand yelling “We’re engaged! We’re finally engaged!” This adorable jumping up-and-down continued for the next hour, much to all of our delight! She was so excited it was contagious – we all had a beautiful rush of excitement and it was an amazing feeling to be a part of. It’s moments like these that make me love my job!

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Finale at Famous Shipwrecks Beach, Kauai

The gates were going to close to Maha’ulepu Beach, so we moved the celebration I had planned to Shipwrecks Beach where I again set up the picnic blanket with the orchid heads, organic cheese platter/crackers, champagne glasses and beautiful leis.

We did couples photos and a family photo shoot. We took pictures of everything from honoring the family with leis to sharing a toast. Brendon’s father was so happy because Shipwrecks Beach is one of his most favorite beaches in the world. He comes there every year to celebrate with his family. Now their family has yet one more sacred event to remember on that very beach.

Congratulations Roshi and Brendon!

This Kauai engagement planning and consulting was performed by Aloha Ever After, with photography taken by Timory McDonald Photography.

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Featured Kauai Family Photo Shoot: Kealia Beach

Featured Kauai Family Photo Shoot: Kealia Beach

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Pretty! This featured kauai family photo shoot has some girls in sync.

Our featured Kauai family photo shoot

took place on December 20th, 2016, at Kealia Beach, Kauai. Right before Christmas we had the opportunity to meet a lovely family from California who were out here on Kauai for their parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. The 5 siblings decided to gift their parents with a long overdue photo shoot of the whole family. The siblings had contacted Timory McDonald Photography ahead of time, splitting the cost of the photo shoot so it didn’t cost any of them very much money.

The Best Way to Incorporate the Surprise Element with Women and Photo Shoots

Additionally, we planned to do the whole thing as a surprise, and we love surprises! However we‘ve learned over the years that while it’s a great idea to surprise a woman with the photo shoot (you can’t go wrong with offering her photos) … it’s not always a good idea to spring it on her right in the moment. A woman needs to be ready, with her hair and makeup the way she feels comfortable, in order to enjoy the pictures! So the mom and dad were told that they were going to take some family pictures with their iPhones down at the beach – the surprise was that it would actually be Timory, a professional photographer.

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Family Photo Shoot with A Christmas Theme

Since it was right before Christmas, Timory met with the siblings right before the photo shoot to come up with a plan to make it as festive of a surprise as possible. She drove up in her white SUV, decorated as Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, put on a Santa hat and met them right next to the bike path full of Christmas joy and enthusiasm as she wished them a happy 30th wedding anniversary surprise as well as “Merry Christmas”!

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Great Variety of Backdrops for Photos

One of the 5 siblings was a very wonderful disabled man in a wheelchair. Timory had gone early to find the perfect location where we could get a picture with the beach in the background but still keep him on the cement bicycle path. We took a surprisingly large selection of background shots given that we only left the path once. For instance, we took pictures near a tree with the ocean background, just an ocean background, trees and pine trees surrounding the sand and the ocean and we even went down to a bridge to have a river and the ocean in the background. It was a wonderfully varied 60 minute photo shoot!

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Happy Anniversary and Happy Holidays

The clients were very happy. We received this testimonial about their featured Kauai family photo shoot:

“Thank you again for the quick turn around with the photos. They turned out amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Best ~ Hannah

Happy 30th wedding anniversary and happy holidays to Hannah and all her family!

This family photography shoot was taken by Timory McDonald Photography.

The Moment Before a Picture is Taken

The Moment Before a Picture is Taken


What goes on for you, the moment before a picture is taken?

The moment before a picture is taken

is an interesting moment in time … it almost seems as if it were suspended. What goes through your mind in that moment? The future? The present? Probably not the past … but certainly not what you were paying attention to before the camera came out.

If you’re a mom, pictures are probably massively important to you in comparison to the rest of your family. I don’t know why; it just seems to be wired into our DNA that it’s important to document our family’s development and special moments for the future to see, just like it’s wired in some mother’s DNA to enjoy seeing their kids dressed to match (for no explicable reason).

The thing that always caught my attention about the few seconds right before a photo is taken is how the people whose photo is being taken are so focused on an unknown future moment that they are normally unaware of a comical moment in the future. Instead of feeling aware or uncomfortable that passers by are gawking at them and their pasted-on, perma-grin fake smiles, they are focused on holding the perfect smile staring into the camera lens for just an uncomfortable 20 seconds longer than would usually be socially acceptable.

And why does it take so long to take a photo anyway? We live in a high speed age with digital this and instant that … why can’t it just take 5 seconds to take a photo? Have you been in that situation where you get yourself ready while the person looks at their (phone) camera … you get ready but don’t actually start smiling … the person about to take your picture says “OK” and holds up the camera … you smile … and then instead of having a flash or two go off and being done, they say something like, “Oops, it was on video”. All of a sudden the smile drops off your face. Happy moment gone.


Because that wasn’t actually a happy moment, it was a pretend happy moment. In that moment before a picture is taken, you realize that you still have to wait and let the person taking your photos actually put it on camera mode you realize that people are walking past you, looking at you.

So what happens in that moment before a picture is taken?

After years of having been on both sides of the camera, the following is the best way I can describe it.

In the moment before a picture is taken, we tend to put an invisible wall around us to shield us from our current reality (in this scenario a mom and her kids having her photo taken by her husband who is having difficulty getting the camera on the correct setting to take a casual photo in a semi public setting). We don’t want to focus on the people walking past us looking at us … we want a cool photo to show our friends of how cute our kids look (in those pretend matching outfits), how big they’ve grown, how lucky we are to have traveled or visited some (imaginary) place we’re standing in front of. So in essence, we leave the present for just a minute or two because the drive for a great photo is so strong that we are willing to suspend minor temporary uncomfortability in order to achieve potential long-term documentation of something we love. In essence, the drive to document our family (or ourselves) combined with the desire to bond our reality with our friend’s/family’s reality (even if just for a moment) is so strong that it suspends most present situations.

So there you have it men, that’s why you have to keep taking those silly photos – that’s a reasonably strong urge in a woman!