Kauai Wedding Photography Blog

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Lydgate Beach, Kauai: Adam & Francesca (Featured Wedding)

Lydgate Beach, Kauai: Adam & Francesca (Featured Wedding)

Lydgate Beach, Kauai,

was the scene of a most unusual – but romantic – wedding on Wednesday, October 26th, 2016. Adam and Francesca had decided to get married on Kauai, and when the big day arrived, it was raining on almost every side of the island. We eventually found a secluded little shelter or hut right next to Lydgate beach where they could get married near the ocean, despite the Hawaiian rains. However, rain on your wedding day is considered a blessing in Hawaii.

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A Misty Tropical Hawaiian Beach Wedding

Lydgate Beach is a great Kauai wedding location because it is private, not often frequented by tourists, and features many secluded areas. It is normally also dry and sunny at sunset, but on this occasion, the rain had set in. Despite this, we actually conducted the wedding in the open, right next to the shelter. Adam and Francesca actually exchanged vows while the minister (Joel) prompted them in the mist!

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Wedding Music with “Love Song” (by the Cure) on Ukulele

The atmosphere of the wedding ceremony was augmented by Aimee Brown, a superb vocalist who also played traditional Hawaiian ukulele wedding songs. Adam and Francesca had requested a special song for them: “Love Song” by the Cure. Aimee played it right at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, right after they had been declared husband and wife.

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A Day to Remember Forever

Some brides have a fixed idea of what they want on their wedding day. This is fine, however if you are choosing to have an outdoor wedding in Hawaii, you can’t control the weather! Francesca was a very relaxed bride who flowed with the conditions and was happy regardless. They were a couple that was clearly and deeply in love. They will remember their wedding day forever thanks to the rain. The next day, which was dry, Timory did some wedding photography for them at another location, so now they have 2 sets of photos instead of just 1.

Congratulations Adam and Francesca!

This wedding was performed by Aloha Ever After, with wedding photography taken by Timory McDonald Photography.

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The Why and How of Getting Ready and Wreck-the-Dress Photos

The Why and How of Getting Ready and Wreck-the-Dress Photos


Both wreck-the-dress photos and getting ready shots can be fun!

Getting ready photos, and wreck-the-dress photos,

can be a whole lot of fun. When you look at a couple or more hundred photos after your wedding, it’s really important to have diversity in them. Getting ready photos, as well as wreck-the-dress photos, are two possibilities to create a more well rounded series of photos to document your special day. Besides, it’s nice to look back on the whole day and remember it, even those nervous moments getting dressed up beforehand!

Getting Ready Photos

What are getting ready photos, and why have them?

People tend to forget about allotting some of their photo time for getting ready shots. Remember, the wedding photos are supposed to be telling a story of your day … which is a whole lot more than just the 15 minute ceremony! Getting ready photos display the bride and the things/people that are important to her. Getting ready photos set the stage for anticipation and how important it was to the bride to be, at her best, for the love of her life. If she’s lucky enough to have friends or family there in the room to help her get ready, it’s also a chance to visually tell a story of how important that friendship/person helping her get ready is to her. Some of the best father/daughter, mother/daughter or best friend shots we’ve seen have been taken before the bride even got to the ceremony.

What is the timing for getting ready shots?

Getting ready shots can mean anything from Timory getting there for an hour before your wedding (or more) to just arriving in your room 10 min before you walk out the door to your ceremony and doing (or just reenacting if you’re trying to cut costs on photography time) a few of the more key getting ready shots. There are a lot of examples on my site of getting ready shots here:



A good example of a wreck-the-dress photo where the bride only goes in the water a little.

Wreck-the-Dress Photos

What do you have to do, and why bother with wreck-the-dress photos?

As you can see from the link below, wreck-the-dress photos also add a depth of diversity to the entire photo shoot. They can be as simple as you walking at the water’s edge of a pool or the ocean. You don’t need to get more than the bottom of your legs wet. They can also be more adventurous, going half way in or further. They are the shots that show you as a fun couple (remember, we are showing through images who you are as a couple together) being relaxed, spontaneous, adventurous or playful. Trust us, people stuck in the box never do these … so they set you apart from the rest as adventurous!

What is the timing for wreck-the-dress photos?

The timing for wreck-the-dress photos can be very short, or longer if you prefer. They can be as simple as 5 minutes at the end of the wedding photo shoot getting only your legs wet, or longer playing in the water and getting fairly wet. You do NOT need to go all the way in to get great shots. Going up to your waist is about as far as most people go in. You can forget about your photographer; these are mostly candid shots. Just look at each other, play around for a few minutes, and before you know it you’re done (these are normally the guy’s favorite part of the shoot!). Then, you just go change your clothes and go off to eat (or whatever you have planned next) … and your dress will dry and be cleaned perfectly fine. Your hair/makeup does not need to be touched and it does not stain the dress nor need extra clean up beyond changing your clothes.


Changing Locations

When making plans for either getting ready shots or a change of background shots, people often want to know how the timing works for changing locations in terms of what they are paying for. Generally speaking, the getting ready photos are done next to or closet to their wedding location. If this is the case, then we do not charge for a change of fee location. As long as the change of location is not too lengthy, Timory is very generous with her time and is happy to stop the “photography clock” to help make these very special shots work better for people’s budget. If the change of locations is further away, just give us a ring and check … we are very fair, and we will make it work for you.

Final Wedding Photo Tips

Finally, here are a few final tips to help your photos turn out amazingly.

Many brides are concerned about looking good on their wedding day. Some are worried about looking heavier than they’d like to in their wedding photos. There, we said it! Although Timory has no special trick to take 20 pounds off of you when editing the photos, she does have some tricks up her sleeve. She knows some good slimming poses as well as how to hide things that bug us about ourselves. Just let Caitlin or Timory know what your sensitivities are, and she can help you out with how she takes the photos, what she crops out, hides or accentuates. Timory can really help if you give her a heads up on what you want, or don’t want. As a woman, she understands well that us women have a tendency to be overly critical of our bodies, and Timory is great at working with this to make sure that the photos don’t just look great to other people, but that you look great to you!

Consider whether you want to have your guests holding phones/cameras during the ceremony. It’s fine with us what you choose, but do be aware that small crowd of people taking photos of your special moment is not necessary (you’ll have all the photos you need from us!) and also looks distracting in an otherwise romantic and beautiful photo. Consider asking your guests to wait until after they are in the photographs too to take out their cameras and assure them that you can share your photos with them later.

Wedding Hair and Makeup for Kauai Weather

Wedding Hair and Makeup for Kauai Weather


Kauai wedding hair can be a tricky thing. It will blow in your face if you’re not careful!

Kauai wedding hair and makeup

is different to wedding day hair and makeup in other locations. We do many outdoor wedding photo shoots which introduces a lot of elements like wind, mist, moisture and rain. When you are styling your hair here on Kauai, you need to take into account these different factors.

Why Is It Important to Have a Professional Do Your Kauai Wedding Hair and Makeup?

We think it’s very important to have a professional do your hair and make up for your Kauai wedding. Here’s why:

  1. Kauai has unique whether which affects your hair differently than at home. The humidity here is a mix of moisture in the air and salt spray, which can affect your normally manageable hair and can make even the most perfect skin types oily. Having a professional the day of your wedding is a must-have. They come prepared with the tools and products that of been tested against Kauai elements. Also, if you’ve never done your hair and make up for a photo session it’s nice to have someone who knows where to accentuate your natural features, something that really comes with practice.
  2. Wedding days come with their own set of emotions and feelings. Having a professional do your Kauai wedding hair and make up not only gives you a more perfected look in the photos you’ll be keeping forever, but also takes away from the stress and anxiety of having to do your own.
  3. When choosing a hair and make up artist it’s important to find someone who’s experienced with brides here in Kauai, who’s easy to talk to you and who has your best interest at heart. You can be confident that Caitlin will ensure you have the best artist (if she’s not available) on your big day! Caitlin is not only here to help you book your photos/wedding, but she is also a licensed cosmetologist. She has years of experience with brides here on Kauai and would be a valuable member of your wedding team helping you get ready the day of. Caitlin has the knowledge and experience to deal with the elements specifically here on Kauai. The hair products and makeup she uses in her kit have passed the humidity, wind and sun test. Taking the stress off yourself on your wedding day to get ready for your gorgeous wedding photos is well worth the extra money.

A Few More Important Tips

  • Always bring your lip color to retouch after kissing shots and some blotting paper to get rid of any oil or sweat.
  • Hair: pull some or all of medium/long hair back neatly before you come to the photo shoot. This applies to all people whose hair is not really short! One of the most common things people forget is that they chose to have their photos taken at the beach, which is always windy, and then forget to do anything about pulling their hair back. Most people find hair down very attractive, myself included. However I have a LOT of experience with this, and I can assure you that medium/long hair down never looks good on a windy beach … and all beaches have the potential to be windy here on Kauai. If your hair is not at least partially back, it will blow in your face (as in the photo above), and we will have to take up your photo time moving the group around in circles trying to find an angle where it’s manageable, or we will have to have someone in the group hold your hair down!

For more info, see this article on how to wear your hair:


What Type of Kauai Sunset Wedding Would You Like?

What Type of Kauai Sunset Wedding Would You Like?


In this Kauai sunset wedding, which produced magical tones of blue and pink, the sun went down 180° opposite to the background you see in this photo.

A Kauai sunset wedding

is the dream of many brides who come to visit us here on Kauai, Hawaii. If you choose a sunset wedding as many couples do, you still need make another decision about your wedding photography: having photos with the sun directly behind you, or facing you from another direction.

Kauai Sunset Wedding Options: Sky Full of Color vs. Sun Going Down Behind You

On Kauai there are times of the year where the sun sets into the water in areas besides the west side, such as the north or south shore. For information about these unique to Kauai sunset times try asking your hotel or give us a ring. In general, we find that most people do not end up liking the west side as a wedding destination due to the lower beach quality, the beaches not being close to where people tend to stay, nor having good places to eat afterwards … so we do not recommend the west side for most couples.

There are times of the year that Shipwrecks Beach in Poipu has a sunset that reaches not quite to the water, but almost into it … certainly close enough for a great shot in front of the setting sun. Shipwrecks Beach however generally has too may people in our opinion to make it an ideal place to get married. Depending on where you are on the beach it is more likely that the angle at which most shots would be taken to capture the setting sun has a beach behind it … which means space for people wearing bright colored bathing suits to stand-not great for photos.

There are times of the year where the sun sets almost into the water at Hanalei Bay, as well as most beaches north of there. Although Hanalei Bay is also a pretty crowded beach, it is better for sunset photos than Shipwrecks in our opinion because the angle at which we can take a picture of you in front of the setting sun is nearly unobstructed by where people can stand, so it’s just you with the ocean, mountains and sun setting behind you.

Ke’e is a very (year round) consistent beach for the sun setting directly all the way into the water. Because of this, lots of tourists go there each day all year to watch the sun set. The main negative point about Ke’e is that it’s a long drive away from Hanalei (about 30 min going over several one lane bridges) … but possibly for some people this may be a plus. This means it not only takes longer to get to, but some vendors may charge a travel fee to get out there. Once you are there it also means longer to get back to where you will have dinner, with everyone hungry and thirsty.

How to Get Sunset Colors in your Photos on Kauai

This is easy: get married between Lihue and Kilauea. Basically anywhere on the east side, southeast or north east sides, at any time of the year, will do (our favorite spots for this area are Nukoli’i or Lydgate.)

Untruth: Many people think they need to stand in front of the sunset going down into the water to get fantastic sunset photos. This is just not true. There are lots of great sunset shots on the east side of Kauai, where you can never actually see the sun go down into the water at anytime of the year. How is this possible? Because 180 degrees opposite of the sunset are some of the best colors! (Next time you are watching the sunset, turn around and look the other way and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

The sun going into the water is undeniably beautiful, but it is a very specific shot. Once you have it you don’t need a whole photo shoot of the same thing. To many people a more interesting background for the majority of the photos are all the gorgeous colors 180 degrees away from the sunset (I personally agree given that here on Kauai some of the most secluded and best beach wedding locations are on the east side).

If you have any questions about any aspect of a Kauai sunset wedding, please contact us.

Best Kauai Wedding Beaches

Best Kauai Wedding Beaches


What are the best Kauai wedding beaches? Where is it best for you to have your Kauai wedding photography? Read our tips so you can make an informed choice.

So what are the best Kauai wedding beaches?

This is your wedding, and you should have what you want. Timory is happy to take your photos anywhere or any time of the day you want. However, there are more and less preferable places and times of the day to take any photos in terms of showing off Kauai’s amazing tropical colors and, of course, you! Timory also loves doing weddings at hotels or other places besides beaches, we are happy to offer recommendations for tropical gardens, hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, etc.

There are a few things to keep in mind when answering this question specifically for your wedding:

  1. Is your Kauai wedding location beach typically crowded or empty?
  2. What background do you want most for your photos?
  3. How does your choice of Kauai wedding beach affect the lighting?
  4. Where are you staying?

1. Crowded and Empty Beaches

Sometimes people say they don’t care if the beach they want to get married on (i.e. Shipwreck’s beach) are crowded and there are people in the back of their photos. (We especially here this from clients staying in Poipu where there are pretty much always people on every beach.) If this is truly the case, we are happy to take photos anywhere you want. However as most photographers agree, Timory strongly feels that photos are of a much higher quality if there are not (many) people showing in the background. This is why she so often recommends Lydgate Beach or other more private beaches/locations. Beaches that are nearly always filled with people and hard to get a clear shot at include Hanalei Bay and nearly all beaches in Poipu.

That having been said, all beaches are public and Timory demonstrates great dexterity in moving around to block absolutely anyone and any thing in the background she can.

2. Background

Another thing to keep in mind about the background is what do you prefer to see behind you? Beach? Tropical gardens? Tropical forest? Manicured hotel lawns/waterfalls? Mountains? Lava rocks and greenery next to ocean? Cliffs?

If you like mountains in particular (and beaches too) the north shore has a lot to offer. If you like lava rocks and greenery next to the ocean, Lydgate beach is perfect and private. If you like sandy cliffs, Shipwreck’s beach is a good choice. If you like tropical gardens or hotel properties then we have several to choose from on the island that are great, give us a ring and we can offer a better recommendation after we know a little more about your budget.

3. Lighting

Location will not determine the lighting as much as the timing. It is preferable to have softer lighting, later in the evening or very early in the morning. That way people can relax their eyes and they don’t look uncomfortable or as if they have closed eyes. It also helps people look less shiny from sweat. Sometimes this could be achieved more towards the middle of the day if it’s overcast or partially cloudy, but of course we won’t know the weather until very close to the photo shoot.

To learn more about choosing the timing of your Kauai wedding photos, see this article:


4. Proximity

People often want to have their wedding right outside their hotel or resort for obvious reasons of convenience. This could be a great idea if you are also eating/drinking within walking distance so that you can safely drink and return to your property without a taxi…but it depends on a number of other things about that specific location (see the link at the end of this article). We have a lot of experience with nearly every property on Kauai. Please feel free to ask us about your particular hotel/resort property, and we will give you our honest feedback about the pros and cons of the beaches and surrounding areas both in front of where you are staying as well as close by.


One thing to keep in mind about all beaches in the state of Hawaii, including Kauai is that they are mandated by state to have a beach permit. Not just anyone can get a permit, you must be registered with the DNLR and have a million dollar liability insurance. Timory and Aloha Ever After can get you a permit for any beach on Kauai. The beach permits allow an option A, and B (in case of rain) so there is flexibility to them, but they must be purchased ahead of time.

For further information, images and videos of the best Kauai wedding beaches, please read our article on specific locations:


Feel free to contact us with any questions: 888-939-3885.

Kauai Familymoon: Kauai Wedding Photography with Kids

Kauai Familymoon: Kauai Wedding Photography with Kids


Doing a Kauai familymoon? Kauai wedding photography with kids is an overwhelming concept for some! Learn some tricks for occupying children and bringing out the best in them.

A Kauai Familymoon

or a Kauai wedding photography with kids, is an overwhelming concept for some! If there are going to be kids at your wedding (whether they’re your children or not) you want to make sure they are happy, and not distracting you from the reason you’re there. One of the things that truly sets Timory apart from other photographers on Kauai is her great ability to work with kids, even tired ones who are cranky from being in a different time zone and missing naps! She is a natural multi-tasker and is also amazing at connecting with what interests them and tying it into taking photos so that they feel involved with making choices.

This includes taking candid or posed photos that represent not only them at your wedding day, but also who they are now, what phases they are going through and things that will make you laugh later when they have passed through that phase and your wedding day is over.

Structure the Wedding Photos Around the Kids

Timory is a mother of two adorable boys (born in 2008 and 2011). She knows from invaluable experience that the best way to get a series of priceless photos is to take photos around what the children need. With some kids this just means talking to them in a certain way. With other kids this means reading their moods and giving them breaks, before a meltdown occurs that could end their happy participation in more photos. She has a great intuition of when to push forward and when pull back with children.

Kids that feel rested (so obviously try to get them sleep), interested and have a feeling of shared power/purpose are easier to photograph (and manage)! With particularly challenging and tired kids she has a bag full of toys and tricks. Timory is always happy to offer (with the parents’ approval) a positive consequence to help bring out a truly happy and cooperative smile! She can also take shots of other guests while giving the child some space to play, or take candid as seen in the photo below … some of the best shots are what’s happening in between the posed smiley shots!


A mother spends some time with her child on a Kauai familymoon before the next round of photos.

The #1 Thing to Consider on a Kauai Familymoon

If you are picking out when to have your photos done with children, the #1 thing to consider is: when will the children in your group be most likely to be happiest? If the answer to that question in mid-late morning, you are not alone. Although in general we do not recommend midday photo shoots, a photo shoot with a happy, full bellied, well rested child is more important than most other factors. However, it is preferable where possible to change around the child’s sleep schedule for the day and have the wedding in a cooler part of the afternoon/evening wherever possible.

Timory or Caitlin are happy to have a chat with you ahead of time and to help you pick out the best time for your particular circumstance as well as picking out a beach location with plenty of shade and without anything too likely to distract your kids. Lydgate Beach is a great option for all of those reasons.

Click here to see some of our family photos with kids.

If you have any questions about how to best do your Kauai Familymoon, feel free to contact us at 888-939-3885.