Best Maui Family Photography Tips

want some Maui family photography tips?

you are visiting Maui or maybe you live here.

you want to book a family photography session but have no idea what to expect or how to prepare.

relax its easy.  the best advice is be yourself, your best self.lahaina maui family photographs at beach and ocean surfing by maui photographer wendy laurel-38

 

Best Maui Family Photography Tips:

1.  Set a time that works for your family.

I usually recommend early mornings.  The kids are fresh, the day is ahead of you and you can get it done and still have the day to play.  If you are visiting from the mainland, you will find the kids are getting up early anyway. The light is pretty and the beaches are empty.  But only you know your family.  Pick the time that works for you.lahaina maui family photographs at beach and ocean surfing by maui photographer wendy laurel-38
paia maui family photographer wendy lauel's image of dad and son in front of mural

2.  Feed your kids.

Bring the kids with full stomachs. And save the sugar for a treat for after the photography session.  Hungry kids or kids going through a sugar crash are not happy campers.  If you have little ones, bring a snack and some water with you.  Just in case.

maui photographer wendy laurel's image of two sisters hugging in pink bush

3.  Wear fun and comfortable clothes

You want your photos to be pretty and to be authentic.  Not so authentic that they catch you in your yoga pants you are living in, but the real pretty you.  On the beach, pastel or bright colors work well.  Light cotton clothes, sundresses, t-shirts, shorts are easy to work with.  Don’t try to match each other.  Just try not to clash.  I advise against black or navy – its harsh in the bright sun – and also against the everyone wear white group shot.  Be yourselves, just your best self.  For large groups, picking one or two colors and having everyone choose their own clothes in those colors usually works well for a nicely coordinated but not matching look.  Stripes, polka dots, plaid.. I love them all.  The surf shops on Maui have a great variety of fun beach going clothes.  Also, don’t be shy… want to wear bathing suits? want to wear your fanciest dress?  feel free!best maui photographer wendy laurel's image of cute famly on beach

holding hands4.  Choose your location.

Most families opt for the beach.  They want to show Hawaii off (and rightly so) and its a pretty place filled with light and sea and sand and the kids are happy there.  I love the beach.  And lucky for you, there is sure to be a gorgeous beach right near where you are staying.  But you have other choices.  There are gorgeous fields here, more jungly locations, or sometimes you just want a pretty indoor space.  My home studio is all white walls with a white bed and lots of light.  Its a perfect location for a newborn shoot or when an indoor shoot seems right.
maui photographer wendy laurel's image of mom and kids on bed

5.  Be Laid Back and Laugh

Nothing makes photographs better than a relaxed attitude.  So your kids aren’t listening and won’t sit still?  Don’t stress or worry, I know what I am doing and its all going to work out.  Sometimes the best photos are the unplanned ones.  Just go with the flow.  I will pose you guys and then let that pose fall apart.  Click.  All you have to do is hang out and listen to me.  It is actually a relaxing time where you can hug, snuggle, and kiss your loved ones and not be in charge.maui family beach photography by wendy laurel-16

6.  Smile, Laugh, and Hug

You choose me to photograph your family because you wanted to see the love and connection between you guys.   So show me.  Maybe your child won’t look at the camera, maybe he won’t sit still.. its all fine.   I’m not worried and neither should you.  The best photos are where you guys are looking at each other, not the camera.  Sometimes some kisses are in order or a few tickles.  No pressure.  Your love will shine through in the photographs.

maui photographer wendy laurel's image of mom hugging her son in fields

7.  Talk to me and Trust me.

You have several poses you just have to have.  Tell me.  Its easy to work them in.  You hate posed photographs and want all candids.  Tell me.  I can structure the session around your preferences.  But also trust me.  I find the best sessions are a mix of the posed and the candid.  I’ll put you in the right light, lightly pose you, and then watch it all fall apart in a fit of laughter or tickles.  That is where the magic is.

8. Now — what to wear, what to wear, what to wear….

ashlee family at baby beach lahaina by maui photographer wendy laurel

The best advice I can tell you is to show up as yourself.

By that I mean, dress as your style. Be you. But BE you at the beach!  Beach clothes are perfect — swim suits, surf trunks, shorts, tees, sun dresses.
lahaina family photography photo by maui photographer wendy laurel

You want your photos to be pretty and real.  Not so real  that they catch you in your yoga pants you are living in, but the real pretty you.  On the beach, pastel or bright colors work well.  Light cotton clothes, sundresses, t-shirts, shorts are easy to work with.  Don’t try to match each other.  Just try not to clash.

I advise against black or navy – its harsh in the bright sun – and also against the everyone wear white group shot.  Be yourselves, just your best self.

For large groups, picking one or two main colors and having everyone choose their own clothes in those colors usually works well for a nicely coordinated but not matching look.  Stripes, polka dots, plaid.. I love them all.  The surf shops on Maui have a great variety of fun beach going clothes.  Also, don’t be shy… want to wear bathing suits?   feel free!  If we are shooting on the beach, you will probably get at least your feet wet.  Plan for sand and sea.

maui family at beach at sunset playing photos by maui photographer wendy laurel-1

Want to book a Maui family photography session? click here. or email me at wendy@wendylaurel.com – 808.280.2911.

 

COMMENTS

Well said!! Couldn’t agree more, especially with “be laid back and laugh”. Family sessions are meant to be a fun experience for everyone, right?! :)

such great tips!!! Love this post!

So perfect! I’m itching to put my entire family on a plane to come see you!!

These are wonderful tips for a session…no matter where you are! Beautiful images as always!

Such fab tips Wendy! and great photography as always.

Excellent tips, Wendy! Any family would be lucky to have you photograph them.

Great tips, Wendy. I love that last piece of advice – “watch it all fall apart in a fit of laughter or tickles. That is where the magic is.” I couldn’t agree more.

Those are some great tips. And the photos, as always, are amazing!

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