janelle + bryson | kahana bay engagement | oahu lifestyle photographer

Let me start by just telling you all that the day we shot these photos, a big-hurricane-strength-windy-storm was about to hit Hawai’i. No big deal, but they forecasted 60 foot waves or whatever and it was cold. as. heck (for Hawai’i). Keep this in mind as you scroll through these photos and see Janelle’s hair blowing in the wind, the sun hitting the ocean and mountains and the two of them in the water. Everything was freezing. The sand, the water, the wind. Everything. And yet, they look perfect and happy and in love.

If you recognize these faces, it’s because they were the very first couple that I shot going into this business last year. Ever since then, I had been anticipating shooting their actual engagement photos. So here they are in all their glory!

krystal + cody | koko crater | oahu lifestyle photographer

The last time I had been to Koko Crater, it was lush and full of plumeria and bougainvillea. It was also raining a lot but I had to get some photos done for friends who were graduating a week or so later. Most people go for the cactus garden, but there are so many plants if you’re willing to walk around and scope out the place. Unfortunately for us, the garden was pretty barren. The plumeria trees had little to no flowers and reminded me of the elephant graveyard in the Lion King. But these things, as much as they make great backdrops for photos, are not needed.

I’ve known Krystal and Cody for about 10 years now and I’m really starting to feel my age thinking about how young they were when we met. They’ve been together for 6-7 of those years and it’s really incredible to me that they’re fighting through together. Life is messy and people change, so being in a long-term relationship — especially through high school — is not an easy thing to do.

Something I absolutely love about them both as a couple and as individuals is that they’re so musically talented. Krystal, along with a couple of her friends formed a Hawaiian music band (Ke’olu) and they’ve been killing it. But Cody and Krystal will sometimes post videos of them playing music together and like… literal tingles down the spine. I’m so grateful to have been able to shoot with them, especially since a photoshoot is basically a workout and Cody just got his appendix removed.

Janelle + Bryson | Tantalus Engagement | Oahu Lifestyle Photographer

At my previous job before deciding to do photography full-time, Janelle was one of the first people I met. Though I didn’t remember meeting her when she said hi to me about a week later, we formed a pretty good friendship while we could. She was the visual merchandiser and I was the social media manager, so the both of us were bouncing around the different stores and hardly got to see much of each other. But when we did, it was always such a good time working together.

Bryson proposed to Janelle at Aulani after graduating and I was SO. EXCITED. Though they won’t be getting married for a while, we decided to get some couple photos (not their official engagement photos) and they turned out amazing!