Wondering what you expect from your Hawaii beach portrait session with Love + Water Photography? From booking to shoot to what happens after your session, we’re diving in to some of our client’s most frequently asked questions. We strive to give customers the best possible experience and thoroughly believe saying “maybe” or (gasp!) “no” is just as if not more useful than always saying yes. We’re here for you!
Whether you’re researching photographers in Hawaii, booked your session or are a photographer looking to increase client awareness, here are some things you need to know about our processes to make sure everyone is on the same page so expectations can be set, met and exceeded!
As always, if any of these points spark a question, reach out. We’re happy to help!
Who are Shawn and Adam?
Shawn is me, and I’m a she! I started off as our primary photographer in 2014, but since growing our family now focus entirely on bookings, editing and social media. Adam is our lead photographer, who has been photographing sessions for over 6 years. Lots of people call him Shawn, I know it’s confusing because most e-mails will come from me, the ridiculous reels we make usually feature my face, but it’s Adam or one of our talented associates you’ll be working with the day of your shoot. You can read more about our team here!
What to expect from your Hawaii photoshoot with Love + Water
When should I book my Maui photoshoot?
Travel dates set? Book your tickets, flights, transportation and accommodation first, then contact us ASAP so we can book your shoot! We book out anywhere from 1-3 months in advance, but because we work with a team of professional associates we can often accommodate even last-minute bookings. Go ahead an get in touch! We’ll check availability and get the ball rolling to arrange your Maui beach photography session.
If you want your images for holiday cards, early October is the absolute latest you should be booking to have images available for ordering. Our editing turnaround time is four weeks, unless you opt for expedited editing.
What is the booking process like?
- Inquire with us and we’ll check our availability based on your preferred session date and time. If we have one of the dates free during your stay, we will send through a proposal. From this proposal you’ll be able to view and select your package.
- After package selection comes the contract. This page is perhaps the most important part of your booking process – read everything thoroughly, as it outlines absolutely everything you’ll need to know. Read. The. Contract. Ask questions, always!
- After signing, pay your $400 non-refundable retainer to secure your session date. We’ll send through a confirmation within 24 business hours (M-F, 9am – 2pm HST).
What is a non-refundable retainer?
A $400 non-refundable retainer is due to schedule your session. It is (gasp!) non-refundable and deducted from your package balance. Once we take that amount, we set aside your session date and time and turn down other work. If your shoot is with an associate, we pay them a portion of the retainer to set aside the date on their calendar. Of course, we are also human beings, so if you need to cancel or reschedule due to unforeseen circumstances, you’ll find our policy clearly outlined in your contract.
What’s in our photography contract?
Our contract lays out absolutely everything we can think of related to your session, put in place to protect both our clients and our business, so read it carefully. Most questions will be answered by reading the session agreement, which is readily available to access before booking and after booking in your client portal. If you have more questions, we’re an open book, so ask before signing if you need clarification.
Can we arrange a phone call?
I’ll be honest, guys, we haven’t had a phone conversation with clients in almost 7 years. If you want to know why, well, this is an informative blog post, so here goes!
- Time zone differences. Our office hours are 9am – 2pm HST. This is the time we are working, whether loading the morning’s sunrise session, editing, previewing or e-mailing. We have two young kids, so anything before 9 is a whirlwind of getting out the door for drop offs and anything after 2 means after-school activities and obligations before we shoot another session that evening. We prioritize our family with our business so need to ensure it works for our schedule which is at times hectic.
- It’s possible to answer via e-mail. We are super responsive and answer questions within 24 business hours. This might mean 24 business hours + 12 business minutes. It might at times be 48 hours because we’re parents who work from home with little kids and life happens. But we promise, your message is important to us and will be answered as soon as possible.
If you want a call to connect, we get it, but it’s just not something we offer as it makes things more streamlined for our business and family. Keeping all communication to e-mail keeps our work/life balance in check. If phone calls are extremely important to you, we’re not a match.
What are your office hours?
Our in-office hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 2pm HST. We set up an auto-responder on weekends and holidays, and will dive in to emails on Monday or the next business day and you can expect a reply within 24 business hours (maybe 48, see above). If you have a shoot over the weekend and need to touch base, we’ll keep in touch, so no worries!
When should I book my shoot?
We highly recommend booking your session during the first half of your trip so we have a better chance of rescheduling in the case of rain or unforseen circumstances.
What is your COVID cancellation policy?
You can reschedule within 3 months of your originally booked date if your trip is interrupted due to COVID-19. We have clear COVID rescheduling and cancellation policies laid out in your contract. We will not refund your $400 retainer if you can’t reschedule within 3 months, so if you’re concerned about booking a session, wait until you’re on island to do so as we can sometimes accommodate last-minute bookings.
Packages and pricing
What is your pricing?
Do you offer discounts?
Return and kama’aina clients always have and always will receive 10% off any package. Otherwise, no.
Do you offer mini sessions?
We offer two different 30 minute sessions for those who want less time and/or images.
Do you offer influencer rates/brand collaborations?
We take a limited number of collaborations yearly. Emphasis is placed on those who are match for our audience and book shoots based on influencer/brand aesthetic, authentic reach and engagement. Think we’re a fit? Apply here!
What Hawaii photography package is right for me?
We recommend a Land + Seashells or Land + Sea Mini Session for most couples, maternity sessions and small families. A one hour session is perfect for couples, maternity and family clients who have an outfit change or two or want more images to choose from. We also offer a Land + Sea Extended collection for extended family portraits.
What is the permit fee I see on my invoice?
By law, we must pull permits for each beach photography session. During COVID-19, the permitting procedures changed in Hawaii and we’ve added this $20 fee to each booking to cover our costs. When you book your shoot, you’ll find the WikiPermit fee automatically added to your invoice.
I noticed your prices increased, can I get the lower rate?
We raise our prices periodically to keep up with the cost of running a legit business and living in Hawaii. Amazon raised their prices too 😉 Pricing is locked in when you secure your booking with the contract and non-refundable retainer payment, not when you inquire.
This year, our business picked up and we found ourselves stretched thin. Adam was photographing two shoots a day and that combined with mounting work and family responsibilities had us realizing we needed help before burnout set in! So, we got it, in the form of virtual and in-office assistants and associate photographers.
Can I request a particular photographer?
We pair your with a photographer based on your session style and availability. We have associates who specialize in different session styles and availability. Expect the same caliber of work whether your session is photographed by Adam or one of our professional associates.
Are associate photographers cheaper?
Our associates are professionals who are trained, talented and insured. Paid fairly for their hard and beautiful work, we charge the same as we do for Adam or myself to shoot.
Do you photograph family sessions?
Yes! It’s important, however, to realize that different sessions require different skills. While Adam occasionally photographs smaller family sessions, he no longer photographs large family portraits because his speciality is maternity and couples photography. We do however have a team of photographers who specialize in family and group portraits!
Do you photograph extended family sessions?
Yes, of course! Extended family sessions are photographed by one of our professional associates specifically trained in this niche.
I’m a return client – can I shoot with the same photographer?
If you’re a return client who prefers to shoot with the same photographer you shot with last time, feel free to request them, and we’ll see what we can do!
Sunrise, Mid-Morning or Sunset
Choosing the best time for your Hawaii portraits is important! Sunrise and sunset both have distinct advantages. We urge you to first consider what works best for you and your guests rather than just the visual outcome of the images, although we know this is a big factor too.
We always think the light is loveliest and softest at sunrise, which consistently produces the most pastel palette. We recommend sunrise for those who are camera-shy as there are less people around. It’s an early rise, but if you book early in your trip coming from the mainland it’s likely the timing will work in your favor! Sunrise tends to be less windy, too. As far as colors, sunrise will always produce softer tones. Also to note is the fact we only do drone portraits (Land, Sea + Sky Sessions) at sunrise which usually has better flying conditions.
Mid-Morning “Light + Bright” Sessions
Mid-morning sessions are a fantastic option for those who prefer not to wake early for sunrise or have plans in the afternoon that make a sunset session impossible. The key point to know about mid-morning sessions is that they will be more crowded and will not produce the soft, pastel tones you see at sunrise. Instead, they have the potential to be bright and blue to capture those beautiful morning colors on Maui, or more muted in tone on a cloudy morning.
Here is an idea of the edits you can expect from a mid-morning session:
Sunset is easier for a lot of people, and it also happens to be one of our favorite times of day! Don’t be surprised, though, when the beach is busy – sunset on Maui is prime time. When it comes to tones (and more on this later), sunset can be either vibrant on a cloudless afternoon to moody and cooler in tone if it’s cloudy. All of the images you see here were taken at sunset:
Clouds and Fake Skies
We work with the elements, and never use fake skies in our editing process. That might mean it’s cloudy the afternoon of your shoot and you don’t see the sunset at all. We do not reschedule for cloud, so if the prospect of having a cloudy afternoon will sour the experience and expectations you have of your session, we’re not a good match.
Our primary focus is the connection between you and your loved ones, and while we appreciate and completely understand the desire for a stunning Hawaii sunset, it’s just not always going to happen. We consider cloud to be just as beautiful as a glowing orange sunset, and once adopt this view, too, you’ll relax more and will be able to focus on what matters most – you, family.
Where will our shoot take place?
It depends! You’ll be able to indicate your preference on our contact form. Most of the shoots you see in our portfolio were photographed in Wailea. If you want to shoot in West Maui (Lahaina), we can show references from this location to check out and see if you want to shoot there or prefer to drive south.
Sessions photographed on the Big Island and Oahu will have a much different backdrop but you can expect the same editing style as we show for our Wailea sessions.
Can we get in the water?
Maybe – we’ll only take you near the water if conditions are safe. If you have your heart set on water work, realize it’s not always possible as we work with the conditions we’re given. If water work is not possible, we’ll stay on the beach and don’t offer refunds or reshoots if ocean conditions don’t allow safe entry.
What is the turnaround time for images?
We send a sneak peek within 48 hours, and your finished gallery, ready for image selection, within 4 weeks, every time!
Hair, Makeup and Florals
Will you recommend vendors?
Yes! Once your booking is confirmed we provide a link to our client lounge area. Here you’ll find a list of vendors we frequently work with. It’s important to know you do NOT need to follow this list – it’s a starting point. Don’t think just because someone isn’t on the list they’re not perfect for the job!
All bookings are handled directly by you and the vendor, so check what their policies are relating to photoshoots, cancellations etc. Also, book early to avoid disappointment.
Also, we do not give or receive commission to or from anyone on our list, and they’re recommended based on glowing reviews from past clients. If you worked with someone you loved, let us know!
Post processing is a big thing for us, and you can expect your images to have an aesthetic consistent to our brand. Editing is an intensive process, however, so there are certain things we can perform to each images, and retouching that requires more work. If you do have edits you’d like performed in excess of what has already been done, you’ll be able to request these post-session and they are charged at a rate of $50 per image. More on this later.
Our “liquifying” is done in-camera with flattering posing and direction. Any liquifying you want done post-shoot will incur an additional editing cost. We appreciate there may be parts of yourself you’d prefer to have retouched. We do this at a rate of $50 per image as outlined in your session agreement.
Acne and Orthodontic Devices
For portraits that are very close, I do light retouching of acne. As with liquifying, anything in excess of our basic retouching will incur a fee. Removal of orthodontic devices such as Invisalign is considered an advanced edit and charged at $50.
It really depends. A little sunburn here and there or Apple Watch tan isn’t a big deal and I’ll edit it out. If you’re purple with white feet and have extreme sunglass tan, this will incur an additional editing cost.
If sunburn is a concern, book early in your stay if possible (we recommend doing this anyway), and wear lots of sunscreen! Have the tendancy to burn? Wear an outfit that covers the areas of concern. Skincare is your responsibility, take care of your ‘dermis!
Wardrobe malfunctions happen and I’ll edit out a stray strap or tag, but if you wear a strapped bra with a strapless dress, that’s on you 😉 With our rental gowns, the Selena gown in particular is very revealing so requires some forethought with undergarments – more on this later! We recommend silicone adhesive bras if you’re concerned about straps showing, especially with rental gowns.
Wrinkles in clothes
Generally, we leave the wardrobe up to you, so any excess edits beyond what we already perform will be charged as it does take time to perform them. A stray wrinkle here and there is no biggie for me to fix but full shirts, shorts, etc. are larger jobs that require an additional editing fee.
We frequently, but not always, remove footprints in the sand. Done on a case-by-case basis, this particular edit is not performed on each image in your gallery, it just doesn’t look right in every situation.
People and distracting objects
We always edit out other people from your shoots, so don’t worry! I always remove distracting background objects as deemed necessary, which is most of the time.
Make me a supermodel!
If you aren’t a supermodel, just come as yourself! We can’t make you a supermodel, and we don’t expect you to look like one. What we can do is relax you, pose you to look your most flattering self during your shoot, and rely on your comfort level and ability to connect with yourself, your partner, your baby-to-be, your family. Connection is what makes a beautiful photo, connection is what we should be striving for, and that’s what we can shoot. Remember, we’re family, maternity and couples’ photographers, not high fashion photographers. We think you’re amazing the way you are. Relax, enjoy. Please.
About Instagram/Tik Tok Filters
If you’re used to using heavy filters on social media and expect to look like that in your portraits, too, that’s not going to happen. You’ll be photographed as you are, with maybe some light retouching of watch tans and acne, and that should be ok. If it’s not, we’re not the right fit.
Basic vs. advanced edits
|BASIC EDIT (INCLUDED)||ADVANCED EDIT ($50 per image)|
|Light acne retouching||Orthodontic devices/invisalign|
|Sunburn reduction||Undereye bags/wrinkles|
|Apple Watch tan||Scar removal|
|Color correction and contrast||Tattoo removal|
|Sky enhancement (not replacement)||Exteme sunburn/tanline removal|
|Enhancing or reducing appearance of makeup|
|Removing/reducing appearance of balding|
Can I have my images edited by someone else?
No. Well, you can, and we’d honestly never find out, but it’s breaching your contract and naughty and we definitely can’t stand by the quality of the work and subsequent prints made.
Can I print my photos anywhere?
Can and should are two different things 😉 A print release is included within your contract so you may download your chosen images and take them anywhere. You know, the sly photo for grandma or to stick up on the fridge. HOWEVER, we highly recommend printing directly from your gallery for two reasons.
- We can monitor the quality and liaise directly with our professional lab. If you print outside your gallery, we can’t guarantee quality and color replication (I’m talking to you, Costco!)
- Our print prices are extremely affordable and we do all the legwork, so there’s really no reason not to!
Can I print a photo HUGE?
We guarantee optimum print quality up to 12 x 18”. You can print beyond this size but should expect grain and slight deterioration of quality from much larger prints. We recommend you print through your gallery with sizes over 12 x 18″ so we can monitor quality, which we cannot do if your images are printed through an outside lab.
Wondering what to expect from your Hawaii photoshoot when it comes to image replication? This point is SUPER important to touch on! We show our best work in our portfolio, because that is what a portfolio is for – not to promise you can expect the same hero images from your own shoot. If we could, we would!
We work with the day. We work with the elements. Every client’s dynamic is different. Our current hero image is often the subject of request, but the day of that session had a particular swell size and direction, and we got lucky with the placement of the wave.
We cannot recreate images exactly, even if they’re taken from our own portfolio.
Even if you pull inspo from our own work, realize that shot you’re showing was most likely a one off. Make your shoot your own, create your own magic, because we can almost guarantee you’ll be disappointed if your goal is to achieve something 100% similar to another image we’ve created. What we CAN recreate is our editing style. It’s not fair to assume we can recreate an image from another shoot, or a sunset sky – these things are out of our control. Please don’t put the weight of your expectation on your photographer – we’re there to take photos and make you feel relaxed, so just bring that authenticity and go with the flow! Create YOUR hero shot.
Can we choose our images?
Yes and no. After your session wraps, we’ll cull down your images to around 2 x or more than the amount included in your package. For instance, if your package includes 20 images, we’ll select and retouch 40-60 to show you in your finished gallery. From this amount you’ll be able to choose your 20, or upgrade to all the images we show in the gallery for an additional fee.
Land + Seashells
Choose 10 images out of ~30-40 or upgrade to all shown for an additional fee.
Land + Sea Mini
Choose 20 images or upgrade to all shown for an additional fee.
Land + Sea Full
Choose 30 images or upgrade to all shown for an additional fee.
Land + Sea Extended
Choose 40 images or upgrade to all shown for an additional fee.
Land, Sea + Sky
Choose 40 images or upgrade to all shown for an additional fee.
We do not release or show unedited RAW files.
How long do we have to choose?
We ask that you select your images within 1 week of your gallery’s delivery. Galleries are active for one year. This ensures you are able to have access to your chosen images for the maximum amount of time.
Due to the volume of sessions we deliver, we will not follow up for your image selections. If your gallery expires before your selections are made, there is a $150 gallery re-posting fee to activate it for another year.
What’s the turnaround time?
You’ll receive a preview within 48 hours of your session that is web sized for you to share as you please. Your final gallery will be delivered for image selection within 4 weeks of your shoot. If you don’t hear from us by then, please check spam as we always deliver your proofs in this timeframe. To make things easier, we send a courtesy e-mail when your gallery is ready so you don’t miss it.
If you want your images in a hurry, we offer expedited editing for $250 which turns around images within 7 business days. We accept two expedited sessions per month.
What to expect from your Hawaii photoshoot when it comes to rental gowns? We offer a client closet for our Wailea portrait sessions that include Kasia Kulenty rental gowns. Please visit their website and check out what they offer – we stock a few different colors of the Selena and Athena gowns (view what we have here). Currently we don’t offer gown rentals for inter-island or West Maui portrait sessions.
Selena gowns are very revealing with high slits, and not for you if you’re self-conscious about showing off a little leg. For more coverage, choose the Athena gown. Both styles are well suited to maternity sessions.
Will gowns fit if I’m short?
Probably. While the gown might be a bit longer on your, you’ll be standing or simply holding the edge of your gown when walking for the majority of your shoot.
Will gowns fit if I have a larger bust?
Our rental gowns are accommodating of both large and smaller busts.
Will you edit out shapewear?
If it’s just a minor malfunction, yes. If it’s in every shot – no, this is an additional edit for $50. It’s up to you to wear something that won’t show, however, such as a silicone adhesive bra or a bikini bottom hiked over the hip. We suggest wearing solid colored bikini bottoms with no tassels.
Should I bring a backup gown?
You should, and you must! Whether you decide the gown isn’t for you or just want an outfit change, a suitable wardrobe alternative is absolutely essential. You don’t wnat to wear anything you don’t feel comfortable in!
At the end of the day, we are photographers and professionals who value our clients as much as we value our time and our family. Despite having a team behind us, we’re not a big biz, we’re built from the heart up and live and breathe what we do.
We provide service to the absolute best of our ability, and appreciate our clients who give us the ability to do what we love. As a trade-off, we do expect that everyone who books with us will come in with realistic expectations and be ready to let loose and live in the present moment. THIS is how memorable, beautiful imagery is achieved.
What to expect from your Hawaii photoshoot? We’re good at what we do and connect with clients, but we’re not magicians. We can’t order sunsets on tap. We work with what we’re given instead of off a vision board. It’s unfair to ask any photographer to create candid happy moments if you don’t give yourself the freedom to relax, or create certain conditions based on lofty expectations. It’s absolutely up to you, the client, to bring your love and connection to the table so we can capture and edit it the way we know best! Let’s do this, and now that we’re prepared, let’s let go and have fun!
What to expect from your Hawaii photoshoot with Love + Water
|Answer e-mails within 24 biz hours||Perform extra retouching||Reschedule for cloud/wind|
|Color correct/straighten||Remove footprints from sand||Expect you or your kids to act or look perfect|
|Work with the conditions given||Raise our prices||Liquify the hell out of you|
|Try to accommodate requests and changes||Show personal work and shots that can’t be recreated||Use fake skies|
|Pair you with the appropriate photographer for your session style||Offer phone consultations|
|10% return client + kama’aina discount|
|Value your time, and ours|
|Provide posing and direction|
|Approachable, laid back and professional|