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Maui vacation tips and resources

Travel tips + advice

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We've compiled articles about what to do, where to stay, and more!

Choosing between sunrise + sunset

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Our favorite spots for a date day

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Local Sweets + treats on Maui

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Our Favorite Maui Food trucks

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We love this spot for babies

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caring for Maui's beaches + wildlife

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One of the most common questions were asked after clients book their Maui portrait session with us is whether we recommend shooting at sunrise or sunset. The truth is, both times of day have unique pros and cons, so here is a bit of insight into which might be right for your beach portraits!

Sunrise is still.
The ocean is still as the trade winds on Maui haven't yet picked up as they do in the afternoon. The beach will be empty. Sunrise has a distinct advantage for those who are a bit camera-shy or prefer privacy, as Maui is quiet at this time of day and you're more likely to have a stretch of sand entirely to yourselves.

Consider the tones.
Sunrise sessions produce soft, pastel tones whereas sunset can range from vibrant color to more muted tones on a cloudy afternoon. If you're after the soft, creamy pastels often found in our portfolio, we highly recommend choosing a beach portrait at sunrise.

Tradewinds.
Maui has trade winds that pick up in the afternoon. For this reason, we recommend a sunrise session if you're concerned the wind will throw a spanner in the works with your hair or outfit style!

Water work.
If you're considering getting in the water during your portrait session, we recommend choosing sunrise. The conditions are typically, but not always, most favorable in the morning for photography in the water.

Land, Sea + Sky?
If you choose our drone photography package, please note these take place at sunrise only when it's typically best to fly due to light winds.

Sunrise or sunset?

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I'm not going to lie, it's been awhile since we've had a proper date night much less a date day, but when we do get the chance to escape our two little ones it's going to be to one of these awesome Maui locations! When we look for a date location we think of a few things - affordability and fun and/or quality and deliciousness... and hey, if we can have all four things we've really hit the jackpot!

We love date days because we're back home in time to do some editing, or just round off the evening at the beach. If you want to escape the sun for a few, give these spots a go! They are ideal if you don't have kids in tow so you can really soak it all in - so hire a sitter (Maui Nanny Connection are great!) and give yourselves some time to decompress, eat, drink and veg.

1) The Mill House - Located in Waikapū, The Mill House offers some of the most delicious farm-to-table meals on Maui coupled with an amazing view of the West Maui Mountains. Grab a cocktail, share some plates and take in what we consider to be one of the best views and dining experiences on Maui.

2) Monkeypod Kitchen - There is a location in Wailea very close to where we do most of our shoots! Their Mai Tais are incredible, and there are some happy hour food options like the Garlic Truffle Oil Fries... oh my foodness! I mean goodness. Actually, I mean both.

3) Flatbread Company - Mouthwatering flatbread pizza in Pa'ia! You have to try the Mopsy... I also love Jay's Heart because it's a standard cheese pizza only a million times more delicious. If you don't want to brave the crowds we recommend eating early, or before the dinner rush. You can also grab takeout, which we often do, and take it to the greenery just behind Baldwin Beach Park. Maui's North Shore gets windy, so don't let that trade breeze flip your pizza box. Ask me how we know.


Where to go for a Maui date day

I have such a sweet tooth and am at the mercy of all things carb-y and creamy. I know I'm not alone when I say sometimes you just need to sink your teeth into a soft, homemade donut or cool off with an ice cream after a day in the sun (or just because).

1) Donut Dynamite - I'd always wanted to try this donut shop in Wailuku and was naive to think I could stroll up at 10am and expect to get a half dozen donuts to share with a friend and her family. There were two left, so I snatched 'em up. These brioche donuts are truly indulgent, use local ingredients and are pure works of art with a splash of color and plenty of flavor. They're huge. And they're delicious. You can now order them online the week ahead for pickup on Saturdays and curbside delivery, so get on it folks, no time to waist. Waste?

2) Maui Cookie Lab - Besides being an adorable little cookie-slinging food truck on Maui, Maui Cookie Lab offer amazing Ono Tarts that are a modern twist on the Pop Tarts we all know and love. You can order online and even get delivery with orders of $25 or more. Yummah.

3) Lappert's - If you're visiting Maui and don't stop off at Lappert's, I dunno what to tell you - you're missing out. Their creamy flavors are freakin' delicious! We always share a big waffle bowl because you can choose a few flavors. So so so so so good. There's a Lappert's in The Shops at Wailea which is convenient if you want to stop off after your portrait session!


Treat yourself!

Satisfy your sweet tooth

Get truckin'!

Our favorite Maui food trucks

When we moved to Maui from Australia one thing that we noticed straight away was the abundance of food trucks. Once we tried a few, we were hooked, and it's easy to see why. They're fast, fresh and give you the option to sit, stand or haul your food away to the nearest picnic location.

We primarily visit food trucks in south Maui as we live in Kihei, and our favorites are:

1) South Maui Fish Co. - Fresh, sustainably caught fish that sells out fast - try the poke and fish plates because they are consistently amazing and a great option for a quick bite before the beach.

2) Wing Kings Maui - Located in the Kihei Station food truck lot, Wing Kings offer a variety of delicious chicken burgers and the sort. The other trucks in Kihei Station are great too, so if you have a few different palates in your family, there's something there for everyone.

3) Outrigger Pizza Co. - You can't miss this bright yellow food truck in Kihei. They have delicious pizzas that serve 1-2 people (I can finish one by myself so order one per person if you're hungry!) We'd recommend the White Cheddar Mushroom pizza, it's amaaaazing. Nicely priced, too, at $10 - $12 a pie.

After our son was born just over four years ago, I'd have a certain routine with him. We'd drive to town and get groceries, then stop at Maui Tropical Plantation to walk around, feed the ducks and watch guests riding the train tour. He loved perching on a log and watching the farm equipment at work in the fields behind The Mill House.

Maui Tropical Plantation is an amazing spot for families. Not only can you feed ducks at the large pond (buy a a bag of duck food for $2 at the kiosk beforehand), but you can grab a coffee at the Mill House Roasting Co.

There's also a zip line tour on site, and kids love watching the zip liners fly overhead. "1, 2, 3 zip ittttt!"

The train tour is also an interesting way to learn more about the farm, but might not be suitable for squirmy babies as there's no real way to hop on and off. There's really so much to see at the tropical plantation, from flowers to interesting architecture, as well as lots to learn about its history. It can also be a nice morning in the sun for those who need a break from the beach.

Need baby-friendly ideas?

Just ask! We got ya.

Maui Tropical Plantation

Traveling to Maui is one of the most amazing experiences you and your loved ones will have. The waters surrounding the island are the most unreal, deep blue. The sound of waves crashing and shells pulling back into the ocean is therapeutic, the sight of a honu lounging on the sand makes you forget everything that came before.

It's important to know that while these sights are beautiful, with their enjoyment comes great responsibility. Hawaii sees around 30,000 visitors per day (well, we did until COVID, but let's write this with the intent of moving past the pandemic one day). No one is perfect, but when it comes to looking after the beaches and environment in Hawaii, we need to try. Here are a few ways you can reduce your impact when visiting Hawaii. 

1) BYO water bottles and bags - Instead of purchasing single use plastic water bottles, bring your own. Same goes for shopping bags, straws, utensils and takeaway containers. Not only will you save money, but you'll reduce the amount of trash you produce, and that's key. These things take up little room in your luggage.

2) Be sunscreen savvy - Apply sunscreen before you leave your accommodation. Not only will you save yourself being exfoliated with unwanted sand as it dries on your skin, but you'll give it adequate time to absorb before entering the water. If you apply it on the beach, you might as well not apply it at all as it'll wash right off when you go for a dip five minutes later.

Reef safe sunscreen is also a must. You can Google several different kinds, but you must use one that does not harm marine life. Octinoxate and oxybenzone are two chemicals that will harm marine life and coral. Skip the aerosol spray. It is just gonna fly twenty feet down the sand to nostrils of your fellow beachgoers.

Some places to buy reef safe sunscreen on Maui include Whole Foods in Kahului, Down to Earth, Mana Foods in Pa'ia, Hawaiian Moons in Kihei and the Pacific Whale Foundation in Ma'alaea Wharf. Or, stock up on Amazon and bring it with you!

3) Don't buy new beach toys - Before you buy new from Costco or Target, check Facebook marketplace as there are often these things for sale for cheap. Facebook also has several groups dedicated to buying and selling items on Maui, and being a small island you're likely a close drive to someone selling that beach chair. Your condo might also have free goods to use, to avoid purchasing more.

4) Pack it up, pack it out - Make sure all plastic beach toys are accounted for. If you purchased new equipment, make sure plastic packaging and tags removed are thrown away, not buried in the sand. Also, don't take coral or lava rock, it's a big no-no!

5) Respect marine life - Leave distance between you and the honu feeding on seaweed near the shoreline! Also, just a tip - if you see a turtle, don't scream "TURTLE!!" I know it's exciting, it's actually quite amazing to witness these beautiful creatures, but your screams will defffffinitely draw a crowd who will prooooobably get excited too and scare it off. Seeing a honu is a beautiful experience - try to enjoy the encounter, and let the honu do the same.

These are just a few ways to reduce your impact on the environment in Hawaii. Leave everything as it was or better than it was when you came, respect the land, and you may find you're rewarded in many ways.

Want more advice?

We're happy to help!

Do your part to keep Maui beautiful

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Akamai have two locations in south Maui - one in Kihei, and one in Wailea. We personally love the Wailea location as it has a nice outdoor seating area with great views, a nice menu  with delicious food and, of course, an epic brew.

Akamai Coffee Co.

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We'll check our calendar to ensure we have your preferred date available, then shoot through a quote for your services. Our Maui portrait packages will be outlined in detail, and you'll be able to select a package and continue with the booking process upon reviewing the options.

view proposal

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Once you've selected a package, you'll automatically be directed to your portrait or wedding agreement. Read through the agreement, and when you're ready to move forward sign it digitally to continue on with the booking process. You're nearly there!

sign Agreement

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We collect a non-refundable retainer for all photography bookings, which is collected securely via Stripe and deducted from your final balance. The amount is $250 for a portrait session, 20% of any wedding collection or 50% for inter-island weddings and events.

Pay retainer

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Once you've selected your package, signed the agreement and paid your non-refundable retainer, we're all yours! We'll send through a confirmation e-mail within 24 business hours with exciting information about how to prepare for your session and a link to your client portal.

Confirmation

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inquire now

Once you've selected your package, signed the agreement and paid your non-refundable retainer, we're all yours! We'll send through a confirmation e-mail within 24 business hours with exciting information about how to prepare for your session and a link to your client portal.

Confirmation

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Good brews

takeout, please

After a big day of exploring on Maui, it's totally understandable that you'd want to order in! We love using Hopper, a Maui-owned restaurant delivery business that 

has an easy-to-use app. It's super convenient, too. You can download their app and order away from a variety of restaurants which are based in South Maui where we shoot our sessions.

If you know the Mai Tai, you know the Mai Tai. Restaurant is loud so we like taking our kids! Ha.

Kid-friendly and conveniently located near our photography locations.

Manoli's
(3-5pm)

Delicious happy hour menu for food and drinks, order a few and share them around!

one

Monkeypod Kitchen
(3-5:30pm)

Pita Paradise
(3-6 PM)

contact restaurants to confirm timing

two

4 amazing happy hours in Wailea

Happy hour food and drinks are offered in the bar area.

three

four

Gannon'S (3-8pm)

Gannon's
(3-8pm)

We recommend full sessions for families and groups of more than 4 people as it offers more time and more images delivered. With mini sessions, we shoot to deliver 10 images or 20 images depending on your package. With full sessions, we deliver 40 minimum and more if we achieve more images, at no cost to you. Mini sessions are most popular for couples and maternity portraits, but if you have any questions just ask as we're happy to provide more guidance.

Should we get a mini or full session?

This is by far our most commonly asked question. Our best advice? Ditch the weather app! There are many microclimates on Maui so if you type in the island itself, it will likely say rain. South Maui/Wailea, where we shoot our sessions, enjoys beautiful weather year 'round. We recommend the Weather Watch app by Maui Watch, which allows you to type in specific locations and gives a more accurate read on conditions. But hey, put that phone down! We're keeping an eye on the skies for you so you don't have to fret.

What about the weather?

It is but it's worth it. There's no better way to start the morning than at the sunrise on a Maui beach. The wind is still, the beaches are empty, and we have plenty of advice for places to grab a delicious coffee before or after your session, and breakfast after it wraps! Also keep in mind your body clock will likely think you're a few hours ahead of time if you're coming from the mainland.

Sunrise is so early!

We get asked this question a LOT - after all, they're the times of day we shoot most often! Our advice would be to consider the outcome of the images you want first. For instance, sunrise will consistently result in soft, pastel tones whereas sunset can be more soft and muted on a cloudy day, or vibrant and colorful.

Should I choose sunrise or sunset?

We're glad you asked! Wardrobe decisions can be overwhelming when it comes to planning your portrait session on Maui. For this reason, we offer not only a client guide to help you plan your outfit, but offer unlimited consultation via e-mail to help you pick the perfect getup. That means you can send us some pics and we can help you choose!

What should we wear to our session?

Frequently Asked Questions

MOre Questions? Contact us!

Oceans
away

Maui ocean artwork

We offer a variety of Maui ocean prints in our signature pastel tones. Visit our ocean art shop to purchase.

View shop