At Sky and Reef Photography, we focus on getting a mix of both candids and posed. We are about having fun and getting those once-in-a-lifetime shots that last a lifetime. Our photos are bright, vivid, true to life color, which showcases Hawaii's natural beauty. Ultimately, I am here to make you look Damn good in your photographs. 


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June 20, 2018

How to Prepare for your Hawaii Engagement Photos

How to Prepare for your Hawaii Engagement Photos

Tips and Advice


When you’re prepping for your engagement session, there are a few things to keep in mind. This is supposed to be FUN!

This is the shoot with no pressure. On the wedding day, we’ll be crunched for time, your dress won’t be able to get dirty and there won’t be time to chat and get to know one another.

 Your engagement session is your chance to get to know me, get comfortable with how I work and have FUN in front of the camera.

But it’s so helpful to have a great engagement session before the big day so that you know what to expect! My couples that have an engagement session are PROS by the wedding day and it shows!


What sets Sky and Reef Engagement Sessions apart?

One thing that really sets me apart from other photographers is the game I introduce to my couples during my engagement sessions. My goal is to capture beautiful and natural photos of my couples that look effortless.
 If you wish to play, it is a randomized card game, you draw a card and reads out a direction. It could be silly or sweet, It helps you and your fiance break out of their shell and in return, I am able to capture some real emotions. 

You must be prepared to laugh, smile, and maybe even shed a tear.
The number one rule for all of my sessions is to simply RELAX and have some fun! Often times candid photos end up being favorites over a more posed, “looking at the camera” one!
You must be prepared to play, act silly, and love up on each other! 
pool engagement photos

The Process

After you book me as your photographer, I will create a secret Pinterest board for us to collaborate together. I call it Pinterest planning session. After you have pinned a few things that you LOVE we will choose a location that best suits the style and look you are trying to achieve.

Ok, so here are some steps to take to make sure that you’re 100% prepared for your engagement session!

1. Outfits:

Most couples have two outfits, one casual and one that is dressier.

The BEST advice I can give about outfit selection would be to try to COORDINATE instead of matching.

Try to stay away from patterns, since you may get tired of them quite quickly looking through your images. I always suggest something TIMELESS rather than trendy. You are going to be showing these photos to your children and their children.

  Also, bold jewelry, scarves, and colored shoes photograph really well! Make sure you look like YOU and feel comfortable!

formal wear engagement photos

2. Preparing your Groom:

 This is the part that all of you brides need to pay attention to! You know your groom better than anyone else and so only you can help prepare him for this shoot. If your fiance’ is completely unaware of this style of photography, he is going to think it’s really strange when I tell you two to “Nuzzle” or get “Nose to nose”.

 He’s expecting a few pictures smiling at the camera, showing off the ring and that’s it! So it’s your job to explain to him why you love this style of photography and help him know what to expect! I suggest sitting down with him and showing him some images and seeing what you both like so you will both be happy with your images.

3. Be on Time: or EARLY!

 This is really important.

What most couples don’t realize is light is EVERYTHING to us photographers. If you are late, you lose time and light.

So, Arrive EARLY, if possible especially if you are going to a location where you have never been before.  If you are stressed and in a rush, I can normally see it in your photos in the beginning of the session. So, relax, have extra time and make this a joyous experience.

 Now I realize that things happen beyond our control like massive amounts of traffic and accidents.  If at all possible, try to be on time so that you don’t lose any of your shooting time and pretty sunlight!


4. Location and Time:

Need Help Choosing a location Check out my Oahu Location Guide. Here.

Ask yourself where is your happy place?

Once you ask yourself this it gets a bit easier choosing a location. The best time to shoot any portraits is normally ‘Golden Hour’  this is normally 90 mins at sunrise or 90 mins before sunset.

This rule of thumb can be applied to any time of the year.

When it comes to picking the location for your portraits, I love shooting engagements in locations that mean something to my couples.

5. Be prepared to get dirty.

Heck Ya!

Please bring a towel and a spare change of clothes for the drive home.

I am a bit of an adventurous photographer. I will lay on the ground, climb on top of cars and get wet in crashing waves to get your shots. After most engagement session I have to shower since I am either covered in sand, dirt or sweat. So I love it when my couples have the same kind of mentality.

5. Hair, Makeup & Ring Cleaner:

 Some brides opt to have their makeup trial done right before their engagement session so that they can see what their makeup will look like in pictures before the wedding day! I highly recommend this!

It’s always fun when a bride gets her hair and makeup done for her shoot! If you want to do your own makeup, make sure you apply your eye makeup a little heavier than normal for your pictures.

Last but not least, I will be taking a ring shot! So if your diamond could use a little cleaning, that would make it really SHINE!

I hope those tips were helpful!

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