Top 5 scenic locations for your Engagement Session
You are so excited about your engagement that you want to show off to the world. You want to tell everyone that you get to marry your best friend — what better way to do that than doing an engagement session. However, you aren't quite sure where you want to take your engagement photos. Here are our top 5 scenic locations on Oahu to produce stunning artwork for your home.
Location #1 - SANDY BEACH
This popular surf spot is best known for its powerful waves and black lava rocks. There are very few locations on Oahu with Black Lava rocks and this is definitely one of my favorite locations that have this. I love how the black lava rocks and the deep blue water contrast with the colors of clothing - whether it is a white wedding dress or a colorful aloha print shirt.
You'll want to schedule a morning session for brighter vivid colors in the ocean. However, my favorite time to shoot here is in the early evenings (around 5 pm), when the beach is shadowed by Koko Head Crater. The temperature is cooler and the lighting is very soft with a slightly washed out background.
Location #2 - LANAI LOOKOUT
Lanai Lookout is best known for its scenic views and rocky cliffs. This stunning location was literally carved out of the sea cliffs and offers a panoramic view of the Eastside. On a clear day, you can see three neighbor islands, Lanai, Molokai, and Maui. The earthy red tones of the cliffs contrast nicely with the deep blue ocean in the background.
The best times to shoot here are in the early mornings or early evenings. You'll get the best colors in the early morning or early afternoon, however, the mornings will be cooler and more comfortable.
Location #3 - MAKAPU'U LOOKOUT
Makapu'u Lookout is best known for its scenic views of mountain and ocean backgrounds. The lookout is located right off of the main road and offers 2 types of environments in the same location. You'll get a stunning view that overlooks Makapu'u Beach Park, the sea cliffs, as well as Rabbit Island (also known as Manana Island). Just a few yards away in the opposite direction is a grassy valley which is a nice contrast from the cliffs.
You'll get the best colors of the scenic view and ocean in the mornings but my recommended time to shoot here is in the early evenings (around 5pm), when the valley is shaded by the adjacent mountain. The lighting is very soft and the shade provides a very comfortable environment to be photographed in.
Location #4 - WAIMANALO BAY
In 2015, Waimanalo Bay was voted the #1 beach in America (drbeach.org). It offers one of the most stunning backdrops for pictures, with miles of white sand and turquoise waters. Located in the North-East part of Oahu, it is around 45 minutes from Waikiki. Aside from the amazing scenery, Waimanalo Bay also has a forest area adjacent to the beach which offers two types of environments at one convenient location. Waimanalo Bay is generally not very crowded, parking is very easy and there are also restroom facilities if needed. Our island trade winds typically travel from North to South so it tends to be windier than other locations. If you have long hair, you may want to bring a hairband or have it pinned up.
Although Waimanalo Bay generally photographs well at any time of day, I would try to avoid midday since it can be hot and uncomfortable. The colors will be more vibrant in the morning and early afternoons, while the beach will be in the shade by the late afternoon / early evening. This allows for a very comfortable environment with a slightly washed out background.
Location #5 - Tantalus Lookout (Puu Ualakaa State Park)
Mount Tantalus is located four miles North of Waikiki and offers some of the greatest panoramic views from its lookout point as well as a variety of other scenic forest backdrops. The drive up to the top is a windy road which includes several hairpin turns so take your time with the drive and keep a lookout for oncoming traffic. There is a 3-minute walk from the parking lot to the scenic spot so girls may want to bring a pair of flats as well. This location photographs well at any time of the day (but I would try to avoid midday 11am - 2pm) and you can also schedule a sunset session here as well.