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Family portraits

Clovis, California
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Family portraits

We will be arriving in Kauai in June to celebrate our 50th birthday and 30th wedding anniversary. Our children and grandchildren are also coming. We will be staying on the south shore. My question is in regards to the location to have our portraits taken. Our photographer has recommended the end of the road at Anini Beach. I am wondering if it is worth the effort to drive there for a sunset photo session with 9 people, which includes two 3 year olds? I do consider this a once in a life time opportunity and family is cooperative, just not sure if it is necessary. Any ideas or recommendations on locations?

San Diego...
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5,801 posts
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1. Re: Family portraits

seems a bit far. There are plenty of nice spots in Poipu -- Shipwrecks beach, the grassy spot in front of the Beach House etc.

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2. Re: Family portraits

The grassy spot in front the Beach House is usually quite crowded. It might distract the 3 year olds.

I do agree thought that there are gorgeous spots closer to your accommodations. Anini is nice but not that nice to drag everyone in nice clothes in the car for a 1 hour drive each way.

Maha'ulepu (but gates close early) and Shipwreck would be good choices. You could also think about a garden setting.

La Mirada...
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for Kauai
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3. Re: Family portraits

Sunset at a Poi`pu area beach will probably be more dramatic than at Anini. Princeville (houses & condos you can see) sits up on the hill at the far end of Anini, the sun sets behind it (at least when we've been there in September). If you're going to drive clear up north, drive 4 more miles and go to Hanalei Bay - there you will get a VERY dramatic sunset.


Kauai, Hawaii
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4. Re: Family portraits

Any chance that the photographer lives on the north shore.....agree, that is a pretty huge project to organize and drive the entire family up north from poipu.

Plus, the main subject is your family, with the sunset and some landscape in the back ground.

Near you , and you could actually walk or drive to check the below poipu area locations that will suit you and your family....the photographer should be working for you, not you all for the photographer.

Poipu Beach,

The Lawn at the Beach House ( LAWAII BEACH ) with the coast and ocean sunset,

Shipwreck Beach at the Hyatt,

and Maha'ulepu Beach..

Also, you might check with PHOTO SPECTRUM in Lihue, as they are highly professional and have a totally comprehensive photo company. We get all of our photo work , framing, developing, enlargements, christmas cards, etc, done there....and they have samples of their specializing in family and wedding scenes displayed. Look pretty super to me.


Edited: 2:44 pm, April 23, 2011
Kaua'i, HI
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
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5. Re: Family portraits

Aloha from Kaua'i!

Sounds as if you already have a photographer - but since you are staying here on the South Shore - I would recommend Nick Galante - who lives in this area (altho' he will travel anywhere on island) and who has been in business here for 20+ years - he specializes in family portrait photography and is very well respected here:


I don't know why someone would recommend you go all the way up to Anini Beach when there are so many places in the immediate area here that would be wonderful.

Malama Pono,


Kapaa, Hawaii
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909 posts
209 reviews
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6. Re: Family portraits

You must be using Dana. He particularly likes the backgrounds at Anini and does a lot of family shots there. The sand comes out a nice golden color and the background has a lot of greenery. The light also can be more direct in some areas than others, giving some of the south shore locations a more washed out feel. I'd look through his family portfolio, see the ones you like, and ask him where they were done.

Edited: 2:46 am, April 24, 2011
Manhattan Beach...
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for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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7. Re: Family portraits

We used Nick Galante when we did our family photos for our 40th Anniversary in front of Shipwreck Rock. The many photos were great and we all choose our favorites to enlarge for our walls. No way would we want dark sunset photos. We liked the natural, playful ones on the sand, sitting on driftwood or on rocks. Even took some on the Hyatt's grounds. Nick knows where to set up.

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677 posts
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8. Re: Family portraits

I just checked out Nick's site. His pricing structure is genius. You own the photos. Make as many as like. His email doesn't work though. I posted a comment but won't call on Easter. Definitely will check into getting portraits done.

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9. Re: Family portraits

We used Dana @ Garden Island Photography and loved our pictures. We got the most amazing sunset photos at Tunnels. It definitely was a drive, but we enjoyed the drive and the pictures were spectacular. We also got some amazing ones before sunset with Bali Hai as the backdrop...they were stunning. If you are going to do the North Shore, I would do either Ke'e or Tunnels for the shoot. If you use Dana, we thought he was great--a wonderful personality and worked really well with our boys! And, the photos were beyond our expectations!

Kauai, Hawaii
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1,085 posts
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10. Re: Family portraits

Yes, you might look into photographers based on the south shore, closer to where you are staying, as they will be familiar with some easy access places with few people. I can give you a list of recommendations. I've noticed many of the photographers are trying keep costs down by not having to travel too far from their home base - and also like to stick with locations they are familiar with.

You might consider an early morning photo shoot, as the lighting is so nice then, the beaches are uncrowded and small children are usually more agreeable in the mornings. Shipwreck Beach is usually uncrowded in the early morning.

If you like the sunset time, keeping it simple, like just using Shipwreck Beach, for the photo shoot might be your best bet. You can't see the sun setting into the ocean from there, but you can see the colors, if that's what you want. I usually suggest an hour before sunset for best light, if you aren't after dramatic colors.

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