Weddings are always emotional and when I get the chance to shoot one understandingly it is very easy to get sensitively drawn in; But in a good way! Since the whole day is filled with happiness and joy and love is well and truly in the air how could you not pick up on the atmosphere present? It’s almost impossible not to! As a photographer I do feel that by being able to emotionally connect myself to the present setting ultimately enables me to produce the best work, work which is expressive and sincere, work which is heartfelt and truthful and more importantly work that is believable! And that is what I strive to do every time!
When Simon and Ewa first contacted me last year and I saw Hawaii, I initially thought that this must be some kind of prank, either that or I must be dreaming! Hawaii has always been a dreamlike fantasy to me, almost as if it’s an illusory existence conjured for a blockbuster Movie. Those who know me understand my admiration for the ocean Therefore, Hawaii is definitely a place I could only ever dream of seeing. Straight away I had to email my response to Simon and Ewa saying, HAWAII like as in USA HAWAII??” As uneducated as that may appear, my sheer disbelief actually got the better of me and I couldn’t help but only assume that this seemed far too good to be true. Also I had to ask because in my hometown Miri, we also have a beach called Hawaii too 🙂
After 10 months of emailing and Skype sittings and with my eager anticipation and excitement, here I am In Hawaii! Luckily I managed to get a week to explore Big Island before I began the wedding; it had to be done! If anything to enable me to contain myself and be totally professional on the day 🙂 Once I’d gotten it out of my system and finally come down from cloud nine I then headed for Kauai to finally meet the couple. At first meeting I became very fond of Simon and Ewa; they were incredibly likeable and extremely welcoming even after spending the day before greeting family and friends, to put a big smile on for me at sunrise the next day, made my day! I travelled with my second photographer who is in fact also my husband and in amongst everything else going around them, they made sure that we were comfortably settled into the Westin & St. Regis resort. We felt very humbled by the sheer kindness and gratitude we received by everyone including their families and friends.
I cannot thank Simon and Ewa enough for what they have done for me and Artur. They completely made all of my dreams come true by giving me the chance to document their beautiful wedding in Hawaii. I have fulfilled many lifelong ambitions during my stay apart from actually discovering that Hawaii is in fact real 🙂 I also had the opportunity to swim with Dolphins and Manta Rays. This unforgettable experience is something that I will cherish forever.
When given the opportunity to document weddings of different cultural backgrounds it’s a fantastic way of discovering and unearthing the different ways of life. For me as photographer I find it incredibly enjoyable and extremely interesting and fascinating to shoot. Hawaiian ceremonies are just beautiful they are as I could describe intimate and spiritual. As Ewa walks in, a man is present blowing a conch shell to the four elements representing Earth, Sea, Air and Fire as witnesses. Unlike most weddings where the Groom and his Groomsmen display a boutonniere, in Hawaiian weddings a Maile lei made of leaves is placed around the Grooms neck and used by the Kahuna (Hawaiian Priest) in old Hawaii to bind together the hands of the Bride and Groom, symbolizing their commitment to each other. Parents of the wedded couple then receive leis from the bride and Groom as a token of their affection and solidarity towards them.
Simon and Ewas first dance was beautiful, the atmosphere was divine. It felt as though we were all invisible in a dreamlike setting in a movie with the couple being forefront of the focus, just as it should be! In the background the unique and powerful voice singing the words of ‘A thousand Years’ by Christina Perri filled the hall in an indescribably atmospheric presence. I was totally blown away by this; I was ready to quickly whip out my Shazam app to see who the singer was before discovering it was in fact a live band. Everyone was mesmerized by this young girl on stage with this utterly stunning voice; people praised her all night long and rightly so. During her break I plucked up the courage to approach her and ask if she was on YouTube or something. Her name is Madison and she is only 14 years old, wow! Do check her out (Madison Paradise Found) and show her some love and support she is amazing and if you are planning a wedding in Kauai she is one not to be missed, I promise you will not be disappointed. If I could I would love to bring her all the way to Asia for my wedding!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: St Regis Princeville