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Things to do in Hawaii for $20 | Hawaii Wedding Photographer

Hawaii is freakin expensive. #truestory So I thought to myself, “Self, what is there to do around here that won’t break the bank???” I’m traveling all over the world this year and the tax man loves my money, so as a result, I’m a poor lady trying to not be bored on a remote island.

This blog took me WEEKS to put together. Not just because I actually had to research this, but also because it’s time consuming. So I want you to know I put a lot of love and thought into this for you. Please enjoy!

This list does not reflect everything you can do for $20, it merely reflects what I had time to do before my patience ran out to write this!

1. Dole Cannery Maze

Legitimately the largest maze in the WORLD and less than $10 to get in per person! Kama’aina rate is only $5!

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2. Stand Up Paddleboarding

$20 for an hour up in Haleiwa cannot be beat! I love this activity as a great upper body and core workout!

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3. Eat at Dat Cajun Guy in Haleiwa

The last Cajun hold out on the island, Jay and I got a great meal and sweet tea for $19!

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4. Go to the beach!!!

Okay, this is obvious to some, but when you live here, you are lucky to get to the beach bi-weekly, let alone once a week.
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5. Olive Oil tasting

My friend Melanie brought me here and I LOVE it!!! I bought the red apple vinaigrette and the Basil Olive Oil…worth it! It’s FREE to try the oils!

6. Go hiking!

Hiking is totally free!!! There are hundreds around here and frankly, I couldn’t even list all of them, but hiking is fun and healthy!!! (sorry for the iPhone photos…I don’t hike to waterfalls with a $3k camera haha)

7. Try on clothes

Trying on clothes with friends is fun and free. It’s even better if the clothing is hideous.

8. Go Bowling

Bowling at Aiea Bowl is only $25 an hour with $3 for shoes. Split between two people at LEAST, it’s only $14 for an hour of bowling!!!

9. Volunteer with Access Surf

Held the first Saturday every month at White Plains Beach, this is an awesome opportunity to spend the day at the beach, meet new people and help those with disabilities get into the water! We could always use more experienced surfers to tandem surfing, but if you just want to help people swim, that’s okay too!!

10. Happy Hour at Monkeypod!

This bar is awesome! Happy hour has 50% off appetizers and drinks, with pizzas only $9!!! Try the pumpkin ravioli or the jalapeño poppers…you won’t regret it!!!!

     

My Why | Oahu Wedding Photography

Last month, when mentoring with my idol, Montana Dennis, we were sipping coffee and discussing my motivations for my business. I contemplated for 5 whole seconds and confidently said, “I want to win awards” and even flourished this statement with a modest smile. Perhaps this came from spending a week in Vegas among some of the best, but I had begun to feel inadequate and wanted nothing more than to get validation for my struggle, for my trials and triumphs.

Montana paused and delicately said, “well…that’s not a bad thing, but that doesn’t tell me what your Why is. What is your Why?”

I cannot recall anyone asking me this, although I knew the answer. I sheepishly smiled and said, “if I tell you that, I may cry.” It was Montana’s turn to smile, a coaxing gentle smile and he said, “that’s alright.”

So I told him my why and promptly cried in that coffee shop. But at the end, he high-fived me and told me that I was real to him, in that moment. It was so profound, to hear him say that.

Real to him.

What is real? Is being a real an important facet to being a photographer? After a month of contemplating it, I really truly believe it is. But what is real?

Is stating that you “love to capture moments” real?

Is telling people you “love love” real? It’s redundant, but is it real?

Everyone has a Why. Sometimes, it’s to make money. Sometimes, it’s a creative outlet. For others, like myself, it’s a manifestation of needs. On that note, I want to share with you my “Why.” It’s deep, it’s dark and to be honest, I’m not going to go in full detail, because this is a blog. But I’m hoping it’ll not only give you insight into my Why, but help you consider yours.

As I said, my Why is a manifestation of my needs. I grew up in a broken home, where the concept of love has been twisted. When I was younger, love meant a heavy hand in reprimands, it mean yelling to be heard, it required a fight or flight response daily. I have craved love in every form my entire life and only now, after 27 years, am I beginning to really understand what love means. Every couple I photograph fuels me to not only help them discover themselves and cherish what they have, but to remind me that real love is a wonderful thing.

So I freeze a moment in time, a moment of tenderness or happiness for my couples, to immortalize it. I want my couples to look at these images in 20 years, on a bad day, a day they may contemplate calling it quits and instead go, “damn…we are good together. Okay, let’s talk this out...”

It’s why I’ve dropped albums from my collections and instead, put in wall art. Because when you’re pissed, you aren’t going to pause and look at your wedding album. But you will look at your living room wall and remember what you have.

So that is my Why. That is what keeps me going, why I’m so dedicated to my clients. Because really, there isn’t any other choice.