Pilialoha Photography
Island Inspired Imagery

About Pilialoha Photography

Natural light photography for couples, engagements, weddings, maternity, portraits, and seniors on Oahu, Hawaii. Includes unique options such as drone, aerial, and underwater photography.

 

A little about us

Pilialoha - "To be bonded in love and compassion"

E Komo Mai (Welcome)!

We're Patrick & Kelsi and we're honored that you are here! We’re planning our own wedding so we have plenty of excitement, especially for our engaged couples. As published photographers and small business owners, we hope you enjoy our works of art! When we’re not taking pictures we like to spend our time enjoying the Hawaiian islands. You can most often find us scuba diving, rock climbing, or hiking the majestic mountains that Hawaii is known for. We love to adventure and would be delighted to take you around Oahu and create some truly magical images.

The work of Pilialoha Photography is highly reminiscent of wind-swept coastlines, turquoise waters, and boundless island adventures. Whether it be through cloud forest escapes, or sunset-bathed beaches, our connections run deep to the  ‘ĀINA (land) and KAI (sea), something we feel in our NA'AU (deep within our being). Located in the middle of the Pacific ocean, we offer a unique range of tropical settings that reflect life on Oahu. Let us preserve your memories with ethereal images and the integrated beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.

Get to know us, send us a message, and let’s inspire together!

What to expect

When shooting with us, it is all about the story. We aim to capture the raw beauty and backgrounds of our customers. That means we may get muddy and wet, sandy and salty, or whatever it takes for the best narrative! We also aim to be KAHU (caretakers) for the environment, which means we make sure our shoots do not disturb the natural setting. We therefore will avoid using props such as balloons/confetti and use only reef-safe sunscreens in our water sessions. Any interactions with wildlife are animal-led and we do not tolerate harassment or undue stress. All our shoots use natural lighting, so sunrise and sunset are our the best times to plan for!

 
 
 

Meet Patrick

As the primary photographer, Patrick spends most of his time behind the lens, running around on-site to capture the magic told by light and angles. A perfectionist for the small details in every shot, Patrick aims to use light and darkness to create ethereal moods, combined with the power of natural settings for his imagery. He is also a marine biologist, pursuing a PhD in coral reef conservation ecology. As an avid climber, adventurer, and diver, Patrick is able to capture unique moments, from among the island's highest peaks to deep beneath the ocean waves. Patrick is also a believer in a minimalist approach to post-processing. That means each image is crafted from the start to require as little retouching and editing as possible. Check out the before-and-after gallery to see for yourself how we bring photos to life!

Patrick's favorite aspect of photography: "I love how expressive photography can be. From behind the lens, one is capable of composing, creating, and rebuilding an entire mood or emotion. We do so much more than take pictures, and this way, when looking back through the photos, our minds connect much more strongly to those memories."

Patrick's photography pet-peeve: "Crooked horizon lines. There's not much worse than the entire world sliding off the edge of the frame. It's easy to spot novice photographers with unintentionally crooked horizons! Some people may not notice or care, but at Pilialoha Photography, our attention to detail runs deep."

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Meet Kelsi

Kelsi runs pretty much every other aspect of Pilialoha Photography, with a special focus in on-site logistics and detail planning (and is second shooter at weddings). She's the mastermind behind the scenes when it comes to customers who are nervous or new to modeling. Her eye for aesthetics is truly invaluable, as she helps style shoots with outfit coordination and props, as well as making sure that not even a stray strand of hair will ruin the perfect shot! Kelsi is also a trained rescue diver and freediver, offering support and additional safety to our in-water sessions. 

Kelsi's favorite aspect of photography: "As a little girl I loved to look through old photographs of my parents and grandparents when they were younger (we're talking original black and white film!). I loved seeing their younger selves that I never had the opportunity to know. To this day those photos are one of my greatest possessions. Photographs have the ability to capture all the love, laughter and detail shared in each moment for us to look back on. Each photograph is unique and once digitized, can last forever. It's truly an honor to photograph these special moments."

Kelsi's photography pet peeve: "Over-exposed photos! So much great detail is lost when the highlights get blown out. Great lighting is a powerful tool that should be properly used, yet is oftentimes neglected by novice photographers, leading to rather unflattering images. At Pilialoha Photography, we make use of rich light and tropical tones by scheduling around sunrise and sunset! All our cameras are set up to shoot RAW image files as well, allowing those subtle colors and tones to come out during post-processing-- simply gorgeous!"


 

Kind words

 

We absolutely adore our customers, and the humble little company we've created together. We work hard to make sure that we're not only capturing the essence of you in every image we create, but also in making the experience itself uniquely fun. While we'll tell really lame jokes to get you to smile, we'll probably also come away from the shoot feeling like old friends. This is reflected in our reviews and rating by Thumbtack as a 'Top Pro', an honor given to only 4% of their professionals. The rating is based on responsiveness, customer satisfaction, and our high caliber of work. So what are you waiting for? Come say hi!

 
 
Oahu engagement photographer
 
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Oahu maternity photographer
 
 
 
 
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