Wild n wacky wedding traditions

When you get married in Hawaii, ukulele music might fill your ears, or maybe your musician will play the ukeke or maybe even the pahu. You’ll probably have a lei placed around your neck.  Leis are tokens of love and aloha. Grooms often wear a garland of green leaves (manly) rather than Kika or jasmine blossoms.  At the beginning of your ceremony, the conch might be blown, especially if it’s a beach elopement—a Hawaiian tradition that dates back to the time when the conch was blown to announce the arrival of Alii or Royalty.  Your officiant might smash open a coconut and spill the milk on the sand, and then ask you to rest your forehead on your partner’s forehead.  But you’re unlikely to experience a wedding tradition in Hawaii that will shock you. If your breath is taken away, it’s probably because you’re standing on the most dramatic beach you’ve ever seen, not because you’ve been punched in the gut for good luck or because your guests have suddenly gone…

Almost white sky and dark brooding clouds

What your eyes see is not what a camera sees. A camera can approximate eyesight contingent on the photographer’s light and back focus settings. We call this the exposure—a term that is meaningless to our eyes. What we see is what we see. If it’s bright ouside it’s bright; when it’s almost night, it’s dark. If we’re inside a candlelit room it probably looks moody, and when we’re on the beach staring at the ocean as the sun sets it’s glorious and if we’re wise we won’t stare directly into the sun.  In photography, it’s not that straightforward.  Imagine it’s noontime and you’re in the middle of a sweeping grassy field fringed by lofty trees to your left and several dramatic gray clouds above.  I’m taking photos of you strolling along, the lofty trees sitting in shade are in the background. My camera's exposure settings would show you in the best light so that you don’t appear excessively underexposed or greatly overexposed. I could give you the photos right out of the camera and you…


She walked slowly, her thin shoes not completely shielding her feet from the hot sand. She was nervous… and excited in the same breath. Shore waves, about three feet tall, were crashing along the shoreline. Misty sea-spray was in the air. She took a deep breath,   tasting the briny elixir that was on her lips.  There wasn’t a shipwreck in sight.  But she could see her man, faced away from, as he was meant to at this moment.  He was waiting for her. Her heart began to beat even faster. Not that I really knew what was going on in the bride’s mind at that moment; I just guessed it.  I had been hired to capture these moments on video.  It’s a typical scene that is experienced by thousands of wedding couples at this particular beach: Shipwrecks Beach. My mind drifted off for a moment, and I wondered, how many ‘shipwreck beaches’ are there? I know that in Greece there’s a Shipwreck Beach that some call Smuggler’s Cove. And I’ve heard that Oregon has a Shipwrecks beach, as does Washington S…