Newborn family session: the Phillabaums

There's just something about newborns. Their tiny sweetness and the way they captivate everyone in the family.

Those loving looks are why I love photography.

I want you to remember not just how cute he was in his little bear beanie but how you felt when you looked down at your new addition that is going to change and grow your family in so many ways. 

All the love and excitement - it just makes me all warm and fuzzy.

(Also baby yawns. Because no one can resist a baby yawn.)

hawaii newborn lifestyle photography

Newborn + family session: the Mays'

The Mays' and I had a great session. Baby girl was sleepy and sweet, brother was friendly and eager to help, and sister gave the spice that I wouldn't have known how to function without. What I see in this family is a wonderful unit. Mom wasn't worried about micromanaging poses, she just wanted her family photographed the beautiful way they are, so the session started with the kids free drawing on their shared easel.

Dad was involved too and I loved it. Sometimes dads are shy and try to disappear but this one knew he wanted a photo with each of his precious children and I was so happy to do that for him. I hope you enjoy as much as I did the special smiles and gentle arms of the Mays family.

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Travel Photography: the Philippines

I consider myself so lucky to have been able to see what to me felt like the heart of the Philippines. When visiting another culture, so many times visitors tread lightly on the surface, seeing the major sights, staying in hotels, eating at the restaurants featured in the brochures. Last month I was fortunate enough to be taken into a home, fed traditional food, be a part of a festival, and taken to favorite restaurants. I saw real life and I'm so thankful.

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Displaying your Photographs: the Book

I strongly believe that photographs should not exist solely as pixels. Touching and holding a book full of your art gives you a feeling like no other. Something you can return to year after year to remind you of your beautiful, unique moments with your loves.

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The book is bound in silk fabric with thick archival pages designed to stay beautiful for years and be passed down generations. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. When you feel it in your hands, you know it's meant to last and keep your art beautiful.

hawaii film photographer album

When your children or grandchildren come to you wanting to know what it was like when you first had your baby, or that crazy time when you had 4 children under 4, will you start searching for the hard-drive where you stored your photos from that time?

Hopefully you will pull out your still beautiful, luxurious album and turn through the pages with them, remembering how special those moments were. 

Fun at Gunstock Ranch

I have such a wonderful man in my life who surprised me on my birthday with a horseback ride! I love ranches - horses, wide open spaces, grass, trees and sky, my kind of place. Sure my buns were a little sore the next day but it was well worth it. Cheap fun film + a beautiful Hawaiian ranch is a good combination.

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Mom and baby session: the Betts

I came into this session thinking it would mostly be about this lovely pregnant mother. But as we progressed I realized that these moments with her child before her new one is born are so special. He was a little firecracker but we managed to wrangle him in the frame which was no small feat!

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Kaku Family + Baby Photos

This family was so easy to photograph. I love that this mom let Mario and Luigi be in  the pictures. It's easy to fall into the trap of wanting the perfect family photo where your 4 year old sits nicely and looks at the camera but the reality is, they'd rather gather up their Super Mario characters and throw them up in the air - and those photos are not worth any less than the "proper" ones.

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Hawaii baby photographer

In Home Family Session: the Phillabaums

In this first photo mom is looking over at dad who is dancing to if I remember correctly some Usher? He was too quick for me to catch but I loved his willingness to be silly for his family. 

I love the way this little boy gets hysterical when Tucker the pug starts to wiggle and jump. I also love his full, mouth wide open, no holds barred laugh.  We should all laugh like that a little more.

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While a family photo out in the grass with everyone smiling at the camera is a great thing to have, I believe that this photo with mom, dad, baby and the dog is the most honest and perfect family photo you could ask for. This photo doesn't just remind you of what your family looked like, but what what you did as a family and how much your boy loved his tractor book and his legos and how your silly dog would only get in the picture with some treats in dad's pocket. This is a family in their natural environment and it is a beautiful thing. 

Pregnancy session: Kristine

It's not enough that this kind woman invited me to her home to have me photograph her beautiful pregnancy, but she greeted me on her porch with warm chai, a delicious fruit platter and cheerful conversation. Is there any more I could possibly ask for? 

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Newborn session: baby Tavian

Of all the things to photograph, brand new families are my favorite. They adore their newborn baby so much. New parents are so content to just sit and love on their baby for as long as I'm photographing them. Hopefully these photos can help you enjoy the sweetness as much as I do.

Hawaii lifestyle newborn photographer melissa wessel photographing newborn babies on Oahu

A peek at newborn love

Confession: I used to be afraid of newborns. They are so small and fragile and I didn't know how to hold them and they're so important and full of future, I would be paralyzed. But then I held one in my arms and the soft warmth melted away my fears and left only love. 

oahu film newborn photography

Now I love newborns. They are so special.  

hawaii newborn photos