Locations | My Favorite Places on Oʻahu

More often than not, I am asked, "Where should we take our photos?" When planning your portrait session, I want to make sure that every detail is meaningful so that we can get the best photographs possible. Especially in a place like Hawaiʻi, with beautiful scenery everywhere you go, picking a spot for your photo session can get overwhelming. So I decided to put together a short list of my favorite spots. Whether you are visiting and looking for some photos of your family while on vacation or lived here all your life, I hope that this list can help you prepare for your upcoming portrait session.

Kapiʻolani Park

A beautiful park with century old Banyan trees and Kiawe trees minutes from Waikiki. With the Honolulu Zoo, its duck pond, and a large water fountain this is a great spot for family photos with little children.

Optimal time: weekday afternoons

Pros:

  • close to Waikiki
  • a variety of locations within this spot for many different looks
  • beautiful trees, iconic to Hawaiʻi

Cons:

  • harsh mid-day lighting, with little to no shade
  • can be crowded on weekends with events and festivals

Waiʻalae Beach Park

Picturesque Hawaiian beach just outside of the Waikiki area. Long sandy beaches with calm blue ocean. Perfect for the ideal Hawaiian scenery.

Optimal time: sunrise, weekdays

Pros:

  • beautiful beach close to Waikiki
  • ample parking
  • secluded location with little to no beach-goers
  • perfect spot for a beautiful sunrise between the months of September and April

Cons:

  • often windy
  • no shade or covered areas

Puʻu Ualakaʻa Wayside Park (Tantalus)

A popular look-out spot with panoramic views of Metropolitan Honolulu. Perfect spot for an outdoor look with lush green trees.

Optimal time: any time, but especially during afternoons close to sunset (golden hour)

Pros:

  • in Honolulu
  • nature look with little to no hiking involved
  • ample parking

Cons:

  • very crowded
  • frequently rains

Ala Moana Beach Park

Another beautiful park with long walkways and a beautiful beach. At the east end of the beach park, Magic Island is the perfect spot for sunrises over Diamond Head and sunsets over the Waiʻanae Mountains.

Optimal time: weekdays, anytime of the day

Pros:

  • close to Waikiki
  • lots of different looks within a small beach park
  • always sunny
  • fireworks every Friday evening at 7:45pm

Cons:

  • very popular beach = very crowded
  • not a lot of covered areas

Kakaʻako Urban District

In the heart of Downtown Honolulu, the urban district of Kakaʻako is full of old warehouses covered with street art and murals. A perfect backdrop with a lot of color and a lot of character

Optimal time: afternoons, any day of the week

Pros:

  • central location
  • a lot of color for great photographs
  • a few small parks for some added greenery

Cons:

  • difficult parking
  • a lot of street traffic