Passion within Photography

IMG_0092 Love.  It is a driving force… especially with a passionate photographer, such as myself.

Ahhh, being ‘in love’, the beautiful, sensual, fulfilling bliss which fills your heart with a weightlessness within your body and soul.  The cliché ‘walking on cloud nine‘ makes sense, well sort of… what does the nine stand for?

This week I photographed such a couple. They are both military. Yesterday he left for Korea and new wife is on-base here, in Hawaii. I am sure they’ve looked at these photographs over and over in the one day they have been apart.

They are ‘in love’. Their bliss of weightlessness gave me ideas I had never suggested to other couples. “Sit on his shoulders… Can you stand, James? Ashley? IMG_0011 can you stretch your arms out to the heavens?”  They did beautifully and he didn’t stumble once. I knew I would be pushing my limits, and theirs, if I asked her to stand up.  They trusted each other in body and soul.

Many times couples bring their own clothing and I always take some conservative shots to share with mom and dad, younger brother and sister. Then, if the couple wants to spice up the shots just a bit, I take out my props.

IMG_1164Men look handsome and dramatic in an unbuttoned, white shirt and women look very sexy in a long, white silky gown.  Now, put they in the water and you’ll get photographs they will love.  A hand on the tush, a kiss on the neck, a nibble on the ear, a tickle on the side, dripping water from a shell down her chest, pressed against a stone wall, making-out beneath a big, straw hat, silhouettes against the sky or laying in the sand, walking into the water or just playing and laughing. Being within their  intimacy is a delicate business for any photographer, especially when a couple is a bit bashful. They have to trust you completely.

IMG_0163Yes, they ‘re ready to play, but to get great shots, it is important the photographer (me) understands the balance between their freedom and quietly suggesting the position of a hand, the placement of a kiss, the gentle touch against her cheek, the humor to emphasize the sweetness of her smile, the tilt to outline his jaw, the twinkle in theirs eyes. The photographer (me) always needs to know where the sun is shining to capture the image within her mind; the placement of bodies, the use of natural or artificial light, the background, the best lens, the camera settings, her position in regard to her clients, ahh, so much going on in my mind, yet always remembering the most important element of a great photo shoot, IMG_1256the trust between James, Ashley and myself.  It is allowing them space with gentle suggestions, encouraging the loving touches, feeling the love they have for each and blessed they have allowed the photographer (me)  into their circle of bliss.

My heart is as weightless as theirs after the shoot.  My passion for life, for love and for photography has me dancing on ‘cloud nine‘.  Does anyone know what the ‘nine’ implies?IMG_1045


I can fly ~ the universe shares its wings with me!

It wasn’t my intention to do a photo shoot, on the contrary, I didn’t want to… but he asked and I couldn’t say no to my dear friend.  He went to great lengths to select props and promised to photograph me at some of my favorite locations.  I agreed with the stipulation that I could do whatever I wanted to ~ he could control the camera only ~ we were both compromising and we both knew it. As a photographer, it is difficult not to call all the shots the way I see them, whether I’m in front or behind the camera.  I only hoped he would capture the scenes as I felt them.  He did.
I took time to let the beauty of nature engulf me, the warmth of the sunshine on my skin and the sound of the Pacific Ocean below me, as I stood high upon the cliffs of Oahu’s coastline.

There is a strong sense of spiritual connection for me in Hawaii.  This is where I belong. This is my home. Although many times I have struggled with the challenges of living here, if I go to the ocean, I am reassured… this is where I am free.  This is where my spirit is meant to be.

Here I can fly… if I could just stop trying to be in control of everything and believe that the universe will respond to my questions.

Nature answers, whether it’s angel wings from the ocean or listening to the bamboo trees creaking in the forest, the reassurance that I am connected with the universe is confirmed.  Meditation works wonders, you just need to listen and see the signs.

But, having a photographer to capture your spirit as it flies free… is heaven. I never would have seen the ocean pushing me forward with my dreams, if he had not snapped the frame exactly when he did.

Enjoy a slideshow… (the images in which I appear to be precariously on the edge of disaster truly are from a photographer’s angle.  I did not put myself in harm’s way).

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Thanks for stopping by my page. ~Donna  

Many thanks to Cliff Shorter, an amazing photographer.

Donna Welch Photography, Inc.

Capturing the Spirit… of the Moment.

808-699-4330  ~

© Donna Welch Photography, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Welch Photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


As the sun sets below the horizon, the people in Hawaii stop and take notice. If you stand  far enough back, you’ll see cut-outs of human forms in the panoramic view before you.   Scanning the beach you’ll see the surf instructor playing, “one, twoooo, THREE…” impressing yet another sweet, naive tourist by flipping her up from the ocean.  Take notice, ladies, for good or… for bad (girls :)), the beach boys are still alive and well in Waikiki.

It’s a shame this couple isn’t enjoying the sunset behind them… (or maybe the sunset is enjoying playing its magic on them).

Everyone has a spirit within them, in some shape, form or fashion. In Waikiki, the sunsets allow you to stand quietly and reflect upon the day, (unless you’re a young tourist or a beach boy).

From where you are standing, let your eyes travel the edges of the cut-out.You’ll create his character by the strength of his stance, the way he rests his hands on his hips, and the tilt of his chin.  Without a doubt, you know this man has the softest heart, but holds a firm stand on his beliefs. This man would definitely be a good friend (if only he would schedule another photo shoot with me!)

It’s another beautiful sunset on the island of Oahu. It is another evening that people will stop and take notice, reflect on the day’s events (the good or the bad :)), chose which to toss into the ocean and which to hold within their spirit. This is nature’s beauty in true form.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  ~ Donna

(This is where I should insert a slideshow of some of the most beautiful sunsets I have photographed in Hawaii, but I’ll save it for another day… I hope to keep you coming back!)

Donna Welch Photography, Inc.

Capturing the Spirit… of the Moment.

808-699-4330  ~

© Donna Welch Photography, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Welch Photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Valentine’s Day Gift ~ in Hawaii

From five… until ninety-five…

nothing is more powerful than love.

We share our love daily, but there is one day set apart from all the others; Valentine’s Day.  This is the day when roses are overpriced and chocolates add pounds to thousands of women on weight control programs. (Unless, of course, you’re five or ninety-five.)  But, for all of us in-between, there is a present that says, “I love you”, that will be cherished forever.  A Valentine’s Day present that will always make you smile, won’t have you worrying about your waistline, one that you can share with each other, display for others to enjoy… a gift that only you can give.

This is priceless, but fortunately, at an affordable price that won’t destroy your budget.

All you need to do is call (808-699-4330), schedule an appointment, and leave the rest to me; your photographer.

After we talk about the details (usually over a cup of coffee, prior to the session date), I may go into my prop room to pack some things that will enhance your session; it may be something as simple as a book of love poems, a rose, an umbrella to kiss beneath, a gown to wear into the ocean or champagne glasses to toast before the sunset.  Sometimes a man’s white collar shirt is as sexy on the woman as it is on the man (let’s add some suspenders, too).

We will talk about which time of daylight will work best for you; the morning sunshine or the golden glow of the sunset.  Do you want the ocean as a backdrop and playground or would you rather walk in the woods to let the shadows play upon your bodies?  Do you to want photos that you can share with your friends and family?  How about some that are a bit sexier to place on your bedside table or in your wallet?

So many people claim they are not photogenic. Boloney!  Everyone, regardless of age, size or personality can have fantastic photographs. (But, I can understand this fear of looking terrible in a photo.  I was one of those people for years, whenever anyone pointed a camera at me I would grimace or fake a smile, both unattractive expressions.)

It wasn’t until I became a photographer myself (safe behind the camera) that I learned the best photographs are captured by a professional.  A snapshot taken by Uncle Ted or your sister may not show your best features, your best angle, the best lighting, the best poses and best spirit.  You have to trust the photographer to place you in the best light, possibly to use props and especially to create an atmosphere of fun while relaxing, enjoying the moment.  Allow me the pleasure of setting the stage for romance (and you may even forget there is a camera pointing at you).

Directing a shoot is great fun for me, I can have you role-play a scene or simply suggest moving your arm a little to the right or placing your lips close to one another but not quiet touching.

I want this to be a fun, exciting activity for you, so leave the photography to me.  My enthusiasm and passion is contagious and our energy will naturally flow, even the most camera-shy people will find themselves letting their spirit shine through… and that is exactly what I want.  To Capture the Spirit… of the Moment.

The state of being ‘in love’ is one of the best times of your life, it is like nothing else. It fills your heart with joy to dream of the days ahead.  Let me capture this spirit in photographs.

But, having love that has been tested through the trials of time; this is the golden love, this is the best love. Let me capture these moments.

This year do something very special… come before my camera and bring home a Valentine’s Day package with hundreds of photos that you will cherish forever.

Gift certificates are available in sweet Valentine’s Day cards, tied with a red ribbon, a rose and a chocolate that can be placed in your sweetheart’s hands.  Ordering on-line is available. Contact me through my website:

You will “wow” the special person in your life with your romantic gift.

Here is a slide show of some of the couples I have photographed…   Each couple was so different in front of my camera, yet they all share the special gift of love.  To me, there is nothing sweeter than couples in love.

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© Donna Welch Photography, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Welch Photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Love before my eyes…

Whenever I have the opportunity to photograph a couple, I consider it a double blessing.  To witness the spirit of love is so uplifting to my soul, it is as beautiful as seeing little children playing and laughing without a care in the world.  Yes, I am an old romantic, but to see the twinkle in their eyes, the obvious touches of endearment, it just fills my heart with joy.

Ginell and Rich are two such people; completely devoted to each other, so much in love you can see their aura radiating a soft glow. They are a happy, blessed couple and they both know how fortunate they are to have found each other.  (Not to mention, having a vacation in Hawaii.)

The session was a breeze on an early morning shoot.  All I had to do was ask for this or for that and they gave me everything I wanted.  In return, they received almost 200 photos to bring home to share with family and friends. But, most importantly, they now have photos to decorate the walls of their home.  I will share a few with you.  Enjoy.

I hope you have love in your life, but if not now, keep your heart open… and love will find you.

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Morning Light… is sweet.

Five months ago, the Pride of America, Hawaii,, cruise ship hired Chelsea as a dancer in their production crew.  She’s talented, beautiful, spirited and a pleasure to work with, oh, did I mention she’s an outstanding model, too?  We created images using four different outfits, having fun and working together.  She has a great portfolio.

On a photo shoot I want to Capture the Spirit… of the Moment in many lights.

I started planning my ‘shots’ before we even reached the beach. The natural light is beautiful at 8 or 9 AM. Chelsea. Red hair against blue sky? Brilliant. Fair complexion? High-key. Artificial flash?  I decided the use both, natural and a Norman Strobe 400B. Chelsea also added a light-tone of her own to each frame.  A few slides for you to enjoy…  Thanks for stopping by.

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Surf’s Up at the North Shore!!

Today I went to the north shore to take random shots of the Volcom Pipe Pro surfing competition. You can get all the details; the dates, the rewards, the surfer’s information and everything else you may want to know at:  I’m an absolute kook when it comes to surfing and I don’t know anything about the competitors, but I do know that when the waves are big, watching the surfers is like watching dancers upon a stage.

 The waves didn’t disappoint me (or anyone else, it seemed) as they crashed down the thundering rumble rolled in. The entire experience is thrilling to me.  (Me in Hawaii?  Watching and taking photographs of the world’s best, professional surfers?  Perfectly fine with me.) 

You would have loved everything about Pipeline today!  The ocean, the warm sunshine on your skin with a few sprinkling from Mother Nature, just enough to create an occasional rainbow.  A mountain ridge is to your left, with some palm trees lining a soft, sandy beach.  Now, look straight out to the ocean. OMG!  (I can hear the intake of your breath. C’mon, come up for air.) The waves are giants, crashing with fury, leaving heavy, foamy whitewater. Now, check out the color; Turquoise. Turquoise waves.

If you really want to know some scientific data about ocean colors, check out this NASA Earth Data site at:  For local news, check out;  If you would like surfing lessons at the north shore talk to or on the south shore, go to;

The surfers certainly didn’t disappoint anyone (and hopefully not themselves). They were amazing! (The little red, blue, yellow and white dots grouped together way out there, those are the competitors.)  Watching them is captivating. You can almost feel the spray of the ocean, the tightening of your muscles, the adrenaline racing through your body and the thrill of the ride.  If you pay very close attention you may see a surfer soul arch as he shoots out of the barrel. (Def. Soul Arch: Arching the back to demonstrate casual confidence when riding a wave) ~ I doubt if they would try this in a competition!

I couldn’t help but capture the spirit of the moment… over and over again. Enjoy the slideshow.  I know it’s long, but I couldn’t help myself… each surfer, each wave wanted to share that powerful energy with me; and now with you.

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