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  ~  www.donnawelchphotography.com

dwelch1432@aol.com

© 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.

Silhouettes

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  ~  www.donnawelchphotography.com

dwelch1432@aol.com


© 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.

Sexy and sweet… Married?

Ena.  She grew up in Hawaii, but now lives on the mainland with her husband and two children. They weren’t able to join her on this brief trip to Oahu, but according to Ena three days without them is too long.

Her daughter had already planned a ‘coloring day’ as soon as mom returns.  Ena’s large brown, almond-shaped eyes twinkled as she spoke about them. Her Filipino heritage is obvious in her beautiful features.  She is sexy, sweet and, unfortunately for all you single guys, married.  Yep, lucky husband and kids.

Ena wanted to wear an Hawaiian cultural outfit; grass skirt, flower leis and shells.  I wanted to capture her beauty and the beauty of Hawaii as one spirit, as it is obvious that her spirit will always be in Hawaii, wherever her travels take her.  I am sure she will return here as often as she can. Hawaii will always welcome her back (as well as all her cousins).

She was careful not to expose too much of her body while we were shooting. I knew her husband would appreciate a few shots that he could frame and place on his nightstand or carry around in his wallet. If Ena wasn’t going to add more visual interest willingly, I guess I had to just prompt her… “Ena, give me a little more thigh in this shot, please?”  Or, “Ena, these are for your husband, so give him (my camera) a sexy look… sexier…. sexier…. ahh, that’s the look I wanted. I’m sure he knows that one.”  Great.  She easily followed my directions and giving directions is pretty easy for me, too. 🙂 Sorry, readers, those photos are  for his eyes only).

Oh, I remember when I was sweet and sexy, but didn’t believe it… I just couldn’t be, could it?  Nah,, not me.  So, instead, I played a proper, young lady of my generation. I played sweet and left the sexy out (well, truthfully, there were occasions when I pretended to be sexy in my own way).

Today, I tell the all young women; “love yourself, your body, your beauty and youth.  Love it, flaunt it and enjoy it completely because you won’t have it forever”.  

I hope you enjoy a few portraits of Ena having fun on a beach in Hawaii.   Thank you for stopping by my page.  ~ Donna

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Donna Welch Photography, Inc.

Capturing the Spirit… of the Moment.

808-699-4330  ~  www.donnawelchphotography.com

dwelch1432@aol.com

© 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.

Ala Moana Beach Park, Honolulu, Hawaii

On a beautiful Sunday morning in Hawaii I drove into the city to pick up some prints at Ritz Camera at the Ala Moana Mall (they are my preferred choice of photo labs in the area).  Unfortunately, they didn’t open until 10 and I had a few minutes to wait, so instead of sitting in my car, I went across the street to the Ala Moana Park.  http://www.ritzpix.com

On a beautiful Sunday morning in Hawaii the spirit of the Ala Moana Park was buzzing with activity.  As I walked along I would stop here and there to take a photo (of course, I never leave home without my camera, I am a photographer, after all).  People of all ages, sizes and personalities were out and about exercising (a group of women were walking their teammate across the beach as they held onto their ankles and teammate walked on her hands!) walking on your feet 🙂 , jogging, running, bicycling, swimming, surfing, rowing, and  whew! boogie boarding.  Thank goodness, they have showers!

Then there were the leisurely folks, relaxing with a good book with their feet propped up on a park bench (pass the clippers, please), the sunbathers on the beach turning their skin brown, (but not burnt), and some just sleeping on the lawns (the homeless are safe here during the day, at night the lawn sprinklers ruin their mattresses). Some people drove around in little things that looked like m+m peanuts, one green, one yellow. Yes, they do allow this mode of transportation on all major streets and boulevards, avenues and mountain passes. They are not allowed on the highways, (whew ~ that’s good, because Honolulu’s traffic is very congested; especially during rush hours)http://archives.starbulletin.com/2008/06/18/news/story02.html

Activities ranged from fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving (I think this is where scuba diving class 101 is held), and I saw more than one family playing badminton and kicking a ball around with the kids.  Ohana is very, very connected in Hawaii. (Ohana is family, if a local family likes you very, very much you will be part of the Ohana, too). People had coolers, beach toys, barbeque grills, obviously plenty of food, canopies to shade tutu and the babies.  There were balloons (all shapes and sizes, colors and probably personalities, too) for the keiki’s birthday parties (it looks like you have to come early to stake your land claim) with a very, big inflatable, bouncy palace.

The scenery is fantastic, nature at its best; with birds (doves, pigeons and I’m not sure about the big birds with the orange eyes, but I’ll google it. The guys rowing the outriggers are fantastic, too.  And I mustn’t forget I made friends with a couple of crabbies.  I named them Sister Paul and Alice (funny story for another day).  Oh, look, over there, a young couple in love,  getting married.  So sweet.

On a beautiful Sunday morning in Hawaii, I photographed people enjoying a Sunday morning in Hawaii.   I wondered if everyone felt as blessed as I did.

Enjoy the park through my eyes… next time I’ll stay longer than a few minutes.

Thanks for stopping by my page.  ~ Donna

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ala_Moana_Beach_Park

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: http://www.donnawelchphotography.com.

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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Mai Tai in Waikiki

The Mai Tai Bar in Waikiki is located on the top-level of the Ala Moana Mall. www.maitaibar.com  It is a popular bar in Honolulu.  The tourists, shoppers and the night-life crowd enjoy yummy appetizers and yummier drinks as they relax on a sofa, at a table or lounge at the bar.  Ahh, yes, easy and relaxing, with waitresses in short aloha-style dresses. ( Unlike most 50+ year-old women I don’t begrudge their beauty and youth.  Not me, I’m keep my wisdom, thank you, but in my next life I will appreciate and possibly flaunt it just a little bit more).

I once enjoyed a mai tai cocktail (rum and sweet juices and triple sec and ?), it’s a sweet concoction that knocked me over and left me with a big, enormous headache in the morning.  I shouldn’t have had more than one.  Although, I am glad the memories still exists (possibly embellished a bit), as it always make me feel much younger (and foolish) for a moment or two.   Mai-tai’s… that’s one big ocean, little girl.

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Her name was Mai Tai.  I looked at the model and my face immediately got the ‘cat ate the bird’ expression.  I hope she didn’t think it was because of her name.  Maybe my face stayed frozen for a moment too long because she began to explain that mai-tais may have played a part in her conception.  (I wanted to tell her I could empathize as I’m sure there was an alcohol-induced sperm in my creation too, but thought better of it.)  It’s not wise to get a model professionally made-up only to create an ocean of tears, destined to destroy the air-brushing professionally applied by Sephora Cosmetics on Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki (thanks, Danielle, you did a beautiful job).  www.sephora.com

 Mai-tai was a natural at posing, but it was her eyes that expressed her spirit to my camera.

I used my Canon 7D with a 70-200 lens for head shots shooting at 125 shutter and 18 aperture, 200 ISO for most of the shots.  Although there was plenty of natural light between 4:30 and 5:30, I decided to use my 400B Norman Strobe light.  It is a heavy, bulky, older version, but I’m always pleased with the results. The props were simple: a pink, silk scarf to begin our session…

Mai Tai said she favored her mother, obviously a Chinese beauty herself.  The story unfolded within my imagination as Mai Tai modeled before me; a young woman, delicate as a Chinese flower, (possibly a cherry blossom) walking along the beach wrapped in a pink, silk shawl carrying a parasol.  A definite heartache buried in her soul. Perhaps from the lover that promised to take her back to his home in Hawaii?  Is she torn between family and the man she loves?  Does she have a secret she can’t tell?  As my mind played out the scenes, Mai Tai recreated them beyond me.  We were on the same page, or literally, standing in the same ocean.

Next prop: The change into the silk, black wrap-around dress definitely modernized Mai Tai.  The contrast between the background and her body stretched upon on big, well-textured rock created images of a smooth, sexy, elegant woman, but more importantly, it was the variations in tones that intrigued me the most, (possibly great in black and white?). My imagination continued to play out the role; a young woman aware of her sensuality, intelligence, ambition… and big goals.  She aches from an unknown lonliness, but does not allow the pain to surface very often, determined it will never interfere with her dreams.

The next set of photos we took were head shots using a blue fan as a prop.  Her face is beautiful, her eyes cast the emotions wherever her imagination was traveling.  She is an exceptionally talented model.

Mai Tai will achieve her dreams; she will be an emergency room doctor in another 6 years? She had known since childhood she would become a doctor.  She can put away the toy stethescope her father bought her when she was a little girl. She is on her way and she hopes modeling may help pay for some of her expenses.

The time just flies by when I’m on a shoot. The sun was getting lower and lower in the sky. We got ready for the wedding gown shots.  The dress was perfect for her, a feminine Cinderella gown.  The bride was glowing and her eyes twinkled as she tossed the pink rose blossoms into the air.  Mai Tai twirled on the beach and sat upon a rock in the water, oblivious her wedding gown was getting trashed. (Don’t worry, I directed her.)

The soft blue sky in one direction, the golden glow if I faced the west.  I love to shoot at this time, the possibilities with lighting are so much fun to play with.  Using filters at sunset can create beautiful photographs, as well, but this evening my lens was naked. I was using my 18-55 for the scenic approach. (When people come to Hawaii, they want to see ‘Hawaii’ in some of the background shots, damn it!)

I love to create and when Mai Tai and I got together we created a spiritual dance with our energy; from her soul, to my camera, to my soul. (Thanks for sharing Mai Tai).

The following week I researched the meaning of her name on the internet; Mai in Chinese means ocean, elegance; in Japanese it is dance and in Vietnamese it is Cherry Blossoms. Tai means big ~ and big can be placed before any dream .

Mai Tai’s parents gave her a very, special name.  It is reasonable to conclude that a Mai Tai is not just a mai-tai.