Back then I was just toying with the idea, but I started Google searching Hawaii photographers. You can imagine the long list I got in return! Obviously there are a lot of photographers in Hawaii...I mean, when you live in paradise, you can't really go wrong!
I started first with the ones that had websites, of course. I narrowed it down to ones that had the style and feel I was looking for. I'm not even sure how many I contacted or e-mailed. I even asked one of Chuck's friends in HI if she knew of anyone that was good, but affordable. Everyone I contacted was either too expensive or they wouldn't let us print the pictures on our own. Things weren't really looking good.
I prayed to God to either help with my search or give me acceptance that it wouldn't happen. The next day I come across Jana Morgan's website. I fell in love with her photos and her style. But I thought, "Man, she's good! We probably won't be able to afford her..." So at first, I just drooled and wished.
My day went on and I searched some more. I even went on the Honolulu Craigslist to see if there were any affordable photographers. And what do I see? An ad that Jana placed in Craigslist! Not just one, but I kept seeing her ad every few entries. So I finally thought, "What the heck? Wouldn't hurt to contact her."
So I filled out the little contact form on her site (You know? Standard name, e-mail, phone, description...). I told her our situation: that we just got engaged, love Hawaii, I'm obsessed with getting our e-pictures done while we were there and (most importantly) we didn't have much money to spend. Okay, hit send.
I was actually greeted with an e-mail from Jana later that night. It started off with: "Is that a 407 area code?!" Turns out, Jana and her husband used to live in Orlando! She and her husband lived in the Waterford area. She also went to school in Sarasota and they had just visited his family near Lakeland during the holidays. Small friggin' world!
YES! Something in common that I can cling to! We started e-mailing back and forth and I explained to her more about our situation. I was really drawn to her because she just seemed like a genuinely kind soul. It radiated in her e-mails. Not to mention she was totally in our budget AND she was letting us have shared rights to our pictures! Ask and you shall receive...
We set up a time to meet her and her husband, David, for lunch at Cholo's (THE BEST Mexican restaurant on the North Shore--maybe ever) that first Sunday we were in Hawaii. Over lunch we found out that David was born and raised near Lakeland and graduated from UCF. And his favorite movie of all time is Dumb & Dumber! (Oh my goodness, they might as well call themselves family!). So Chuck and David bonded over redneck relatives and Dumb & Dumber quotes. :)
Our engagement session was fantastic! As you can see:
You can view the rest of our engagement photos here on Pictage. The online album is available until June 12, so you've got some time if you haven't seen all the pictures yet.
We ended up hanging out with them a few more times during our trip. It was seriouly like hanging out with old friends! They're awesome! From hanging out at Waiola's and getting shave ice...
or hanging with them in Waikiki for our last day...
We certainly have been blessed with awesome new friends! We hope to see them again soon! Until then... "Goodbye, my loooooooovveee!"