After photographing their Voodoo wedding in New Orleans, I promised Maya and Justin that I would visit them on Maui. Every few weeks, I would get a little nudge from Justin, be it a smiley face text message or quick line on Facebook. He wanted to make sure I didn’t forget my promise- and I didn’t. Just a month ago, I followed through and made my first trip to the beautiful island of Maui.
My boyfriend and I were treated to an experience of the island that the average tourist does not receive. From the airport, we were swept away down the famed Road to Hana. But instead of ending the twisty, turny, often single-laned insanity of a drive at the “seven sacred pools” and turning back like most would, we continued for another half an hour until we arrived at our peaceful home for the week in Kipahulu. We awoke every morning to an unmatched view of the ocean and on clear days we could see the Big Island keeping Maui company. Justin and Maya really rolled out the red carpet for us, treating us to home cooked meals, fresh coconut and fruit from the farm’s groves, and taking us to the best beaches and day trips that Maui had to offer. On some days, it felt like we were on our own private island.
We also spent a week in Haiku, a small town much closer to civilization than Kipahulu. There we were treated to BBQ’s and birthday parties, nights of Lucas Nelson (Willie Nelson’s son) singing to intimate crowds, sea turtles, and more Poke than I could ever hope to eat in a lifetime. It was a completely different experience than Kipahulu and our trip to Maui would not have been complete without it.
Since the original plan had been to visit Maui in order to photograph Justin and Maya’s island wedding, I thought it only fitting that we do a newlywed session together in Hawaii. Their wedding perfectly summed up their unique love- the melding of two interesting, fun and creative people. I love that I was able to show that in their wedding photography here in New Orleans. But I also wanted to show the world the other side of this couple- a duo of sun-soaked, salty-skinned, beach-loving, ocean-dwelling, beautiful people. After living a little piece of their magical lives with them in Maui, I knew exactly how to show that side of them in my photography. We hiked down to the beach next to Mama’s Fish House (only the most beautiful dining experience Maui has to offer!) and shot together while the sun set behind the far side of the island. After hopping from slick rock to rock and wading through salty ocean water to capture their photos, I knew for certain that I must return to the island to photograph a full wedding there.
Without further adieu, I give to you Justin and Maya’s Maui Newlywed Portraits.