Family photos on Hawaii’s Big Island, Tran family

It’s amazing the memories we have from our childhood.

Funnily enough, those memories deeply etched in my mind are the simplest moments with my family. My parents always had time for me. They made me feel good and special and loved. I can’t thank them enough for this.

As an adult, I realize now how hard this must have been. There are a million and one things to get done during the day. But I remember how wonderful it felt to have their undivided attention, to hang out together, to chat, and to laugh…special memories that I am forever grateful for.

Photographing this wonderful family embraced all of that. Simple, pure, heartfelt moments that unfolded one after the other.

I was in awe at the way they interacted and treated each other. Such kindness, such consideration. Such love. It really was beautiful on another level.

The Tran family lives in Hilo, and they booked a staycation at the Waikoloa Marriott Resort to celebrate Lillian & Justin’s 10 year anniversary. When we discussed the setting for their family photos, we decided on nearby Waikoloa Beach. They wanted a combination of family photos as well as some romantic couples photos. I asked them what their favorite thing to do as a family was and this was it, jokes, tickles, singing, dancing, spending quality time together, so we did just that!

It’s so important to me when photographing a family session like this to let the kids be themselves, let them have fun and allow the parents to enjoy this too. I really strive to capture personalities. Life can get so chaotic, so these are the moments you will want to remember. Their little personalities (naughty and adorable), tiny teethy smiles, mischievous dimpled hands, laughter, cries, tears and all.

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Family photos by Karen Loudon
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Family photography at the Marriott Waikoloa Beach Resort
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Waikoloa family photo session, Davignon Family

Tanya and Timothy were married 20 years ago in Oahu and recently returned to celebrate with their family

Fast forward 20 years and they now have 4 older children + the eldest’s significant other came along for the vacay.

Being based in Kona, Hawaii, beach photos are something I often shoot. For this session I chose to shoot at Anaeho’omalu Bay (A-Bay) in Waikoloa. Tanya and Tim were staying at the Waikola Marriott Beach Resort & Spa, and this beach is fronting it so they were able to walk up the beach to meet me.

I love taking couples and families here because the sunset light is always nice and if we walk about 5 min to the south, around the corner is an awesome “hidden” little beach which is pretty empty. There’s also variety in this location with gardens,  kiawe (mesquite) trees and lava rocks that jut out into the ocean.

For outfits, I suggested wearing pinks, greens and blues as it always looks soft and dreamy against an ocean  palette. Long dresses like Tanya wore have great movement in the wind. How sweet are they? This was a really fun and really intimate portrait session. I look forward to many more like this!


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Waikoloa Family photography session at A-bay (Anaehoomalu Bay)

Robert and Tia Yagi met in college at University of Hawaii in Hilo and fell in love at first sight, 9 years later and 1 year into their marriage a little blessing was born. Kainoa James Yagi-born July 10, 2014. Born just weeks before Hurricane Iselle hit the East Side of the Big Island and in Pele’s direct path of her current flow this family came to overcome so much right from the start. This session was a nice break from the scary reality of nature’s destruction for the Yagi family. At 8 weeks old this was Kainoa’s first time not only to the West Side of the island but the first time to the beach. He loved squishing his feet around in the sand and even fell asleep to the sound of the waves crashing behind them. They are so happy to have had these pictures taken of Kai-they cherish them. Babies are only so small for so long-he almost looks like a doll in most of the pictures. They used the picture of their feet in the sand as their Christmas card to send out to their families on the mainland.

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Shediac family photography, Laforest-Bastarache family

I was so excited to take family photos for my best friend France and her extended family.  While on vacation on the East Coast of Canada , I managed to pin this family down for a photography session, which was no small feat! I have known France since I was all of 13 years old when her family moved to our town and we became pretty much inseparable until high school graduation (as well as very good at getting into trouble together!).  I know these personalities and what the REAL dynamics and expressions SHOULD be.  I think I managed to capture the love and craziness between all of these amazing people.  I love you guys!

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Big Island family photography, the Dukes at the Mauna Lani

I met up with The Duke Family yesterday at the Mauna Lani Resort, one of my favorite locations for a beach session! Our session has been originally scheduled for the day before but it has been really windy and besides that, the Dukes found themselves exhausted after a misguided hike to the blue lagoon, so we decided to reschedule for the following day. It turned out to be a great decision, the weather was  perfect, and I was able to capture some beautiful sunset shots! Just watching the way this entire family interacted with each other, you could completely feel the love between them! They were so kind and warm, I felt so at home with them! There are many beautiful images from this session and I just can’t wait to share them, but for now please enjoy this sneak peek. Happy Saturday!

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Contest: Win a photography portrait session on the Big island of Hawaii

win a photography portrait contest


1. Create a pinboard and “be creative” with the title
2. Pin at least 10 images from with the hashtag ‪#‎KarenLoudonPhotography‬
3. Post the link on your Facebook wall

Prize: A portrait session of your choice (engagement/family/maternity/boudoir/trash the dress) with Karen Loudon

-Entrants will be judged on the best pinboard, the winner will be announced on August 31!

The Dishon Family, A-Bay, Waikoloa

I am loving my family beach photo sessions!  This family was visiting from California, and had a very windy day at A-bay (Anaeho’omalu Bay), Waikoloa for a beach photo session.  The kids were a lot of fun – they started off not really looking too keen to have their pictures taken, but ended up telling jokes and making everybody laugh.  I loved photographing them at the water’s edge, jumping in the sunset and enjoying each other. 

The Banache Family, Mauna Lani Resort, Big Island of Hawaii

If you had to ask me what I love most about photography, it would be the ability to photograph everything and everyone. I don’t limit myself to one type of session. One of my favorite sessions has to be photographing families. The Banache family was no exception. Emma and Coulton were willing to be silly at any time, and were also great with their sweet twin baby sisters who were 6 months old! …… aren’t they just the cutest little things you have ever seen? I had a blast capturing the Banaches on their family vacation at the Mauna Lani Resort. Here are a few of my favorite shots!