Hawaii Engagement Session | Destination LGBT Wedding Photographer

July 20, 2020

Photographing this same-sex engagement session on the Big Island of Hawaii was full of laughs, adventure, and amazing ocean views

What’s better than a destination engagement session? When that engagement session is in Hawaii, and is basically an adventure session around an incredible private property.

Same-sex engagement session Hawaii - Kathryn Cooper Weddings - 2 women walk through the rainforest

I was delighted to capture the adventure engagement session of Kat & Bliss, two hard-working women who met in Minnesota and have traveled to multiple continents for work and adventure. Their infectious laughs and grins made my job easy (not that being a destination wedding photographer in Hawaii is exactly difficult).

These two had their destination wedding on the island where I used to live: Big Island! Because they hadn’t had time to explore the island, I drove them around some of my favorite parts of Hilo and Papaikou—the rainforests, some waterfalls, a little ocean hike on the Onomea Bay Trail, and a gorgeous private residence. I used to live in the northern part of Big Island, and worked with couples, companies, and families in Waikoloa and Waimea as an elopement and wedding photographer in Hawaii. And right away, capturing this same-sex couple’s engagement photos with their delightful grins was EASY.

If you’re wanting an adventure session in Hawaii, you can’t go wrong on any of the islands—though Kauai and Big Island are my favorites. As a Big Island wedding photographer and destination wedding photographer, I can say that my favorite places are Pahoa, Akaka Falls, and Pololu on Big Island; and the Na Pali coast and Wailua Falls on Kauai. Maui is also awesome for waterfalls and adventure, and Oahu has some secret spots as well. Still, no place has the variety Big Island has! It’s no wonder that people from around the world flock to Hawaii to experience not just manta ray snorkeling and surfing, but amazing rainforests, crazy hikes, volcanoes, and more. There’s just no place like the Islands of Hawaii.

Almost any way you look at it, Hawaii engagement photos and a Hawaii destination wedding are awesome options. Except during ‘Rona, of course. The Hawaii Tourism Authority is enforcing a mandatory 14-day quarantine through at least September 1st, but let’s pray that by fall (or at least 2021), it’ll be a safe place to elope again. And if you’re just going to Hawaii for vacation, do your engagement photos there! Already married? Do an adventure session! I used to do honeymoon photography, maternity shoots, and family shoots in Hawaii—though it’s hard to beat it for just about anything (including adventure). Where else can you go to the beach, find wild chameleons in the rainforest, go swimming with dolphins, get lost in the desert, see lava bubbling from a volcano, play in snow on a mountain, and stargaze all in one day?

Kat and Bliss definitely chose the right place for their adventurous engagement session and intimate destination wedding, and I was delighted to capture it all. As a lesbian couple and POC, they also wanted to proudly incorporate their rainbow pride flag. They brought along their Philly rainbow flag, which was created to be more inclusive of people of color in the community. Learn more about the Philly flag, or get a peek at their wedding photos with the flag right here.


I miss Hawaii, and I miss these ladies. Until next time, Big Island!

If you’re a couple searching for an LGBT wedding photographer or wedding planner, head here to see my list of LGBTQ-inclusive wedding planning resources.

Kathryn Cooper Weddings | Adventurous Engagement Photographer Hawaii | Big Island LGBTQ Elopement & Destination Wedding Photographer

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You captured these two and their Hawaiian adventure magically!

Ahhh I love Hawaii! The pictures with the flags are so great and they look like they had so much fun this whole session! Great shots!

So vibrant and darling! Their smiles are incredible and that lush landscape is gorgeous!!

So vibrant and darling! Their smiles are incredible and that lush landscape is gorgeous!

SO FUN!! I can see their love and happiness through the images. LOVE IT

These are so adorable! I love the creative use of the pride flag!

Hawaii looks even more epic after seeing your photos! They had the best time I am sure!

I love this! There is so much joy in each of these images, and the colors of Hawaii are so perfect!

What an amazing location! Hawaii is out of this world! They look like they had a blast, amazing job capturing their love!

Yessss look at these two beauties, amongst the beauty of Hawaii! Their love is palpable; I’m adoring this session!

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