Planning a trip to the Big Island and want to get awesome Big Island family photos? Keep scrolling to find out how to book affordable Big Island photographers for your vacation!
This post about affordable Big Island photographers and how to take Kona family photos was written by Hawaii travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Are you visiting the Big Island with your family?
If so, you’re going to want to book a Big Island photography session. We love Flytographer and have used them on many trips to Hawaii. They have become our favorite Hawaii vacation photographers.
I recently went to the Big Island with my son, so we had a Big Island photography session done at a Kona beach that gave us amazing photos!
Keep scrolling to find out why we are repeat Flytographer customers and how you can find an affordable Big Island photographer.
You won’t regret booking one of these sessions for your trip! It will be worth every penny spent because it is such an amazing experience that will last forever in pictures.
Our family has been using Flytographer for years now because they take great photos and make us feel comfortable during our photo shoots.
They also have packages that fit any budget, which makes this service accessible for everyone who wants professional-quality photos from their travels without breaking the bank account.
These photographers know all of the best Big Island photography spots where they can capture beautiful moments between families or couples enjoying time together on vacation in paradise!
I specifically looked for photographers in Kona because of the unique Hawaiian landscape. Kona Hawaii photos are just absolutely gorgeous.
Scroll down for my top Hawaii photographer tips, and check out some of our favorite shots from this Kona photo shoot!
You also will learn how to get your own Big Island Hawaii family photographer for stunning photos on this beautiful island.
Don’t have time to read many Hawaii blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting the Big Island.
Popular Big Island Tours/Activities
- Manta Ray Snorkeling Tour (you can ONLY do this on the Big Island)
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tour (this is the BEST way to see lava if you aren’t renting a car)
- Mauna Kea Stargazing Tour (this is a cool adventure for teens and adults)
- Swim with Dolphins (this is a unique experience for kids of all ages and adults)
- Kona ATV Tour (we love this one because they also do cultural activities)
- Book a Photo Shoot (this is a Hawaii souvenir you’ll treasure forever)
Favorite Big Island Resorts/Hotels
- Hilton Waikoloa Village (this is a mega resort where you can swim with dolphins or just enjoy their massive pool area)
- Courtyard by Marriott’s King Kamehameha Beach Hotel (this is a moderately-priced Kona hotel right on a little lagoon)
- Fairmont Orchid (this is a swanky resort with an awesome pool area and beach)
Want to Rent a Car in Hawaii?
One of the best places to rent a car in Hawaii is Discount Hawaii Car Rental because they get the best rates from top national companies like Alamo, Dollar, Thrifty, Avis, Enterprise, Budget, and Payless.
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Big Island Itinerary, complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
Why are Big Island Vacation Photos Important?
The Big Island is HUGE, and it’s really easy to fill up a Big Island itinerary with tons of activities and sightseeing adventures. That means you’ll probably end up with a photo stream on your phone with a lot of quick selfies or snapshots with mediocre lighting.
I always hate looking back on my photos and wishing I had a few “good” shots to either share on social media, use as a Christmas card photo, or print and hang on my wall.
Since I hate living life with regrets, I’ve learned to always hire a professional photographer when we take “big” trips someplace cool. And that definitely includes a photoshoot in Hawaii.
Hiring a Kona family photographer is an investment that is worth every penny because now those vacation memories live forever when looking back at all these great pics from this trip!
I want to look back and see the amazing time I had doing a solo trip with my 5-year-old in Hawaii. And not just selfies, but good quality photos of us all together so that no matter what happens tomorrow, we can always remember how much fun it was being “travel buddies” on this epic adventure.
You can never have too many beautiful family photographs in Hawaii. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would find such an amazing Kona photographer to capture the natural beauty and the joy we had on our special day. She captured the day perfectly and it was worth every penny.
Why You Should Hire a Big Island Photographer
Over the years, I’ve learned what things to outsource in order to save myself time and stress.
In the past, my husband did our family photography. This meant he was always hauling heavy equipment at every family event or vacation we went on. And sometimes, he’d be so focused on scenic photography that he would forget to take photos of our kids!
That being said, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I decided to start hiring a professional photographer anytime we planned a trip somewhere fun. I book our vacation photographer at the same time I’m planning our other activities.
I’ve found that Flytographer photographers always know the coolest spots for family photos. So, I just take a look at the options and pick the one that looks like our style. I like that they had plenty of great Big Island Hawaii photographers to choose from too.
Hiring a vacation photographer is like hiring a personal travel buddy whose only focus is getting gorgeous photos of you and your family.
My 5-year-old son appreciated the fact that he only needed to be “camera-ready” for a short time. It’s less stressful for me knowing we got a few good shots, and then he can play. Plus, we usually get some sneaky fun shots of him!
But, there are 4 other cool benefits I want to talk about why you should do family pictures in Kona. Check out the latest prices and more details.
1. SECRET INSIDER TIPS
No one knows the best places to take photos better than local photographers! That makes sense, right?
Luckily for you, Kona, Hawaii, is home to some of the most stunning sunset photography spots in all of the United States.
A skilled and knowledgeable Kona resident will know just about every spot that’s perfect for your photo exterior needs: great angles, beautiful natural light, and interesting backgrounds.
Plus, they can also chat about other cool things to do in Kona with kids.
Our photographer Amanda had a toddler at home, so she knew ALL the best places to play in the Kona area. She gave me a tip about an awesome playground up in Waimea that we ended up playing at the next day.
She also shared a few of her favorite coffee shops and “pretty” places to grab a bite. Plus, they can share their favorite Big Island Instagram spots!
2. POSING HELP
I always let our photographers know that I feel super awkward in front of the camera. I never know how to pose my body in a flattering way or how to change up my poses, so I get a variety of photos.
Thankfully, there’s a spot on the Flytographer form where you can let them know how much direction you’d like during your shoot. You can do a completely posed photo shoot, a free-for-all, or something in between.
If you pick one of the recommended routes, your photographer has probably photographed a TON of people there. That means they can share some of the best poses for that backdrop. I mean, no need to reinvent the wheel, right?
A good vacation photographer knows how important looking attractive is during their shoots. So, they can help you find a natural expression but also pose you in a way that works with the lighting.
All of the Kailua-Kona photographers we used knew exactly how to help us pose and look more natural.
3. CAN LEAVE YOUR GEAR AT HOME
Another reason why hiring a Hawaii vacation photographer is a smart idea is that you won’t have to carry all your photography equipment around.
My husband usually does the majority of our travel photography, but he carries the world’s heaviest backpack with his fancy camera and several lenses. He knows not to leave it in our rental car, so that means it’s just one more thing we need to carry everywhere we go on trips!
Plus, if you are traveling with kids (like us), you probably already feel like a pack mule. It also helps my mental burden by not having them worry about getting the perfect ‘Instagram shot.’
Let the photographers on the Big Island of Hawaii take care of that for you!
4. THEY ARE FUN + EASY!
We usually let everyone in our family pick a Hawaii activity to add to our itinerary. I always pick a Flytographer photo shoot because I always have a blast choosing our outfits and accessories. And I know I’ll end up with pretty pictures of my family that I literally can’t do on my own.
What’s great about these photos, too, is they are basically the best Hawaiian souvenir ever. It’s something that will make you smile for years to come, especially as your kids grow older.
What’s also great is that your vacation photographer is in charge, and you can just follow their lead while taking in all the gorgeous Kona scenery!
Plus, I also appreciate all the tips I get about other things to do or places to eat from people who live locally and know what’s worth recommending. Plus, look at these gorgeous sunset photos!
How to Book Affordable Big Island Photographers
While we’ve used a lot of different vacation photographers throughout the years, some of my most memorable experiences have been through Flytographer.
Basically, it’s a concierge vacation photography website where you can find photographers almost anywhere in the world, including the Big Island. Actually, they have tons of photographers in Hawaii. Find the best prices here.
Flytographer makes it easy to choose the perfect Big Island family photographer. You can find out all about their photography style and favorite places to take photos, and even scroll through their online portfolio featured work before you book your shoot!
And Flytographer’s booking process is simple and quick — just pick your preferred dates with a click of a button.
They will then check the availability of Kona Hawaii photographers for you so that there’s no stress involved in selecting an available date or time slot when they get back to you with more information on what works best for them!
What I love most about Flytographer is that they are FAST! We sometimes receive our photos before the end of our trip! I love looking at them on our flight home.
These photographers in Kona, Hawaii, always captured our special moments perfectly.
We did this Kona photo shoot on a Tuesday night, and I got our photos during lunch on Friday! Talk about the best family photographers Kona Hawaii has to offer!
What to Wear for Big Island Family Photos
Of course, you can wear whatever you like for your Hawaii family photos. But, I know some people like to get ideas, so I’m listing a few options to add to your Big Island packing list to make your photos pop.
I’m sure you’ve seen the photos of friends or family who have donned Aloha shirts and Hawaiian dresses for their professional portraits.
It’s a timeless look that never goes out of style, but it can be pretty pricey to outfit everyone in these outfits every time you want new photos!
Luckily there are plenty of affordable options if you’re in Kona looking for something fun to wear at your shoot – check with Amazon, Ross, Walmart, or Target first before buying from high-end designers like Reyn Spooner.
If Hawaiian prints aren’t quite your thing, you can always choose a nice maxi dress.
It looks great to have some members of your family wear Aloha print dresses or shirts while others in the pictures are wearing solid colors that coordinate well.
A similar option is to go for an airy skirt, like a flowy maxi one, that will add movement and flair when photographed against tropical tradewinds!
Aloha shirts are great, but if it’s not your style, don’t sweat it. Wearing all white (or light colors) can look awesome against a bright tropical background!
You can also have each member of your family wear different shades or colors to make their clothes match and be cohesive. Or why not choose an awesome theme like a pastel rainbow?
If your hotel or resort provides complimentary fresh flower leis, keep them in the fridge until your photo shoot. The same goes for luaus. That way, you can get another use out of them! Or swing by Walmart or KTA to get one from the floral section.
Another popular thing to wear for Hawaiian photography sessions are Hawaiian flower crowns (commonly called haku lei or lei po’o).
These have been around for decades, but people all over Instagram and other social media sites are grabbing them up to wear during their photo shoots.
There are quite a few places to find lei po’o on the Big Island. Just check Instagram or any florist shop.
After your photo shoot, keep it in the fridge. Just put a wet paper towel over the top or slip it in a plastic bag so it stays fresh – the perfect way to wear the flowers another day (or two)!
5 Tips for Getting Awesome Hawaii Family Pictures
While some photographers Big Island Hawaii offers will have tips of their own, I wanted to include a couple of things that have worked well for our family.
1. DO YOUR HAIR AND MAKEUP
Do you ever take that washed-out, natural-looking selfie? It’s not just the lighting and photo editing. All of those selfies on social media can make us all look a little bit older than we are!
That is why last year when I started wearing makeup for my photos (foundation, lipstick, mascara, and even a little blush).
I used to have my hair in tight ponytails without realizing it looked weird when you took photos. But now that we’re all about looking good for pictures these days, I always pack some essential items like flat irons and curling wands. I’m pretty obsessed with this curling wand.
Another option is to wear your hair up in a bun during the day and then let it down for your photos. It usually produces natural, beachy waves that look effortless and chic.
If you really want to look amazing (or it’s a special occasion like your wedding day), go and get your hair and makeup professionally done at a local spa or salon.
2. WATCH POSING VIDEOS
When people take photos of me, I never know what to do with my hands because it feels so awkward. In every photo, they end up doing the same thing over and over again- resulting in pictures that aren’t at all how we pictured it would be!
That was disappointing for a while until one friend suggested watching posing videos on YouTube, which helped us figure out easy poses that look natural yet pulled together without being too stiff or goofy looking.
I always get excited when she tells me about these new ideas because then our shoot gets more interesting than just sitting around waiting but still looks effortless from start to finish.
This is one of my favorite posing videos because it breaks down a few easy poses that anyone can do.
Watching how-to pose videos has helped me figure out what to do with my hands, where to look, and how many ways there are for flattering your body.
Not only that, but you can get ideas on interacting cutely with kids, which will be adorable in pictures.
3. GET PHOTOS WITH YOUR PARTNER
One of the things I notice most about doing family photography on vacation is that we usually get a lot of full family photos or photos just of the kids. We rarely get “couple” photos.
Now I know this photo shoot didn’t include my husband, so I’ll talk about what we usually do for family photo shoots.
I usually start off every Hawaii photo shoot requesting a few photos of just the two of us at some point during the shoot, in case I forget.
When you really think about it, this might be your best chance of getting any photos with your partner during your entire trip.
4. COME UP WITH A SHOT LIST
One of the most important things that you can do for your photographer in Hawaii is to chat about your vision of what photos you’d like to come out of the session.
I’ve found it super helpful, especially when doing multi-generational vacations, to think about any family member combinations you want to make sure happen. That way, you don’t look back and regret not getting a photo of your kids with Grandma.
Scrolling through their Instagram page or checking out their portfolio on the Flytographer website should give some great ideas for poses you like and creative shots.
5. USE PROPS
One last tip for getting the best Big Island family photos is to include props.
Kids tend to relax a bit when they can keep their hands busy by holding something or doing an activity. It helps avoid the awkward “cheese” face so many kids pull as they get older, and it’s also a good way of having them participate in making their own memories!
Some ideas include ukuleles, surfboards, fresh flower leis (which you can make yourself), beach balls, signs made out of cardboard that say things like “I love my mom” or whatever your heart desires.
But you don’t even have to buy them.
For this Big Island photo shoot, my son ended up picking up a rock (which he named Rocky) and carrying it through a lot of the Kona photography session.
Photographers in Hawaii Island FAQs
Once you have a rough outline of your itinerary, you should definitely contact Flytographer to see which photographers are available on your preferred dates. The photographers on the Big Island usually shoot early in the morning or right before sunset in order to get the best lighting. That means their premium times might get booked up quickly. Ideally, you should schedule this for one of the first few days of your trip. That way, people don’t show up with sunburns. Plus, you’ll have an option to reschedule due to weather.
The best Big Island Hawaii photographer experience with kids is usually a 60-minute photo shoot. That way, you have enough time in case of meltdowns or emergencies but not enough time for your kids to get too bored before it’s over for a wonderful experience. If you are doing multi-generational Hawaii family portraits with large groups, they recommend 90 minutes so that the photographer can capture all those special moments and still have plenty of extra footage if anything goes wrong!
Yes, it’s customary to tip your photographer in Hawaii. You can do a cash tip at the time of your Kona family photography shoot.
You can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for Kona Hawaii photographs for your photo session. It will also depend on how many people in your party, what time of day, and how long your session lasts. If you plan to do various Big Island photography locations during your session, it will also cost more.
Big Island Photographers Wrap-Up
Get your Big Island family photos taken by one of the best photographers in Hawaii Big Island.
From Waikoloa photographers to ones on the Kohala Coast, you will find some of the best Hawaii photographers with Flytographer.
Remember to wear colors that pop so you can have an awesome photo session in Hawaii. Make sure to follow these tips for getting perfect pictures, too!
Now get ready for some fun in paradise – it’s time to start looking at those cute kiddos again and plan how they’ll look when they’re standing next to that iconic Hawaiian landmark or lagoon.