Sunrise Vs. Sunset Photography in Oahu, Hawaii

Sunrise Vs. Sunset Photography in Oahu, Hawaii

I must confess, I did something I don’t typically do, I was up super super early to shoot a sunrise! Given the choice, I think that most photographers would prefer to sleep-in to conserve their energy to shoot during the day, but in this case I was super motivated to start shooting sunrises because I want to show my clients the beauty of a Hawaiian sunrise! There are also certain advantages to shooting during sunrise vs sunset and I wanted to share them with you!

For starters, there is a lot less traffic and less people at the beach! While I most certainly am not a morning person… In this case to achieve these stunning sunrise photos, I stayed up all night, mostly because I’m an night owl. I made it a fun social event, called a few friends (who were just as crazy as I was), and made myself a really big cup of coffee! We are talking…a really BIG cup of COFFEE!

Mainly, I think that most people would prefer to stay out late and not wake up until the sun has been up for a few hours, so doing something that is counter to what the “norm” will give you an edge. Just think, high tides have smooth over the sand, and everything remains as if it were untouched, capturing that less populated, dreamy beach scape, for that Surprise Engagement Proposal or Destination Wedding.

Where as if you were to plan a photo shoot during sunset you would have to contend with everyone else who is looking for that prime spot to capture their moment. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the endless stream of Wedding or Engaged couples lined up at Ala Moana Beach Park.

Watching a Hawaiian Sunrise or a Sunset is highly recommended! Add it to your “Must Do List” while you are vacationing in Hawaii. It is absolutely stunning and full of majestic colors!

As a local I have grown to appreciate Sunrise and Sunset for its wonder and beauty as there is never a sunrise or sunset is ever the same. However, I am no morning bird, but I prefer to shoot earlier rather than later even if it comes with some discomfort and loss of sleep.

On Oahu, there is a certain crispness in the air during these early mornings. Everything around me feels fresh, cool, and crisp. I feel like the sky is just a little bit brighter, everyone and everything is waking up and putting their best foot forward. The whole day is still ahead. The sunrise is a reminder that we should look forward to and welcome the rest of day.

Also, from a more technical photographer’s perspective, I strongly urge my clients to take advantage of the best possible lighting called “Golden Hour” also called “Magic Hour.” it is the first hour after sunrise and last hour of light before the sunset. During this time the sun is low to the horizon which provides a nice soft light which is very flattering. It’s such a dramatic change compared to the harsh shadows of the strong Hawaiian midday sun.
The warmth of the morning sun also adds a type of serenity and ambiance to the image capturing more depth and detail than any other time of day. These layers upon layers of detail greatly contribute and add so much to the final product.

During the summer months on Oahu, Hawaii the East side of the island offers the best locations for a sunrise engagement proposal, destination wedding, or family portrait photo session. The colors tend to be unpredictable, as they are based on weather conditions, but it is certainly worth chasing! There is a range of colors which span the spectrum from blue, purple, and pink hues to colors which set the sky ablaze for that perfectly romantic and magical moment.

For more information or to book me for your Sunrise or Sunset Surprise Proposal, Engagement, Destination Wedding, or Family Portrait Photo Session please send me a message! I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts.



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