A Focus On Keiki Photography
Darla and Todd Smith of Aloha Island Photography are breaking the stereotype of the formal studio portrait and session. From the moment you enter the front door of their beautiful two-story Kapolei home, it’s evident that they live and breathe their passion for photography. The first floor has been transformed into a studio, complete with colorful backdrops, lighting and props.
“We don’t want you to realize that this is still a house. We looked very specifically for a place like this,” says Todd, referring to the vaulted ceiling, bamboo flooring and natural light that floods through the windows. “This is a business we take seriously, but we also cater to our clients so they feel ‘at home’ here.”
Originally from Pennsylvania, the Smiths, along with their two children Nick, 4, and Sadie, 3, moved to the Islands earlier this year after having visited in 2009. Combining their love for island culture and passion for photography, they founded their business in June. Specializing in photographing newborns to 3-year-olds, the Smiths have taken advantage of marketing resources such as the recent Baby Expo.
“Business has been really good. There seems to be a lot of interest for what we do and we’ve really been enjoying meeting people in the community,” says Darla, who’s been working as a professional photographer for the last two-and-a-half years.
“It’s not an in-and-out type of studio. I like to work with the babies and kids and catch their true personality in candid shots with bright colors. There’s lots of smiles, not stiff poses.
“With newborns, I usually ask the moms to book an appointment two months in advance when they’re still expecting. We reserve their due date on our calendar and they call us when they’ve had the baby, and usually within the first two weeks they bring the baby in,” she adds.
“The studio will be pretty warm, around 90 degrees, to keep the baby sleepy and we just go from there. We have lots of baskets, hats and different props that we use for them. As long as the babies have a full belly and are kept warm, they usually sleep well and it works really well for us.”
Darla and Todd utilize the highest quality camera equipment and incorporate the latest technology into their
work. For example, iPads are used for proofing, and all editing is done on a Mac. Yet it is the complete experience clients receive from the start to end of a photo session that means the most to them.
“We’ve really tried to bring in a boutique feel to our studio. What sets us apart and makes us unique from other studios is the customization that we provide,” explains Todd, who is responsible for the marketing aspect of the company. “We want families to come in and bring their props that mean something special to them. We also offer refreshments.
“We want people to have a different feel and what we’ve tried to concentrate on are a variety of factors. Right
from the get-go we have no session fees. We feel like families should be able to come see our work - let us prove ourselves. This isn’t your normal, traditional venue. It’s so important that our clients understand this as a safe, clean and healthy environment,” he says.
Photo packages range from $250 to $1,000 and include anything from prints to canvases and digital images on CD. A military discount is available, and there is a referral program as well.
For more information on Aloha Island Photography or to book a photo session, call 341-2219 or visit alohaislandphotography.com.
E-mail this story | Print this page | Comments (0) | Archive | RSS Comments (0) |
Most Recent Comment(s):