Thursday, June 19, 2014


Love and Family has many colors and combinations in today's society; there is no cookie-cutter version of what a family should look like anymore. And that is just wonderful; diversity makes our communities, our homes, stronger and more resilient. I wanted to share my friends' story.

I met Tee (Tanya) through mutual friends from paddling probably sometime in 2010. (photos courtesy of friends/facebook)

Later on, while photographing events around Honolulu for the newspaper and Honolulu Magazine, I would see her out with her girlfriend, Maylani. And although Maylani was shy, I managed to get a few cute shots of them together. (2011/2012)

Both ladies are dog lovers, and I almost adopted one of their rescue pups in 2013; alas it was not a good match, and I did not keep the pup.

But after that, I stayed in touch with Tee and Maylani, and was very happy when they announced they were engaged, and hāpai (pregnant)! I asked if they would be willing to do a a photo series with me, to document their journey into parenthood, and to share their story of finding a donor. Here is a post from their blog (

We began our first shoot at Lanikai Beach at Sunrise.... (January/February 2014)

   They brought their Dog Babies along for the photos; for the most part, the 6 pups cooperated. 

In February of 2014, Maylani and Tanya were married at the Queen Emma Summer Palace, in a loving, intimate ceremony with friends and family; I was honored to be a part of their beautiful day.

Baby Girl was coming soon,  so we met again in April to take some belly bump shots; the ladies were having a mini-staycation/babymoon at the Ko Olina resort, so we met at the Lagoon and we able to find some quiet spots amidst all the families and children enjoying the beach area.

A quick stop at a cute little baby Shower in May......

.....and then suddenly it was June, and Baby Girl arrived (one week early).....
Welcome to the world, 
Nawaipūnohukamakanamaikalani JosieAnn Trinity!
Family and friends stopped in to the Hospital to check on the mommies and baby; 
her Tutu (grandmother) could  not have been any prouder!

5 days later, I visited the new family at their home,
 and little Nawai (for short!) was the perfect model.

I asked Tee how they had created baby's name:

"I dreamt  '"Nawai"; Maylani dreamt "A gift, and bundle of joy"; and my good friend and Maylani's Kumu Hula (hula teacher) Ka'ilihiwa Vaughn, helped put the name together. She was driving through Punalu'u when she saw a low lying rainbow the morning baby was born(Pūnohu). Josie is Maylani's Mom's nickname, and Ann is from my Grandmother, my Mom's Mom, Annie. Trinity represents Maylani, myself and baby, and also the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Oh, and Pūnohu is my Great-Grandmother's maiden name on my Dad's side. Her name has great meaning. Lots of people are saying she's going to hate her name, we say she's going to love her name. It's original with so much meaning behind it."

The simple translation of her beautiful name is: 
Pūnohu=low rainbow

"The waters of the Rainbow are a gift to us from Heaven"

I hoped to create a fun image with the lovely Hawaiian name;
I have used blocks before to spell baby's names, but never a name that had 28 letters!!
(we almost had enough A's and N's and with some creative layout of blocks, 
and post-editing, I was able to put the entire name together.)

The Mommies were surprised when I told them they would be in the photos too!

I am so excited for the future of this beautiful family, and can't wait to watch 
Nawai grow up! The next photo session we will add in all the Dog Keiki !!

Love is love, and never forget that it comes in all sizes and colors and combinations.

A happy family is but an earlier heaven. George Bernard Shaw

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.
Alex Haley

We are born of love; Love is our mother.  Rumi

lesbian, same-sex, women, mother, family, children, infant, newborn, newborn photography, Hawaii Family Photographer, LGBT, maternity, wedding, gay wedding, lesbian wedding, equality, love is love, gender, two mommies,