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  • Aloha!!!

    Hi! This is the photography and lifestyle blog of Sheena Bean of Photography In the Light. I am a lifestyle photographer based in Kauai, Hawaii. I moved here with my family in January of 2015. My husband is the youth pastor at Lihue Missionary Church and we are raising three little world changers, Noakea, Banyan, and Avenlea Wren. This is His story, our story, and little snippets of life on a 562 square mile rock in the middle of the Pacific.

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The Bean Family Chronicles {Fishing With Daddy, or It’s Vest Season}

Over the summer, the Bean boys acquired a Jon boat from a friend.  Apparently, growing up in the South means that learning to fish is a given, and Austin decided it was time for his sons to learn the fine art of landing a bass.  Unfortunately, they have gotten skunked more often than they would like (sorry, baby, just being honest).  Two days ago, though, it was nice and cool and overcast, i.e. prime fish slaying weather.  The fisherboys/men had a couple hours after work before the sun set and the ventured off to a little canal near the house to try their luck.

Before they headed out, I was dressed the little guys in some layers because it was pretty cool and damp out.  Noa just got a new vest for fall/winter and Banyan, thankfully, had one up in the size 3 box in the attic.  I say thankfully, because Banyan is really really really into matching his big bro right now.  It’s comical most of the time, but they dont have all of the same clothes, obviously, so it can be a bit of a tantrum inducer sometimes.  I loved seeing them all suited up in their flannel shirts and vests.  When we lived in Hawaii I always missed fall dressing and fall weather.  I love seeing the kids decked out in beanies, jackets, and boots.  It’s so cute <3

Avenlea had just aroused from her afternoon nap (I can’t wait till she’s down to just one nap), so I brought her outside to bid farewell to the seafaring pirates.  I’m glad she was in a smily mood, because I love these pictures of her.

This is her default face.  Austin and I always comment that she seems so stoic most of the time.  Luckly, it’s pretty easy to coax a smile out of her.

Case in point……i’ve never known a baby who keeps her tongue out as much as this girl.

“Mommy, take a serious fisherman picture of us.”  (nice photo bomb, Avenlea)

“Aww, we want to take a picture with her tummy in it,” – Noakea

He’ll be 7 in 3 months.  Bittersweet, but i’m so thankful for a healthy, growing, vibrant kiddo who is so full of life, energy, and happiness.

I have a picture of Noa from this age (3) doing the same thing.  Sippy cup for the win!!

Her smile slays me every time.  She has eyes like Noa.  So many colors once you get close.

Working on her cheesy toddler smile.

“Mommy, it’s like we have our own touch-n-feel tank like the aquarium.” – Noakea (someone is easily impressed)

To think I ever wished that Banyan had been a girl.  God so knew that these two needed each other <3 <3

Lol…..Mr. Bean won’t like this picture of him, but I love any shot that has the three of them together.  Especially when they match.

“Mommy, take a picture of me through the car window!”

Disclaimer: It was about 63 degrees out when these pictures were taken.  I know they’re dressed for colder weather, but that’s because they were going out on the water.  Avenlea, in her tee shirt and no shoes, is not as cold as you’d think.

October 11, 2013 - 3:23 pm

Ally - Oh the Bean boys…so cute!

October 11, 2013 - 3:35 pm

Donna Weiss - Great pictures. My boys loved going fishing too. Bob’s dad lived on the lake so they went on lots of fishing trips. It’s wonderful bonding time.

The Bean Family Chronicles {Daddy’s Boy, or Fingertip Smashing Roulette}

Four years ago, when the Bean family was house hunting for a new place to settle, one of Austin’s “must-haves” was a garage.  After 4 years of repairing cars, building boats, and fixing motorcycles from the parking lot of our apartment complex in Hawaii, he definitely was looking forward to having a garage to call his own.  Unbeknownst to us, our two boys would also call the garage their own, and together, father and sons would spend many memorable hours working, talking, and building together in their little hideaway.

We are fortunate to be able to live close enough to work that Daddy is able to come home for lunch.  Since Noa is in school, it has become a sweet time of day for Austin to spend with Banyan.  Yesterday, Austin spent his lunch hour working on some boat stuff in the garage so Banyan took the opportunity to tag along and do a “project” of his own.  Both of the boys love hammering nails (or screws) into any wood they can find.  We always laugh when we find random nails hammered into the strangest places in the garage.  Luckily, this time, Banyan managed to keep his nails all on one piece of wood.

Sometimes I get busy during the day and forget to take the time to get pictures of the kids doing the day-to-day things that make our lives so memorable.  Posed pictures are great, but I know I will look back on these kind of shots and be transported back to these precious moments for years to come.  I love how his little fingers hold the nails, how intently he has to concentrate so that he doesn’t pound his fingers, and I love how he kneels down to be just the right height to reach that work bench.  The bench, by the way, was built and used by Austin’s grandfather, a talented woodworker.  Banyan’s middle name is Arvin, after his great-grandpa.  I can’t help but think he is smiling down from Heaven watching his blue-eyed clone hone in his woodworking skills on that treasured bench.

October 10, 2013 - 3:24 pm

Donna Weiss - What sweet pictures. His other great grandfather enjoyed wood working too. He may grow up to be a great craftsman.

October 10, 2013 - 3:28 pm

Ally - So cute!

October 10, 2013 - 3:54 pm

Sabrina - i love these! You capture the best candid photos!

October 11, 2013 - 12:39 am

Amy - Oh Sheena, those are precious pictures. What wonderful memories! Those are the things that the kids will remember forever!!! My memory is terrible- but I remember going to the dump with Granpa on Sundays and getting a bag to fill with penny candy! Lol those lovely little precious moments!

Eastern North Carolina Photographer {Families: The Moodys}

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” – Proverbs 27:17

There are few things in life which I value as much a a true friend.  I have often said that, being from a military upbringing, I treasure a good life-long friend in a way that is hard for others to understand.  Throughout my life, I have had to make and leave hosts of friends.  Since I was a little girl, I learned that when a true friendship is forged, time and distance do nothing but cement it in place.

As a married adult, I have had to make many tearful goodbyes to dear friends.  Some of these people, I know, were only in my life for a short season and I am ok with that.  I definitely don’t feel the need to painstakingly maintain every single friendship I have.  Not that it makes those friendships any less valuable, but I know that some people are in our lives for a specific purpose and that after that purpose is fulfilled, our next meeting will be in Glory.

There are, however, other friendships that I know will endure no matter the time, distance, or life stage that happens to intersect the relationship.  There are times in life when you meet someone and as you get to know them and as you start to “do life” with them,  you know that God has sent them into your life to be a sweet gift to carry with you throughout.  There are a handful of people  who I consider these kinds of friends and I am always amazed and so incredible grateful when God brings them into my life.  It seems like no matter where we settle or no matter what stage of life we are in, that God always makes sure that we have faithful brothers and sisters alongside us.

I say all that, because I feel so so very thankful, blessed, and honored to call this family one of our most endearing friends.  There is something about having a friend who is in the same stage of life as you and who so seamlessly blends into the fabric of your family that can only be attributed to the blessing of God.  We have shared so many precious moments with this family over the last couple years.  I have cried with this mamma and laughed myself to tears with her.  We have nurtured each others children and made fun of each others husbands.

While I know that our lives will not always be woven together the way they are now, I am so exceedingly thankful for this sweet season of my life.  As the Bean family prepares for new horizons in our future, it is a bittersweet sorrow to think about not being able to see this family as a day-to-day basis.  I know from experience, however, that the best friendships are the ones that somehow manage to overcome and grow regardless of location.  I have no doubt whatsoever that we will be vacationing with this amazing group and hanging out on each others porches until we are all old and grey.  Until then, though, I will treasure the days we have right now, because they are so so wonderful, indeed.

I couldn’t end this indulgent post without a shout out to other friends who I feel just as blessed to call my own…….Miquela, Summer, Emily, Lindsay, Hayley, Kim, Whitney……I know that distance is not on our sides right now, but you are in my thoughts often and I love you all dearly <3  Come to NC, let me take pictures of you, and then I can write an homage to you guys as well <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

October 10, 2013 - 1:01 am

Emily - Sheena your words are so beautiful, as are you and your photography!!! I’m so blessed and honored to be considered one of your life friends. You are certainly one of mine.

Eastern North Carolina Photographer {Proposal: Chris and Jill}

Time: 4:30 in the afternoon

Date: September 21st

Location: Corolla Lighthouse

Temperature: 78 degrees

Weather: Impending Doom

Atmosphere: LOOOOOOOOOOOVE is in the air

EXTREME stealth-iness required.  DO NOT BLOW YOUR COVER!!!

Photographers disclaimer: It was dark when these images were taken, so shutter speeds were in the 50-100 range and ISO was around 700….i.e. grain and blur.  It happens.  Maybe not to the elite, but that’s not me.  Just saying.  I didn’t want to omit any of this series of shots, because they are all necessary to share the story of this session.  Enjoy:)

October 8, 2013 - 1:45 am

Laura Stockdale - Love these pictures & very happy for Chris and Jill!

October 8, 2013 - 12:20 pm

Sabrina - These are wonderful (and totally made me teary eyed!) CONGRADULATIONS to them!

Eastern North Carolina Photographer {Newborns: Ember Luella}

Last Monday, my adorable friend Ally welcomed her 4th child and 2nd daughter into the world.  Usually, when I shoot newborns, I like to do it within a 10 day window after birth.  Prior to this shoot, the youngest baby I had photographed was about 7 days old and I was amazed at how much sleepier and “curlier” this little princess was, being only 4 days old instead of the usual 7-10.  She was conked out the whole time and didnt open her eyes once.  I am so glad that Ally was game for shooting this session outdoors.  I have wanted to do an outdoor newborn session for quite some time, but, understandably so, not many mammas are up for taking their few day old baby outdoors and letting them lay in the grass or on a fallen tree.  Maybe because it’s her 4th child, but probably more so because Ally is just awesome like that, she was totally up for doing these pictures outside.  I actually tried to talk her into doing a more “lifestyle” type session indoors, but she wouldn’t have it.  I’m so glad she was set on doing it this way, because I just adore how the shots came out.

Originally, we had intended to get some pictures of all of the kids together, but for obvious reasons which you will see, it just didn’t happen.  Since Ember was so sleepy right from the start, I went ahead and shot the stuff with her first.  By the time I was finished with the newborn stuff, Ally’s three older children were already waist deep in the river.  Thankfully, Ally and Nate are about as low keys as it comes when parenting is concerned, and instead of freaking out that they wouldn’t get “perfect” posed pictures of the kids together, they just let them play and rolled with it.

Sometimes, as a photographer, I will go into a session with a certain idea in mind with how I want things to turn out.  Whether it’s specific shots and poses I hope to capture or just a “feel” i’m going for in regards to lighting and location, I often approach a session with a good idea of what I want to accomplish.  This session was a much needed and great reminder that sometimes the best plans are made to be broken and that the sweetest shots often come when things go array.  Kinda like writing a birth plan before having a baby, having a photography plan can sometimes be nothing more than dust in the wind.

I am so happy overall, though, with the outcome of this session, and it is such a blessing and treat to spend time with this beautiful young family.  I come from a large family myself, and I so enjoy watching the love and dynamic that happens where there are more than 1 or 2 kids in the mix.  I’m sure that God has a special reward for Mommys and Daddys who deal with the fun, chaos, noise, mess, and laughter that comes along with raising so many young children at once.  Nate and Ally do a great job at it!

October 7, 2013 - 1:14 pm

Holly Niphakis - These pictures are fantastic and real and adorable and goes right to my heart. Well done, Sheena. Well done!

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