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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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Eastern North Carolina Photographer {Just Because Session: Moriah} !!Sneak Peek!!

How do I even begin to explain how much I love and admire this incredible teenager.  Anyone who comes into contact with her will first be smitten by her illuminating smile.  After being bowled over by her infectious personality and her energizing laugh, you would probably be captured by her caring and genuine spirit.  As if that wasn’t enough, this girl loves Jesus with all her heart.  She is smart, funny, spontaneous, and doesn’t take herself too seriously at all.  If you can’t tell by now, I absolutely and completely adore this gorgeous young woman.

The first time I met Moriah, she was this teeny little skinny kid running around our church’s elementary wing and giving these amazing hugs to all the little toddlers who followed her around.  She just has this way with people….babies, toddlers, kids, her peers, adults….it doesn’t matter.  Everyone.  Loves.  Her.  That includes me.  And my kids.  Yep.

So, about 2+ years ago, Moriah asked me to do a photo session with her.  Maybe I asked her.  I don’t remember.  The point is, we have been meaning to do this for a really long time.  For whatever reason, it just never worked out.  I have to say, though, I’m glad it didn’t work out sooner, because tonight was just meant to be.  The weather was amazing.  The little downtown was buzzing with activity.  She looked adorable.  It really was photographic perfection.

This is just a sneak peek, because there were way too many pictures to choose from.  I’m going to work on editing through them tomorrow, because the rest of them are just as fantastic as these ones.  This girl doesn’t take a bad shot.  Nope.

Moriah, I love you, girl!

I don’t usually process my images very heavily.  At least I don’t think I do.  This one, though, I had some fun with.  It just felt good.

September 7, 2013 - 1:27 am

Tori - love the one in the jean jacket!~ gorgeous pics yall! :)

September 7, 2013 - 1:30 am

Moriah - Thanks so much! Your amazing! Love them!

September 7, 2013 - 1:35 pm

stephanie sawyer - Simply Gorgeous! Incredibly lovely!

September 7, 2013 - 9:01 pm

Meghann - What a gorgeous girl! Wish I could be as remarkable as her! (:

The Bean Family Chronicles {Labor Day 2013, or We Finally Made It To the Outer Banks}

In the not so distant past, we lived by the beach.  Not just any beach.  This beach.

This incredible spot was about 15 minutes from our house.  It wasn’t even the closest beach to the house, but it was worth the extra 5 minute drive.  Back when Noa was an only child, I would spend at least 2 or 3 mornings a week watching him splash in the ocean, play with sea turtles, and throw sand at unsuspecting sunbathers.  It was idyllic, I know that.  I didn’t know it at the time, but looking back I can’t help but be amazed that God gave us 4+ years in His incredible masterpiece known as Hawaii.  The beach above, specifically, is called Lanikuhonua (Lonnie-ku-hoe-new-a).

I remember when we found out, 4 long years ago, that the Coast Guard was going to be transferring us from Hawaii to Elizabeth City.  All I could think about at the time was how much I would miss the beaches and I recall Austin and I making a pact that we would come to the beach here in NC at least once a week.  Fast forward, 4 years and 3 kids later, and I guiltily admit that we don’t make it out to the Outer Banks nearly as often as we promised ourselves we would.

 Yesterday was Labor Day, and we took advantage of the day off work and off school to make the 50 minute drive out to the beach.  My favorite spot on the Outer Banks is Coquina Beach.  Unfortunately, driving to Coquina adds at least 30 minutes to the drive, so we decided to keep it short and go to the closest accessible beach access, Kitty Hawk Pier.  I have a special affinity for this spot, though, because it’s exactly where, almost 10 years ago, Mr. Bean and I said “I do.”  Every time we go to the Kitty Hawk Pier, I am reminded of the day that we said our vows.  It’s a little surreal to go back a decade later with 3 kids (and 1 tag-along best friend).

Now that Noakea is 6, he is so independant around the ocean.  We still keep a good eye on him, obviously, but it’s so nice to be able to let him play in the shore break or swim out to the sandbar.  Having his best friend, Cayman, come along was a total score, because Noa and Cayman played non-stop for the entire 2 1/2 hours we were there.  Banyan and Avenlea, being younger, tend to stay up in the sand more than in the water , but they had a great time nonetheless.  Now that school has started back up, I know our beach trips are going to be even more rare, but being out there with the kids was such a sweet time.  It has always been our dream to raise our children at the ocean.  Watching them play in the waves and dig in the sand just seems so “right” for us.  No toys, no strife, just happy children playing in God’s creation.  

I love the days when the waves are small and they can run wild in the surf.  So much fun.

This little timid guy is just as happy throwing sand and watching the big boys play.  No desire to venture into the water.

This one was happiest foraging for anything she could stuff in her mouth.  Food, sand, shells….she’s not very picky at all.

Showing me their seashell collection.

Bringing sweet Cayman along made Noa’s day.  Who would have thought 4 kids would be easier than 3.  I think we need to adopt a 5 year old.

Out of focus, but too silly not to share:)

Images taken with Nikon D90 and 50mm lens or iphone 5.

September 3, 2013 - 3:55 pm

Alyson - I’m so glad he decided to go with y’all!! I know he had the best time ever!! :)

September 3, 2013 - 4:47 pm

Deborah Walsh - I truly enjoyed reading your Labor Day blog and viewing your pictures. I felt as if I were right there at Kitty Hawk with you. The moments you capture with your camera, and the memories you add in your writing are certainly the work of God through you. May He increase this grace in you without measure: And God is able to make all grace to abound toward you, that ye always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8, Geneva).

September 3, 2013 - 11:36 pm

Donna Weiss - Sounds like you had a fantastic day. The ocean water here in WA is so COLD we rarely took our kids to the beach. Besides, it’s 3 hours away from where we lived at that time. However, the dogs loved it.

The Bean Family Chronicles {The End of My Twenties, or The Blessing of Friendship}

Yesterday was my 29th birthday.  I remember when my mom was 29.  Now I am.  It’s weird.  Not weird as in “dreading my 30′s” weird, but just realizing that, in all likelihood, this is the end of the pregnant/nursing/baby mommying era of my life.  I always hoped that I would enter my 30th year as a married woman with a gaggle of kiddos, and I am so thankful and awed that God has granted me the desires of my heart.

To celebrate last night, we just had a little family fiesta at a local Mexican restaurant.  I almost said family/friends fiesta, but left it at family because that is really the only word to describe how we feel about our sweet friends who joined us for dinner.  Being raised in a military family and now being a military spouse myself, I don’t take close friendships for granted.  I don’t think many people do, but I am especially cognizant of the value of a good friend because I have had to say goodbye to so many of them.  Every time we leave one town and move to another, I always see-saw between fearing we won’t make as good of friends as we left behind and knowing that God will, again, provide.

We have been mulling around with future plans as of lately, and thinking and praying about what God’s next step for our family will be.  One of the hardest things about taking new steps and moving forward, whether it be with the military or otherwise, is the pain of leaving friends behind.  While I know from experience that God always brings people into our lives who love on and care for our family, it is still hard to think about leaving such precious gifts behind.

In the last week we have celebrated both Banyan’s and my birthday and I have been reminded of what a treasure a faithful friend is.  As we celebrated my little boy’s special day in the backyard, I looked around and just said a quick prayer of thanks to God for each and every person who was in the backyard.  My children have so many aunties and uncles who treat them like their own children and who support, encourage, and even chastise them with necessary.  Austin and I would not be the couple we are, the parents we are, or the people we are today with out the constant presence of committed friends.

I want to be the kind of friend who is quick to lend a hand, who will remember kids birthdays, who sends a gift just because, and who builds up the people God has graciously placed in my life.  There are so many days that I want to be a more thoughtful and intentional wife, sister, mother, and friend, but I just get overwhelmed and busy with the daily tasks of kids, school, photography work, ect.  I have been praying that God would mold me into a more selfless person in general, but specifically into a more selfless and generous friend.


“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”  John 15:12-15

Photos taken with iphone 5

My mommy was my first best friend.  She surprised me with a special birthday bouquet.  Thanks, mom!!

I hope that this little lady calls me her best friend one day <3

My hubby is my current BFF <3  He DIYed this amazing gift just for me.  So thankful for a man who isn’t  afraid to dream with me.

Random birthday mail…..feta cheese!!

How blessed we feel to do life with this amazing family and their crew of silly kiddos.  It’s such a sweet gift from God to be able to hang out with people who “get” us and love us “as-is.”  It doesn’t hurt that their kids are just as loony as ours.

Even Lil’ Mamma has her baby bestie at her side.  She can be a bit of a bully to Callie sometimes.  I guess that’s what happens when you have two older brothers.

I hope that, one day, she will count her brothers amongst her best friends.  That day, obviously, hasn’t arrived.  Poor little lady:(

September 3, 2013 - 1:34 am

Alyson - You ARE that friend!! So helpful, thoughtful, encouraging, fun… Love you!!

September 3, 2013 - 5:03 pm

Deborah Walsh - I am blessed beyond measure to have a daughter who daily grows in beauty, strength, wisdom, and the fruit of the Spirit. How blessed I was the day God gave you to me. Love you!

The Bean Family Chronicles {First Day of School, or A Letter To My Firstborn}

Dear Noakea,

You don’t know it yet, but one day you will.  One day you will hold your child’s hand and walk them down a florescent lit hallway, through throngs of 10 and 12 year olds who suddenly seem much older than they did the day before.  One day you will wake up in the morning and start imaging all the things your child will hear and see that he has never seen before and wonder how he will handle it.  You will wonder if the lessons you have taught him in the last 6 years will still stick once he is out of your home.  Will he remember to say “yes, ma’am” or “thank you?”  Will he remember not to always push to the front of a line to be first?  Will he stand up for someone who is being picked on the same way that he rushes to aid his litter sister when she is being bullied by her 2 year old brother?

You will wake up even before that 6 am alarm goes off and start praying silently in your heart as you get dressed and make the first of many school lunches.  You will pray that God will help your little child to seek justice.  You will pray that your child is the one who remembers that every other child in his class is someone’s precious baby and that each child in his class deserves to be cherished, loved, and cared for.  You will pray that your son lends a hand to a classmate in need, that he remembers to tell his teacher how much he appreciates her hard work.

You will pray that your rambunctious and opinionated son remembers to love mercy.  You will pray that he is quick to forgive when a classmate wrongs him.  When he is inevitably left out of an inside joke, you will pray that he keeps loving the jokers who left him out.  You will pray that when he hears other kids teasing, he steps in with compassion.  You will remember all the times that he has instigated arguments or quarrels with his brother and hope that he doesn’t do those things to his classmates.

You will pray that your self-assured, confident, outspoken, miniature version of yourself will walk humbly.  You will pray that he doesn’t act prideful if he is smarter than someone else.  You will pray that he doesn’t blurt out every right answer, just because he knows them first.  You will pray that he uses his knowledge and intellect to help a friend who is struggling.

And, Noa, as you comb your sons hair that morning and as you watch him eat a special cinnamon bun breakfast, you will hold back tears knowing that this is the beginning of a path that will one day end with him leaving the house for good.  You will wonder if you should have home schooled him, if you should keep him under your wings a little bit longer.  Until he’s a little bit older.  Until he’s a little bit more able to discern wisely when tough decisions or temptations befall him.  You will remind yourself that he goes to a great school.  With great friends.  And great teachers.  And that it’s, thankfully, only a 3 minute walk away.

Noa, you will drop your oldest child off at school and watch so proudly as he goes straight to his seat and gives you a hurried kiss before darting across the classroom to check out all the new and exciting displays, books, and art supplies overflowing from the shelves.  You will walk away from the classroom and look at your spouse and smile and know that you did the right thing.  You will thank God for a strong, smart, healthy child and pray that he is a beacon of hope and a face of joy to everyone that he meets.

And, then, Noa, after 7 hours that seem like a year, you will sit on the front porch and watch your son come riding up the driveway on his scooter with a huge smile plastered across his face.  He will give you the best hug you’ve had all day and tell you he had the, “best day of my whole life ever.”  His mouth will run 1000 words per minute telling you about his day and you will hug him tightly and listen with anxious ears.  You will sit on the couch and ask him a million questions about a day that is curiously unfamiliar to you.  And that night, as you tuck your son into bed before another day of learning, you will pray again, but this time with a heart of joy, thanking God for His hand of provision on your son’s life and on your family.  You will sleep peacefully and dream of your child’s future; a future full of hope, opportunity, and adventure.

You will wake up the next morning and make the 2nd of 10,000 school lunches.



August 26, 2013 - 11:43 pm

KerryRoyse - Oh my word Sheena! I had a hard time getting through this! Very sweet!

August 27, 2013 - 1:39 am

Alyson - He looks so grown. Like a little man. :(

The Bean Family Chronicles {Banyan’s 3rd Birthday Party, or 6 Minivans In the Driveway}

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday, dear Banyan,

Happy Birthday to you!!

My sweet son, my little blonde boy, the cream in our oreo.

Your beautiful blue eyes and white hair are irresistible to me.

Your one little dimple gets me every time.

The way you ask me to cuddle before bed and give you nose kisses every night brings me so much joy.

You are a doting little brother to Noa and a caring big brother to our little Avenlea.

You have a sensitive heart and you seem to enjoy crying over just about anything.

As you start this new year of life, I am praying that God would continue to open your heart to how much He loves you.

I am praying that you will develop into the kind of boy who loves to serve others.

I pray that you seek justice,

love mercy,

and walk humbly before the Lord.

We love you so much and love watching you grow, mature, and evolve into the man you will one day become.

Happy 3rd Birthday Mr. Precious!!


 Disclaimer I feel compelled to give you: Most of these are unedited, straight-out-of-camera images.  Some are iphone shots.  I didnt want to edit 50+ birthday pictures……enjoy!


Homemade (from the box) cupcakes.  Until they’re old enough to care, we put just enough effort into parties to seem like good parents;)


Inflatable water slide, borrowed from a friend.  Best thing of the day.  Especially b/c it entertained the brothers all morning while I did party prep stuff.

6, count em, 6 mini vans!  So funny.  We all have at least 3 kids.  My brother and his wife seemed pretty hip with their sedan <3

All she cares about is stuffing her face.  She wants to make her cheeks fatter.

Tomato as big as her face.  Lasted about 3 minutes.  She’s a pig.

He’s been asking for a “kitchen present” for months.  Yay, for hand-me-downs from friends!!

“I don’t want ‘Oakea sitting by me!!”

M o r e   i n f o