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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 {A Morning Walk, or Keeping It Real}

Phew!  This morning was rough.  I subtitled this post, “Keeping It Real” because I was going to post about how much I enjoy our morning walks (and i’ll get to that), but instead of starting there, I’m just going to say that we went on a walk this morning because we all needed to get out of the house asap.  Between the thrown bowl of cereal, the fighting over yesterdays birthday presents, the dog pee on the floor, and the baby pulling all the trash out of the bathroom, some fresh air was all but a necessity.

I did a post a couple weeks ago about how much our family enjoys sailing together, and someone commented that it looks like i’m a “perfect” mom.  I cringed reading that, and it even grieved me a bit, because it’s so far from the truth and I have tried to be intentional when it comes to internet stuff to not paint a overly rosy picture of our family and our lives.  The truth is, life with 3 young kids is anything but perfect, but I don’t think it was ever meant to be.  Most of our days are messy, noisy, and full of the mundane things that never make it onto the instagram feed or the facebook wall.  The kids argue, the baby cries, the hubby and I have our differences, but at the end of the day when the kids are sleeping and Mr. Bean and I are sitting on the couch enjoying the hour of quiet, it’s all worth it.

So, the walk this morning, while beautiful and refreshing was not taken because I live some fairy tale family existence where i buckle up the three kids for nature walks every morning.  Far from it.  We went for a walk because it means Biggest Brother could ride his bike and get some energy out, and because Big Brother and Little Sister were buckled into a stroller meaning no arguing and crying about her taking his new toys.  Sigh!  By the end of the walk, everyone was in a better mood, she was ready for a nap, and the brothers were ready to be amicable again.

About our walk, now.  Let’s see……well, when I was in high school I used to come for walks in the neighborhood we now live in many evenings.  My best girlfriend lived not far from here and I would drive to her house and we’d walk and talk for a couple hours.  When we were living in Hawaii and found out we were going to be getting transferred back to Elizabeth City, I knew that I wanted to find a home in this part of town.  It’s far from the nicest area, and it’s not like we have sidewalks or anything like that that makes it super walkable, but it’s right by the river and it’s one of the older parts of town, which, in my opinion, makes it the perfect place for the Bean Family to dwell.  Most mornings, after breakfast and getting dressed, I like to wrangle up the Tres Frijoles and get a little 30 minute walk in before naps.

I feel compelled to take a picture of them together any time they are all clean and all happy.

This beautiful home is just around the corner from ours.  It’s actually a B&B, “The Pond House Inn.”  My in-laws have stayed there when they visit us and it’s so beautiful.  When the little pond isn’t full of algae, it’s even more lovely.

Mr. Precious and his favorite snack.  So glad that Big Brother taught him to eat it like this.  Much easier than cutting it up every time.  

Loves her stroller, this one

“Mommy, we never take pictures of you and me together.”

My kids love these colorful flowers.  I think they’re called Lantana.

The Pasquotank River.  The water may look blue, but don’t be fooled.  It’s brown.  Dark brown.  Can’t see your knees when you’re waist deep brown.

Noa’s favorite part of the walk is when I let him ride ahead to his little beach.  It’s just a 10 foot stretch of sandy shore behind these weeds, but’s to him it’s an adventure waiting to happen.

So many pretty homes around here.  We are so thankful that we get to live in this part of town.  God blessed us with a great neighborhood, amazing neighbors, and His gorgeous artistry.

Cracks up our kids every time.

Cicada shells.  We used to cover our clothes with these things as kids.  I love that the boys do it now.  It’s the little things.

The biggest mushroom i’ve seen around here.  He couldn’t wait to squash it.

His favorite fishing spot.

Home, sweet Home <3

Eastern North Carolina Photographer {Bumps: Whitney}

I was trolling through past maternity sessions and when I found this one, I knew I had to add it to this blog.  This session was one that i’d envisioned in my mind for over a year before it happened.  There is this empty lot near my house that periodically floods when we get a lot of rain.  Unfortunately, it’s also in a somewhat dark area, so I needed to wait for one of those days that dumps mad amount of rain and then has a nice sunny sunset evening.  Well, the starts aligned, and the only thing I needed was a model.  Thankfully, I have a tall, thin, gorgeous best friend is is uber photogenic and also understands the importance of seizing the moment when it happens.  Only problem was, she wasn’t pregnant!  Thankfully I had made a belly cast of my last pregnancy, so with some creative posing and a nice long sheet, we were good to go!

Maternity sessions are my all time, #1, most favorite type of session to do.  I could do maternity sessions a couple times a week for 3 years and not run out of ideas.  Any time one of my friends finds out they’re expecting, the wheels in my head start turning.  Since these pictures were taken, Whitney has been for real pregnant and now has a 3 year old and almost 1 year old.  I’m ready for her to add to the quiver some more so I can test out more ideas!

I love how the fabric puddled around her legs <3

August 21, 2013 - 6:08 pm

Amanda Spence - I cannot believe she is not really pregnant in the photos! You are so crazy creative. Excited to see what you can cook up for a future maternity shoot with yours truly. :)

August 21, 2013 - 9:33 pm

Samantha Meehan - Oh these are so beautiful Sheena! You are so talented & have such a good eye, always beautiful :)

Eastern North Carolina Photographer {Seniors: Brittany}

Ok, so this wasn’t technically a senior session, because Brittany had graduated the year before, but I am going to go ahead and call it one for catigorizations sake.  This session was a great thing for both of us, because she wanted some sweet pictures to give to her beau and I had some adult session ideas I wanted to try out and she was perfect.  Sometimes I get bummed out thinking we have a lack of fun and unique locations to shoot, especially urban type stuff, but I found some really colorful and textural hideaways for these pictures and I was really happy with the outcome.  

August 21, 2013 - 8:03 pm

Moriah - She is stunning.

Eastern North Carolina Photographer – Couples – The Stevens

I love when I shoot a couples session and you can just tell right away that they are the “real deal.”  You know what I mean, there are those couples that just “get” each other and it’s obvious to everyone around them.  These two were like that.  They had that sweet way of exchanging a look, a smile, a secret and they would both just look at each other with that look.  I did this session a couple years ago, and since then, Clay and Casie have moved out of town and started new ventures in life.  Clay has (sadly) sold the motorcycle, so I think it’s a good thing that he brought it along for these pictures so Casie could always remember her studly man on his studly bike.  

Eastern North Carolina Photographer – The Maypole Session

When I was a little girl, I had a book about a little village in Sweden and it centered on their May Day celebration and had these lovely illustrations of little girls dancing around a maypole.  I have always loved the idea of celebrating spring.  It my favorite time of year and if anything is more worthy of celebration than new life and warm weather, I can’t think of it.  I had always dreamed of doing a photo session like this one, but I wasn’t quite sure of how to logistically make it happen.  Well, as favor would have it, I was visiting my family up in New Hampshire the month  before this shoot and my grandparents let me cut down a few of their birch trees to use as decor for our home.  I knew that the beautiful white tree would be perfect to turn into a maypole.

I put out the model call for this session specifically asking for little girls from ages 3-8.  The beautiful little ladies who came to help me do this looked like a symphonic group of little nature fairies.  They had as much fun as I did doing this session, and I think it shows.  I took these pictures about 3 years ago, so it’s fun to see how much these little sweeties have grown since then.  It is even a little bittersweet to see these pictures, because one of the little girls who is featured is battling a terminal disease and she has changed so much since we did this session (look up Batten Disease for more info or visit  That said, I am so so thankful that I was able to do this session.  I didn’t have my sweet little daughter, Avenlea, when we did these pictures and I remember pining for a daughter so deeply after doing this.

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