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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 – Children – The Cummings Brothers

I hear it from parents all the time, “my kid HATES having their picture taken,” or “I dont think it’s going to go very well because he’s horrible with strangers.”  Luckly, most of the time, I can win over even the toughest critic.  Sessions that start out in tears and grumpy faces often end in laughter and smiles.  It’s really important to me that, when shooting children, the client feels comfortable and, most of all, that they have fun.  A session that is all pose-y and stressful is terrible for everyone.  This session was one of those rare ones that I just COULD NOT get the little one to smile.  I tried every trick in my book; he would not sit still, wanted mamma, ect.  Big brother did everything he could to get his little bro to giggle, but it just wasn’t happening.  If you are reading this and feel like “this is totally my kid,” FEAR NOT!!!  Of the hundreds of photo sessions i’ve shot, I can count 2 or 3 times where I have totally called the thing a wash out.

So, that said, here’s what I do when I have a completely uncooperative client.  We quit and try again another day.  Yep, that’s it.  My magic secret.  Honestly, though, sometimes all it takes is stepping away from things and trying again to make all the difference in the world.  Sometimes a parent feels bad asking me to come back another day and try again, but I promise, I am more than happy and willing to make a rain date and have a do over.  Kids are kids, and sometimes, no matter what we try, a photo session just doesn’t work out.  All it took was a new location and a new outlook and we got some great shots with big smiles all around.

If you are nervous about your kids’ session or feeling stressed about how they will cooperate, please, don’t be.  I have a whole hat full of tricks to illicit smiles from even the most unlikely candidate.  These little guys were great subjects the second time around.  I have a huge file of children’s session I could have drawn from for this post, but this was really is a favorite.  Something about little boys, and brothers specifically, just makes for a fun time all around.  They are always goofy, always rascally, and more often than not, a little big mischievous.

Take One:  Blurry, out of focus, and not very pleasant.  Not a happy camper at all.  No worries, though.  It happens!

Take Two: New day, new location, and smiles for miles.  Yay!!

This shot was from our first try, actually.  Sometimes, even when things don’t go as planned, a sweet shot is still in the mix.

August 7, 2013 - 4:02 pm

Ally - My favorite is the first shot! I love grumpy baby pictures.

August 7, 2013 - 4:16 pm

Gracekelly Watson - There such cute little boys!!!

August 7, 2013 - 4:18 pm

sheenamariebean - Me too. But not ones that arent in focus. One day I will have to do a gallery post of grumpy baby shots. They’re so funny!

August 7, 2013 - 4:18 pm

sheenamariebean - Absolutely. Banyan thinks that they are pictures of him.

August 7, 2013 - 4:19 pm

Gracekelly Watson - There so cute they used to live in my neighborhood before they moved

August 7, 2013 - 5:41 pm

Sara Clark - These boys are precious! I have a growing file of grumpy Isabel shots and I plan to show them at her wedding/graduation something. As frustrating as it is at the time, they are hilarious to look back at. You won my girl over though too:)

August 7, 2013 - 7:33 pm

Denise Lane - I love how their blue eyes “pop” in almost every picture!

August 8, 2013 - 12:16 am

sheenamariebean - Isabel is just like my Noa, that’s probably why I find her so endearing. I have a growing collection of those kind of shots too…..oy!

August 8, 2013 - 12:17 am

sheenamariebean - I know! Blue eyes photograph so well. They’re my fav!

August 10, 2013 - 2:39 pm

Jennifer thorp - I love grumpy kid pictures too! They’re hilarious. These pics turned out gorgeous. As usual, you can find a way to make everybody happy and look great!

August 10, 2013 - 7:17 pm

sheenamariebean - Thanks, Jen! Im going to have to do a grumpy gallery sometime.

Eastern North Carolina Photographer – Newborns – Charlotte

Disclaimer: Big photography confession to follow…….Ok, so here goes……newborn sessions are my least favorite type of session.  I know, I know…’s not that I don’t love babies, because anyone who knows me well will tell you that I LOOOOOOVE babies.  Like, really really really LOVE them.  I would have a perpetual newborn if I could.  The lack of sleep be darned, there is nothing on Earth that makes me feel like i’m getting a glimpse of God than when I am breathing in that incredible newborn scent.  As a photographer, however, newborns are definitely my challenge.  I feel pressure to get them to sleep, to pose them perfectly, ect., ect…..I partially blame Pinterest for this.  Recently, though, I have been approaching my newborn sessions differently and it’s made a world of difference.  Instead of trying to do the latest “in” pose or curling them into some fancy prop, I have been doing my newborn sessions with a more “documentary” feel; you know, parent interaction, baby in their nursery, that kind of thing.

This session with sweet Madame Charlotte was such an encouragement and breath of fresh air when it comes to newborns.  Granted, she has the most laid back and chill parents ever, which makes all the difference in the world.  She was just a dream to work with, though.  No crying, to stress, just sweet sleepy goodness and calm and peaceful waking hours.  We started out shooting in her soothing nursery and than went across the hall to mommy and daddy’s room for some family cuddles in the big bed.  Her adoring big sister Isabel was in on all the action and a great assistant to have at hand.

After this session, I am actually looking forward to shooting more newborns.  I think that having a more laid back approach suits me well and I have some fun visions for future newborns.  BIG thanks to the Clark family for their support of my little business and for helping me break out of the newborn session funk!

August 7, 2013 - 1:53 am

Meagan Stalter - So adorable! I miss Arthur being that little!

August 7, 2013 - 1:59 am

Jennifer Wilson - Beautiful! As always!

August 7, 2013 - 2:00 am

Joanne C. - Awe. I so need to do this when my baby comes later this year. I love the little baby feet. Just adorable. :)

August 7, 2013 - 2:02 am

Annette - These are beautiful! Wish we could have done pics like these of Blakeney!

August 7, 2013 - 2:07 am

Sara Clark - Sheena, you are so very kind. I treasure these photos and how perfectly you captured the sweet, sleepy world of Charlotte and our family. I will look at these for the rest of my life and get taken back to these moments. Thank you again.

August 7, 2013 - 2:22 am

Kate Daniel - Sheena, these are precious. I haven’t been able to hold my sweet niece Charlotte yet, and these help tide me over.

August 7, 2013 - 12:51 pm

Heather E - Love your photos, Sheena, they are beautiful! I need to get some maternity and newborn pics done this time around!

August 7, 2013 - 1:08 pm

Sarah Boyle - She is so alert! :) Beautiful.

August 7, 2013 - 3:11 pm

sheenamariebean - I know what you mean! I think he’s making room for the next one ;)

August 7, 2013 - 3:11 pm

sheenamariebean - Thanks, Jennifer! I’d love to shoot your little crew sometime <3

August 7, 2013 - 3:12 pm

sheenamariebean - Aren’t they precious! I love getting shots of all the little newborn parts that make them so irresistable.

August 7, 2013 - 3:13 pm

sheenamariebean - Oh, gosh, Sara, thank YOU! Her session really helped me get excited about newborns again <3 She is just so divine.

August 7, 2013 - 3:13 pm

sheenamariebean - Me too! I will come up and take some of her once she starts sitting up :)

August 7, 2013 - 3:13 pm

sheenamariebean - Glad to help! She is such a sweet thing; I bet you can’t wait to see her!

August 7, 2013 - 3:14 pm

sheenamariebean - Oh, definitely! Let’s do something earthy and fun for your maternity ones!

August 7, 2013 - 3:15 pm

sheenamariebean - I know! She was looking around and taking everything in. Sometimes a waking baby makes for a tough session, but she was so content either way.

August 7, 2013 - 7:41 pm

Denise Lane - I love that they were done inside of the house. The one with the parents kissing the baby on the head in bed…love it!!

August 8, 2013 - 12:18 am

sheenamariebean - It’s so sweet, isn’t it. I think that capturing the real moments in those first days is so important and memorable.

August 8, 2013 - 4:36 am

Katelin Pinto - Oh my… what a precious baby. Beautiful pictures.

August 8, 2013 - 1:59 pm

sheenamariebean - Isn’t she <3

August 9, 2013 - 11:18 pm

Jane Peters - Sheena, thank you for capturing our beautiful Charlotte. Once again you’ve brought “Happy Tears” to Grandma Jane’s eyes. I love that you were inspired!

August 10, 2013 - 7:16 pm

sheenamariebean - Thank you! She is such a lovely baby and I can’t wait to capture some more memories as she starts meeting some fun milestones!

Eastern North Carolina Photographer – Couples – Lauren and Kyle Hurt

I’m sure all photographers feel this way, but I seriously think I have the most beautiful clients.  They are always game for all my crazy ideas and are willing to trek around such random locations to get the shots that I am envisioning.  Kyle and Lauren are this adorable young couple who were totally all-in when I told them that I wanted to do their engagement session in a derelict old boat shed.  Kyle is in the Navy and had just come home from a deployment when we did this session, so I’m sure Lauren was extra full of happiness to have her fiancee home at last.

The location we used is this boat shed off the side of the road that is quite literally, falling into the river.  It’s definitely not OSHA certified safe, and it’s amazing none of the wood we were walking on gave out.  I always tell my clients, when i’m shooting near the water, that if I start falling in, be ready to catch the camera!  I can swim and have insurance.  It does not.  That said, nobody fell in the water and these pictures ended up being an engagement session that I was really satisfied with.  The colors in the wood and metal have become so rich with aged patina and being near the water seems to make any session just a little bit more special.

This is an older session, but I wanted to put some engagement/adult stuff up here for you guys to check out.  Kyle and Lauren are now married (their wedding pictures are super adorable too!) and living in Virginia.  Maybe I will get to do some baby pictures for them someday;)

August 6, 2013 - 5:15 pm

Steph Sawyer - Great job Sheena!! I LOVE the one where he is dipping her over the water!! Beautiful as always!

August 6, 2013 - 5:19 pm

Kelsey Hunt - What a cute couple! I love the shot where he is dipping her into the water. :)

August 6, 2013 - 5:19 pm

Kelsey Hunt - ^that should say OVER! Although I would be expecting a dip into the water in that position! Haha

August 6, 2013 - 5:50 pm

sheenamariebean - I love that one too! I was so scared he was going to drop her. I would have been terrified!

August 6, 2013 - 5:51 pm

sheenamariebean - Me too. I would have been scared. Even though they’re dressed in sweaters, it was a HOT day. I bet the dip would have felt good.

August 6, 2013 - 5:55 pm

Jessie - Such a sweet and adorable couple!

August 6, 2013 - 6:08 pm

Sara Clark - Sheena, these are awesome. You have such an eye to spot beauty and possibility that might otherwise be overlooked. Best of luck to this couple. The other thought that went thru my head…oh the possibilities that exist with compliant adults rather than a willful 3 year old-lol! Just thinking about Isabel in this location made me laugh. Glad you get a variety of clients;)

August 6, 2013 - 6:18 pm

Joanne C. - Beautiful! I love the black and white near the end of them looking at each other. So sweet.

August 6, 2013 - 6:28 pm

sheenamariebean - Thanks, Jessie. They really are so cute together <3

August 6, 2013 - 6:29 pm

sheenamariebean - Oh, yes! Shooting adults is so much fun. Something about a compliant subject, right ;) Isabel is super fun, though. I’ll shoot her anyday!

August 6, 2013 - 6:30 pm

sheenamariebean - Thanks, Joanne! I love b&w’s and the intimate feelings they convey.

August 6, 2013 - 7:12 pm

Kelsey Gray - Great pictures!!! Awesome setting!!!

August 7, 2013 - 1:14 am

sheenamariebean - Thank you! It’s one of my favorite locations, especially when I am shooting adults. It’s a little bit sketch for kids, especially other peoples kids!

August 9, 2013 - 12:12 am

Denise Lane - I love the picture with them in the doorway!!!! I think that’s my favorite (it was hard to choose, since they were all pretty great).

August 9, 2013 - 1:36 pm

sheenamariebean - That’s my favorite too. I just love the light and colors in that shot <3

Eastern North Carolina Photographer – Families – The Storie’s

I remember the facebook message inquiring about this session.  It read something like, “I have 5 kids under 6 years old and 4 of them are boys.  Can you take our pictures?”.  As a photographer, trying to get 5 children to look at the camera at the same time is a little bit like asking a worm to do ballet.  That said, I LOVE big families and I love a challenge, so I hastily said “yes” and started praying.

We did this session up at the Norfolk Botanical Garden in Norfolk, Virginia.  They have this incredible rose garden there and as soon as you pull into the parking lot, the scent of flowers is overwhelming.  I have done a handful of sessions there now, and it definitely ranks high in my “favorite locations” brain file.  As it turned out, all my concerns were ill founded, because the Storie children were so sweet and easy to direct.  It was so sweet  to see how the boys interacted with their new little sister.  I think it would be so awesome to grow up with 4 older brothers to have as protectors.

This session, another one of my older ones that I am going to try to keep adding to this blog, happened about 15 months ago.  Since then, baby A has had her first birthday and we had a great time getting new pictures of her and her crew of warriors.  I’ll have to post those soon so you can see how they have all grown and changed.

This little guy….<3  So sweet.  I unashamedly took a lot of pictures of him.  Those eyes.

This is what it looks like when older brothers try to make the youngest one look at the camera.  

No.  Head.  Swaps.  This really happened.  First try.

Poor little mama.  Her bro just had to help get that paci in her mouth.  

August 5, 2013 - 1:02 pm

Elizabeth white - These pictures are so adorable!

August 5, 2013 - 1:52 pm

Robbi Bittle - I love your kids photos :)

August 5, 2013 - 6:56 pm

Ally - Cute pictures!

August 6, 2013 - 4:36 pm

sheenamariebean - Thanks!

August 6, 2013 - 4:36 pm

sheenamariebean - Me too ;) Ill have to do a self-indulgent post of pictures of them sometime.

August 6, 2013 - 4:37 pm

sheenamariebean - Thank you! I have the cutest clients ever <3

Eastern North Carolina Photographer – Maternity – The Spence’s

Calling this family just clients is like referring to Pipeline as just a wave.  I have known the Spence family since Dave and I were in high school.  He comes from a big crazy family of 6 brothers and 1 tough sister (aptly named, Joy).  Dave and Amanda are one of the most awesome couples I know.  They love God, first and foremost, and then their crazy love spills over by the bucket load onto their fortunate children.  Dave and Amanda have been letting me capture their family since their oldest son (now 4!!) was just a little baby dude.

This maternity session happened about a year ago, but I wanted to input some past sessions onto this blog for the purpose of giving you guys an idea of the style and type of photography I do.  Amanda was just a few weeks away from welcoming her second son when we did these portraits.  Kohen is now 1 year old and is a carbon copy of his daddy.  We love these guys like family and definitely count them among our nearest and dearest.



August 5, 2013 - 2:28 am

Amanda Spence - Ahhh! I am in a blog! I feel a little famous. :) Love you guys so much and can’t wait for more awesome years of friendship, fellowship, and future maternity shoots. ;)

August 5, 2013 - 12:31 pm

sheenamariebean - absolutely. we need to do something unique this time….i have some fun maternity ideas in mind ;)

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