Top 2 Oahu Photoshoot Locations for Families & Groups

Waialea beach park

Narrowing down Oahu photoshoot locations doesn’t have to be difficult. There’s so many to choose from but a few basic parameters for families and convenience will narrow the pool very quickly!

As a mom, I have several things I require for my kids to be comfortable and cooperative – mostly based on experience.

When my boys were ages 3, 5, 6, and 8, I hired a solid photographer for a simple family shoot. Even though she was technically capable, she was not able to engage my four very young boys in a meaningful way that brought out their personalities… much less maintain their attention and keep it fun. On top of that, she took us to a beach that was so rocky we could barely WALK, much less run and play freely.

You can almost see the tension in my husband’s neck from getting them to cooperate!

Lesson learned. If the kids can’t be themselves and be safe, its a major no-go.

As a photographer I have several technical requirements, many of which overlap with my mom specs!

Oahu Photoshoot Locations: Mom Requirements

As I mentioned above, kids need the freedom to be themselves – and do so safely. The edge of a road, or a rocky beach are not going to work for them or for my style of photography.

If the kids aren’t having fun, no one is!

Rule number 1: a wide and safe place for kids to do what they want.

I also want the location to be convenient to your hotel or rental. There’s no need to drive an hour out of the way (totally possible!) when there’s a place within walking distance.

  • Soft, walkable sand
  • Open and wide space whether a beach or park
  • Relatively easy parking
  • Easily accessible – we’re not hiking half a mile to get there!
  • Convenient location – we’re not driving an hour either.

This list is very similar to my favorite beaches on Oahu for families. Check it out if you’re looking for a place to spend the day relaxing!

Oahu Photoshoot Locations: Photography Requirements

As a photographer I want my clients (kids too!) to be comfortable. If we’re stiff for any reason it’ll show in the final images. That means finding a place that is conducive for everyone, even if there are physical limitations.

What I look for in beach photo locations

As a mom, I want my kids to have the freedom to move and be themselves (read: loud)

  • Soft sand
  • Easy parking
  • Easy to get to
  • Room to run
  • Few crowds (so we don’t disturb at anyone)
  • Toilets and showers, if possible

As a photographer, I want easy accessibility, few crowds, soft sand to play in, and good light. Always good light!

  • Soft sand to play in
  • easy parking
  • Easy to get to
  • Room to run and play
  • Few crowds to get in our way
  • Great light – always.

So basically the same things!

Alison’s Favorite Top 2 Oahu Photoshoot Locations

My favorite two places for Oahu family photoshoots are Kaaawa Beach & Paradise Cove Beach.

The beach is almost always my favorite for open light, no dark circles under eyes and soft sand kids can be themselves

My top 2 Oahu photoshoot locations are:

Kaaawa Beach

top oahu photoshoot locations
top oahu photoshoot locations

Paradise Cove Beach near Disney Aulani

top oahu photoshoot locations aulani
top oahu photoshoot locations aulani

Additional Oahu Photoshoot Locations

Some other Oahu locations for photos that are great options:

Waialea beach park
Waialea Beach Park
kualoa beach park photos
Kualoa Beach Park
visiting oahu for the first time
Lanikai Beach
Alison Bell, Photographer
Kailua Beach Park

Oahu Photoshoot Locations I Avoid

I actively avoid photoshoot locations with a lot of people, or lots of trees. That doesn’t mean photos in those places can’t be done well, its just super difficult. I’d much rather make it easy for my client.

I avoid:

  • Waikiki because there’s too many people
  • Lots of trees because it can create a green skin tone or dark circles under eyes
  • Anything in the evening because of crowds

More Resources on Oahu Family Photos

Keep reading about Puget Sound Birth Center and birth photography.

I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus. They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!

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I find joy in chaos. The louder, the better!

I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus.

They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!

hey, I'm Alison!


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You can Google until your eyes bleed OOOR I can tell you everything I know.