Miyazono Family Storytelling Session in Waimea Bay

The first time that I talked to Susan, we were discussing details of her family photo session and I remember feeling worried because they only had a short window of time left on their trip to Oahu. Her husband was still at home in Hilo on the Big Island and wouldn’t be able to be a part of the photo session but she was still so excited for this day and for her first chance to capture her children together by a professional photographer. We spoke for a bit about what photos she felt needed to be included in the session, just one thing was most important, to photograph her 3 year old without his shirt on. To proudly show off his, “battle scars” she said. My heart broke, I spoke cheerfully and told her that it wouldn’t be a problem at all. We ended our conversation, I hung up, and sobbed.

I met Susan on a warm, sunny afternoon in Waimea Bay Beach Park with her three boys in tow. I have 3 boys too so it was fun to meet a fellow “boy mom” and they were all so well behaved and sweet with each other. Having 3 boys myself, I always love seeing the “brother relationship”, the way that they play, tease, and still find a way to protect each other. This session was more of a storytelling session and it was so much fun! I just wanted to give them photos of their family, having fun, loving each other, and photograph them as honestly and with as much love as I could.


Thank you so much for allowing me to preserve these memories for you and your children. I firmly believe that this was one of the most honest and beautiful sessions that I’ve ever had the privilege of photographing. When you told me about your baby boy, his multiple open heart surgeries, and the months on end of living in a hospital, my heart broke for the fear and pain that I know you’ve endured. Meeting you though, felt like meeting an old friend, warm, joyful, and easy. It was such a blessing to meet your family and really feel the joy and warmth of your love for them.




We always tell people we are proud of his scar because it shows how much of a warrior and fighter he is., and the inclusion of his brothers to show their support of him as well.

— Susan M.




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This photo session was done for the incredible charity HUGS Hawaii. When I reached out to them with my idea of gifting a session, we all decided that a drawing at one of their monthly events would be the best way to go because we could never choose a family to gift. There’s too many families, too many stories, and too much pain to just decide. To find out how you can help this wonderful organization just go to:

From there you can learn more about their organization, volunteer, or give a gift.


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