Waimea Canyon Kauai Engagement // Makenzie Lee + Ryan


I’ve known Makenzie Lee for about 23 years, but we haven’t talked to each other for the past 16 or so of those years, aside from the occasional hello on social media. Soon after I ran into her at a mutual friend’s wedding last year, she got engaged and reached out to me about photographing her wedding! It’s so crazy that being friends on social media has kept us in touch enough for me to now be photographing her wedding!

Makenzie Lee is a flight attendant and when we started chatting about her and Ryan’s engagement session, she threw out the idea of them meeting Zach and I in Hawaii while we are there. They travel often together, so it only made since to do their session somewhere adventurous and fun. I was of course so excited about this, but we all tried to not get our hopes up since the only way they could get here is by flying stand by and there was only one flight to Kauai per day. We knew that it would be a toss up on whether or not they would make it, so we all decided to just go with the flow. Well, on Tuesday evening, I got the text from Makenzie Lee saying they made the flight! We started planning the shoot and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

We started the day at Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and it was GORGEOUS. We got there early that morning to avoid the crowds (and the clouds that roll in mid day and cover all of the views) and we found the perfect little spot for photos. The sun was shining bright that day (welcome to Hawaii), which was actually fun for me to challenge myself with different lighting scenarios.

After spending some time at the canyon, we went over to Shipwreck Beach, a spot Makenzie Lee and Ryan had watched the sunrise at that morning. Shipwreck beach has the coolest cliffs by the ocean that you can walk around and explore without a ton of people. When we got to the cliffs, it was SO windy, but if you know me, you know I love wind at sessions! It gave us a nice break from the heat too ;).

I’m pretty blown away and honored that these two flew all the way to Hawaii for their engagement shoot with me. Sometimes this life doesn’t feel real, and I am just feeling so thankful.