family portraits

family portraits

Kauai Family Photography

kauai family photographer

Kauai is such a wonderful place for families to come and celebrate a special event. Kal turned 80 ( he doesn’t look a day over 70) and his family came from all corners of the globe to celebrate and honor this man.  Through the gusty wind and the threat of rain, sons, daughters, partners, and grand children were all there to make this such a happy occasion.

2015_0429_Holsti -16
This session made me think a lot about family. My own family. I thought about how nice it would be for us all to be together, my mom and dad, my two sisters, my brother-in-law, and most of all my son. My dad just turned 80 too and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. Time goes by so fast. I try to picture myself at 80 and my son at 50. Then I thought about what the word family means to me and realized I have made my island family here on Kauai for which I will be forever grateful.  So enough about the future and certainly enough about the past because I’m walking right here in the present and cherishing every minute of it.

kauai photographer rhonda forsberg

kauai photographer rhonda forsberg

2015_0429_Holsti -35

kauai photographer rhonda forsberg

2015_0429_Holsti -66

Why I Became A Photographer

Rhonda Forsberg Photography kids2The other day someone asked me why I became a photographer. After reflecting on this for a moment, I began to count the reasons how my interest in photography began and what it means to me now.

When I was young girl I had a series of Kodak Instamatics,  a Kodak 110 and even a Polaroid SX-70. I was silly and I played (fun). Later while I was in high school I wrote for the newspaper and I was asked to take pictures for both the paper and the yearbook. The first time I held a ‘real’ camera in my hands I was given a quick overview on how to use it, loaded it with film and I was on my way. I taught myself how to read light and how to make a correct exposure. How adjustments of aperture and shutter speed related to film sensitivity and could either make or break an image. I began to experiment. Films. Processes. Taught myself how to develop and print in the darkroom. I made plenty of mistakes but it was such a wonderful way to learn. The more I photographed the more I saw things in my world change. I began to notice light, shadows, shapes, colors, textures, patterns, people, buildings, trees, and flowers. It didn’t take long for me to realize that photography changed the way I experienced everyday things.

Something I’ve always valued is the ability photography has to keep me present. I have to be aware of everything in order to capture it. I’m not thinking about what project I need to complete or what emails I need answer. It’s very freeing. Just the idea that I can capture a moment and have it forever can be quite exhilarating.

Learning to become a great photographer is a serious challenge. I always want to be learning something new and pushing myself to try new things. For this reason I never find photography boring. It’s a way I can tell a story with one image or a series of images and share my perspective with others. When I make a photograph I hope to can evoke an emotion in others. I know that I have experienced a range of emotions when I look at a powerful image. Some images have even changed the way I view the world. Strong stuff.

Photography allows me to connect with people in a unique way. When I photograph a person I try to capture their essence and sometimes it can be a huge challenge. But when I achieve it, I know it right away and it’s an incredible feeling. Even though it may take a series of photographs to capture the nuances of a person, photography has a way of showing subtleties that can be hard to describe with just words.

As I continue to shoot, I learn more about myself, what I value, and how I see the world just like I did in the beginning. I’ve watched trends come and go. Film come and (almost) go. Processes disappear. Wet darkrooms become dry darkrooms. Light tables become Lightroom. It’s been an adventure and one I hope keeps moving me forward the rest of my life.






Ideas for your Kauai engagement photography

Ideas for your Kauai engagement photography

Congratulations are in order if you’ve recently gotten engaged.  Now comes the fun of announcing, planning, and preparing for the journey that will lead to your wedding day.  The first step begins with your engagement as you choose a photographer to take your engagement photos. How do you know which direction to go? There are so many ideas out there.  The amount of inspiration on Pinterest alone is staggering. Narrowing it down to a favorite or favorites can be an overwhelming task. With so many choices where should you start?

kauai photographer di3


Try to avoid cliché ideas by personalizing your engagement photography. As the years go by you’ll want to look back at your photographs and be reminded of what it felt like starting out together as a young couple. Dont let your  photos be distracted from that goal by overly posed expressions or props that are kitschy spelled with a capital K. Connect with things that have a lot of meaning to you.

kauai photographer rhonda forsberg di3

Its best to collaborate with a professional photographer who has the ability to see moments and the skill set to capture them with creativity. I always spend some time getting to know my clients a little bit ahead of the shoot to discuss what their vision might be and how I can best help them.  To go one step further I actually include a complimentary engagement session with all my weddings packages.

What to embrace in your engagement photography:

Embrace anything that shows both your personalities and your relationship. Hairstyles and fashions will change in 20 years  your engagement photos will probably look dated so let them show what your relationship was like at that time. Think about what is special to you and your fiance right now.

Consider locations like your favorite coffee bar with your favorite drinks, an afternoon date reading cuddled up in a blanket, stealing a kiss outside your favorite café, or practicing your first dance on that private slip of a beach where he proposed. Think about what you like to do as a couple on a quiet Saturday afternoon then bring in the photographer whose talent is to capture the moments that really say who you are as a couple.

What to avoid in your engagement photography:

Balloons. Seriously unrealistic. When is the last time you walked down the sidewalk holding hands with a bunch of balloons? Never?  These photos    might sound or look cute but is this who you really are?

Scrabble tiles. Overused. Unless you are a huge fan of board game shenanigans skip them.

Signs that say “He Asked!” Or “She Said Yes!”.  This cute engagement idea has been used and re-used.  Think about it. If you plan on sending your engagement photo to your friends and family it’s probably a safe bet that they know you’ve already said yes. Do we need to reiterate?

Umbrellas (unless its raining).  I’m always surprised when I see this. Why would you take a picture holding an umbrella when it’s not raining? If it is raining then this could be a fun idea.
Of course ultimately, its your choice as a couple what to include or exclude from their engagement photos. Just remember you that your relationship should be the focus because at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.