Oahu Vacation Photos | San Jose Photographer | Our Hawaiian Getaway

Aloha, we are back from our recent trip to Hawaii! As soon as we returned home, I decided to make a conscious effort to edit and share our Oahu vacation photos ASAP before things get too busy for the holidays!


Having always lived on the east coast, I never thought our family would ever get a chance to visit Hawaii. Now that we are living the Bay Area, a Hawaiian vacation suddenly became so much more accessible!

As our first trip to the Hawaiian Islands, we decided to start with the island of Oahu and stayed for 5 blissful nights at The Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki Beach! Unfortunately it rained almost the entire time, so we spent most of our days eating delicious Japanese food and driving along the coast to view the amazing mountains and turquoise colored sea. On the 4th day, we had a rainy but entertaining time at the Polynesian Cultural Center and enjoyed watching all the performers demonstrate cultural dances from different islands! Sydnie loved it so much that she told us she preferred it over Disney World! Imagine that!



Every time we plan a vacation, I always start stressing over what kind of camera to bring on our trip! Honestly, the thought of lugging my beastly Nikon D4 body with my 24-70mm lens on vacation always gives me the heebie-jeebies! Taking photos with my iPhone is always good enough for posting to social media, but maybe not so much to capture images that I’d consider frame worthy.

In comes our awesome Fuji X100s camera to the rescue (although the X100t is now available)! We’ve actually had it for a couple years now and since then, it has become our little vacation/street camera! We love the super sharp 23mm f/2 lens (35mm focal length), the amazing low light performance, compact body, and how it produces amazing images that almost rivals our DSLR! I also love being able to shoot manually and in RAW, although the X100s manual controls do take a little getting used to. Auto focus is also not quite as fast as I’d like, but I’m expecting that to improve over the next few models. For a more in depth review of the Fujifilm X100s, check out Zack Arias’ blog entry here!


Although 35mm is a great focal length for general street photography, my main interest has always been portrait photography. At 35mm, I found it difficult to compose my subjects and wasn’t too crazy about the distortion. The good news is Fuji recently came out with the TCL-X100 telephoto conversion lens that converts the 35mm focal length to a 50mm f/2! Woohoo!

Right before this trip, I decided to order the conversion lens and it seriously breathed new life into our little camera! We took most of our landscape photos at 35mm but used the 50mm lens to capture portraits of Sydnie at the breathtaking Lanikai Beach! Despite being annoyed that we were having yet another overcast day, I loved how the soft lighting allowed us to capture these whimsical, airy photos of our daughter! FYI, most of these were shot at F/2 – 2.8 for that extra dreamy look!



Despite the rainy weather, we had an amazing first time in Hawaii! There was just so much to see, eat, and do in Oahu and so little time! Maybe one day we will have a chance to visit another island, but until then, I will be dreaming of Hawaii’s amazing volcanic mountain ranges and turquoise colored waters! Mahalo Hawaii! We can’t wait to come back!


Two Leaf Photography is Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, and the surrounding SF Bay Area’s premier maternity, newborn, baby, children, family, birthday party, and event photographer.

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