You might be wondering what is the best time for your Oahu beach photo session. Here are a few things to consider to help with your decision…


Do you like photos with direct sunlight or indirect sunlight?

If you’re looking to have family photos on the beach taken with the sun rising or sun setting in the horizon, you’ll want to select a windward beach (east side) for sunrise, and a west facing beach (west side) for sunset – depending on the time of year. Keep in mind, the sun does shift a bit depending on the time of year.

If you want indirect light, you’ll want to select a beach in the west at sunrise (koolina and waikiki), and a beach on the east side at sunset (Turtle Bay, Kailua, Lanikai, Waimanalo beach, etc.).


If you are traveling from the continental US, you will realize that Hawaii is 2+ hours behind depending on the specific month that you will be on Oahu.

Look at the month that you will be here to see the estimated time that your photoshoot will take place. I typically start my sunset photo sessions 1-1.5 hrs before sunset, and sunrise photo sessions right around sunrise (at sunrise or around 20 minutes after).

Jan – 700AM , 600PM

Feb – 700AM, 630PM

Mar – 630AM, 645PM

Apr – 615AM, 650PM

May – 550AM, 700PM

Jun – 550AM, 715PM

July – 600AM, 715PM

Aug – 610AM, 700PM

Sept – 620AM, 630PM

Oct – 625AM, 610PM

Nov – 645AM, 548PM

Dec – 7AM, 550PM

(*these times are just an average for the month)


If you live on Oahu, its best to go with whatever time works best with your schedule, style, and family/partner. Last May I got my kids up really early so we could drive 35 minutes for sunrise photos at Koolina. The year before that we did sunset photos at the North Shore which was an hour away. Both sessions worked out well!


If you are traveling from the continental US, doing a sunrise photo session towards the beginning of your stay is recommended, as you will still be on the same timezone of where you are traveling from. It takes 1 day for every hour of time difference to adjust to the new time zone.

For adults and older children, you should be ok with sunset photos if you have your heart set on it! Though don’t forget that sunrise photo sessions on the East side of Oahu are gorgeous! Just as beautiful as sunset.

I have found that the younger the child (especially for kids under 7) the more likely they are going to be cranky for sunset photos because it is bedtime and dinner around the start time of the sunset photoshoot. 99.9% of my clients with little ones will do a sunrise photo session especially if their session is towards the start of their trip. Also, many kids will not adjust to the new time zone AND most families are pooped by the end of the day. Those are definitely some things worth considering when deciding.

Sunrise photos allow you to get up at a time that you &/or your kids are likely already going to be up at and you’re also done and have the WHOLE day to do whatever you want to do!

Check the sunrise time at your favorite location (look it up and see if it is east facing or west facing) to see if you think meeting at the location is doable. I generally meet clients 5 min before sunrise for east locations, and 15-20 min after sunrise for West facing beaches on Oahu.


If you’re looking to book a photoshoot,  CLICK HERE to get in touch, or CLICK HERE if you are ready to select a date/package/location and BOOK.

Keep in mind, I am usually booked out months in advance so you will want to inquire ASAP. However, I will sometimes have last minute availability, so please don’t hesitate to reach out. If I share that I am available I recommend booking ASAP because spots fill extremely quickly!


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