MY ACCOUNT
cart
cart
photographers
SHOP

Travels

Hawaii Big Island Vacation

Part 1 | Volcanos, Waterfalls & Plane Rides

filed in:

I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.

WELCOME

Top Categories

Browse All

read more

WEDDINGS

Browse All

EDUCATION

Browse All

PERSONAL

A wintery boston wedding

w/ inside, dark ceremony

KJ ALL ACCESS

WATCH ME SHOOT weddings
Come join over 3,000 other photographers from around the world & become my virtual third shooter! 
FREE TRIAL
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

Browse Series

 Baby James Story

Our Home

Our Kids

Ask Anything

We surprised them on Christmas Eve with a trip to Hawaii and to be honest, it seemed like it was FOREVER away! At Christmas time, you think that Easter is so far away but somehow it creeps up on you! We left Easter Sunday and we started our trek to the west coast! We made it to LA and spent the night there! It was a GREAT way to break up the trip! Michael planned everything and he did such an amazing job! There is no way we could have made it and accomplished so much without his travel agent skills!!! He made sure we all made it through the airport and that all of our lodging and days were planned out!

So we spent the night in LA and then took everyone to the Santa Monica pier to show them where I shot one of my all time favorite destination weddings! You can view it HERE! Then we got lunch with our sweet friends Troy and Aimee (and Kean!)!! We unfortunately didn’t gauge the LA traffic very well and we RUSHED to catch our flight that afternoon!! We made a mad-dash through security and boarded our flight to Hawaii…. which was another 5.5 hours! Hawaii is WAY out there!!! I used to think it was so close to California but I was way off!

We made it to Hawaii and the adventure began!!! We spent Monday night through Saturday morning on the Big Island and then we headed to Oahu for two days! It was everything we hoped it would be!! I loved seeing some of the world’s most impressive scenery but more than that, I loved experiencing all of it with our parents!! I can’t possibly highlight every little thing that we did but I am going to recap some of the trip today and then again next week!!! Today is focusing on the Big Island of Hawaii and next week will be all about Oahu and will hopefully include our combined Snaps from the trip!!

Before we dive into the pictures, if you’re ever planning a trip to the Big Island, here are some things you may need to know:

– It’s huge! It’s not like driving around Oahu!
– It takes time to find the good stuff so allow plenty of quality time in the rental car together!
– It’s full of lava rock… EVERYWHERE!
– It has 11 of the world’s 13 climates and so the scenery changes constantly!!
– I know it’s pricey but the airplane tour was WORTH the investment! I’ll share all of that part of the trip soon!!
– Black Sand Beach is awesome… but not for laying out on. It’s HOTT!!!
– The valley lookouts are incredible!
– Huggo’s is a nice night out on the water!!
– This island is very different from the others but it’s worth seeing!!!
– Give yourself a FULL 10 hour day to drive and see all of the island highlights!!
– Volcano National Park is awesome but it’s a lot of what we like to call “Devastation”. If you want to see LAVA, either do a sunset air tour via Big Hawaii Air or do the park volcano overlook at sunset and you may see the GLOW from the lava! You have to be there at sunset though!!

So here we go! I hope you enjoy these!! …..

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8444

Not a bad first stop right?!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8445

I love this one!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8446 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8447 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8448 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8449 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8450 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8451 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8452 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8453 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8454 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8455 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8456 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8457 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8458 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8459 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8460

I love this picture!!!!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8461 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8462 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8463 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8464 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8465 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8466 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8467

Akaka Falls! So beautiful!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8468 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8469 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8470 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8471 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8472 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8473

Black Sand Beach!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8474 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8475

Momma checking out the old lava flow!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8476

It’s cool to see! …. Hard to walk on!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8477 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8478 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8479 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8480 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8481 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8482

So then we headed to Volcano National Park… And we forgot that with the elevation change, the temperature changed also! So we used towels!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8483

Annnnnd then we realized that “Devastation Trail” was LITERALLY NOTHING! So we turned around!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8484 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8485 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8486

An old laval flow!

 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8487 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8488 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8489

This lava bubble looks like a dinosaur!

 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8490 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8491

Crater!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8492

Momma liked these things… haha

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8493

oooohhhh a LAVA TUBE!!!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8494 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8495 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8496 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8497

Steam seeping up from the cracks! Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8498 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8499

Time to wait for sunset… in the rain! …..

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8500

It was WORTH IT! VOLCANO!!!!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8501 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8502

New day! This is our Hilton resort….

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8503 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8504 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8505 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8506 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8507 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8508 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8509 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8510 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8511 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8512 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8513 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8514 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8515 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8516 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8517

She loved putting her feet in!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8518 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8519 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8520

That WATER color!!!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8521 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8522 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8523 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8524 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8525 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8526 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8527 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8528

My only request was that we take a few portraits on the beach! And my wish came true! Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8529 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8530

YAY for an in-focus group shot! Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8531 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8532 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8533 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8534 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8535

Love this one!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8536 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8537

Awwww daddyyyyyy….

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8538 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8539

They’re good at the “walk and laugh” shots!

Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8540 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8541 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8542 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8543 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8544 Hawaii Big Island Vacation_8545

So many more to come!! There are still THREE full days that you haven’t seen yet! I can’t wait to share!!!

View other travel posts, here! 

Our first trip to Hawaii! Part I, Part II, Part III

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Student Spotlight July 2021

Ah! It’s our FINAL STUDENT SPOTLIGHT!!! This July post has been a long time coming but it’s HERE and it’s LIVE and I want you to help me celebrate these amazing photographers who are making their dreams happen!!!

READ MORE
Education

This six month update feels like it’s weirdly disproportionate compared to other monthly updates! Why is that? Well, last month I posted a couple of sets of images that were actually at the beginning of his sixth month and THEN we photographed multiple weddings, had several trips away from home for a few days and the dads were for several days!

READ MORE

Rhett’s Sixth Month

Blog

Hope + Jesse A Gillbrook Farms Wedding

Hope and Jesse are the sweetest couple. You can just feel it when you’re with them! You can see it when you watch them interact. You can hear it in the stories that their family members and best friends shared about them. They are truly soulmates and best friends. They have an undeniable love for one another and that is why even a rainy, misty wedding day could be incredibly vibrant, warm and joyful!!

READ MORE
Blog

Rhett’s Fifth Month

Rhett’s fifth month was full of fun. It’s crazy to me that I know I only take my big camera to about 10% of the things we do in a month and yet each month is SO full.

READ MORE
Personal

This beautiful wedding day took place in the rolling hills of West Virginia, just past the Virginia state line. Wild Goose Farm is a venue that I’ve never photographed before and let me tell you, it was a treat! We didn’t even have the sun join us for most of the day and yet we were able to capture beautiful portraits! Between the horses, old fences, stunning estate home, lily pad covered pond, old stone walls, rustic barn, open fields and a historic stone arch, I was in photographer heaven!

READ MORE

Brian + Shannon A Wild Goose Farm Wedding

Weddings

Tim + Megan | Engaged Countryside Engagement Portraits | Harrisonburg

This session was just as sweet as it looks. We spent the evening with Megan and Tim in the country outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia. We were tucked away in the rolling hills in between beautiful fields and family farms. It reminded me all over again why I just love Virginia. We really have it all… beaches, mountains, history, and great schools! JMU, while it did play a role in Tim and Megan’s story, isn’t actually where it started!

READ MORE
Engaged

READER FAVORITES

"Best money I have EVER spent on education! ... and I've spent a lot!”

- Kara Abbey, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I love all the lessons I'm learning from KJ All Access! Thanks Katelyn!”

- Shannon Drummond, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I find very few educational resources worth it ... this one is!”

- Kate gansneder, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Being able to see behind-the-scenes of Katelyn interacting with her clients has been SO impactful!”

- Angie mcpherson, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"SO worth it! It's amazing the amount of knowledge you get out of them!”

- Brittany Lowe, ALl ACCESS MEMBER

"I learned just as much in one All Access as I did in a whole course! SO GOOD!"

- Joanna Krueger, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER
10 Steps to Starting Your Photography Business
Helping a friend survive a season of Infant Loss
How to photograph a first look in Harsh Light
OUR KJ COUPLES REUNION
A Lake Como Destination Wedding - Greg and Kate
A Letter to the Go-Getters fearful of Motherhood

The KJ blog
must-reads

The KJ Blog is where you get to know me, where you meet our KJ Couples and see their beautiful wedding days, where I have been building an archive of education for over a decade and where I let you see a peek into our life, our home, and hear about our purpose! 
don't miss the
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

YOUTUBE

Join 24,000+ others and learn, grow and get connected via our Youtube Channel! This is where I'm constantly sharing new content, talking all things gear, business, tips, tricks and letting you into the behind-the-scenes of our everyday life! 
MORE FREE EDUCATION + CUTE BABIES ON
WATCH NOW

"I have invested in all of KJ’s education!

The way she teaches makes so much sense and I’m so grateful for her! My business will be forever changed!"

- Renee Nicolo

"KJ education has been life-changing

 It has elevated my work so I could quit my day job and work from home with our baby boy!"

- joanna k.

"I'VE INVESTED IN SO MANY RESOURCES... 

and none compare to what I get from KJ!"

- LAUREN M.