The Villanueva fam recently visited the island to see some family here in Maui. We connected via Instagram and hit it off for the perfect session in Wailea, a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. Many first-time clients ask me for location recommendations, usually preferring a beach setting. Wailea is an easy choice because the area tends to be a little less populated than other beaches on the island, its westward facing direction boasts some pretty epic sunsets, and is equally as beautiful for morning shoots as well.. But even with familiar spots all over Wailea, I get to explore new elements each time I visit with families and couples looking to capture Maui memories.
Here are my top 5 favorite places to shoot in Wailea:
I met up with the Villanueva family at Palauea, which sits between the oceanfront resorts and Makena State park. Along with the calm ocean view at any given time of day, backgrounds on the beach also include lava rock formations in contrast to the white sand & beautiful green foliage as well.
2. Po’olenalena Beach
Po’olenalena means “yellow head” in Hawaiian and the name of this beach refers a yellow-streaked rock landmark that sits roadside on the Mauka golf course. At any given time of day, turtles can be seen swimming close to the shore, enjoying this quiet beach with the rest of us. I really love the long stretch of beach providing many options for different scenery.
3. Maluaka Beach
Closer to the end of Makena, Maluaka Beach stretches a little longer than other beaches in the area, making it easy to capture photo sessions without many people in the background. The evening tide brings in colorful waves reflecting off the sunset, creating a beautiful backdrop for any session.
4. Polo Beach
This beach is nestled up against the Fairmont Hotel, which also has an outcropping of palm trees to add to the background. The soft sand makes it easy for my clients to walk around and enjoy while we find the perfect position. While it is a more populated beach, it remains clean and welcoming to visitors who are stopping by for photos.
5. Secret Cove Beach
Despite its “private” name, Secret Cove Beach is actually open to the public. This beach is smaller than others, offering more intimate portraits with breath-taking views. It’s also a popular spot for wedding ceremonies!
Part of my clients’ investments in photos is making sure they choose a location that is comfortable, idyllic, and matches their overall vision for their session. Wailea offers both of those elements and I love walking away from sessions knowing families and couples enjoyed some time at the beach.