Why do I keep Oahu waterfalls and hike locations to myself?

Updated: Jan 21

You might be looking at my website and wondering, where is that waterfall? How do I get to that hike? What itinerary did you get that took you to see all these things??

I keep all these things to myself for several reasons.

First, I want to protect the islands.

I don't use location tags because I don't want to send a stream of people to a beautiful location. Too many people in a natural setting will ultimately ruin it.

Second, I want to offer a very meaningful experience to my clients.

When a client hires me to photograph their Oahu wedding or even just for a photo session on the Hawaiian islands, I share my locations and galleries with them to help inspire them and help them choose their perfect spot and their ideal itinerary. I help them choose what's right for them on a customized bases. I let them know what shoes they need, how many snacks to bring, what time of day we should begin, and many other details on a case-by-case basis that just simply can't be communicated to the general masses in a blog, because it's a highly custom experience.

I work very hard to find exquisite, private locations to guide my clients.

Thirdly, there's also the fact that the jungle is very dangerous!

I don't want to send you into the Hawaiian jungle unless you know the way, or are being guided by someone who's been on that path. Hawaiian jungles are brutal. The paths are not marked well. Tourists are regularly rescued by helicopter because they get too lost.

I don't want to to share a location that may become illegal at some point in the future. Many hikes in Hawaii are illegal because they're unsafe, and I don't work for the Hawaiian parks and recreation association, so while I always research a hike before taking a couple there, I don't keep up on what's illegal unless I'm heading there in the near future. I don't want to inspire someone to do a hike without research that ultimately results in someone being hurt or worse.

Fourthly, privacy is important to me, and to my couples. I work very hard to find romantic, rural locations that have a sacred feeling, and when my couple and I arrive to photograph their important moments in those settings, I would love for them to have a private experience.

Fifthly, there are a lot of things you might ordinarily do in the place you're from, that you just can't do in Hawai'i because in a different culture, they are intensely disrespectful things, and sadly, some tourists aren't savvy to them. I would feel deeply guilty if a beautiful landmark was damaged by a rowdy tourist, and I was the one who gave them directions.

And lastly, I have thousands of people on my website each month. If you're my next Oahu couple, how disappointed will you be if there are twenty people littering and blaring loud music at a waterfall you and I expected to be secluded and intimate? How frustrating would it be if I was recognized by someone in the crowd who had read my blog, taken my itinerary, and showed up at our location because I told all my secrets in my blog?

I have a great many more resources for Hawaii weddings, Oahu weddings, and other wedding locations around the globe here in the journal: https://www.fernandfountain.com/oahu-hawaii-destination-wedding

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