Jeffrey Vallis is a freelance writer and communications specialist living in Toronto.

Thoughts and reflections on my life and work.

Thoughts and reflections on my life and work.

Hawaiian engagement memories courtesy of a hashtag

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Hashtags are kind of annoying. Sure, one or two clever or timely hashtags on a post are understandable. But 35? Give it a rest!

Still, they can come in handy from time to time. Like when Chris and I got engaged in Hawaii last winter.

I wanted to have an engagement photo shoot in Hawaii where it all happened. So instead of spending hours looking through local photographers websites and Google reviews, I turned to Instagram to search the hashtag #kauaiphotographer.

Also, I was kind of hoping I’d stumble on a local photography student looking for the experience that we could pay with our appreciation and gratitude because Chris was dead set against spending a penny on the whole thing at first.

After scrolling through hundreds of photos on the hashtag (that now has over 25,000 mentions), I found Tim and Caitlin. They’re married and run a photography business called Gallivan Photo in Bend, Oregon, and they just happened to be in Kauai that week to shoot a wedding. The Hawaiian gods were smiling on us that day!

Tim and Caitlin could not have been a better fit. They made us feel so comfortable and we just felt like we were hanging out with friends rather than doing a photo shoot.

It also had an element of adventure because none of us knew where the hell we were going, so we kept driving deeper into a rainforest and ended up getting stuck up a creek — literally. But it made for some great stories and even better photos.

The best part? We loved them so much we hired them to do the wedding in Maui!

Take a look at some of the fun and fabulous engagement photos Gallivan Photo took of us in Kauai in January 2018 and stay tuned for the wedding photos in April 2019.