• Kristen Benevides

New Ventures | Oahu | Baptiste Ohana

I’ve shared this a few times before, but to reiterate I have only started photography this year. It’s been a whirlwind and is still only in the beginning stages. I had no idea that when I decided to start learning photography I would turn it into a business. I thought I would learn how to do it, take pictures for fun, and maybe in a few years I could turn it into something. God definitely had other plans.


I’ve shared this before so I won’t go into too much detail, but both my undergraduate and graduate degrees are in the field of psychology/counseling. Since 2010, I have always been in work environments related to my field from being an advocate to working in therapeutic foster care and then later as a high school counselor. This was pretty much my intention for the future.


I cannot tell you the amount of fear I had in even stating the words “I am a photographer.” To actually let go of my years of schooling to pursue something completely out of my element was scary as heck. But! I’m pulling a Dory and will just keep swimming.


Today, I wanted to highlight a friend of mine. Sheena and I met at Chaminade University where we were both pursuing our Masters in Counseling Psychology. I want to say that we had almost every class together and were with each other for those 2 ½ years. Sheena also decided to put her original career path on hold and pursue something that was completely different from our intended field and something that she was passionate about.

“After making the difficult decision of putting my original career path on hold and starting a new venture, I found a passion in jewelry making. In 2016, I launched my own online boutique, Seven Sparrows, which features handmade jewelry made with Tahitian pearls and gemstones. After three years of enjoying this newfound passion, I still continue to design, create, and sell my jewelry.”

How amazing is that?! Before I decided to start a business, I admired those that were brave enough to do something different. To take the chance to step away from something that was their intended path and try something new and unknown. Maybe you’re in the same spot, maybe you’re not. No matter what season of life you’re in, you don’t need to have any expectations of where your life should be. Here’s a verse I’ve been clinging to in this season and transition:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Enjoy the process and journey and have faith that more will come later.


Okay, back to Sheena! I had the pleasure of seeing Sheena again to photograph her and her family. This was my first time meeting her beautiful baby girl, Adrienne. She was freakin’ adorable! In this new season of motherhood, she continues to pursue her passion in art and jewelry making, but is now growing and evolving her business:

“In January 2020, I am beyond excited to introduce a new line of baby products for my boutique inspired by and dedicated to my beautiful daughter, Adrienne.”

Her jewelry is absolutely beautiful. Be sure to check it out if you need some new jewelry pieces. Or hey… it’s Christmas! Get your gift orders in soon for the Christmas season.


Seven Sparrows Hawaii


Thank you to Sheena, Jason, and Adrienne for such a good time at our session and for supporting me on this new venture with photography.

Interested in a family session?! Let’s connect to capture some of your family magic.

Kristen Iwalani is a family, couples, and elopement photographer based on Oahu, Hawaii. She loves capturing intimate, fun, and heartfelt candid moments that spark love and joy. She describes herself as a bit of a nerd who loves all things Harry Potter (Ravenclaw represent!) and Disney. She wants everyone to know that you are God’s masterpiece.


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