So this guy is a journalist, poet, songwriter and playwright. He traveled on the Hokule’a (look it up – amazing) and wrote a book about the voyage in three languages, and he’s produced television documentaries. I’m sure I’m leaving out a bunch of other admirable “done thats” from the list. When I was assigned to shoot the story about Gary Kubota and The Legend of Ko’olau, the play he wrote, I asked him where he goes to unwind because that’s where I’d like to take his portrait. He told me the spot and said to meet him there at 7am. When I got there, he was fully equipped with his ukelele, harmonica, surfboard and a small folding seat he could use while he played. “Right on!” I said to myself, “This guy brings props!”. It was a beautiful, calm morning where he likes to surf, unwind and play ballads. The bonus was he played and sang as I shot. What a great environment to work in. Check out the story in this month’s Hana Hou! Magazine.
I’m in the process of updating my website which means going through a bazillion folders of images and pulling the ones that move me. The majority of images are from new shoots, but I’m re-visiting some I haven’t looked at in awhile. This process is showing me how time helps refresh my eyes. I’m also reminded of how important it is to show images that truly reflect the kinds of assignments I’d like to be hired to shoot. What a mind game it is, to try and cater one’s portfolio and website for this or that kind of person, opting to show the image that seems like the safe bet, the one most people will find “nice” or “beautiful”. Over and over I’m learning how to listen to my opinion. I need to listen to my style. I’ve been hearing this since I was an art major in college eons ago. What makes the way I frame a scene interesting, unique or hopefully inspires the viewer to feel something more than, “Oh, that’s a nice photo.” If it’s a portrait, I hope I’m able to create images that make people curious about who the people are in my photos. If it’s a landscape, I hope I’m able to inspire the viewer to daydream, just for a moment.
Here are a couple outtakes from a story I shot for Hana Hou Magazine recently. Many people move to the islands with dreams or great expectations only to be spit out by a different reality. Some say the island chooses who stays. This story follows the journey of five people who moved to Maui and Oahu for various reasons, and have been fully accepted by the islands. The two images below show Delorese Gregoire who lives on Oahu and started a youth leadership group, Winners’ Camp and police captain Tivoli Faaumu of Maui. Their stories are beautiful and inspiring. You’ll have to wait until next month when the issue is released to read all about them! More to come…
I’m starting a new photo series showing characters from songs that I really dig. Songs I can listen to over and over because they’re passionate. They inspire visual stories that I need to get out of my head. I realize that most of these subjects are not admirable. I’m just having fun with story telling. This is about putting flesh on lyrics.
I shot these yesterday as the first entry and I can’t decide which ONE to choose. For web and portfolio use, I think I need one maybe two from this shoot. These were inspired by PJ Harvey’s song, Rid of Me. The character starts out sounding soft and gentle, then her voice crescendos up to eleven. (That’s one past 10 for you non-Spinal Tap people.) This woman has been hurt. She is angry. She was in a bad relationship she should be done with, but it’s not over until she says it is. She has some violent ideas. Clearly, her rational mind is not running the show here. She’s on a mission – with a rope.
Which one sings to you?
The July issue of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine holds the hot, little fashion spread I shot with Style Editor, Conn Brattain. We shot on the grounds of the Hyatt Regency in Ka’anapali. It was a blazing hot day, so it’s a good thing we weren’t shooting a wool sweater spread. Those don’t seem to be “in” here on the island in July. Our three Maui models were beautiful troopers: Karise Hallsten, McKenna Lickle and Teesha Green. Camille Kozuki did the makeup and Ry-n Shimabuku designed the hair. My photo assistant was the sweet, Teak McAfee.
Here are some images I like that you won’t see in the magazine…. check it out.
Hiking in Los Angeles, I can’t remember anyone stopping to talk; taking the time, maybe just 5-10 minutes to have a friendly chat. Hiking in Maui, people we pass on the trail will definitely stop and “talk story”. I’m on a little vacation in North Carolina and Georgia right now. After a long hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains this fellow crossed our path and kindly stopped to ask how our hike was. He told us a bit of his story, and suggested another spot we should hike to for a nice view of the surrounding mountains. Funny how memorable a small, friendly chat can be.