“I wanted to capture this blending of the contemporary with the classic motifs I had always envisioned. Like the photo of a local girl on the beach wearing a traditional headdress from her ancient ancestors. She is adorned with seashells and covered in sand, surrounded by nothing but the vastness of the ocean and pure nature… and she has her iPhone in hand to take pictures for her Instagram.”
About the book:
I have wanted to make a photo book on Hawaii since, as far back as I can remember. I grew up with this idea of Hawaii as an ancient tropical paradise, a classic exotic adventure. As a photographer, Hawaii has always had an allure that I felt would be ideal for my style. So, when I was asked to fly to Oahu for a job last July, I was reminded of this childhood dream I had forgotten. I decided in that moment that I would finally make this book!
This book delves deep into the world of locals-only, a window into the real Hawaii that most tourists will never experience. It’s also a modern day version of Hawaii, contemporary to 2015. There were definitely those beaches and jungles, the visions we all share within our collective consciousness about what Hawaii is but, they were intertwined with shopping malls, hotels, and smart phones. I wanted to capture this blending of the contemporary with the classic motifs I had always envisioned. Like the photo of a local girl on the beach wearing a traditional headdress from her ancient ancestors. She is adorned with seashells and covered in sand, surrounded by nothing but the vastness of the ocean and pure nature… and she has her iPhone in hand to take pictures for her Instagram.
The Beauty of Hawaii:
Everyone on the island was so welcoming and helpful. The aloha spirit. They value health and nature and family. If you are respectful they treat you as extended family. When someone is in need, like on the side of the road, they stop their car and they help. Their kindness is infectious. If you show love and respect to others, it spreads like wildfire. Everyone feels responsible for their part in helping others in need, just as they were helped at their time of need. In the same way, Hawaiians are very environmentally friendly. They value nature and protect their land with such respect, and as a result they remain in their own personal Garden of Eden. They seem to embody the idea of an Utopia more closely than any other place I’ve seen in the US.
A moment to remember:
It’s difficult to choose which moment really sticks out the most while making this book. There were these beautiful hidden tide pools we swam in as the ocean sent massive waves into the lava rock and showered down on us. There was the time a wealthy blonde women in her 50’s walked a mile down the beach from her ocean front property to tell my friend to put her clothes back on so her family wouldn’t be exposed to her indecency. We must have looked like ants from that distance. There was the 4th of July when the entire beach full of people had to run into the water in order to see the fireworks that were mistakenly going off hidden behind the skyscrapers. I just want to go back and surf and eat fresh coconuts from my backyard again.