Hi everyone! If you could take a moment to read this, and share if you can, it’d be much appreciated. One of my lovely friends, Sara Beth Richards, has long-struggled with PCOS and endometriosis. After seeing doctors for years, and after experiencing “over 100 ultrasounds, MRIs, etc.”, she finally got to see a new specialist,
Something has changed in me over the last few months. Despite growing up as an outdoorsy-kid gallivanting all over Maui – hiking, snorkeling, body surfing, exploring in general – I’ve spent most of my 20s cooped up inside, sitting in front of my computer. However, a few months ago, I started to get this feeling like I needed to get outside and jump in the ocean. Of course I’ve been to the beach plenty of times in my life, but it was never really a part of my adult lifestyle, mostly due to constantly having a camera in my bag that I did not want to leave alone on the sand while I was in the water. Combined with my eyes getting worse and being prone to infection with my contact lenses, I rarely swam anymore…until now. I haven’t regularly exercised since I was in the 8th grade, and the older I get, the harder it is to stay in some semblance of good shape, and I guess my body had enough of it, because I could feel it craving the ocean.
I’ve also been shooting for 2Chillies Swimwear for nearly a year now, and since I started being around the ocean for our photo shoots at least once a month, I finally invested in an Outex underwater housing for my camera. I have so many awesome friends who are underwater and surf photography experts who basically live in the ocean, and I’m really happy I can finally go out to play with them!
And play truly is the key word. In any passion-turned-business, you run the risk of burning yourself out on it, and I have to be really careful about photography. Of course I’ll always love it, but I’ve recently been so focused on shooting for work purposes that I find myself uninspired to go out and shoot for myself – to play, experiment, and have fun with it again. Business has been great, but my personal work has been suffering, so forcing myself into a new environment where I’m almost learning from scratch, combined with legitimate exercise, has been amazing for my mental health and spirit.
So that explains my recent foray into the world of underwater photography, but let’s get to the actual purpose of this post – Waikiki Wednesdays! Since Hawaii’s weather has been really bipolar so far this year, I’ve taken to trying to get out and into the ocean on any sunny day I can. My lovely friend Lauren, who kind of does everything - dancer, model, designer, sailor, stylist, makeup-artist, businesswoman – is also the manager of 2Chillies Swimwear Waikiki, so she’s been the most amazing producer for our shoots over the last year, and also happens to be super fun to hang out with. She happens to have Wednesday mornings off, so I texted her if she wanted to go adventuring with me yesterday, and off we went!
So, first off, we managed to get ourselves aboard a boat sailing out to Turtle Canyon off the coast of Waikiki for some snorkeling. Unfortunately, the water clarity was pretty awful (likely do to the recent south swell we’ve been having), so I only managed to get a few decent photos. Through the murky water, I could see gigantic sea turtles wandering around the ocean floor, so I can’t wait to go back again sometime in better conditions! After we got back out of the water, the boat sailed around for a bit before heading back to shore. Lauren and I had lunch, then went while she went back to work, I ended up wandering around Waikiki on a solo photo walk for the rest of the day. It’s been ages since I was just shooting for the sake of shooting, and I hope you all enjoy the images I came up with, which are so very me in aesthetic that it was incredibly therapeutic to just shoot what I wanted the way I wanted to.
Disclaimer: What I state here is just my understanding of the situation that has resulted in my current insurance being approved of by the Hawaii State Film Office, as of December 16th, 2013. However, as I am not affiliated in any official capacity with the State, so I cannot guarantee everything I say is 100% accurate, and the State may change things in the future. Please comment and let me know if I’ve said anything explicitly inaccurate and I will do my best to amend it.
This has taken a while, but I believe I’ve finally got all my ducks in a row with the stressful and confusing requirements implemented by the State of Hawaii for being eligible to receive a film permit, which is required for all commercial photography taking place on State property – including scenic landscapes you intend to sell as art prints. Don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of things about the legislation that I absolutely do not agree with, but in the interest of professionalism, I’ve been working to get myself into their new online film permit application database, which in itself is a great improvement to the complicated system, and have finally successfully done so after addressing the controversial Automobile Liability requirement that they attempted to implement for the Annual Permit Application a couple of years ago.
Since I’m about to start blogging again, I figured I should ease into it with a catch-up post!
Some things that happened in the last six months:
- Went on a family trip to Japan and experienced full cherry blossom season glory
- Shot my best friend’s wedding on Maui
- Unreal Hawaii did a nice blog post about me
- (Partially) did an online summer painting art camp
- Moved from Kailua to Makiki
- Began shooting for magazines
- Began shooting for 2Chillies Swimwear
In all honestly, besides travel, the first half of the year wasn’t that memorable for me. Sure, there was infrequent work, but I feel like our last months living in Kailua were pretty stagnant for me. The art camp I was participating in was my answer to my “lack of busy” I’d been having, and was great for the first few weeks, but then around June life turned upside down when we were informed we needed to move out of our Kailua apartment due to the owner moving back from the mainland. Suddenly, painting fell by the wayside, and somehow amidst the turmoil of moving, my work increased tenfold – definitely a result of spending more time in town!
And that’s been the gist of my life now – lots of photography work, not enough time to paint, but life is on the upswing, and hopefully I’ll have more to post about. I’m also hoping to do more review/tutorial-type posts, so keep an eye out for those as well.
A blog post by me wouldn’t be complete without excessive photo posting, so here’s a small selection:
Today, I turn 26 years old! I have now completed a full quarter-century, which is kind of crazy, but it’s also exciting to see how much more life I still have left to live. I like to celebrate each birthday by saying I survived another year not out of morbid humor, but because I really