“I was meant to be in the ocean, creating art…”
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I was born in Hawaii and have always been in love with the ocean. It started out like most teens in Hawaii, body boarding (aka ‘boogie boarding’) which later transitioned to bodysurfing. It was natural for me to be a bodysurfer since I was a competitive swimmer in high school and even a little bit in college. I really bodysurfing because it’s just you, the wave and your fins, nothing else. It’s so pure.. So 10 yrs ago when I would be bodysurfing these massive waves at Waimea or Pipe it was such a cool experience I wanted to tell everyone! I would try my best to explain what I just experienced to others, friends, family, whoever would listen. I would flare my arms up to describe how big the waves were, make funny sounds with my mouth describing the thunder and bass the waves make underwater and ramble on how gorgeous the colors and reflections were. Unfortunately, that’s what it mainly was, rambling. Then I held my first DSLR camera in 2007 and I instantly knew I found my calling. Literally a few months after I bought my camera, I moved to South East Asia to focus on photography full-time. For nearly a year, I worked on my own unique style as a photographer and artist. The people and energy of the land I visited invariably moved me. When I moved back home to Hawaii, I had a completely different understanding of what I was able to do with my camera; I was able to create art. This led me to combine the two things I really enjoy doing, bodysurfing and photography. I don’t have the skills to articulate my experiences or myself very well, but I do know photography and that’s how I started out as a swimmer to a bodysurfer to a surf photographer.
I quickly turned a fun surf photography hobby into a passion. My photography is my art, it’s how I communicate to the world. No one knows that better than my beautiful wife Kathy. She’s always encouraging me to think outside the box and be creative which I really can appreciate. She runs a very successful blog called http://www.islandfeversisters.com where she writes about fashion/beauty/travel. We have a dog name Mana that loves the beach and her sister (a cat) named Chloe. We could watch the two of them for hours, they give us free entertainment! I like to get my day started with a 5 a.m. wake-up call and drive to the beach to shoot sunrises in the water. Watching a beautiful sunrise while getting to shoot in the waves is meditating for me. It’s my sanctuary.
The last couple of years I was featured on CNN, The Daily Mail, The People, I’Espresso, LA Times Photography, SurferLiving, a few magazines and many popular photography websites such as The Inertia, F-Stoppers, Amazing Pics, The Colossal, Hypness, and much more listed here. I also really enjoy helping others learn photography since no one helped me when I first started. The University of Hawaii’s outreach department is allowing me to teach my own underwater photography workshop class this summer.
I am constantly driven to get that better shot. It isn’t just about taking pictures for me anymore; it is being creative and trying to capture the beauty in nature in an artistic way.