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Becoming a Photographer | Fashion. Freedom. Finding Myself

I have always been an introvert and while I love being around people and even talking to people. I tend to be awkward and more of a watcher. My love of photography changed all of that.

Okay. Wait. No it didn’t.

But it most definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and into another world. A beautiful world. One brimming with possibilities and wonder.

I started on Facebook market.

Putting up an ad stating I was looking for models for fun and free shoots seemed like a small feat at the time. Little did I know, that tiny thing I had been putting off would change everything. I got a message back from a Russian woman who happened to be beautiful and have a wardrobe of flowing dresses.

Her Name Was Karina

Karina is the kind of free wandering spirit that you can only describe as a Goddess.

I met her at The International Marketplace in Waikiki and we talked about what kind of photo shoots we had done before and what we wanted to get out of our shoot together. She knew another photographer who was amazing and she was already experienced being in front of a lens.

I on the other hand had no idea what I was doing but I told her about the few shoots I had done before. No need to mention they were the only shoots I had done and that I was actually in the fake it till I make it stage.

When she brought up that she knew a boat captain and she wanted to shoot on a boat I was giddy like a school girl. She also wanted to bring a few friends. I knew I had hit the jackpot.

Fast Forward to The Day of The Shoot

I pulled into the Waikiki boat harbor and saw a gaggle of Russians standing on the corner. My palms were sweaty but I had a brand new Nikon D850 in my bag that was screaming at me to GO. There was no way I was turning back now.

The boat was an old house boat / yacht turned party boat that was captained by what I took as an exiled Turkish prince who hosted couch surfers from all over the world.

This shit was crazy.

After a few extremely awkward moments of introductions and listening to a bunch of strangers speak in foreign languages I pulled out my camera and did what I came to do.

The Boy

The first shot I took was of the boy. He was small, shy, and seemed completely out of place. We were one in the same in that moment and I gravitated to him instantly. I am so glad I got a few shots in of him and his family because for safety reasons they were asked to leave the boat before we left the harbor.

After the captains current couch surfer and the host of this show Karina finally made it to the boat (they had to stock up on wine and Jack Daniels apparently) we finally left the harbor.

I wandered the boat and introduced myself and my camera to the girls while we slowly made it out of the harbor.

The setting was gorgeous and I was becoming excited. My nervousness faded the more I looked through my viewfinder.

And here is where it gets good.

As we hit the open water, the wind and ocean air turned the women into Goddesses. The presence of them in their flowing gowns seemed to turn the old boat into a magical vessel of freedom.

It was intoxicating.

One of the girls told me of how she was nervous but felt excited at the same time. As we moved through the day and we shot more I could see her transforming. It was as if she was releasing something inside of her. Becoming something more than what she was when we started.

I felt it along with her.

After this shot I knew I had what I came here to get. So this is where I will leave you. Look on for more of the beauty of the day, but know that this image you see above these words was when I turned into a photographer. Something inside me shifted when I took this photo, and I will never turn back.


After the Shoot I got some great shots of the couch surfer who had drank enough Jack to finally get in front of the lens.

I may or may not have partook in the Jack drinking and jumped in the ocean too many times. But you will never really know or understand all that happened here this day. And that’s okay. Just know it was

Another day I fell in love with the world, through photography.

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