At Hawaii School of Photography, a symphony of clicking shutters and flashing lights fills the various classrooms during digital, traditional, and professional photography classes. As a school devoted to commercial photography, the company offers classes on DSLR basics, how to create lighting, and how to advance a career as a professional photographer. Courses are held in the studio or on-location, and the website also offers online course and free lessons. The school and studio is helmed by award-winning professional photographer and lighting expert Dr. Stephen Dantzig, whose work has appeared on 22 regional and national magazine covers and who's published many books and articles on the art of lighting.
The team at TaidePhoto takes care and foresight to ensure that each client is satisfied with the entire photography process, from an initial consultation to determining which redeye to edit out and which to keep because it looks pretty rad. By keeping an open gate of communication, clients can rest assured that their relaxing family or individual portrait sessions will yield memories they'll be able to share for years to come. In addition to group and individual portraits, the team also covers specials events—such as weddings and fashion shows—and snaps fine art, nature, and architecture.
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With the natural beauty of the Hawaiian islands providing the scenic backdrop, Bridal Dream Hawaii fills in the rest of the details on couples' big days. The wedding specialists offer packaged and à la carte services such as officiants, photographers, flowers, and transportation for beach weddings, as well as more deluxe add-ons including hotel stays and musicians. Wedding coordinator Robert Hamilton is on hand to field questions and inspire ideas by suggesting scenic stretches of sand for the ceremony or tasty tide pools for the cocktail hour.
Adorned in traditional Hawaiian dress, the children on the beach strum ukuleles, savor juicy bites of pineapple, and lift a conch from the shore. These scenes, from Teri Lathrop's Hawaiian Keiki series, now sell all over the island at outlets such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Longs. Along with costumed Keiki kids, Teri's shutterbug skills have earned her gigs photographing Mrs. Hawaii and a slew of famous musicians including Daughtry, The Romantics, and Heart, an autonomous internal organ and wicked drummer. She also lends her artistic eyes to expectant moms, newborns, and families, crafting posed and candid compositions both in and out of the studio—though she favors dreamy beach locales. Teri preserves her client's favorite images on archival paper with a choice of semi-mat, linen, or metallic finish.
In 1988, Natalie Brown-Aiwohi began working as a makeup artist at Headshots Hawaii. A month later, she was promoted to manager. In 2010, after 22 years as manager, Brown-Aiwohi purchased the studio herself and built a new location to house it at the Aiea Town Square. Immediately, she transformed a franchise that had been known for its 1980s-style glitz into a full-service photography studio that captures images of clients just as they are. “After all the glitz and glam, people wanted to look like themselves—they wanted more of a natural look,” Brown-Aiwohi told Pacific Business News in 2010, shortly after the move.
Today, Headshots Hawaii is the only remaining Headshots franchise of dozens that had opened in the 1980s and 1990s, and Brown-Aiwohi’s dream is still going strong. As a partner of the Miss Hawaii Pageant, Headshots Hawaii snaps photos of reigning Miss Hawaiis, drawing on Brown-Aiwohi’s experience as a former pageant queen and model. Photographers also shoot images for weddings, businesses, aspiring models, and airtight alibis, tailoring the style to suit the client. Brown-Aiwohi gives back to the community with charitable work, such as supporting events to benefit homeless teens.