This summer I was invited to document the first Lawai’a camp in Kahana. It was a five day camp centered around lawai’a (fishing). There were so many fun activities to help us understand proper fishing here in Hawai’i and to learn how to not over fish. Some of my favorites were picking up net at sunrise, building the dry box, and torching at night. Mahalo for every one who put this camp together and all the ‘ohana that participated. Best Camp ever!
It’s been awhile since my last post. Step back daily bloggers… my passion for photography has combined with providing people with incredible experiences, captured by my lens. Let me share with you some of the photo-tourism and destination wedding-photo-shoots that have kept me busy this year.
This year started off full of fun photo shoots with international clients from China, Singapore and Taiwan. I might need to brush up on some language skills!
I’ve begun collaborating with an amazing, boutique, vintage Hawaii, wedding venue here in the country. (That’s code for not crowded Waikiki.) The Wedding Cottage Hawaii. The idea was to offer brides and couples getting engaged with more than an ordinary photo shoot. Coming soon we are going to offer a variety of different outdoor activities that I can document for clients in an editorial – life style type of shoot. Some of the activities include beach cruising on the North Shore, Sunset Beach skate path, paddle boarding down a river, kayaking to small islands, horse back riding and cattle wrangling at Gunstock Ranch. If you’re not a surfer or a skater but want some fun outdoor experience photographed… we’ve got options. If you do want that skate or surf experience, talk to the Event Directors at The Wedding Cottage and they can customize this, along with their lodging options. We can document highlights of your vacation and you’ll go home with images and memories that you’ll never forget. Who wants to be next?
I am on holiday visiting family until the new year, but before I left I shot the Christmas lights for the Polynesian Cultural Center. I was fully impressed, if you are looking to get into the Christmas spirit in Hawaii, I highly recommend going around on the lagoon at the PCC to see the Christmas lights and nativity scenes. To find out more about checking out the lights click here.
The video is one of my favorite renditions of the nativity. It was done by the children of St. Paul’s Church in New Zealand. Merry Christmas!
Fire knife competitions are by far the most challenging thing for me to photograph. During the competitions I am not allowed to use a flash, and the goal is to freeze the dancer but keep the shutter open long enough to get a full circle of fire. For example I keep my shutter for 1/10th of second for the very fast start off and 1/8th to 1/6th when they slow down. I consider how much gas is on the knife or how many knives the dancer is using since 1, 2 or 3 fire knives can quickly change the lighting. The last variable is time, I only have a few minutes to capture each competitor. After I fill up a card the images are taken and sent to the Asociated Press. I don’t even have a chance to look at them, so there is very little room for error.
I staged the first 4 photos below that are going to be used for the 20th annual fire knife competition advertising for next year. The last 5 are some of my favorites from this most recent competition.
Devin Graham and the Mozo family just came out with the well done trailer for Transcend : the Jon Mozo story. I didn’t get the chance to meet Jon, except through his family, who have been friends here in Hawaii. I have a lot of respect and love for Jon though. He was an incredible ocean and surf photographer and his images inspire me. Can’t wait for the full movie to come out, enjoy this powerful trailer. To learn more about the Jon Mozo legacy and order any of his amazing prints, check out www.jonmozo.com
As I started to edit these photos of “The LIttle Mermaid”, My daughter looked over my shoulder and said “Oh daddy! Do you mean there are mermaids in this island? Were they nice? Oh they are so beautiful! I want to be a mermaid”. I never had the heart to tell her they weren’t real.
Children’s Theatre of Oahu (CTO) approached me about taking some underwater pictures of mermaids to advertise their production of “The Little Mermaid”. The video I included is a behind the scenes look at our underwater shoot. The girls did a great job in the water even though it wasn’t the calmest of conditions. The dancer playing Ariel had some serious diving skills, she would go down and then just calmly cruise along the ocean floor. Have to thank the Makeup artists Karlotta Carvalho,and Vasi Wolfgramm for the great job they did. Go support this fun production of CTO’s “The little Mermaid”. For more information here is a link to their site. www.ctotheatre.com
I asked Bree to write a little something for this post, and it ended up being a bit of a testimonial. Bree was a lot of fun to work with, she is able to pull off so many different looks. We were able to shoot all the different styles below in one morning.
“Working with Mark Lee was not only new to me but a leap of faith. As I was in search for someone to shoot me for my portfolio pictures, there is always that possibility that you will not connect with the photographer or in the worst case, the pictures will not turn out. I have worked with many photographers, and have gotten my fair share of horrible, and good. Mark was by far the best photographer I have worked with yet. Not only did I go into this photo shoot not knowing what to expect, but I barely knew him. He ended being much more creative than I had intended, and turning idea’s I had, into better and more powerful shots. Mark has so many new and original idea’s up his sleeve, I feel like we could of shot all day with all different looks. After receiving my final pictures, I have never been so pleased. This has been my strongest portfolio within the past three years, and my agent couldn’t be happier. Mark Lee is an outstanding photographer that I would recommend to anyone that needs portfolio shots, wedding shots, engagements, high fashion, or commercial. One of my favorite shots was the water, and underwater shots. He knows what he is doing, and will explain exactly what you as a model need to do and position yourself to get the right picture. Not only are his ideas fun and exciting, but he makes you feel comfortable the whole time. There is never a dull moment with Mark. He can do it all, and I promise you, you will be happy with your end results.”
I don’t remember where I first saw it, but someone had a slide show made by Pummelvision. They just take a bunch of your photos and make a fast slide show in a few minutes. Instead of trying to make a slide show with all the photography from this last year, like the weddings, family, and commercial photos; I decided to just use the local underwater photography. It was kind of a fun thing to see.
In our home I do most of the cooking. One cooking blog I love is www.kitchencorners.com. The author of the blog, Damaris Santos-Palmer, was visiting family in Hawaii over Christmas. While she was here we set up an underwater shoot. It was so much fun to arrange and photograph this scene of her cooking underwater. We rigged this together in under 15 minutes with the help of her husband Christian. You have to read her blog to get a sense of how much fun she is – you can probably see it in these photos too! Bon appetit!