I have been to quite a few leadership seminars over the years. Most of them start off with personal development, networking, positive thinking, and setting your intentions for your business. Question such as: what do I stand for, what are my goals, and what type of community do I want to help build? On a good day these topics are heavy and on any other day I would try to busy myself with productive, but procrastinating things to check off my list. It’s quite a lot to take in, even in small doses, but I’m one of those people that need to let big ideas marinate and take root. It got me thinking…in addition to wedding photography in Hawaii, what types of things and activities do I do that help build the communities around me?
Every year since that powerful leadership seminar, many years ago, I have picked various local community organizations to donate time and my photography skills. In previous years I have donated time and/or photography to organizations such as: the Hawaii Humane Society, St. Francis Hospital, Bishop Museum, New Hope, Eisa Festival, Naval Air Museum, and Autism Awareness. Though my part seems like a small component, small gears help to turn bigger wheels. The ability to be part of a community or movement helps a greater cause. On a personal note, it’s an invaluable learning and humbling experience. I have met so many amazing people who have a such a big heart for the community and that has really touched and inspired me to continue to do more.
Kamaaina Kids is a not-for-profit charitable organization. Their mission is “To serve children, families and our communities by providing ongoing quality education and enrichment programs to help build a sense of Self, Community and Environment.” Click here to view their website and learn more about Kamaaina kids.
We kick started the evening at Heia Learning Center Banquet Hall with live entertainment and graceful hula by Halau Hula o’ NaWahine. Then sampled delicious foods from 11 talented chefs and a Brew Master. Let me tell you, the food was out of this world! Usually, as a wedding and event photographer much of my time is spent taking photos of all the ono (Hawaiian word for delicious) food and watching as other people get to enjoy it. I was actually encouraged to try everything so I could photograph it better, you know…for research. I’m totally “ok” with that (I don’t know who wouldn’t be) and I gladly sacrificed myself to eat these decadent morsels. The food vendors were: Heart to Table, Chao Phya Thai, Koko Head Cafe, Tikis Grill and Bar, MW Restaurant, Big City Diner, Kaneke’s Divine Grinds, 12th Ave Grill, Culinary Flight, Nico’s Kailua, Pint & Jiggar. The brewmaster: Lanikai Brewing Co. There was a also a silent auction, a small program, and ample time to socialize.
The Cottage Hale was where the real party was at, with exquisite metal photography prints on the wall by Lina Rasmussen Photography. Live music by: Shane Abelaye, Bradly Kamai, and Scott. The Barkeeps Hawaii kept us really happily with a much needed coffee or tea caffeine boost! Heeia Estuary, Heeia State Park, and Paepae o Heeia (Heeia Fishpond) non-profit organizations set up displays, were happy to answer any questions, and tell us about future volunteer opportunities!
Being a wedding photographer in Hawaii is a lot of fun for me! I really enjoyed volunteering, tasting, socializing, and photographing this event! If you have never done any type of community service work I would like to encourage you to give back to through volunteer groups, non-profit organizations, charity, or other means. It does so much to help those in need and for the common good.
“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.” ― Charles De Lint