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"Don’t compare yourself or your success to others; no one sees the world as you do, that is your gift".  - Bre Jane

Bre, what was the most challenging for you during our Nakalele Blowhole session?


We had a beautifully dramatic morning weather-wise with transitions from bright sun to complete downpour. As you were protecting your 200 year old cello from intense sea spray I was trying to protect my vintage cameras from the rain and remember to adjust my settings accordingly every time the light changed. But let’s be honest, we both know climbing up the lava rock valley in the rain with both bags of cameras was the toughest part for me. I never realized how heavy those bags were until I had to lift them over my shoulders to step up. 


Tell us your story: where are you coming from, and what brought you to Maui?


I’ve moved 30 times, so sharing my story takes some time, best served over a bottle of wine. My Maui roots began before I was born; my parents met and fell in love here 35 years ago before moving to Lake Tahoe where I began my life. After living all over California, Georgia, Florida, Bali, and Australia, a bit of twisted fate led me back to Maui where I finally planted some roots and feel most at home. 



After our Nakalele session, at a cafe in Old Lahaina, you told me that when you started photography your dream was to become a war correspondent photographer. How did this idea come about?


I’ve always been passionate about social injustice and felt compelled to give a voice to those who don’t have the privilege to share their stories as easily as I do. When I first started photography, I fell in love with Photojournalism and it felt natural to envision myself as a war photographer; traveling the world and documenting what I felt was most important to share. It’s a little crazy to realize how far I’ve strayed from my initial pursuit but I remain firm in my idea that photography is incredibly important. 


What does Maui give you as a photographer? Any pros and cons on working here you could share with us?


Being a photographer on Maui is almost too easy sometimes. We are blessed with some of the most jaw-droopingly stunning backdrops that make shooting here a dream. Because of the beauty of the island, it’s easy for many to pursue photography so it’s become an incredibly saturated market. Being the most remote island chain in the world, Hawaii has it’s own cons when it comes to some things - for example we don’t have a camera store or anywhere to process film on island. You have to plan ahead and make sure you’re prepared because theres no option for last minute needs purchased before a shoot. 


During our session you mainly used film. How do you feel about using film versus digital?


I’ve always loved film so much more than digital. When I first started photography, I became fascinated with old film cameras and tried out so many. I lived in San Francisco at the time and there were so many wonderful old camera stores that I could get lost for hours in. I was studying photojournalism and loved street photography and taking portraits of strangers. I realized very quickly that it wasn’t just the final image produced that I loved more with film, it was how people reacted to the camera. Film forces you to slow down; digital is of course technically superior for ease and use but the relationship dynamic between a photographer and their subject changes with film. I feel it allows me to see a little more clearer and breathes room into really seeing my subject and capturing them authentically. 



What inspires you? Any muse out there?


Artists. Creatives. Travelers. I’ve always been inspired by those who - despite being told they can’t make it or they shouldn’t even try - go against the grain and carve out their own dream life. I absolutely love photographing artists of any kind; dancers, musicians, writers, painters - it’s a true honor to work with someone who is deeply passionate in pursuit of their craft. 


What advice would you give to those who just started with photography?


There are no rules. Light is your best friend; understanding the way light moves and falls will be the greatest lesson. Don’t compare yourself or your success to others; no one sees the world as you do, that is your gift. 

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