My first day on the island my girlfriend had an eye appointment but I couldn't wait and decided to walk around on my own in town to take photos. Being naïve of where I was and how I looked I may have almost gotten jumped for my camera but it was a good, quick lesson on my first day.
All I knew about Hawai'i before I went was from friends who had gone and what I'd seen on television. White sandy beaches, fancy restaurants, and big hotels is what I was expecting. However, all that stuff was on the other side of the island and what I got instead was a more real, gritty Hawai'i that I've come to love and respect.
This is an ongoing project.
Hawai'i In Distress
At the beach I looked over and saw these people with a Hawaiian flag upside down on top of a rock. I asked my girlfriend what it meant and I was told they do this as a sign of protest against the United States government for when they overthrew the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1893. A lot of tourism money is brought into Hawai'i but a vast majority of it goes to big businesses while minimum wage sits at $10 an hour.
One night while waiting for sunset I ran into a local who was also taking photos. He told me he had some buddies coming by on dirt bikes so I asked if we could do an impromptu shoot and they said of course.