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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Life as a Photographer Has Forever Changed...

Sunday was the final ceremony to conclude the Maui Photo Festival and Workshops.  Since then, I have been a blabbering fool who can't seem to shut up about the whole experience.... (So much so that I went to a coffee shop to get internet just to blabber a little more about it now in my blog).  Most people don't realize that I have had zero schooling in photography, besides a few monotone youtube videos to understand the "functions" of my camera and a couple of questions to those more experienced then me.  Attending this festival was my first "REAL learning experience"; and I walked into that place with very little sleep after four solid 10-12 hour long days of work; yet I was pumped and awakened by a desire and eagerness to learn.  Three solid days of classes and those instructors changed my life forever...

Now just a few things I loved about the festival were this...

1) Each teacher taught completely different, allowing you to choose your own vices and individuality.  They didn't teach you how to be a photographer, but more so guided you to find yourself as a photographer. 
2) I got to watch 6 spectacular ladies hula dance and take pictures for a mere $10. (Ever been to a luau?... It's quite a few pennies more). 
3) I got to play with food. 

And the BIG news that I must brag just a little about, (since compared to most I could easily be considered a beginner by the magnitudes of incredible and seasoned photographers in attendance).... Was that at the final Awards Ceremony I received runner up for the Best Hula shot, (one of the main events of the festival)!  I got a sweet camera bag out of the deal; but even more, I gained a confidence in myself and my photography that was the main thing I hoped to walk away with from this experience.  A giant "MAHALO" to the instructors, the models, the volunteers, the sponsor's, the classmates, and everyone who created and was involved with this event.  Here are some images from my time there... Can you guess which one won? 

***Click on images to enlarge***

Love and Aloha,
   Danielle Hattori

***Please respect that these images are private property and will be copyrighted.  If you would like to use these images for any reason, feel free to email me @  =]

Friday, August 12, 2011

Introducing My "Honor" Fruit Stand...Stop on By!!!

So this all started when I got upset with everyone who just lets their papaya's rot on the trees, their citrus drop hundreds to the ground to go to waste, or their avocado's turn to smooshy inedible grossness... and here I am, paying for IMPORTED groceries at ridiculous prices; $1.50 an orange, $3 avo's and papayas, all which are coming from Costa Rica and even Florida when our island could easily be supporting itself if people would just, well... go back to sharing and trading.  So I first started pondering making a website... and this is what I have built so far for free:

But I'm not so "tech savvy", and I'm at a stand still until my web genius buddy Kevin makes his way back to the islands to give me a boost.  However, Tommy and I did decide to do something about our own abundance... We decided to build an honor system stand!  Honor systems are quite common in Hawaii.  The stand is unattended and people just take what they want and put the money in a box.  I love a concept based on TRUST!  We did have one glitch though; I knew, (like every other project involving power tools), that Tommy would take over the whole thing and I would be left... well... painting.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy painting to a certain extent; but my Dad didn't raise me to stand around looking pretty.  He raised me replacing drywall, insulation, installing electrical outlets, changing oil, head gaskets, tires, USING power tools, and even gave both Tommy and I a great lesson in welding.  So I must say that I've learned that part of being a wife is "letting" your husband do the dirty, greasy, power tooly things... Needless to say, we've fought over who does their own oil changes more than once.

So I do stand back for most things now because, believe it or not, I get the whole pride thing... but I REALLY wanted to do this fruit stand all by myself... Kind of a small regain of independence and even just to see if I still had it in me after keeping my hands nice and tidy over the stove, and in the kitchen sink for what seems like way too long.  So with a little, (A LOT), of begging, Tommy finally agreed to give me this one project.  You can't even understand how much it meant to me and I took it very seriously; spending my days off and even days that I worked 10 hours working on that damn stand.  So, my mission was to make it as "free"as possible with recycled materials.  So I took the floor joyce's we took out of under our house from our "mold removal" project and created it solely from those and a piece of board we had lying around.  Even the paint was all leftovers that I found myself running out of, and changing colors constantly.  All in all I spent $12.00 on just hinges and 3" screws to make this baby.  We've already made that back in just the 3 days we've had it up.  Woo hoo!  So I now present to you... Queen B's Fruit Stand.  What do you think?

Lono sure was a cute helper! :-) Floor joyce's coming together to create
a place for delicious goodness. ;)

Now for the recycled paint!

And now to create the sign for the stand.  I love my painting table for a large
number of reasons. (Location, view, beer... and see company below...)

Atleast they admire my painting! =]

The stand all put together, but not placed by the road yet.


My super sweet, (and also green thumbed neighbors), Danette
and daughter, Jamie Lee, checking out the fruit stand.
Seriously, How cute are they? =]


And when we meet again, I hope to have my photoshoot of my special gift!  I hope you are as stoked as I am... And I will give you one hint... and you can go ahead and guess if you'd like... but right now... I'm FOOT STOMPIN'!!! =]

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Relating to Jenny...

Remember that part in Forest Gump where Jenny's just a little girl and prays, "Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly far far away".... 

I sure can relate to that lately with all the predictable non-sense that's been happening in the U.S..  Not knowing what to do with our money we've worked so hard to save to be able to travel someday, not knowing if travel will even be an option before long, not knowing what will become of our government, not knowing if food and oil will still make its way to our shores, not knowing if the 9 hurricanes predicted in a time like this will drop us to our knees... Lots of unknowns make flying off to Ecuador to visit friends, or to Ireland to lay in the grassy meadows with a pint of Guinness, or even to Thailand or India to ride bareback on an elephant and eat exotic curried dishes just to knock it off my bucket list... They are all not seeming like such bad ideas in a time like this... But yet, like the rest of you, I have a never ending list of responsibilities to tend too that it seems I can't just run away.  And after all, I could never just up and leave my hubby, (as he obviously is not able to run off with me), or my favorite mutt in the whole wide world, (who will forever go wherever we go).

So the other day, I got to fly away in my mind by watching these paragliders from our roof top.  I imagine they didn't have a care in the world as the perfect thermals seemed to sweep them miles and miles away over the ocean.  One of the free birds gave me a wave and then spread his arms like a red tail hawk off the Northern Coasts of California and let the winds carry him where they may as he soared in the sky.  I wondered in that moment if he actually knew what it feels like to fly...

Here are some pictures I took while watching the paragliders from our rooftop...

In between the palms...

And on a different note, I have some VERY exciting news about a gift I received in the mail.  I need to photo shoot it first though... so you'll just have to hold your horses. =]

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