Meet Asia | The Ola Collective Photographers
Meet Asia, photographer and resident expert of all things underwater! Asia holds a degree in Visual Art, and her eye for posing paired with her bubbly personality always makes for beautiful captures. Asia has been part of our collective since early 2018, and we are so grateful for the enthusiasm and cheer she brings to Ola.
A talented free diver and ocean lover, Asia spends most of her free time surfing and exploring the depths of the beautiful reef that surrounds Hawaii. Although she is best known for her stunning captures of ocean wildlife, she wasn't always this at home in the ocean. "I didn't learn to swim until I was nine, and I didn't actually start to feel super comfortable in the water until I began surfing as a teenager," she laughs.
Check out our blog post to learn more about this talented water woman and photographer!
First of all, can you tell us a little about your background and where you come from?
I am proud to say I’m a ‘hapa haole’ (mixed ethnic heritage) born and raised here in Ewa on the beautiful island of Oahu. Growing up here, I have a deep appreciation for many different cultures, a laid-back lifestyle, and FOOD! Here on the islands, locals tend to incorporate food into almost all of our conversations somehow.
How did you get started in photography?
I can’t remember what first triggered my interest in photography, but I’ve had a desire to capture images for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I first remember shooting with those disposable film cameras and then I graduated to a film camera that was gifted to me by an Aunty. I would set up the living room, using sheets as backdrops, and make my friends model for me. As I got a little older, friends started requesting me to take their senior pictures and the rest is history.
What are some of your favorite things to photograph, and why?
I enjoy shooting an array of subjects and creating art from whatever is right in front of me. I specialize in lifestyle and underwater photography because there’s a connection I feel to nature that’s hard to explain through words, but the photos I tend to look at over and over again are the ones of people. I love seeing human emotions frozen in time through a photograph.
What is your biggest motivation and inspiration to keep taking photos?
It’s pretty simple, I just can’t stop. I’m addicted to creating magic and being able to share it with others. Whenever I take breaks from ‘work’, I tend to start itching for a camera within a week.
Can you tell us about one of your favorite adventures?
Most of my favorite adventures involve the ocean. The one that comes to mind is the first time I’d ever seen a humpback whale in the water. I was swimming through a pod of 200 dolphins when a huge whale suddenly made it’s way through the pod. I’ll never forget that feeling of complete awe.