Meet Brendan | The Ola Collective Photographers

Brendan is our resident fine art and film photography aficionado and brings an eye for images that incorporate people and the beautiful landscapes of Hawaii. A lover of surfing and all things water, Brendan’s first introduction to our team was when he met our fellow photographer Asia out in the water surfing. His friendly and outgoing personality helps him connect with his subjects and get the best smiles! When he isn’t shooting, Brendan can most often be found surfing, skating, and exploring his backyard here on the beautiful West side of Oahu. Read our blog post below to learn more about Brendan.

FIRST OF ALL, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND WHERE YOU COME FROM?

I was born and raised in Southern California, the only child of an interracial couple. I was heavily influenced by the surf and skate communities and their subcultures, which nurtured my intuition and appreciation for all of the different cultures and lifestyles of Hawaii.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?

Growing up immersed in nature and counter cultures, I lived for seeing the photos in the new surf and nat geo magazines and always wanted to take pictures of the adventures we went on. When I was in college I got my first camera and soon after I found myself dropping everything in my life and moving to Hawaii to pursue photography. I started photographing landscapes, surfing and sports, which led me to photographing portraits and weddings.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO PHOTOGRAPH, AND WHY?

I love to photograph the raw emotion in moments. I enjoy the thrill and rush of shooting surfing and adventures, but there is something special about capturing beautiful family moments that families will cherish.

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WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION TO KEEP TAKING PHOTOS? WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY?

The ever changing landscape and emotions inspire me everyday. We live in such a unique place where change is constant, and documenting that change is something I’ve come to realize is vital to telling the stories and history of these islands and the people we encounter. I love the stories photography tells, it connects us to the people we once loved, and connects us to the experiences we could have.

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WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IN HAWAII?

I love to experience all of the cultures and lifestyles of Hawaii. You can generally find me in the ocean surfing or diving on the North Shore, out in the mountains and jungles, or stuffing my face with all of the amazing food at Paalaa Kai Bakery.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE ADVENTURES?

It’s hard to pick one to talk about as I feel so fortunate to have gone on several amazing adventures, but one that I love to reminisce on is my surf photography trip to Taiwan. This was my first international big surf trip as a photographer, and being able to surf in such a remote uncrowded location, the food and everything in between made for such a unique experience - I love capturing new sights and perspectives outside my comfort zone.

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