Musings by Pen and by Camera: the Vision Behind the Visuals

At the commencement of this journey, I thought I would offer a vision statement for this blog and my photojournalism. Hopefully it can chart the right course.

This blog began as a passion for photography and photojournalism. I love how photography can evoke a powerful emotional response and dialogue, and how it affords a visual expression of social commentary (whether positive or negative). There are stories on every corner, in every alley, at every food stall. They happen in a moment. On most occasions, we pass them by without notice or thought. We are too busy, we don't care, or perhaps we purposefully avoid a social inconvenience that is staring right at us. Photography reminds me to stop and observe, to engage with the world around me.

The blog became a natural progression and method to put into words the narrative I was attempting to capture through the lens. The lens and the pen are my tools to view life with greater clarity, and to help others to do the same.

In all of my photojournalism and writing, the foundation has been to learn about and experience cultures different from my own, to understand and appreciate them on a more intimate level, and to share them with anyone who is willing to listen.

Culture is complex. It is shaped by many things, including geography, philosophy, religion, economics, politics, and cuisine. It can be beautiful and inspiring; it can be ugly and unfair. Through photojournalism I endeavor to convey the depth and complexity of culture in the Pacific Rim.

And, hopefully, through this journey I can learn to be a better lawyer, too.

More than most other professions, the practice of law should have fact finding and truth seeking as its foundation. In a world of increasing relativism and alternative facts, lawyers cannot ethically ignore what is inconvenient to a client. The world persistently evades or manipulates difficult facts and truth; lawyers must not. Rather, we must diligently and honestly pursue the truth, and work with it as best we are able as an advocate for our clients.

The blog, and photography in particular, is a reminder for me to see circumstances and issues as they truly are – documenting the world truthfully and honestly. I don't want to hide inconvenient truths; quite to the contrary, my photography helps me to grapple with difficult issues, it challenges me to see social injustice, inequality and other issues that surround us, if we simply bother to look. As an attorney, I have an ethical responsibility to advocate on behalf of my clients, but I must always do so with candor; facts and truth are the ultimate guidepost.

I want to challenge myself to think objectively and critically, to constantly learn, to grapple with intriguing and difficult questions. I want to take photographs that capture candid moments of life objectively and honestly, that evoke emotion, that compel reflection. I want my writings to ponder the issues faced by communities in the Pacific Rim. And I want to embrace it all with grace, truth and openness.

I truly hope you enjoy this photography sojourn and diving deeper into the culture of Hawaii and the broader Pacific Rim. Please also comment and share - these images and stories are intended to spark a response and dialogue. I hope we can learn together!