All posts by kula

New website . . .

Walking past the Art Academy in Honolulu, recently, I realized the magnitude of the journey I’ve been on these past seventeen years. Honolulu, is where my photography business started. It’s where I feel I really had the grit: fueled mostly by ignorance and idealism. I tried to shoot everything but with little clue I needed to create a library of work for every genre I wanted to shoot.

Those first couple of years, I traveled back and forth to Hong Kong where, on one visit, I traded an old Hasselblad for a Nikon F5. Slide film and lead-lined bags for airline travel were my norm; trips back and forth a few times to the processor for one shoot, occupied my non-shooting time, several times a week. My first (acceptable) digital camera was backed up with film for the first year. Always. (One shoot with a well-known chef comes to mind.) Kaimuki camera (still in business!!) was a local source for gear and print processing. Slide film was bought and processed at Hawaii Digital.

I didn’t want to shoot weddings as I was concentrating on advertising and editorial work (the latter leading to advertising work if you’re good; it’s where you get to “shine”). Hawaii probably has a few more wedding photographers than most metro areas, for obvious reasons, so I avoided weddings.

I’ve always loved architecture, landscapes, sports, beautifully-lit portraits, and, of course, nudes (I’m a dude like that so I make no apologies). 🙂

Jonas Karlsson, Annie Liebovitz and Mark Seliger were my favorites. Still, really. Locally, Dana Edmunds, who I spoke with briefly on my last trip to Honolulu, was the first “real” photographer I met when he asked me to build his first website. I stared at his photos for a couple of months. Much of my early work shows his inspiration.

Historically, a photographer would specialize in one thing. I imagine the thinking was: trying to be good at too many things before mastering one thing leads to many bad things. I liken it to that all-in-one: printer, fax, shredder, and whatever else, all in one package. It might seem like a great idea but something, quality-wise, suffers.

With that, I wanted to limit what I presented to the world. People, number one. Beautiful, thoughtful, portraits. Food because I love food and because I like what I produce. And then anything else I was able to shoot was icing. Before the loss of so much data between moves to a new IP recently, I posted something similar to this describing genres I’ve shot extensively and ones I’ve dabbled in. I don’t want to go into all of that, again . . . ultimately, I’ve probably tried it.

Presently, those genres I’m pursuing are on my public portfolio which I revamped over these past couple of weeks. The following, however, for now, will only be linked from here (a good time to bookmark):

    Headshots (also on SF Casting website) ($300, 45min session*)

    Weddings (Currently $500/hr, no minimum*)

    Boudoir (definitely Not Safe For Work)

I would never trade my years as a medic for anything. I walked well-over a hundred miles over the couple of weeks in my recent trip to Honolulu. Nearly every street brought a memory of a call or a patient. When I said that out loud, I made a mental note to think of the photoshoots, instead, and wanting to get out of medical field where, only now, I realize I made a career out rescuing someone I’d never be able to rescue. Tapping into the grit I had back then inspires me to try to shoot more today. I absolutely love photography. Maybe it’s my ego but I love when others love photography.


*READ the info section of my website and then call (leave a message) or email with details.

Happy 2018!

2017 Favorites
Jean, Kula, Leilani, Laurie, Alice, Nazzi, Alek/Caitlin, Pearl, Alex, Ginger, Jino, Toby, Liz, Pier fishing, Jason, Leilani, Seyonne, Scott, Romy, David, Colton, Alice, Blue Angels, Sandy, Jordan, Carmie, Clarissa, April, CK . . . © 2017 Kent S. Hwang

2017 seemed like it flew by.

I inherited a friend’s dog, Jean Grey, rediscovered fishing, learned a bunch, and stayed close to home this year, not leaving the Bay Area once. I did not shoot much as I was without a personal camera for much of the year until just recently. Played with video when I could and tested myself with lighting setups of old and some new ones I’ve been wanting to implement in the coming year. I saw repeat clients (LOVE YOU!!) and friends who I’m glad to be reacquainted with. And I’ll mention the fishing one more time. Crabbing, too.

I’ve been having trouble with the blog for some time: lost a bunch of posts trying to propagate the new host and just kinda gave up.

Kula’s body is slowing down but she’s ready, at my side, and tolerates Jean (wack-a-doodle!). The cancer on her face returned. More masses appeared elsewhere. . . . so we walk, spend nearly every waking hour together, generally maximize our time. As I write this, She and my mom are roughly the same age. Kona and I made this journey and I’ve vowed Kula’s time will be fuller and stress-free.

Rediscovery. Introspection. Mindfulness. Those words are still new to me but they’re always there, now.

Laurie Mueller came up with a tagline for me this past year:

Impeccable Imagery: Light and Emotion

It’s a huge thing to live up to but “I no scade!”

I look forward to more adventures in 2018 and beyond. Have a look at my favorite images from 2017:


I met Laurie when she arranged for a Jamaican meal at a mutual friend’s place. We ran into each other a few times, after, at various functions and after-hour parties as our friends ran in the same circles. We worked together, photo-testing, and then she later hired me for her wedding photos. I was no less honored, again, when she booked a year of maternity to baby’s first birthday photos (five shoots, total).

It’s been quite a journey.

Meet Leilani. Mom and Dad have been on a wild and amazing journey to bring you to Earth.

More photos here:
More photos here