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photo.phile: firebird photography

happy monday! i am so excited to introduce you to firebird photography today! my first glimpse of makiki photographer cheyne gallarde's work was via an editorial of 1979's collection for innov8 last year. in an instant, it took me back to flipping through family photo albums filled with faded technicolor pictures of my mom, aunties and grandmother perfectly turned out and posing in front of a brownie camera.

facebook friends who happened to catch the 1940's video of waikiki posted last month know that vintage hawaii will always make me swoon, and cheyne captures the era with the most charming compositions that are absolutely cinematic in its loveliness. one look and you will want slip into something retro, put on your face and smile for the camera.

don't you love it? although, with apologies to the cute milkman, the little design geek in me could not help but become besotted with the charming turquoise bungalow and its delightful scallop awning.

{photo.phile notes}

what inspired you to pick up a camera and start clicking?
i've always been a shutterbug, but i didn't start taking photography seriously until i took a hiatus from filmmaking. during the hiatus, i realized a lot of my theatre friends didn't have current headshots, so i offered to shoot it for them. it was then i enjoyed photographing people and capturing their personality.

photography muses that spark your imagination?
i don't really follow photographers so much since most of my inspiration comes from fashion. although i will say that niche photographers like aaron ruell and creative commercial photographers like david lachapelle definitely inspire me.

favorite island moment caught on "film"?
tough call, but i'd have to say shooting my friends in on the spot improv. i've shot all their pr photos for the last two years (and recently went on a mainland tour with them) so when we work together, it's like a family reunion. their shows are also niche and creative, so i enjoy the challenge of it all. plus it helps that they're all great people that always manage to lift my spirits!

any simple tricks to share on how to capture a vintage looking photograph?
it's all done outside of the camera. hair, clothing and location are what make the perfect vintage photo. pay attention to those details and you're 75% of the way there. this is why i include styling with all my portrait packages since i study and specialize in retro fashion. in addition, i work with a talented hair & makeup artist, mish of beauty by mish, who specializes in vintage glam & pin-up hairstyles.

which camera stays close by for everyday shooting?
the best camera really is the one you have with you, so i'd have to say my iphone! from vintage portraits using the hipstamatic app to panoramic shots using pano, everyday moments are captured on my mobile phone. for all my photoshoots, i shoot with my very basic canon rebel xti. you don't need bells & whistles when you've got imagination & creativity!

pay it forward with the best photography advice shared with you:
if you use a napkin to cover your camera flash, you'll diffuse the light. it takes some practice, but the result will be evenly-lit photos as opposed to the harsh on-camera flash.

local delights that are a must in your beach picnic basket?
vitamin water, protein bars, spam musubi and cookies!

mahalo cheyne!

as i hinted earlier, oahu lovelies will have a chance to get a little flirty and embrace your inner dita von teese during next weekend's pin-up queen workshop. pair it with a burlesque lesson from the ladies of cherry blossom cabaret or, if the idea makes you blush, simply book a pin-up photo session with cheyne.

  • when: sun, jun 27th - 10a to 5p
  • where: mercury bar, 1154 fort street mall, suite 10, chinatown
  • price tag: $200/$215 (includes burly-q basics)
  • fyi: $25 non-refundable deposit to reserve a spot

p.s. enjoy first peeks of cheyne's most recent developments over on the firebird blog.

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