About Hawaii Photographer - Rei Mooney Photography
E ko mo mai,
I am a portrait, wedding, and commercial photographer based on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
My passion for photography began at a young age. Having always been a right brained girl (and a lefty at that!) I was always drawn to art and expression. I got A's in Fine Art, Theatre and English, but don't ask what I got in Physics class! I was lucky to have gone to a school that put just as much, if not more focus on fine arts, theatre, and music rather than emphasizing school sports. With my talented and enthusiastic classmates and influential mentors by my side, I somehow survived and graduated high school with an IB Diploma with a concentration in English, fine art, and theatre arts. Having attended an international school in Japan, I also graduated with a bilingual diploma in Japanese, which I am now so grateful for when connecting with my international clients.
While I have a creative mind, I was always aware (especially next to such talented classmates) that my painting, drawing, and sculpting skills could not compare. As hard as I tried, I knew I would never know the patience nor have the skill to create masterpieces like my fellow students. This is when I began to create art with what already is, and when I realized photography would be my strongest forte. The fact that I could show the world what I see through my eyes without setting pen to paper was a miracle, and I fell in love with my camera.
While I was attending college at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, I lived in the darkroom with my former classmates. Despite the rumors of ghosts, I even slept in the art building a few times too tired to return to my dorm after nights of printing in the dark room.
I fell in love with the process of making prints, the creative intention in the first click of the shutter, all the way to the moment you dodge and burn your prints for the perfect exposure. What was once a daunting process, putting the negative on a spool in the dark, all the way to agitating and mixing chemicals, I grew fond of this meditational process. The reward after the struggle was a magical moment when you saw your image come to being as if by a spell under the red safe light in the dark room. This is where I learned the quote, "You don't take a photograph, you make it." Ansel Adams couldn't have said it better. I grew to appreciate that like other art forms, photography had a process. It began with nothing, a blank negative, to a wonderful window exposing a precise moment in time, with a precise blanket of light.
While one may think a photograph begins and ends with the pressing of a finger, it is much more than that. There is first the object you are photographing, which may or may not have a mind of it's own. Then there is your camera which becomes an extention of your eye and perception. Then there are your hands that hold the camera and tilt and angle and shift the perspective to present the object in a particular way. Then there is the precise moment when the image is made, often less than 1/40th of a second. Finally, there is the post processing in which you emphasize on the focal points in the picture and to enhance the image as art to create a new moment based on the moment you photographed. In a day and age where everyone, including inquisitive 3 year olds can take magnificent high resolution images on an iPhone, a photo is just often a documentation rather than a creation. In my photography, I strive to create images that reflect the ambiance or feeling of my subjects, using in camera and post processing techniques to bring out the "magic" that cannot be seen, only felt.
My journey with professional photography truly only began 3 years ago, when I left my wonderful mentor and friend to set foot on my own. When I was too afraid to follow my dreams, my parents and brother encouraged me to pursue my passion. I am so thankful to my family who believed in me before I had the confidence to believe in myself. I can't forget to mention my wonderful clients without whom I would not be writing this today!
I am grateful to live and work in this Paradise called Hawaii, photographing a multitude of subjects and projects from, high end weddings, fine art, family portraits, to 1st birthday parties, trash the dress sessions, couples, modeling portfolios, fashion, art, and more and I hope to continue for years to come.
I can't wait to make you a part of this wonderful journey, and I am so looking forward to hearing from you!
Me ke Aloha,
Getty Images Latin America
Chaminade University of Hawaii
Power Yoga Hawaii
Paradise Cove Luau
Donald Boyce (Hawaiian Santa)
Face Art Beauty
Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Loaded Dice (Rock Band)
"Can't thank you enough for the great work you did capturing the work environment at Itau Tokyo Branch. Your creativeness and gentleness helped everyone at the branch feel relaxed and natural.
- Karlo Cohello, Banco Itau, Commercial Photography
"Rei was awesome! A cheerful professional who was a delight to work with!"
- Brendan Ahern, Actor, Hawaii Acting and Modeling Portfolio Photography