We tell stories. Through different lenses a simple detail can profoundly shift the way we think. Stories celebrate life or expose our shared humanity. Moving pictures or that captured shot are our tools. When told authentically it transcends and connects us.
A friend and sage taught, ”photography is the art of farming and hunting.” The farmer designs and waits for the harvest. The hunter intuitively seeks. Both are creating, discovering, and waiting. Great filmmakers and directors of photography know this dance all too well. To major in one or both is just pure genius.
Looking for that “in the moment” brilliance brings me joy. Something incredible offers up an amazing gift of story that feeds and fuels life.
Kenton’s farming and hunting instincts started years ago watching waves. He grew up in Hawai’i – a place rich in landscape, cultures, community, and stories.
Living close to the ocean, I discovered that my surfer friends preached to me without speaking a single word. Their mantra was ”live for what you love.” Instead of thinking they were crazy, their rituals of waxing boards, waking up before dawn, throwing every penny into their passion, and camping out to catch the best waves have become sacred to me. Their pleasure and persistence taught me that ‘work could be fun.
Whether it was Three Tables, Ehukai, Kewalos, or Shark Country, they knew that ‘Ke Akua’ would source them with waves to ride on. My friends understood mystery and that anything good in life is worth the wait. Shredding through water is pure Heaven and so is everything before that and after.
Photography and filmmaking embody that. Pre and post production are part of the process.
1990 circa was the time Kenton picked up his camera and began to collect hundreds of stories, thousands of images, and hours of footage. He was also the leader of a graphics team for a non-profit group gathering stories and creating fundraising material. Eventually his path led him to more education and the artist way. Through it all, he has made hundreds of friends and gained a wealth of life experience – listening and learning about people and communities. Today, collaborative causes around art and community are at the heart of what he does.
Today, Kenton and his company have sponsored film festivals annually, donated services, and sponsored many non-profit groups. As a board member, board advisor, and guest speaker he continues to inspire and contribute. Kenton also leaders mentorship and leadership retreats and well as having artists shadow him both artistically and in the business.
His passion includes helping social enterprises that involve a new way his storytelling skills. He is also in the midst of another short film project and film festival proposals.
Since 2001 the company has evolved to include commercial photography with consumer photography forming “kenton photography + studios.” In 2007 with a background in film-making, Kenton made the jump include cinematography and video as part of the business. Technology had created a wave of possibility where HD video could be captured on the same cameras for photos. As National Geographic photographers were being hired to make films, Kenton decided to grow the company to include full media production. With his DOP experience, skills as a shooter, trained actor, technician in editing, he became the creative director for the company. Thus the company name was rebranded and today, kenton headshots is part of kenton studios – telling stories through the power of digital media.
The quality, attention to detail, and client care has not changed but has been enhanced for our headshot customers. Kenton’s directing, coaching, and skills on and off the camera work to help clients get both headshots and video to connect with their audience (see headshot tips).
Today, the company is leading the way in providing a growing media format online for small and large companies. Via video introductions, commercials, bios, and testimonials, communication on-line has helped his clients grown their business. Several companies are now booking combine headshot and video testimonial packages to help promote what they do.
It is exciting as the team has grown. Today we have a team of artists/stylists and assistants for headshot work. We have vendors for our graduation couture work. We also have a full production team ready for our other projects.