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John Hook Photography

Photo by John Hook#1

Ever find yourself in a situation where you did something or saw something interesting and wish you had a camera with you?

Photo by John Hook#2

Some people don’t have that problem.

Photo by John Hook#3

Some photographers carry a camera everywhere they go and seemingly never miss a shot.


All photos by Hawaii photographer, John Hook.

John Hook (pictured above) is one such photographer and I’d like to share his work with you.

John is a professional photographer in Hawaii. I got a chance to work with him recently on a photoshoot and I can tell you, the guy is talented.

If you live in Hawaii, you’ve probably seen John’s work in a magazine somewhere. He’s a staff photographer for FLUX Hawaii and Innov8 magazines. John also does photojournalism work for Honolulu’s civic affairs news website, Civil Beat. On top of that he shoots weddings, fashion, and custom studio shots. You can see his wedding portfolio at

And now, he has put together one of the best Hawaii Tumblrs you’ll find that contains all original work. It’s called Handsome Unicorn and it’s worth a follow. I’ve found it to be inspirational.

Photo by John Hook#5

John was born in Boston but has lived in Hawaii since he was 9. So, he’s got a real local perspective on Hawaii.

Photo by John Hook#6

The photos I tend to be drawn to are those that perfectly capture a moment. It’s that spontaneous shot that comes out with a perfect composition.

Photo by John Hook#7

And what makes it more impressive is that he often shoots with film.

Photo by John Hook#8

I asked John about what motivates him to shoot film still and I was surprised to hear that he’s been shooting film on a SLR (a Nikkormat EL) since 1998. I don’t know too many people my age that have shot with a non-digital SLR (I definitely have not).

He compared it to “putting money in a piggy bank.” You snap a photo here and there and let it sit in the camera. Then after a month or so, you finally have a full roll but you probably don’t remember what’s there. It takes anticipation and more set up time to get a shot off on a film camera so when you get a good one, you feel like you earned it.

Photo by John Hook#9

But most of the time he shoots digital because it’s fast and sharp. And John is perfectly capable of capturing WTF moments with his Nikon dSLR.

Photo by John Hook#10

John’s subject matter is all different.

Photo by John Hook#11

Sometimes it’s about simplicity and serenity.

Photo by John Hook#12

Other times it’s about conveying chaos (like the start of the Honolulu Marathon).

Photo by John Hook#13

Or, about triggering an emotion.

Photo by John Hook#14

He takes you to places that you want to be.

Photo by John Hook#15

Places you probably don’t have access to.

Photo by John Hook#16

And places overloaded with cuteness.

Photo by John Hook#17

This is just a small selection of John’s photography.

Go to to see more of John’s work.

See also:

This story was last modified on May 18, 2013. (Originally published in June 2012.)

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