I had always wanted to use photography to contribute to the betterment of the world. These days, the world needs all the help it can get. When I heard about the 24 Hour Project, it seemed like the perfect fit for my street photography. They use their platform of more than 4,000 photographers around the world in 100 countries to raise awareness about meaningful social causes. A surprise to me was that I was the only participating photographer in Honolulu to go the full 24 hours. We have a lot of talented photographers in Hawaii, and I expected some company. It was good in the end, the pressure to represent Hawaii well pushed me through exhaustion.
The theme for this year’s 24 Hour Project was Women’s Stories and while it’s not a requirement, I wanted to stick to the theme 100%. So for every shot, I wanted to make sure there was a woman or girl in it. The difficulty was finding safe places to shoot in the early morning and late night hours on the day of the event: Saturday, May 25. I began posting my shots on my Instagram account, aiming to shoot one an hour. Luckily, for my first shot at 12:33 a.m., I found Honolulu Police Department’s Cpl. Corrina Foust on duty at the Zippy’s down the street. It was good start. You can view the shots on Instagram as I quickly processed and posted via my iPhone, but I’ve finally gone through and edited them on my desktop and pulled out several additional shots in the slideshow below.
One thing I realized doing the 24 Hour Project is that when you are truly watching every minute of the day and trying to make the best of it, the day goes by in an instant. It taught me that we should all cherish our time and make a difference while we can.
Also, when you’re running without sleep for 24 hours, it’s best not to eat white rice for brunch/lunch. (They didn’t have brown rice!) Yeah, it gave me a major kanack attack. I had to take a short nap to recover.
A more serious observation is that women really do run the world. In most cases, when I had to find photos of women late at night, it was women behind registers, stocking shelves, serving food. There’s a lot more that can be said about this on a larger scale, but I’ll leave it to the images to tell those women’s stories for themselves.
Finally, I want to thank the incredible women who allowed me to come out and make photographs of them: Kim Hollandsworth, Caroline Ching, Dallas Nagata White, and the women at Leonard’s Bakery. Special thanks to my wife Kehau Agena, who would’ve preferred that I was there with her to help out at Kailua High School’s graduation, which she was in charge of that night. It was a long day for both of us. (We got home at the same time around midnight.) She’s in my last photo as she waits to pull her car into our garage. Without these women, I’d have really struggled. They were very generous with their time and I thank them for being part of my narrative for the day. In fact, I thank all the women in my 24 Hour Project photos for being part of my project. You are amazing.