Maui Coronavirus Updates

ʻDrive-by Photo-Shootsʻ Raise Thousands For Maui Food Bank

May 14, 2020, 10:11 AM HST
* Updated May 14, 11:01 AM
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Photo Courtesy: Vetea Ribet

For photographers based on Maui, the month of May usually rings in a busy marriage season.

But with the whole world on pause and group gatherings canceled, Maui photographers Angelina Hills and Shannon Sayles found a new way to capture important moments.

In an effort to uplift families during the coronavirus pandemic, the duo just finished two weeks of photo-shoots of friends and other Maui families — via zoom lens.

“Itʻs something weʻve never done. The idea came from Erica Chan, a photographer friend from Canada. From her car, she had been photographing self-quarantining families confined at home,” Sayles said in a press release.

“I did Angelinaʻs family photos and she loved the idea and decided to join me on this project.”

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Born and raised on Maui, Hills and Sayles contacted their network of friends and clients via Social media.

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The response, they said, was overwhelming.

“It wasnʻt easy fitting everybody into my schedule,” Hiils said.

“I had to gather multiple memory cards, charge up my cameras and map out my route the night before to move from house to house as quickly and efficiently as possible. I was texting people on my way to their house so theyʻd be ready to come out to sit on their porch or stand in their driveway. And once there, I would try to limit my time to 15-20 minutes per house to make sure I could get to everybody.”

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She discovered families had creative ways to showcase what life at home had been like for two months.

“That made for some funny pictures,” Hills added.

Following the distance mandate, Hills made sure she kept her distance, shooting photos from her SUV or staying out in the street for wider angles.

“It made for some long days of shooting, and nights of editing,” she said.

“But it was fulfilling to see the smiles on the faces, or masks, of all these great Maui families!”

“Itʻs a win-win for everybody,” Hills said. “Photojournalism feels good chronicling families at their homes during tough times. The mamas loved it because they could dress up for a change plus having some nice family portraits for Motherʻs Day.”

People gave what they could or were comfortable with (anywhere from $40 to $100). That amounted to just over $2,000 between the 2 of them.

The photographers said 100 percent of the donations received for their work were donated to the Maui Food Bank.

“Weʻre living through challenging times. When this is all over, Shannon and I will find fulfillment through these inspiring photos, telling our kids: ʻRemember when you went on that 4-month Spring Break?ʻ”

Anyone interested in “Drive-by photo-shoots” can e-mail Shannon Sayles at [email protected] or Angelina at [email protected]

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