ALEX MOVES ON | 31 DAYS OF SUNSETS
If you are reading the post, you’re probably familiar with Oahu Photography Tours or at least have come across this post by visiting the website.
If you are not familiar, we’ll get you up to speed on two sentences. It is a tour company based in Honolulu, Hawaii that leads small groups to locations to capture amazing photos. It was all started by me, Alex Wilson. Bam, there you go. Of course, there is a lot more to it, but that is the gist.
Words From Alex
I love everything there is about this tour company and everyone I have come across along the way. I have had the opportunity to witness such great moments with guests while out on Sunrise Tours, North Shore Tours, Full Moons, and tours on other islands. I have also had the opportunity to employ very talented individuals throughout the years.
It has been 8 years since my first guest, Russell W. from Down-under. Even though I absolutely hate the alarm clock going off at 4:00 am all the time, I wouldn’t pass it up for anything. What great memories and experiences I have had with all of the people I have shared my home with.
First Photos And Then
The first time I can clearly remember taking photos, I was 8 years old visiting family in Virginia. My grandmother had bought me a few cameras in the past, but I don’t remember using them correctly until now. It was my Aunt and Uncles wedding, so I wanted to use my new camera to capture it. I was the little photographer, standing in the way as they walked down the aisle. I was able to get the “close-ups” as they said their vows. Probably a little too close. Ever since then, I have had a passion for capturing life.
I never actually starting taking photos regularly until high-school. I would take pictures from time to time, but when I got into high school, I loved to buy disposable cameras and photograph my group of friends living the teenage life. To me, that was so cool because I would try to recreate the photos I saw of my parents at that age when they were with their friends. I knew I was capturing what was soon to be my past.
The landscape stuff came later when I joined the Navy and lived in the PNW (Pacific North West). Where I’m from, Orlando, FL, wasn’t so pretty to photograph, so it wasn’t until I lived in such beauty did I even see the point. Then, of course, I moved to Hawaii, and it was on like Donkey Kong from there.
Birth of A Business
I wanted to start a tour after working at Kualao ranch for a few years. I really enjoyed working outside and meeting people with the enthusiasm of being a tourist. It was fun and rewarding. Nothing beats the excitement tourists show when they experience something new.
I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t see the purpose. Not until I was sitting on a bench in Central Park in the Winter of 2010. After walking around the park and taking photos of iconic locations, I noticed people taking pictures of random stuff that really didn’t show the park. You wouldn’t be able to tell where these people were from their photos. So I thought to myself, how cool would it be if someone took them around to the iconic spots, at the right time, to capture the best photo of this world-famous park? LIGHTBULB!
That was it. I had realized what type of tour company I wanted to start. 6 months later, Russell and I were chatting it up while photographing the sunset from East Oahu.
High To Low & Back To High
Unless you were one of the OG OPT guests, you probably didn’t know that only 6 months of being in business and having such a fantastic time, while on tour, I got every single piece of camera equipment stolen along with all the art pieces I had printed, ready to sell at the art shows I was attending weekly. This was a huge blow.
Like a champ, I continued on, and even though I was distraught and questioning how I would go on, I found the real purpose of my company. In the beginning, I thought it would be an excellent way for me to go out and shoot while people paid to come along with me, and I can show them what I was doing. Without any equipment of my own, I couldn’t really do that. So, I came to the realization that it wasn’t all about me, but more so about you, the guest. You were the ones paying to get a great photo and wanted someone like myself to show you the light, literally.
This change of business model made OPT what it is today. A highly reputable tour company that will help you get the best damn photos in Hawaii! Don’t believe me? Look at the reviews we receive daily from our guests. They speak for themselves.
What’s Going Alex? Where You Going?
I started this company because I had such a passion for exploring. You would think it was photography, but the truth is, it was always about the exploration of the unknown. That could mean a few different things. I truly enjoyed finding new places here on the island, but at the same time, I loved to learn all there was to the history, topography, geology, and the local lifestyle that was Hawaii.
The photography was almost an excuse to go to places that most people would never go or to stop and enjoy the changing moments that most would not wait for.
Photography was the catalyst that helped me create a tour company that wasn’t the same as all the rest. I never was a real professional photographer, nor have I ever been. Sure I have been paid for my work, but I do not consider this to be a pro. I think that since I have focused on my tours and the guests experience all these years, I have not truly loved photography as much as I once did.
Well, that needs to change, because I genuinely do love taking photos and exploring, no matter where I am. So I decided to do something about it.
31 Days of Sunsets
On the first day of August, without even thinking about it, I looked in the mirror and told myself its time you do you. Each day this month you are going to go out for sunset and photograph. No matter the weather or how you feel because you need to get your self back into what started it all. Exploring and photography.
Look, I am not the most talented photographer at all. Sure my photos are nice, but they are nothing like the photos that are being pushed out to us daily. The content is absolutely amazing, and I want to improve my game. You can only grow in time with the effort you put in. I might not have the most amount of time to do all of this, but I will damn sure put in the effort.
I am writing this post after the 31 days have passed, and I can honestly say I put in the effort. I can also honestly say that there is much more effort to go. I can look back at these past 31 days and see I have a long way to go.
I invite you to join me on this journey. I made 5 to 10-minute videos that I will be putting up on our Youtube page. They will go live at 2 pm HST from October 1st to October 31st.
I have also decided to keep my personal photography and Oahu Photography Tours photography separate, and that is why I have started my own personal IG account. My first tour guide, Chris Couillard, @christopher.james told me I needed to do this a long time ago, but I just didn’t see why. Now I understand. Remember this account is not going to be connected to the business so if you like the G rated style of @oahuphototours, you might want to just stay there. It might change but if you’re going to follow me on IG, look up @a.wandersun (so many other names were taken).
Subscribe to our Youtube channel and enjoy what I put together. I love feedback, good and bad. I would like to continue to grow both with my photos and video skill, so don’t hold back.
Thank you if you made it this far. Aloha 🙂