A Personal Update and the Road Ahead from Sea Level Photography, West Maui Family Photographer

Lahaina, Hawaii

West Maui Family photographer in hazmat gear after Lahaina fire

I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to take a moment to share a personal update with you on Sea Level Photography, West Maui family photography. In August 2023, our beloved town and my home were impacted by the devastating Lahaina fires. We lost our home as well as our entire town. There were also many lives lost that unforgettable day. It has been a challenging time on Maui, but amidst the adversity, I find strength in our tight-knit community and the support we’ve received.

With great appreciation

I first want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has reached out to me personally, your kindness has brought hope and light to a dire situation. Also, to those of you who have reached out to the greater community of Lahaina and Maui, I have so much gratitude for you too!  Don’t forget about Lahaina.  There is a very long road to recovery ahead of us.

I am still based on the west side of Maui. My family decided early on that we would not leave so we could be a part of the mending, healing and rebuilding of our community.

Sameritains Purse helping to sift through Lahaina fire victims ash

Remains of Lahaina Photographer's home after the Lahaina Fires of August 2023.

My beautiful home was barely recognizable after the fire.

What’s going on?

I have been hanging low for the past 6 months or so.  I decided to not take any photography inquiries until February due to the sensitivity the fire has brought about in many ways and the thousands of people still displaced in West Maui. This gave me time to process and time to replenish some of my gear that was lost in the fire.  To keep it real, part of me still feels unsettled inside, but I see the light. I have seen so much beauty through this whole disaster. My family has stayed in 4 different places and a lot has changed. However, we are grateful for all the places we have stayed. We are especially grateful that we now have a long term house less than 10 minutes away from our property that burnt.  It’s a huge blessing to be able to stay on the west side and be so close to home while we rebuild!


Lahaina, West Maui family photographer's underwater Nikonos film camera camera burnt in Lahaina Fire

I found my vintage Nikonos underwater film camera in the ashy footprint of my office. I got this camera from my dad who is no longer with us. Being able to notice this piece in such destruction was special, as most things were completely obliterated.

Lahaina, west Maui family Photographer's camera lens found after the Lahaina fire.

There were a couple of other recognizable pieces I could see through the rubble like this Fujifilm lens.

What’s next?

These last 6 months have given me space to cast new vision in photography. I have renewed old passions for the upcoming year. Keep an eye out for an addition of a “for Photographers” page on my website.  There are some exciting things in store including a photography retreat, a one day underwater photography workshop, and a photography shadowing program. I also hope to freshen up my website.

With all of that said, I’m ready to get back into photographing beautiful moments with couples, expecting mothers, and families.  If you need a West Maui family photographer, my books are open and you can inquire here! Being behind the camera is a great healing tool in my own personal journey. I look forward to photographing new people and having return clients in front of my camera again too! 

Embracing change as a West Maui family photographer

In the face of adversity, our Lahaina community has shown remarkable resilience. While the path ahead may be challenging, we are determined to rebuild and come back stronger than ever. I can’t wait to get out there and do more of what I love. I am so grateful for your support of Sea Level Photography, as a Lahaina, west Maui family photographer!

Thank you for your understanding.  If you are interested in any of my upcoming offerings for photographers on Maui and beyond, be sure to follow along on Instagram.