Hula and Hawaiian Culture Photojournalistic Ethnography

with Hula Halau O’kahiki LaulaniHula Girls

Where: Hilo, Hawaii

Tuition: $3000.00

Deposit: $1500.00 due by March 1, 2014


  • Meet and follow a professional Hula dancer during the week of the biggest Hula competition of the year.
  • Learn and understand the various types of Hula and it’s rich history.
  • Shoot with a full Hula Halau on location.
  • Be a part of the Merrie Monarch festival!

Hula is the timeless soulful expression of the Hawaiian culture, it is the means to share the cultural stories passed down from older generations to younger. It’s gracefulness and beauty is world renown. This photography workshop offers a rare glimpse into the behind the scenes preparation of one of Hawaii’s most successful hula halaus (school) while they prepare for the prestigious Merrie Monarch festival, a hula competition created by the Merrie Monarch himself, King David Kalakaua to preserve the culture and showcase the talent of Halau’s throughout the islands. We have been adopted by Hula Halau O’kahiki Laulani to join them as partners in Aloha for this very special week. Follow a hula halau during the week of the international Merrie Monarch Hula competition as they head into their natural surroundings and collect elements for their ritual costumes. This is a unique opportunity to photograph them making their costumes and in rehearsals. You will be able to photograph hula practitioners on location in nature areas both as soloists and in a group. This is a unique opportunity for photographers as well as videographers. We will be staying at a beautiful retreat center in the rainforest along the Puna coast. This lush tropical location is one of our favorite spots in the state of Hawaii for its dramatic coastline panoramas black sand beaches and native forests. The workshop environment will be a beautiful setting to contemplate the photojournalistic ethnography process. In the evenings we will be able to offer photo guidance and peer reviews. This workshop has been engineered to create a portfolio of diverse and dynamic images in a variety of shooting locations and subjects.


  • Day 1: Arrive in Hilo & grab lunch. Hula orientation with Eden at the beautiful Kalani retreat center.
  • Day 2: 9AM Ho’olaulea Celebration Afternoon Volcano excursion
  • Day 3: Be introduced to Halau members and assigned to Halau partners. Evening sunset beach location rehearsal shoot.
  • Day 4: Rehearsal and preparation at the Halau studio
  • Day 5: Rehearsal coverage and shoot 6PM ho’oike
  • Day 6: Individual shoots with Halau members. 6PM Miss Aloha Hula – Kahikio, Auana + ole
  • Day 7: Group Competition
  • Day 8: Parade & Departure


  • Includes Room and Board for 8 days and 7 nights
  • Based on Double occupancy
  • Includes Meals
  • Does not include airfare to and from Hawaii Island Deposit

Special terms and conditions may apply.

Contact Us For Booking!

brianHula and Hawaiian Culture Photojournalistic Ethnography