My family & I went to Oahu recently to attend a wedding, visit our homeland, and stay with the Canlas Family. Jon is like a brother to me, and in the last few years we have traveled all over the map together–Miami, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hawaii, Mexico, LA, Ibiza, Charleston, Miami again, New Orleans… am I forgetting any?–sharing our mutual passion of film photography with others along the way. I have seen Jon grow through all sorts of life’s adventures and struggles, but it wasn’t until he moved his family to Hawaii, did I get to see him finally come into his own.
While I was there, it just seemed right to photograph this life that they live together on this tiny rock in the middle of the ocean. I’ve always admired the overwhelming sense of love & pride that Jon has for his family, and have especially appreciated how much he loves Callie… one of my favorite things about him while we were doing all this traveling together, was that he would always do his laundry while gone, so that it was one less thing that Callie had to worry about when he got home from his travels. I also loved that every night, no matter how much of a good time everyone was having at the workshop, Jon always stopped everything he was doing to go have a long skype session with Callie & their kids.
And Callie is a straight up goddess. She doesn’t think so; she is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met, and also the most loving. She wraps you up in her home with love and with her love language: food. She loves to cook for people, and she is amazing at it. Being with Callie makes me feel like she loves me unconditionally just like she does her born children. She’s honest & straight-forward, never letting on that having six kids is an easy job, or that she doesn’t miss having a partner who is around 100% of the time, since Jon travels so much… yet she still takes on her life with grace, and just so full of love.
Finally spending time with Jon & Callie & their six crazy kids really felt like it brought our friendship full circle. Living a life on Oahu is exactly what they needed to survive this life together, and I loved being wrapped up in all the love & ohana for a week or so… can’t wait to go back, and this time with a new little keiki of my own to dip into the ocean with!
(p.s. hug mahalo to Little Bellows for featuring this amazing family on their blog! it’s all about community, y’all!)