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|| News Item: Posted 2004-11-03

Photodude: Luau Do's and Don'ts
By Photodude

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

Ronal Taniwaki, right, is not laughing at Alan Greth because he thinks he looks stupid in a hawaiian shirt- he is just laughing at him.
Ahhhh ... autumn ... the Photodude's favorite time of year.

Back from an exciting month that culminated in pelting Pedro Martinez in the forehead with a baseball during the victory parade (Mongo Johnson said I couldn't do it -- I'll collect his $500.00 this week), the Dude is headed out west for another Luau.

The Dude gets lots of email this time of year about the Luau, more emails than he has time to answer, so this month he presents a quick "Do's and Don'ts" list of ways to best enjoy this year's festivities.

DO: Wear the shirt. If you've never been to the Luau, it sounds stupid and corny. The reality? Well, it IS stupid and corny, but it's also part of the fun. Yes, that's right...FUN. The Big Kahuna has worked hard to make sure that this workshop is not like any other you've ever attended, and believe it or not, by wearing a loud and colorful Aloha shirt, you can't take yourself too seriously, and you remember that you're here to learn in a fun environment.

DON'T: Be too cool to wear the shirt. People notice. It's the only place in the mainland where NOT wearing a Hawaiian shirt gets you branded as a loser.

DO: Bring an open mind. The pros that are speaking and reviewing portfolios are donating their time to make you a better shooter. Hell, let's get right down to it -- they're training you to become their possible replacements. If a review is harsh, at least consider if it might be deserved. Then, work like hell to make it better.

DON'T: Be afraid to ask for a review. The Kahuna will kill me for saying this, but reviews get done outside of the "official hours" of the portfolio reviews. If it's crowded and you didn't get your book looked at by Robert Seale or Brad Mangin, find him, introduce yourself, and ask if he might have a spare second. (P.S. It helps to convince Mangin to review you if you know some arcane trivia about the San Francisco Giants. As for Seale, a convincing argument that Gates' barbecue is better than Arthur Bryant's should do the trick.)

Photo by Brad Mangin

Photo by Brad Mangin

Living legend Tony Tomsic will be attending the 2004 Luau.
DO: Hang on every word from Michael Zagaris, Bill Eppridge and Dave Black. And while you're basking in the glow of living legends, find and meet Tony Tomsic, one of the rare few who have shot every Super Bowl. (pssst...he's not speaking but he'll be there...look for a guy who resembles Santa, but without reindeer).

DON'T: Nominate young guns Rick Loomis or Jack Gruber for People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. We don't want another testosterone-fueled "pose-off" in the Coral Ballroom. For those who didn't witness it in person, Gruber defeated Mark J. Terrill by breaking out "Blue Steel" in the finale last year.

DO: Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to meet new friends, put faces with names, and network. In photography, the old axiom "it's WHO you know, it's not WHAT you know" is just as applicable as anywhere else. Make a positive impression on the right people and who knows. Many a Sports Illustrated or Sporting News assistant has made their contacts at the Luau.

DON'T: Be the drunk loudmouth student in the lobby late at night. There's always a couple every year, and the pros always remember them. Save it for Homecoming or Parents Weekend.

DO: Take full advantage of the weekend. Take notes. Ask questions. If you're looking for an internship, SAY SO. If you're looking for a job, SAY SO. In the jargon of military pilots, the Luau is a "target rich environment". This is a rare opportunity to advance your career. Ask questions. There may be bigger "names" at other workshops, but none will have the laid-back and friendly vibe as this one. Meet whom you want to meet. Ask questions. Have no fear. If you really think Robert Beck needs a haircut, tell him.

DON'T: Forget to thank the hosts. The Kahuna. Mrs. Kahuna (Deanna Hanashiro, who will be there). The Little Kahuna (their daughter Emma). The sponsors. The instructors. The speakers. The Lords --- Mangin, Grover, Burf, and Gosen (Gosen is the High Priest of the Bucket Hats --- he's the guy who makes the call on all Sport Shooter swag --- just don't ask him about the photo vests).

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