Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hitting the streets of L.A. with Hefa Tuita!

Downtown L.A. and the streets are literally empty...  and what do I want to do? Paint the town with my camera!
I hook up with an amazing young artist...Hefa Tuita - a musician, a phenomenal dancer, a choreographer, actor, and more! He is so talented I wanted to borrow his "dancer" title for a while. Who am i kidding?  One can dream right?
Speaking of dreams, Hefa is definitely one who is living his dream out now. His resume consists of touring with Jennifer Lopez, television appearances on Ellen, So you think you can dance, American Idol finale with Janet Jackson, a featured dancer at the 2009 Emmys, and that's just to name a few of his appearances on his amazing resume! 

Hefa is also a member of the Nick 6 dancers on Nickelodeon’s television series, Dance on Sunset he was able to perform with such artists as, Akon, Natasha Bedingfield, Miranda Cosgrove, Fall Out Boy, Fergie, Janet Jackson, Sean Kingston, Lil' Mama, Jesse McCartney, Menudo, Omarion, Panic at the Disco, Ashlee Simpson and many more. Hefa and his brothers Soa and Niua also make up the popular singing group the Tuita Boyz.

Here we were Hefa & I... in the streets of the Arts District in Downtown L.A. like 2 kids in a candy store with the graffiti walls! Soon as Hefa gets out of the car, one thing that really stood out when he got out of the car was photo of his father hanging on the rear view mirror of his car. 
Hefa shared with me that his father passed away 2 years ago in the same week that were were shooting.
I immediately asked Hefa if I can use the photo of his father in the photo shoot... I didn't know when in the shoot that I was going to use it but I knew at some point that I would because I felt really compelled to do so...
An hour into the photo shoot we start to lose sunlight and I am rushing Hefa for outfit changes. We literally lost complete light about an hour and a half into the photo shoot. I thought to myself..."now what am I going to do? "
I asked Hefa to go down the street with me so, we can check out one more location and low & behold there is the wall that I wanted to do photos at with one light source literally coming down from the top. 
A block away I can see this wall and I got  really excited because it allowed us to shoot for about another couple of hours. What a blessing right? I mean this one light source just had all the answers for me and the vibe that I wanted to capture with Hefa. I felt compelled to stick with BLACK & WHITE in those photos because everything I felt should be simple and honest. 

I still can't get over it that ONE light source and all that it offered for this photo shoot and I believe it was a blessing from above. It even answered the question of how I would use Hefa's father's photo in the shoot and it turned out great! 

I had to share this because I always believe sometimes loved ones leave us here on earth and I know they are still watching over us. The concept behind the camera for me was to capture that and to somehow fuse art and style. Hefa is such a professional in front of the camera. He is literally a photographer's canvas.
Thank you Hefa!

Hefa was recently on Chris Brown's tour and just saw this video yesterday of Chris Brown's webisodes of his current tour and he even mentions Hefa in this video at: 2:48 and you can also see him throughout the video clowning around and having fun with Chris Brown. 
See Below:


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