Founder/Creator of InstaHawaii
Aoloa: What is the purpose of InstaHawaii?
Ian Kai: My purpose is to give back to the community. This is my way of giving back and supporting the youth and the arts in Hawaii. I also wanted to just create an event to showcase Instagram and the Instagram community in Hawaii.
When did the light bulb go off in your head that InstaHawaii was something you wanted to create?
I always just thought that it would be a cool idea to do, but never really imagined it to evolve into what it has today. I never really thought that people would be this excited about an event and a contest, but I’m glad that people are really into the concept. Without people being excited about it, there would be no events or contests.
Who are some of the people/businesses that support InstaHawaii show?
Fresh Cafe and Loft In Space have always been supportive since the day I started it. I’m really thankful for Tiff and Aly at Fresh Cafe for believing in this event and supporting it. It’s actually the perfect venue for the event, and I’m glad to be able to do it over there. Contrast Magazine has also been very supportive and always lent me help with setting up and promoting the event. Incase has also been down to support me from day one, and donating the Incase cases for the gift bags. My family is also very supportive, especially my brother who helps give me ideas for the event and of course, designs the flyers for me. Also, my girlfriend is always giving me advice and ideas for the events and future events and helping out at the event when I need her to.
Where did the concept of “Negative Space” stem from?
Negative Space was just a theme that we had in mind for a while. I think pictures like that come out really clean, and I guess it adds a little bit of photography techniques into the fray, which isn’t a bad thing.
Why do you think that Instagram is such a popular form of social media?
I think Instagram is so huge in the social media sphere because humans are visual creatures. We like to look at things, and we like to show everyone else what we’re seeing. Especially in this generation of attention seeking and self-promotion. There’s no better way to do it than with pictures—whether it be pictures of ourselves or things that we are interested in. That’s why I think Instagram has become so popular.
InstaHawaii presents STAINED GLASS. The rules are simple: tag your best photos (that fit the theme of course) with #stainedglass_ih. You can enter as many photos as you like. The submission period will run from 8/6-8/12. We will select five finalists to compete for the prize!
The waiting period is over—InstaHawaii is back. Ian Kai is conducting his second contest where photos taken on Instagram tagged #instahawaii2 are hand-chosen, then displayed in an art gallery show at Fresh Café on June 15th. The theme: two of a kind.
“I got the concept from my girlfriend, Danielle Puaala,” says Kai, giving props to his gal. “She gave me the idea for the theme and I thought it was good because it kind of fit with the idea that this is the second show. I didn’t want the theme to just be something specific like “beaches” because then all the photos would look the same. I like that the theme is sort of vague, so that you have to interpret it your way.”
In early February of this year, the first InstaHawaii show took place at Fresh Café and Kai had an idea, but really didn’t know what to expect. There was no true theme—it was vague then, and it seemed like that worked perfectly.
The show was a huge success: over 2,000 photos were submitted, people flooded through the show physically “liking” pictures and more importantly, bidding for pictures. Roughly $500 was made that night with the proceeds going to Hawai’i Arts Alliance, but more can be made.
“I hope that this time around there is more bidding going on during the silent auction,” says Kai, “so that we can raise more money for the Hawai‘i Arts Alliance.” The organization teaches, supports and promotes the arts to better and grow the lives of children in Hawai‘i.
The criteria for InstaHawaii2’s contest is the same as the last: you can submit an unlimited amount of photos on Instagram using the hashtag #instahawaii2 starting today up until May 23rd. After the submission period is over, 24 photos will be selected to make it to the show. Whichever photo receives the most “likes” (attendees will have the chance to put little “like” stickers on the photo they liked most), that person will win the grand prize. As usual, all 24 participants will receive a gift bag for their photo being selected.
If you’re looking for an angle to have the best possible way to win the contest, don’t. “We’re just looking for the coolest photos out there,” explains Kai. “We’re not professional photographers here, so we’re not worried about spacing, framing, focus, and all that stuff.”
Have fun with it and good luck taking all of your two-of-a-kind photos. For all you Android users—consider yourselves lucky that you now get to be a part of InstaHawaii! See you all on June 15th at Fresh Café for the show!
Soon, the term art gallery will have a new meaning. InstaHawaii, created by Contrast Magazine contributor, Ian Kai, provides a platform for the common person where a photo uploaded on the iPhone app, Instagram, could easily be selected to be in an art show on February 10th, 2012 at Loft in Space at Fresh Café.
“The purpose [of this event] is to show everyone the amazing photos that can be taken with this simple iPhone app,” says Kai. “Technology has given us the convenience to snap photos wherever and whenever. Instagram gives us all the ability to share our photos with our friends. The amazing thing about it is that you don’t have to a be a professional photographer to take awesome pictures.”
There’s a bigger picture than just getting your Instagram photo to be blown up and be on a wall though. There will be a silent auction from 8-10 PM for the photos, and all proceeds that are made that night will go towards the Hawai’i Art Alliance to help fund more art programs for children.
It actually is really easy. You take a photo, upload it to Instagram, tag it was the hashtag #instahawaii, and you have submitted your photo. There is no limit to the amount of photos you can submit as well.
Out of all photos that are submitted, 60 will be selected. Out of that 60, the judging committee will select 24 photos that will make the show.
“The 24 photos are being selected based on how cool they are,” explains Kai. “There really are no criteria. We’re not going to judge on the photo being centered in the frame and stuff like that. We’re mostly looking for cool pictures that people would hang in their homes.”
From those 24 photos, one photo will be selected to win a lomography camera. There will also be a judging committee to decide who wins the lomography camera, but this time, it will be the people.
“At the event itself, people will be given the opportunity to ‘like’ their favorite photos,” says Kai. “It’s going to be like Instagram in real life.”
If you are not crowned champion at the end of the night, don’t be down. If selected to make the show, you will receive a gift bag filled with goodies from the sponsors of the event including certificates to restaurants, Incase gear, and souvenirs to remember the event.
The photo submission period is ongoing and will close at the end of the January. If you are one of the 24 submitters selected, you will be notified via Instagram. Don’t forget too, for the first hour, there is a hosted bar, and stay after for DJ Delve to make you groove.
“I honestly don’t think people are ready to get their minds blown by this. Brace yourself!”