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Behind the Scenes

Russell Tanoue has become one of Hawaii’s top photographers and remains in high demand after a couple of decades behind the lens. He first picked up a camera at the ripe age of 12 and used everything from lamps, tinfoil, and fabric to take quick shots of his subjects. Today Tanoue brings out the best in models, actors, recording artists, and celebrities in Hawaii and across the United States, capturing a person’s unseen beauty and creating images that can only be described as electrifying. He is also known for creating the “faces” of tomorrow.


One of his missions is to make a positive difference in the lives of people he encounters. To that end, he created Project Shine in 2001. The program offers free makeovers and photo sessions to people fighting cancer and other diseases, victims of domestic violence, and teenagers rehabilitated from drug abuse. Most recently he has done makeover photo shoots for 4 at-risk teenagers from Palama Settlement.  His ongoing spreading of positive messages such as “Always choose joy” and “I AM Enough” is important to him especially to our teens today.

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