Portrait of Kailua
A new pictorial book highlights Windward and East Oahu.
Through sheer determination, Kailua photographer Heather Titus managed to sell hundreds of copies of her first book—before it even hit the stores. Passion & Beauty showcases more than 20 years of Titus’ work, capturing images of beaches and mountainsides of Windward and East Oahu, from Rabbit Island to Hoomaluhia State Park to the Koolaus.
Titus didn’t want to entrust her life’s work to anyone else. But she didn’t have enough money to publish a book herself, either. Instead, she assembled a prototype of the now 200-page work, lugging the sample around to local businesses and residents.
“I sold 800 copies, and it was all done through private sales,” says Titus, who’s lived in Lanikai since she moved to Hawaii from Illinois in 1982. “I was floored that so many people were moved by the book. The book is really a statement of the Windward Side.”
The photographs of land and seascapes may make even Windward residents see familiar sights with fresh eyes. But to Titus, the pictures are not just landscape photos. “They’re moments in time for me,” she says.
Titus augments the photos with Hawaiian proverbs by the late Mary Kawena Pukui, quotes from community members and her own verses. Still, the book really isn’t about words. These pictures, patiently crafted over two decades, tell the story.