Working as an established photographer for nearly 18 years in Honolulu, Marco Garcia traded his New York City street style for rubber “slippas” and vintage aloha shirts. Yet spending his days in a tropical paradise hasn’t slowed him down one bit. His exposure grows as he continues to invite his diverse, global client base to the island of Hawaii.
As a long-time contributor, Marco has shot many assignments for the Times over the years, and living in Hawaii made him an ideal fit for this assignment. The location for the shoot was a suite at the iconic Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites. For over 50 years, the Ilikai has been a Waikiki landmark, defined by its bold architecture and abounding presence. Designed by legendary architect John Graham, Jr. the hotel is famous for being featured in the opening credits of the original 1970s Hawaii Five-0.
Kevin was staying at a boutique hotel across the street and met Marco at the Ilikai suite early on a Sunday morning. He arrived with his assistant, politely greeted Marco, and, after some brief chatting, Marco got to work capturing photos of the stand-up comic. There were no publicists or third parties involved, and Marco enjoyed Kevin’s laid-back approach. He appreciated photographing an A-level celebrity with no one in between them, and as a result, the project flowed quickly and easily.
The editor at the Times wanted the portraits taken with natural light so Marco captured photos of Kevin both in the suite and outside on the balcony. While he had a portable strobe set on hand, Marco chose to avoid the fuss of fumbling around with equipment, especially because he didn’t have an assistant on set. Being mindful of his limited time, Marco moved around the suite posing Kevin in various places and finished the shoot in about 15 minutes.
In his interview with the Times, Kevin shared his five fashion favorites: a designer Valentino suit, John Elliott jeans, his favorite watch in rotation, the 40th-anniversary Audemars Piguet, and the styling tip he picked up from David Beckham. Sporting an understated but fashionable ensemble, Kevin wore a white Barneys New York T-shirt, a pair of Saint Laurent denim jeans, and black Saint Laurent sneakers along with stylish accessories to complete the look.
I am a sneakers guy. I like simplicity. I’m very basic with my colors, too: black or white or the occasional burgundy. – Kevin Hart NYT
Although Marco would have liked to include more of the quintessential Hawaii backdrop — blue waters and palm trees — in his photos, he was satisfied with the final outcome. As Marco continues to live the dream of a life in Hawaii, he’s excited by all the opportunities, clients, and celebrity subjects that this destination offers.
There’s a different vibe here in this tropical paradise. Lots of celebrities can relax when they come here as there’s no paparazzi and fans mostly leave you alone.