Meet Joel Montrone. A Kaneohe local, Joel wakes up every morning taking in the soulful serenity of the Ko’olau mountains. From the get go, it was clear when we met Joel we found our people: a man born and bred in the sun and sea. “I grew up surfing and fishing, and diving so oceans have always been a calming place to clear my mind. For the brief time I lived in Kansas, I realized that the ocean is not just a place, but a way of life.”
Kansas? (We politely ask, trying to remove the shook from our faces). There for four years of mandatory mainland time, or “college” as some call it. Sentence served, Joel made swift about face and rooted permanently back in the islands. He quickly realized, “no place is like home and people are incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful place.” My good man.
Joel’s photos make you feel an overwhelming sense of peace -- a view of the island from a local who has lived their lives appreciating it. Photos for Joel, “could bring back timeless memories that people can remember for a lifetime. Photography is powerful in so many ways.”
Hawai’i for this soulful legend is a constant opportunity for appreciation. “Not too many other places have all that beauty in one place, the opportunities are abundant and the ever-changing conditions are what inspires me to capture this beauty.”
One last nugget of wisdom from the GOAT: “My pro tip - carry sunscreen everywhere even if I think I don’t need it! Sometimes if I’m not sure if I’ll be in the sun and don’t want to carry a clumsy plastic bottle, I put some in a little zip lock bag and carry that in a pocket.” LMAO, this guy!!! We slipped some packs into his DM in hopes that we could compete with his plastic baggies. The verdict, “Sunscreen was great! 👍🏻 Love the bag, smells good, and worked super good!” Goodbye ziploc, hello world.
(All photos credit of Joel Montrone instagram @joelmontrone)
Lani + Kai Sun Chasers is a series on inspirationals who live their lives outside.