Posted on February 06 2018
Life can be so incredibly random. The people you meet, the situations you find yourself in. My life is almost hilarious in how quickly it changes - all I can do is hang on and try to have a sense of humor about it. So in December of 2017, through my buddy, Rob, I connected with Kendall Grove. We make a decision to sponsor him, on the last leg of his fighting journey. We line up a photographer in Maui. And two days before the shoot, the photographer tries to renegotiate the terms, knowing she had us in a real bind. I refuse to let people like that in my life. So two days later, I was on a plane to Maui to meet and shoot photos of Kendall Grove.
My plan was to take this very intimidating looking giant of a fighter, and show him to the world in a contemplative and romantic way, in his home land in the islands. As I sat in the plane, flying over the Pacific Ocean, I thought to myself, "Oh man, what did you get yourself into... how are you going to pull this one off with a guy you've never even met, in a place you've never been to?"
Kendall met me at the airport, and just made me feel so comfortable - it felt like I had known him for years. We drove around the island in his Toyota 4Runner, with his two boys, looking for a nice beach spot with jungle. It was right after a major rainstorm so a lot of places were flooded out and inaccessible. Kendall finally found us this perfect spot. And he was one of the easiest models I've ever worked with. We just had a great time, as his two boys sat on the sand watching us work.
Towards the end of the session, a friend of his saw us and brought over coconuts he had just found up the beach. He and Kendall broke them open and we drank and ate them right there on the sand. It was just an awesome day! Oh - and we got some pretty great pictures too!
by Jonathan Oe / photos: Jonathan Oe, and Kendall's Son took the photo of me