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Claude S. Ayakawa
Claude S. Ayakawa received his formal photographic
education in Santa Barbara, California at the world renowned Brooks
Institute of Photography &. Fine Arts. After completing his
photographic training at Brooks, he returned to Hawaii and opened
a portrait studio in 1965 in Waipahu where he was born and raised.
For almost fifty years since the establishment of his studio,
Claude has devoted a considerable amount of time perfecting a style
that is unique, creative and sensitive. It was mainly due to his quest
for artistic excellence that has earned him the reputation as being one
of Hawaii's outstanding portrait and wedding photographers. Because of
his commitment to the photographic arts, Claude is highly respected by
his many colleagues here in Hawaii and elswhere.
Claude Ayakawa was the very first photographer
from Hawaii to earn and receive both the MASTER
OF PHOTOGRAPHY and the PHOTOGRAPHIC
CRAFTSMAN degrees from The Professional Photographers of
for twenty one years, he was a qualified national affiliated photographic
juror with the credentials to review the images of other photographers
who were aspiring to receive their Master's degree. In addition to his
judging duties at the national and regional photographic
competitions throughout the country, Claude has also had the distinction
of teaching and lecturing at conventions and seminars throughout the United
States and once in Japan. Many of his award winning photographs have been
exhibited all over the the United States and published in books, magazines
and brochures. He is a life-time member of both The Professional Photographers
of America and The Professional Photographers of Hawaii, and
is a holder of the local association's prestigious PPH
Fellowship Degree which was bestowed on him for his years of dedicated service to the association and for the many excellent
photographic images of his that had received very high scores at the group's
annual judging and exhibit.
In 1990, Claude Ayakawa was the proud recipient of the prestigious NATIONAL AWARD which was presented to him by the Professional Photographers of Hawaii in behalf of The Professional Photographers of America in recognition of his many contributions to the professional photographic industry. In 1999, he was honored again and this time by the members of his local business association with the
PRIDE OF WAIPAHU award for his many years of providing quality service to the Leeward Oahu community and for his many photographic achievements
The Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers
(SWPP) in the United Kingdom has awarded Claude Ayakawa a FELLOWSHIP
OF THE SOCIETY title in recognition of his devotion to photographic
excellence and asked him to write an article about his long and illustrious career for their monthly journal which he did and it was published in
the April 2005 issue. After receiving an invitation to the society's 2008 convention in London, Claude traveled to that city to present a two hour lecture on environmental portrait lighting titled "AN EYE FOR THE LIGHT"
and it was very well received by everyone who had attended his presentation.
In 2005, Claude continues to win awards for his photography and has won a Kodak Gallery as well as a Fuji Masterpiece award and in 2006, he took home another Gallery trophy.
The Professional Photographers of Hawaii have always had an image competition four times a year
and it was not until 2007 when Claude Ayakawa started to actively submit his images for judging by some of his
fellow photographers. There are three category in the competition - PORTRAIT, WEDDINGS and UNCLASSIFIED and each
photograph is judged with a score between one to a hundred. At the end of the year, the photographer who has
accumulated the highest total score in each category is declared PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR in that class.
Mr. Ayakawa won the title in 2007 and again in 2008 as the PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR.