Ken Posney

"My parents had a serious goal of living in Africa. Unfortunately, my father was killed in a car accident when I was about twelve. Luckily, we had a small amount of life insurance. With that, my mother decided to take us kids on that trip my parents had planned for so many years. It was good therapy that gave us a chance to grieve as a family, away from everything. So as a child growing up in Los Angeles and Orange County, we were able to travel to Africa, Denmark, Austria,

England and Scotland as a teenager, with my identical twin brother, Dan, and older sister, Lisa. Wanna see a photo of my sister, in Scotland, wearing bell-bottom jeans? This trip gave me my initial appreciation for photography.

NAVY | As a young adult, not excited about college and lacking any direction, I decided to join the Navy. Fortunately, I had a friend, Gary Payton, and his friend, Chief Miller (my boot camp Company Commander). Gary would dance on the coffee table whenever he heard the song, "The Wanderer" by Dion.

Gary was stationed on a submarine in San Diego and helped me to get in the right school once I finished boot camp. I didn't know what an Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare Operator was but they signed me up. The rest is a longer story, but I ended up tracking Russian submarines during the "Cold War" on a P-3C aircraft. You know what they say, "Join the Navy and see the world".

Stationed at Moffett Field, San Jose, we flew to Oman, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Diego Garcia, Hong Kong and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. After an honorable discharge, I settled down in San Diego for a career in wireless technology, until I somehow got attracted to the island of Kaua'i."

Crew 10 in Pohang, Korea. (Ken Posney is standing far-left)

Booth at the Orange County Swap Meet.

First gallery space (La Jolla Art Gallery)

Display space at the Merrill Lynch building.

Kyocera Gallery | "Gallery of Simplicity"

Kyocera Gallery | Opening

Kyocera Gallery | Opening

HULA PHOTOGRAPHY | Ken started making photographs of hula dancers along the coast of Southern California near La Jolla, with the help of the hula schools, Halau 'O Pualani and Halau 'O Na Ali'i. This decision would eventually bring him to the island of Kaua'i, two years later. In early 2005.


Posney decided he needed to learn more about hula, from the source, on Kaua'i. Taking advantage of the opportunity to live out his dream as a photographer on Kaua'i, he gave up the technology career and sold just about everything.


"I don't know what it was. I don't know what initially drew me to Kaua'i. It could have been a tractor-beam of some sort. Maybe it was a desire to be closer to the originating source of hula. I guess it could have been any other island, but looking back, it had to be Kaua'i. I must have been annoying to my friends, always distracted, painfully focused and making sure it was a solo journey. I didn't want to let anyone down if it didn't work out. Thankfully, I had some friends who truly supported me in my goals. Thank you friends."


It was a tough first year, working as a restaurant manager, "selling" appliances at Sears and working as a photographer for the Garden Island Newspaper, where he met his wife, Haunani "Hau" Ka'imina'auao, in 2006. Ken and his family currently live on the south shore, in Koloa.


Self-taught with an "eye" for unique compositions, using natural light, Ken has built a successful business on Kaua’i and established strong relationships with the warm people there. The last 11 years have been spent on the island as a full-time photographer. Ken's goal has always been to help remove the typical stereotypes of hula dancers and of Hawai'i seen in movies and to honor the Hawaiian culture with an authentic representation.


Past Board Member (La Jolla Art Society, San Diego, California)



Kaua'i Shopping Village (Waipouli)

La Jolla Art Society Gallery

Merrill Lynch

Kyocera Corporate Gallery


Speaking Engagements

Sierra Club

Masonic Lodge


Charitable Events

Del Mar Clinic

Burn Institute

Multiple Sclerosis

P-3 Aircraft "on top" a submarine

PHOTOGRAPHY | While living in San Diego, Ken served as a Board Member for the La Jolla Art Society and had his black/white photography prominently displayed in several prestigious locations, including the La Jolla Art Society Gallery, the Merrill Lynch Building and the Kyocera Corporation Gallery. Giving speeches at the local Sierra Club and Masonic Lodge, his work has also been donated to the Del Mar Clinic and auction fundraisers for the Burn Institute and Multiple Sclerosis.

"I can remember starting my photography career in San Diego, spending most of my time with hula and portraits in La Jolla. I appreciate the people I've met who have become instant long-time friends and for the incredible experiences I've had. I am grateful every day for my success as a photographer here on Kaua'i. It was a tremendous risk, but the rewards have been priceless.

Mahalo nui loa."

© 2023 by Kawaiola Photography

Kawaiola Photography

3297C Kapau Road, Koloa, HI  96756



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