The Hawai’i Publishers Association last week awarded an annual Pa’i Award to The Garden Island in the Feature Photography (Newsprint Stock) category.
The Garden Island photographer Dennis Fujimoto earned the first place award for the newspaper by capturing a photo of a military family during a video uplink conference with the father and husband of the family who was serving in Iraq.
The unobtrusive image captures a little boy waving to his father, while the father — thousands of miles away — waves back. A toddler displays crawling technique for the father as well under the watchful eye of the mother.
Judges in the Pa’i Awards state about the photo: “Boy, it’s tough NOT to become involved with the subject matter. You look and look, and then look a little more and then fit your own storyline with the photograph. Quite compelling. I didn’t notice the little girl on the table, best seen on the large screen, until later on.”
Fujimoto shot the image through a glass door so as not to interrupt the family visit that was occurring during the holidays early in December.
“The image is a modern day take on the dynamic that has been holding families together for centuries,” said editor Adam Harju. “Dennis has the ability to translate abstract ideas like that into images that words simply lack the ability to capture. He does this kind of work on a daily basis and I can hardly wait every day to see what he brings back to the paper.”
Fujimoto has been the staff photographer for The Garden Island for the last 17-years. He is also known as the “Happy Camper,” while his writing credits include many feature stories for the A section and a byline that appears quite often in the Sports pages as well.
One of Kaua’i Publishing Co.’s ancillary publications, the Japanese Beach Press, earned a second place Pa’i Award in the category Japanese Language Publication Excellence — Over 500 million per year.
The judges said about the Japanese Beach Press: “This publication provides comprehensive, well-balanced, coverage of happenings of interest to Japanese speakers in Hawaii. Readers of the Japanese Beach Press, whether first-time or repeat visitors, or especially Japanese living in Hawaii, will find the articles on local politics, business, community events, sports, music, health, religion, plus feature articles of a topical nature, extremely interesting reading.”