Wedding photographer gives back

  • Contributed by Mallory Roe

    Mallory Roe is in her element on a Kaua‘i beach on the Southside.

KOLOA — Mallory Roe, a professional photographer and creator of Vows With Views Photography, is still in business after 100% of her bookings from mid March though the end of August were canceled or postponed.

Roe has been living on the Southside of Kaua‘i for six years, and holds bachelor’s degrees in fine arts photography and political science from Northern Kentucky University.

The second degree, she said, to her is sort of random and irrelevant in her life.

Like many, Roe’s business was affected by COVID-19, and she recently shared thoughts on what happened to her business.

“In a matter of just a couple of weeks, I went from having a full diary with many weddings for this spring and summer that I was really looking forward to photographing, to not knowing when I will be able to shoot again,” said Roe.

“The uncertainty of how long this will all last or when travel will be safe again has also kept new bookings from coming in.”

According to Roe, she is legally allowed to shoot weddings and sessions again (so long as the party is less than 10 people or of the same household). However, obtaining permits for permission to shoot in public places like the beaches and in parks was not not possible until May 31.

“But, honestly, it will take opening back up to tourism for the business I have to thrive again. With Hawai‘i being one of the top locations for destination weddings, pretty much all of my bookings are couples coming from the mainland or other parts of the word,” said Roe.

With all that Roe is up against, she decided to stay productive and give back to Kaua‘i’s community by giving five free sessions to Kaua‘i couples.

“(I did it) because this whole pandemic has made me reflect on what generosity means and the real purpose of it. There is something that happens to me in times of crisis. My instincts for self-preservation kick in, and I begin cultivating a scarcity mindset,” said Roe.

Roe said through other people’s radical and small acts of kindness and generosity towards her during this crisis, she has relearned that the only way out of this anxious spiral is to elevate the needs of other people higher than her own.

“I believe there’s something about generosity that can break the spell that fear and self-preservation can have on all of us. While I might not be rich in wealth at the moment, I have been given specific gifts that I can share with others. That is why I am offering these free sessions to couples. It’s what I have and what I can share specifically with them right now,” said Roe.

Roe is inspired by the generosity people have shown her during desperate or unsure moments throughout her life.

Roe goes on to say that a lot of people may not be rich in wealth right now, but they all have been given gifts that they can share with others, like time, talents, care, resources, etc.

“Reflect on what you can share specifically, and with whom. I am an avid backpacker, and on the trail we have a name for the people who are generous. They are called ‘trail angels,’” said Roe.

She continued: “Anyone who has been in a desperate, unsure moment, I’m sure can second me when I say we will always remember the people who helped us in those moment. We will probably tell stories about them for the rest of our lives. And those stories will (continue) to inspire.”

For more info, see vowswithviews.com.

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Stephanie Shinno, features and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.

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