Evan Koenig

Behind the lens of one of Hawaii's top emerging photographers

Evan’s childhood was split between growing up in a remote village deep in the heart of the West African rainforest of Cameroon, the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, and a brief three year stint in rural farm-town U.S.A. Hopkinsville, Kentucky. From a very young age he become accustomed to his family moving around a lot. His brother eventually found his way back overseas while his parents decided to return to Cameroon; making the difficult decision to leave his family and friends in Colorado to pursue another adventure, just a tad easier.

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After graduating college in Northern Colorado Evan took a manager position with a nearby firm that was completely unrelated to his financial studies. He knew early on he was willing to pursue a life outside his narrow field of study— finding the best opportunities striking when they didn’t line up with what he was best at. Shortly after he transferred to Hawai’i in hopes of following a dream that included a corporate career and upward promotion on the island of O’ahu. Little did he know at the time that a lifetime of climbing the corporate ladder in America wasn’t in the cards.

Four years later Evan escaped a lifestyle that was tearing his creative and outdoor desires apart; although, it wasn’t a simple transition. He left Hawai’i once, chased what he thought was a better career, and spent every day regretting the decision. He had committed to one year, so instead of moping about poor decisions he chose to make the most of it by traveling around the country and eventually the world. He saved and paid off student debt, thrived at work, and forged life-long friendships.
After the commitment was up it was time for Evan to focus on his passion — exploring Hawai’i and the beauty of the wonderful world we are blessed to call home.

After returning to Hawai’i Evan spent the next 2 years working Monday through Friday as a commercial delivery driver, but his life wasn’t defined by his time on the clock. While he took a lot of pride in his work he was living for the weekends. Hiking, diving, running, and any type of adventure he could get his hands on became the pursuit—that’s where it all started. Initially, it was photos of the island’s raw beauty on that others were capturing and sharing on Instagram that he came to love so much. While at the time he was limited to an iPhone 6s, beaten and battered, nothing could stop him from capturing images from each hike’s viewpoint, each sunrise and sunset’s golden hour, and all the incredible moments of beauty in between.

Enter 2020, the year many of us know all too well. For Evan this time was more than just a pandemic involving multiple quarantines. His life was turned upside-down after tearing the cartilage in both of his knees at work, and in the blink of an eye, everything athletic that he had enjoyed while living in a tropical paradise was stripped away. He could hardly leave the house, let alone return to work, with doctors telling him that he may never run again. Adding to this he had to undergo surgery for a heart condition shortly after the knee injury. The odds against him were stacking up. Although he felt defeated Evan refused to be defined by any of it and instead accepting things as they were, he leaned into what would help the most – his faith, family, friends, and you guessed it — drone photography.