By Daniel Ikaika Ito
Photographer Jake Marote was built for adventure. His mauka to makai approach to photography was cultivated by his upbringing as a hunter, spear fishermen, skateboarder, surfer and dirt bike rider. This kanaka maoli – who is originally from Hilo, Hawai‘i, but now residing on O‘ahu’s North Shore – is a “jack of all trades and master of none.” But whatever Jake decides to do he is usually going to be super good at it. He is one of those guys that would easily be the leader of your group if you folks were stuck in “The Walking Dead” because he is a sharp shooter, outdoorsman, gear head and an all-around problem-solver.
“Being a hunter and waterman all my life has helped my photography with being in the right place at the right time and knowing different locations where I can find various subjects to shoot,” says Jake.
Although he has only been shooting photos for three years, this multi-talented, 28- year-old has an impressive library of nature photography and a loyal following thanks to Instagram. Ironically, he never started his @Jake_of_all_trades account, but it was the catalyst for his art.
“I got into photography when my friend, Shaun Harada (@2scoopsofaloha), made me an Instagram and ever since then I’ve had a passion for taking pictures,” explains Jake. “I wouldn’t consider myself a professional, I do it solely for fun.”
As a prolific explorer, equally adept underwater as well as above sea level in the mountains, his favorite subject matter is the ‘aina (that which feeds us). His go-to rig is a Canon 7D-Mark II inside a CMT carbon fiber housing. While he primarily shoots fisheye when it comes to underwater and surf photography, Jake also captures the bird’s eye view with his DJI Phantom Three Pro. He is also a top gun drone pilot, and like photography, his learning curve for flying drones happened quickly.
“I won a trip to New Zealand through Red Bull and two days prior to my trip I decided to buy a drone to capture a new perspective of New Zealand and I learned to fly it within two days,” he says. “Ever since then I’ve been flying it everyday.” Jake’s photos take people to places that they most likely would never be able to see. At the same time, photography has done something similar for him. Jake has been to numerous exotic locations that he never dreamed of before as a student at Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i campus, but as his art form progresses the number of stamps on his passport grow as well.
“I love to do photography because it gets myself out of the house and leads me to places that I probably would have never ventured to,” says Jake. “I love to photograph different landscapes around the world and through photography I get to travel to different places around the world.”