Kazumi Sakurai

Kazumi founded Pure Akua Photography after leaving New York City – where she spent 12 years as a professional photographer – to make a new home on the island of Kauai. Akua is the Hawaiian word for god. For Kazumi, it signifies that true beauty is not just something we see; it is something we must feel. Kazumi believes that a good photograph must capture more than the beauty visible through her camera lens, it should reveal the love that connects us to the land, the sea, and to each other.

Akua also reminds Kazumi of the word Aqua: the connection between her home here on Kauai and her roots across the ocean in Japan. For most of her career, she used the same Nikon SF camera her father bought to photograph her when she was born. He taught Kazumi to look for those moments in life when a deeper beauty rises to the surface – the shadow of a cloud, the angle of a flower in a field, a glance, a touch, a burst of laughter. Kazumi believes that no matter where we are in the world, the greatest beauty to be found is the connection between people. It is a pure feeling she captures in all of her portraits.