behind the camera with Carissa

behind the camera with Carissa

Meet Carissa.

She calls Kailua, Hawaii home, and it is safe to say she radiates a cool-gal, island vibe that we are a bit envious of.

She's a creative conservationist- doing static design- based like art like cinema and practicing sustainable living. So, basically she is our dream girl. We sent her a disposable camera, this gorgeous Khiember dress, and followed up with an interview. Get to know this sweet creature. We promise you will be inspired. Read below.


home town or where do you call home?

While I grew up in Phoenix, AZ I have been calling Kailua, Hawaii my home for my adult life. Over the 5 years I've lived there this town has shaped me and where I feel most grounded and part of the community.

astrological sign?

Aquarius, which I laughed at quite often because it's too accurate. As the years have passed my aquarius attributes have only become more pronounced in my personality! Like wanting complete freedom, unconventional opinions, and a strong sense of activism.

how you would describe your style of art and how did you gravitate there?

I would say that my style of art is static design-based art like cinema. Regardless of my medium, I create in a way that uses designs to bring the viewer closer and engage them in the piece. While I often supplement my art with storytelling and education, my ultimate goal is that the piece of art speaks for itself.

what is on your bedside table?

Cup of water, essential oil diffuser, and the book I'm reading at the time :)

what is your favorite medium and why?

My favorite medium has always been a camera. While I've been exploring videography and other forms of moving art lately, I've always been most comfortable using a still image to share my message!

who or what  is your inspiration?

I find inspiration everywhere, but it's usually from those I look up to or when I'm completely immersed in nature. Creating a media space of inspirational people means that catching up on social media can spark creativity for me, but also distraction. I find my best ideas come to me when I'm without my phone, doing something that connects me to the planet and myself. Perfect example is surfing, or when I'm spending quality time with people I love.

khiember dress lemons

current obsession?

Current obsession is the podcast "You're Wrong About"! I don't binge things, but I definitely have listened to almost all the episodes in under a month. In a world where it's so hard to find unbiased, factual accounts of things happening in our world, these journalists tell stories of events in a way I never knew before. I highly suggest it!

best advice you have ever received?

The best advice I ever received is that your intuition is more valuable that others opinions. I spent so long holding back my creativity and goals out of fear of what others thought or what I should be doing. In 2020, I let that go and have seen incredible opportunities open for me since.

khiember dress_walnut floral

favorite band / album?

Ziggy Alberts, Laps Around the Sun. No question.

morning or night time?

I've always been a night person, but the mornings have become a space for me to spend time with myself and set intentions for the day!

top secret photo location?

There is a tiny beach on the east side of Oahu that you can only get to by foot and during low tide, it's almost always empty. I take over half my product shoots there.

a quote you live by?

Never doubt that a small, dedicated group of people can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead.

first thing you do when you wake up?

I say 5 things I'm grateful for to myself. I started this practice in August, and it has changed my life.

go to dinner recipe?

Alex (my boyfriend) and I make bean bowls all the time when we are feeling lazy! Black beans, rice sometimes, onions, greens, avocado, tomato, lemon juice, and spices. It's so quick, filling, and healthy! 

carissa + bf past life the collective

let’s pretend we are all safe from covid, how would you spend your first night?:

COVID taught me that I needed to slow down. So if COVID was magically over tonight, I would probably spend it in a group hot yoga class and go for a dinner without a mask.

something you are excited about for 2021:

I'm excited to push myself with video creation. I ultimately want to create short conservation films that inspire others, and I need to develop some serious skillsets to do that. I'm going to invest in learning those this year!

past life the collective _ khiember dress

give this beauty a follow  @carissaandcoffee