Photographer Fidel Che Hart grew up primarily in Columbus, Ohio. In 2007, while working as a mortgage loan officer in Southern California, he decided to recapture his adolescent love of photography and purchased a Nikon D80 prior to a trip to Sedona, Arizona. It was during that trip that he had the overwhelmingly sense that travel and photography were his calling. A year later, he was in Navy bootcamp enlisting as a mass communication specialist. “Join the Navy, See the World,” as the saying goes.
Nearly 30 countries and countless photographs later, he now resides in Honolulu, Hawaii, and most of the photography he does is personal, not for the Navy.
How would you describe your style of photography?
“I want to be your screenshot.”
That’s the quote I use. Whether I’m showing you life in Hawaii, a winter’s day in Paris, a Geisha walking in Kyoto, or a child’s smile, my aim is to bring you an image that you’d want as a screenshot. To myself, that means bringing you clarity, vivid colors, a sharp focus and geometric symmetry.
When I’m photographing, I’m at my happiest and I want my imagery to convey that.
Can you share the backstories behind these two photos?
In 2009, I visited Paris as an inexperienced traveler and photographer. More than five years later in December 2014, I decided to visit Paris again to see how much I’ve changed as both a traveler and photographer. On this evening, I retraced the same steps I took five years prior from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower. This time, I soaked in more scenery; I walked with more confidence, less fear; and I used my third eye.
Even with the same equipment, I would not have taken this photograph five years ago and it felt great acknowledging that. This photograph represents how much I’ve grown and changed.
I’ve begun doing a lot of family and couples portraits sessions recently in Hawaii. It’s amazing to me how much people have begun to rely on selfie sticks, GoPros and mobile phones to share images of their vacations. During this family portrait session, I wanted one image that said, “You can’t create this with a selfie stick.”
What are your dreams as a photographer?
I enjoy environmental portraits. I’d love to grow my business as a photographer specializing in family, couples, wedding and vacation photography. I’d love to be a modern day Slim Aarons, photographing the jetsetters of our generations. Anything that will allow me to continue traveling and photographing is what I dream of.
The “Snapshot” series are mini interviews with fellow black travel photographers to inspire others and myself. As I’ve navigated the world of travel photography over the last few years, I’ve found very few fellow photographers of color who are also doing this professionally with a heavy focus on travel documentary. So this inspirational resource of professional travel photographers of color is a way for people to always find us. Please get in touch if you’d like to be featured or know of others to feature.