"By painting with light, we can share our precious memories with others."
Inspirant, literally translated from the French, means one who inspires. His calling card states: "Pictures That Involve Your Thoughts." Looking back at his life, Hal Kataoka's work has been influenced by his father's earnest efforts to teach him about nature intelligence and the value of giving back to society. His father was a renowned landscaper and an ex-prisoner of war during WWII. To break out of poverty, he took up photography and worked his way through school. At 18 he flew to New York City and, through serendipity, met several ex-Life Magazine photographers who trained him formally in photography. Eventually, he secured a Master's in Educational Psychology.
Since that time, he has built a sterling reputation for using his work for humanitarian causes. In the 70's, he worked as a United Nations photographer while serving in the U.S. military. In the late 80's he was one of the first American photographers who dared to travel to Vietnam when it was off limits. As a result, he helped created the first guidebook on Vietnam that eventually helped to lift the trade embargo off Vietnam which was just recovering from a tragic war.
Some of the famous luminaries he has been fortunate to photograph are: Maya Angelou, Red Skelton, Jane Fonda, Joan Baez, John Lee Hooker, Blues Singer, Steve Jobs, Bill Walsh, 49er Coach, Joe DiMaggio, Martin Sheen, Dan Rather, The Dalai Lama, and Dr. Stephen Hawkins, who was featured in the film, "The Theory of Everything." He has been globally published, and fortunate enough to explore 29 countries.