Randall Kaplan’s photographs represent only 10 percent of the beaches he has enjoyed and now shares through large and colorful prints.
Randall Kaplan, raised in Michigan and based in California, is making a public splash with a project that mixes pleasure, business and artistry.
Holding a longtime love of beaches and a background of billion-dollar business successes, Kaplan launched Sandee, a firm providing worldwide beach tourism information, and put together Bliss: Beaches (Cameron), an aesthetic coffee table book offering 121 aerial views of splendorous waterfronts.
Kaplan’s photographs represent only 10 percent of the beaches he has enjoyed and now shares through large and colorful prints. He anticipates readers will be captivated visually and consider travel buoyed by Sandee data.
“Over the years, I’ve had a number of people see my photos and ask if they could purchase some, and I thought maybe there would be an interest in publishing a book of them,” said Kaplan, a camera buff who taught himself how to use drones, which he defines as cameras that fly.
“I bought my first drone six years ago because I thought shots taken from the air are breathtakingly beautiful. I watched five hours of video to learn to fly a drone and learned more by flying it in a very precise way. I got better and better at framing or centering something when I’m thousands of feet away.”
Images of vast and alluring expanses of sand and surf — locales often visited with family — reach from Laguna Beach near his California home to the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.
The beach that turned the tide on his recreational interest was located along the coast of Fort Lauderdale in Florida, where he vacationed with close relatives while in his teens. The most recently enjoyed beach was along Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, where he traveled with two of his five children in their teens.
Kaplan and wife, Madison, a model and clothing designer (Madtown Collection), celebrated their 2010 wedding with a honeymoon at a Thailand beach resort overlooking the Andaman Sea.
“From a practical point of view, I don’t have a favorite beach, but one of my favorites, Motu Roa, can be seen on the cover of the book,” Kaplan said. “To get there, I rented a jet ski and rode 90 minutes from my hotel in Bora Bora. We were the only ones there, and it had soft white sand and warm, crystal-clear turquoise water.”
From a strictly practical point of view, Sandee was developed to accommodate a wide range of beach lovers by providing a database that lists beach information according to 94 categories for some 50,000 beaches across more than 200 countries.
“One of our goals at Sandee is to provide beach visitors the ability to choose their perfect beaches,” said Kaplan, who has trademarked himself as Mr. Beach. “We’re the only resource and company in the world that has this information for every beach in the world.
“The needs of families and the needs of couples will almost always differ. Most families will want food, bathrooms and showers, and they also want to know if you can swim at that beach. A couple may want to know if a beach has surfing, snorkeling or volleyball.”
Kaplan, 52, a University of Michigan (U-M) psychology graduate who earned an advanced degree from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, has been at the helm of different kinds of businesses.
His resume includes Akamai Technologies, a computer initiative aimed at making the internet fast and secure; JUMP Investors, an entrepreneurial investment firm; Thrive Properties, a real estate development enterprise; and CollarCard, a promotional products company.
Religious and community grounding has come through activities at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Township and the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. Anchors to Michigan include establishing the U-M Julia Eder Dean’s Scholarship, which honors his grandmother, a “102½- year-old” still in the Metro Detroit area, and benefits students who have lived in foster homes as she did.
“I love the thought of going to the beach,” said Kaplan, also diving into podcasts with “In Search of Excellence,” which presents earthy interviews of highly successful people. “I love the sun, the outdoors, the sand on my feet, the sound of crashing waves on the ocean. I like looking at the diversity of people on the beach.”
Bliss: Beaches is available on Amazon.