Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Yuki - A Sunny October Afternoon


I did a shoot with the beautiful Yuki the other day, on a perfect sunny afternoon.


I love the blue scarf she brought along, and her outfit and accessories were lovely.


This feeling of being released and surrounded by nature, golden tassels waving in the wind.


Of discovering and capturing a golden wonder, even just for a single moment.


Let the wind carry it all away.


Yuki, thank you so much! This was a very fun and relaxed shoot. 

I feel like I'm learning more and more, but yet so much to improve on still.
Gotta take it one step at a time!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Taro - A Rainy Day Photoshoot

 Finally posting up photos from this shoot that happened a few weeks back, that I did with Taro from Hawaii.

It was my first time trying a rainy day shoot, and both my camera and lens got pretty wet (not to mention the model as well - thank you!), but it was quite fun! We were able to get some pretty interesting shots in the rain.

City lights in the background.

I absolutely love these three, some of my favorite from the shoot.
Pretty excited that you can actually see the raindrops falling!

It was a pleasure working with Taro on this shoot, and he was very professional at posing.

I realized from this experience that I really need to learn more about direction. Being the one behind the lens, I have to help explain to the model what I want them to do, how to move and angle their face or body. To be honest, I always felt like directing the model so strictly is kind of awkward, since it limits their expression and feels unnatural sometimes. People tend to stiffen up or be conscious of the camera, and conscious of the fact that they are posing. But on the other hand, if the model is experienced and relaxed enough, they are able to make even poses look like just a natural part of their being. I guess part of my job as photographer is to make the model feel that way!

So much to learn still.

Thank you Taro, for being a wonderful model and also bearing the rain!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Falling Up


Too bad you can't scratch and sniff this picture. These glowy orange kinmokusei are flowers that bloom around Japan every year in October, and they give off the most lovely fragrant scent. Just everything about these flowers cheer me up.  I found this tree of kinmokusei near my work around lunch time.

You may have noticed that I'm doing quite a few photoshoots these days. It's been really exciting to have the chance to shoot some events and experience a variety of situations with my camera. Somehow, I feel empowered when it is attached to me. How I wish I could take a trip around the world and capture the scenes I see with these lenses. Sometimes I feel severely limited, being inside while seeing the warmly inviting sunshine beckon through the window. Weekends are bliss.


We found this extremely adorable and fat caterpillar right in the middle of the road. It could have been easily squished by an oncoming bicycle or mischievous kid, so after enticing it onto this piece of rock, we moved it to safety in the grass.
What wonders exist all around, if only we look out for them. Sometimes right beneath our feet.


Lately, I have been so busy juggling everything, but I am more excited and motivated than I've been in a long time. Rather than something completely new, this passion for photography feels like something I've been holding inside and have held off for far too long. It is a means of expression and creativity that fits me like a glove. I'm determined to learn more and keep getting better.


Outfit:  Jacket - Zara, Striped Tank Top - Lowry's Farm, 
                     Brown Tank - Forever 21, Jeans - Lee, Necklace - ?


Tomorrow is a day of photoshoots and attending a friend's event, and Sunday is another live performance. Busy busy. Why can't the weekend last five days instead of two?
It makes me wish for the long summer holidays of high school and college days... what a luxury. After graduating and moving to Japan, I've been continuously working full time, and I don't think I've ever had a holiday longer than a week. (And those happen maybe once a year.) I guess that's the working-in-an-office life! Gotta pay the bills. If I had the days off and the money, I would love to start even by traveling around Japan, since there are still so many places I haven't seen yet. Well, maybe all in good time! I just have to start by doing my best now with what I can.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Naoshi Sawayanagi Spring/Summer Collection 2013


Here are some photos I took at the Naoshi Sawayanagi S/S 2013 runway show.


This was my favorite show out of the few I attended during fashion week. It took place on top of the Mitsukoshi building in Ginza, and the rain was just pouring down without any sign of relenting. A bunch of photographers were wrapping plastic bags around their cameras for protection. I also caught a glimpse of the models rehearsing their walk while carrying clear plastic umbrellas. 
Luckily, the rain decided to let up right at the beginning of the show, and the models were able to walk without having to hold umbrellas.


 I absolutely love the colors, textures, and theme of this collection, "...air". Light, flowy fabrics and prettily patterned scarves, the recurrence of white and dark blue. Absolutely gorgeous.


 This is a lovely piece, I really like the simplicity and traditional influence.



Such a talented young designer!
It was a pleasure to attend his runway show.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

25th Tokyo International Film Festival Green Carpet Ceremony


On Saturday, October 20, 2012, the 25th Tokyo International Film Festival's Green Carpet Ceremony was held in Roppongi. I had the honor of attending the ceremony as a press photographer, assisting Tokyograph reporter Chuck. 
Thank you so much for inviting me to take photos for the event, Chuck!! It was an amazing experience. 



The green carpet was lined with fans and spectators on each side, blocked off by a low fence. On the left side, there was a stretch of space for press to stand, and we weren't blocked off by anything - we could literally touch the green carpet! The stars were coming up to just a few feet away from us. Quite surreal.

There were many reporters, photographers, and video camera operators carrying a huge amount of equipment, large tripods, huge lenses, etc. It all looked extremely heavy and expensive.
It was my first time to shoot an event like this as a press photographer, so I was incredibly excited! 
After lining up to get our press stickers and getting into place along the green carpet, the music began at 1:30 PM and stars began to arrive.

I took hundreds of photos over the two and a half hour event (1:30 - 4:00 PM), but here are just a selected few!


 Former AKB48 member, Maeda Atsuko (前田 敦子). 
She took quite a while right at the beginning of the green carpet, signing autographs and moving slowly along the fan sides of the fence. The fans were going crazy! Also, I have to say that Chuck is really amazing for calling out to the celebrities and asking them to stop for a picture. Sometimes the stars were ushered along rather quickly by the festival staff escorts, telling them that there wasn't much time and they had to move forward, but Chuck was fantastic at getting their attention and allowing us to capture some really good shots. Yay for English too! They seemed to really be surprised and turn around at that.  


Yamada Yu (山田優).
I like the gold accents in her outfit.


Yoshitaka Yuriko (吉高由里子). Pretty!
Also, I have to mention that once we got to our places on the green carpet, the wind picked up and it was really quite freezing. The ladies in their dresses seemed to bear it really well though, and didn't show they were cold at all! Guess that's what being professional is about :)


Kengo Kora (高良健吾).

You can see all the fans in the background, and many of them were waving paper/notepads to get signatures. Quite a few were also taking photos with their digicams, mobile phones, and DSLRs - I saw a few L lenses too! Since the celebrities were really nice and headed over to the fans when called, I'm sure those fans got some really clear and close photos :) Apparently Japan doesn't really have many red/green carpet events, so I guess this is one of the few chances for these stars to interact with their fans and get press shoots out in the open like this.

I feel that Japanese press, at least the ones at this event, were pretty polite too. None of them were rushing or shoving to get a good place along the carpet, everyone respected each others' spaces and positions, and the reporters/photographers were really quite respectful toward the celebrities as well. I like this point about Japan, that people don't seem to get hounded and paparazzi-ed like mad.

On the other hand, there were a few fangirls behind the fence screaming really loudly for handshakes, "AKUSHU SHITE KUDASAIIII!!" (or in the case of foreigner stars, "AKUSHU PLEASE!!!") and they usually got them - made us laugh :)


Ishihara Satomi (石原さとみ) in bright pink.


Abe Hiroshi (阿部寛) in the middle.


Shibasaki Kou (柴咲コウ).


 Paper cranes in her hair.


 From Golden Knight Garo (黄金騎士ガロ). Cute book!!


Inoue Mao (井上真央), Tamayama Tetsuji (玉山鉄二).
Sorry, I'm not sure who everyone else is >_< 


She's really cute in person!


Ueto Aya (上戸 彩) with members representing Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away.


 I love these colorful and artistic costumes!


 Such dreamlike movements.


I hope you enjoyed these photos I took from the Tokyo International Film Festival's Green Carpet Ceremony!
Be sure to check Tokyograph for further reports and images.

See the first gallery up here: