Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tokyo Portrait Photographer | Alina





 
 These are some of my favorites from a shoot with the sweet Alina. I had an amazing time shooting with her, and hope we get to work together again one day!



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tokyo Portrait Photographer | Alexandra

 
The other day, I had the opportunity to shoot with this gorgeous girl, Alexandra. It was so much fun doing a photoshoot together, and I love how Alexandra expressed herself through subtle expressions and movements. The late afternoon light brought a soft, golden glow over everything.





 
Alexandra, it was truly a joy doing this shoot together. Thank you so much! :)


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Matsuri in Tokyo 東京祭りの夜

 
 There happened to be a small matsuri (festival) going on nearby, so after work I was able to quickly drop by. All summer, I've been longing to go to a matsuri, but I've been so busy and wrapped up with things somehow that I haven't had the chance, despite hearing of so many all around! This one was just about finishing as I got there, but I was so excited all the same.

仕事の後、ちょっと祭りに寄って来ました!この夏はずっと祭りに行きたかったけど、忙しくて何とかチャンスがなかった。。今回の小さな祭りに着いたら、もう終わりかけてたけど、まだ屋台が残っていて、すごくいい匂いもあって、いろんな写真を撮ってみた。
今度は出来れば浴衣を着て祭りに行きたいなあ(^-^) ずっと前からの夢なので(笑)
やっぱりね、こういう雰囲気が大好きなんだ。「日本の夏」って感じ。。うれしいわ。




やってみたかった!!けど、子供たちがやっていて、ちょっと恥ずかしいので遠慮しました。。

I was thinking I really wanted to try!! But so many kids were surrounding it, I felt slightly embarrassed.. so I didn't.

 
  金魚すくい!!わいー(^0^) やってみたい。。かもしれないけど、金魚が取れたらどうしよう??うまくケアー出来るかな??ねこもいるし、きっと食べられちゃう。。
と思いながら今回はやめました(笑)

Goldfish catching! One of the traditional activities at a Japanese matsuri, and one that I get really excited about for some reason! I wanted to try.. but what if I actually caught some goldfish?? Would I be able to actually for them? Would my cat eat them?? Thinking those kind of things, I decided not to try this time.


 
かわいいたこさん!

Cute octopi!


They had this nice covered space set up for eating the yummy treats visitors bought! Even equipped with these fans. So thoughtful!

 
 明太子マヨとラムネ♪ 夏だな~!

Mentaiko mayonnaise takoyaki and ramune drink! Feels like summer.

 
 I'm so happy I had the chance to drop by this little festival, and I hope it's not the last one for me this summer. This kind of atmosphere is really one of my favorite things about Japan, and I want to experience many more festivals, events, and traditions around Japan sometime. At this festival, I tasted the amazing takoyaki, bubbling ramune and a sugar butter crepe :) Next time, I'm aiming for some jaga butter (buttered potato) and ikayaki (grilled squid)!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tokyo Portrait Photographer | Sulaiman in Shibuya, Tokyo






 
 I enjoyed this unique photoshoot with rapper and blogger Sulaiman, who came over to visit Japan from Kuwait! He contacted me before his trip, asking if I would be available to take some photos for him. It's really interesting and exciting for me to be able to meet people like him, coming to Tokyo from different places around the world. It was a lot of fun to try and capture his perspective of the Shibuya area, as well as putting my own spin on the shots. Sulaiman, thank you so much for shooting with me, and I hope you've had a wonderful stay in Japan!

Sulaiman's Instagram / Blog

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tokyo Portrait Photographer | Mathieu



 
 Sorry for the lack of updates lately! It's been a crazy few weeks, with lots of things happening both in work and life... I barely had a spare moment to sit down in front of my computer again. 
Today, I'd like to share with you some of my favorite pieces from a photoshoot with Mathieu. Tokyo at night is just an amazing time to shoot, and it was so much fun to stroll around a bit within the slightly festive atmosphere, with the lanterns adorning the streets. Mathieu, thank you very much for the shoot!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tokyo Fashion Photographer | Reina, the Second Shoot








 
 Model: Reina
MUA: Chihiro Yoda

Recently, both the model Reina and hair & makeup artist Chihiro san invited me to go do a photoshoot around the same time, so I thought it'd be fun to do a collaboration all together. The images above are the result, and I'm quite happy with how they turned out despite it being the hottest day in Tokyo for years!! I can't believe I keep subjecting my models and makeup artists to these kind of tortures.. first freezing cold winter weather and winds.. now blazingly hot summer heat and humidity. But what I can say, these ladies were total pros! From the cool expressions on Reina's face above, I'm sure you can't tell that it was actually around 37 degrees celsius (99 F!!) outside, can you believe it? As always, I loved working with Chihiro san and watching her work her magic. I especially like the hairstyle she created in the second set, so elegant and pretty. 

Having so many interesting and talented people to collaborate with is one of the things I like most about being in Tokyo, and fashion photographers get to connect with so many different models, makeup artists, designers, people of all types and backgrounds... I'm still a very long way toward my goal, but it's exciting just being in progress still. I would love to do more collaborations with other bloggers and so on, exploring and enjoying the process of creativity and expression.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunflowers

 
 Went on a small trip with Momo in search of a sunflower field in Tokyo. We found the place, but sadly there were only about three sunflowers in bloom...

 
It was a hot day, the sun beaming down strongly on our heads. Along the river, we passed some birdwatchers lugging huge cameras and lenses. There was a rare bird down near the water, and they were trying to get some good shots of it.
We continued on to the little field, and an orange cat appeared nearby.




 
 Although we didn't get to see the great expanse of sunflowers that we had expected, it was nice to explore somewhere new.



 
 On the way back, we dropped by this quiet shrine.


Speaking of summer, there's a Back-to-School sale going on over at Romwe here ! The sale starts today and lasts until August 18th. I remember the days when I hoped summer would never end, then get excited as the first day back to school was approaching again.. :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Scenes and Illusions




 
 It's hard to tell whether this beautiful moment is the calm before the storm, or the consolation after it. Colors melt and twist into thin air, becoming nothing, leaving only a searing mark in the back of your eyes for a millionth of a second. Everything has been flipped, and it is agonizing to come back down when our aim has been on the sky above. Even seeds accidentally planted leave a shadow once they are grown.

There aren't any words to define this feeling, so we combine pictures and poetry and music until it seems to make a tiny bit of sense. This time, we strive not to explain it to others, but to make sense to ourselves.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Self-Portraits: My Photographic Journey

self portraits 
 I experimented with creating these self-portraits the other day. I love how photography can express so many moods and emotions without using words. So far, it feels like I have just touched the tip of the iceberg, and there are so many styles of photography and ways of expression I can try out. 

I first remember holding a camera when I was in elementary school. It was a disposal type, the kind where you take 20-30 pictures and turn it in to develop the film inside. On a school field trip, I had taken photos of the landscape, artifacts we saw, my friends. Afterward, I remember staring at the photos in hands and feeling proud I had taken them.

 
 Toward the end of middle school, I remember holding a digital camera for the first time. I took photos of the ocean, birds, and fish at the aquarium. It was amazing that things could look different captured in pictures compared to what I saw in real life - more vivid, sharper, more colorful - maybe because in real life, we often don't pay attention enough, don't have the time to slow down and let the images sink in. In high school, I got my first little Canon digital camera, and everything changed. It was so light and I carried it around everywhere I went. The colors were so vivid, and macro shots so detailed that I couldn't stop taking photos of trees, grass, flowers, and textures in small things all around me. (I feel like I should make a separate blog post about this sometime to share a few of those photos.) I did little photoshoots with my friends, learning to cast soft light around a subject and finding interesting angles to shoot from. In college, I took snaps of the sun setting over the dorms, autumn leaves and campus architecture. Berkeley squirrels were also a favorite subject.

 
After moving to Japan, I saved up and purchased my first DSLR. At first, I was unused to the bulkiness and the extra degrees of control, so different from my beloved little Powershot. For the first few years, I couldn't find myself completely comfortable lugging one around, and I couldn't figure out how to focus correctly for the longest time. I fell into the routine of every day work, forgot to create, and lost sight of why I was doing what I was doing. There something missing, some empty feeling there that I couldn't explain.

Hitting this point, I told myself it was time to start over. I didn't know what I should do, but for the time being, I knew I had to make things, express, put it out into the world, no matter how small or insignificant. I started a new blog, and began to post a few snapshots here and there, writing a few lines about my days. I didn't think too much about what was expected of me from others, just wrote what I felt and posted what I liked. Gradually, the emptiness began to fill, and I naturally grew happier. I realized, what I needed to do was to create.

I became obsessed about improving my photography. I learned the ways to use my camera that were best for me, and started carrying it around everywhere again. Some days I didn't even have the chance take a proper photo, but having it with me carried a sense of comfort. I began to set up shoot after shoot per week. I found a new way to connect with people, to reach other creative minds. I felt so purely fulfilled during each shoot, and I thought that this is something I wanted to do day after day.

The story just begins from here. I know everything has happened for a reason, and it all fits together somehow. 
There are no limits, only those that you choose to set for yourself.