Friday, September 27, 2013

Tokyo Portrait Photographer | A Tokyo Night with Michi


We met up near at the station exit just as dusk was starting to approach. It had been a while since our last shoot together, but Michi was looking lovely as always. After grabbing a few shots with the remaining daylight on the street, we entered a nearby Starbucks for a brief coffee break. The place was overflowing with customers, more than I had expected - and I remembered it was a 3-day weekend in Japan, so more people were out and about than usual. Rather than wait for a seat, we took our drinks out to the sidewalk outside and sat on the low stone wall, chatting and watching people pass.

This must be one of the things I love most about being a photographer. There's nothing better than being able to meet up and talk with people that I would never have been able to meet otherwise, to share our stories, talk about our lives. The art and the urge to create connects us, even from across huge distances.


As the sun continues to dim and the street lights glow brighter, we feel the chill of autumn in the air. So, summer is really over, isn't it? I'm a little sad by this, but filled with anticipation at the same time. The slightly cold air brings back whirls of nostalgia, memories of my first winter in Tokyo, scurrying from station to station on the way to different English classes I would teach. This winter will be so different. It is nice, this feeling of constant change.


Michi is gently illuminated by the city lights, her hair golden and swaying in the night wind. I didn't bring any flash equipment this night, but the ambient light is just enough to capture a feeling of this city, this Tokyo atmosphere wrapped around Michi.


Michi, thank you so much for shooting together again! I love these photos we created. And I know you will go far :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tokyo Portrait Photographer | Nic Liu


 This is a story I shot with currently Tokyo-based DJ, music producer and model, Nic. Originally from the UK, Nic is involved in various events as a DJ in Tokyo and is working on music projects as well. It was great to meet up and put together this shoot, and all the more interesting as a furry friend was tagging along!


 Thanks so much for shooting together, Nic! It was a lot of fun to capture the many different expressions and settings during this shoot. I'm wishing you the best with your projects and goals!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Nelson Babin-Coy at 渋谷 LOOP Annex 9/17


 The other night, I had the honor of shooting some photos for Nelson's live at Shibuya Loop Annex!
渋谷LOOP annexで行われたネルソンのライブを撮影させて頂きました~!


After our shoot last time, it was great to see Nelson again, and so wonderful to hear his music! It's been quite a while since I last heard his live. The venue was lovely, and Nelson's singing filled the room with a sense of warmth and passion. He is such a hardworking person, and it's inspiring to see that he's gotten so far here. I know he will only continue to gain more success! It makes me happy that we came from the same school, and I remember checking his Youtube videos after he arrived in Japan and I was still in California... and now being in the same place, as artists/creatives. Nelson really isn't afraid to think outside the box and go for new ideas, rather than simply following the masses. I'm so glad I had the chance to photoshoot his fantastic show! Thank you Nelson :)

Please check out Nelson's links and music below!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tokyo Fashion Photographer | Matt


 Recently, I had the opportunity to do this fashion/athletic photoshoot with the talented actor and model, Matthew Rac. It was a great experience working together to create these images. Thank you so much, Matt!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

In Love with Sunset


The last rays of light skip and dance over distant waves, glittering on pebble pieces across the sand, beneath our feet. We're together in this space, at least for now, and the waters are witness to our reality.


 Just as I can't keep this light from sinking below that layer of clouds, beyond the horizon and into the ocean... I can't keep you from going once you're set. But at least, I can tell you how I feel, how very grateful I am that you are here, and express my hopes to see you again with the morning sun.


The city is enveloped by night, and structures illuminated by this man-made glow. The rush of cars on the road, footsteps all around. Even when I'm alone, I'm not lost. I can feel you out there, somewhere in the darkness, making your own way. And I keep placing one foot in front of the other, until I reach the front door.


 I can't help following your warm existence, trailing after you and staying by your side. If we all have to pass out of this existence in the end, then I want to be the one sharing your sorrows and celebrating your joys. Wherever we might go, I feel completely at home if it's with you.


Do you know what I mean?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Dots Align

The past week, I was able to spend some time with my family who came over from California to visit me in Tokyo. It was their first time in Japan, and I was so happy to finally be able to share this place with them. Now, it's already been officially 4 years since I first landed here, and I still can't believe how fast it's gone.

The second week of September, and finally Japan is cooling down a little. The humidity level and heat are backing off slowly, and the scent of autumn is in the air. I am still a California summer girl at heart, but this summer in Tokyo felt longer and hotter than usual... now, the crisp fall breeze nips at my skin pleasantly. I can already envision fall colors turning trees golden yellow and deep red, snuggling comfortably into a blanket on cold nights.

During my four-year stay here so far, I have gone back to California to visit my family twice. Having them visit me this time was a strange and wonderful feeling, like having them bringing me a piece of what I always knew, and sharing with them something new at the same time. New, and yet a normal part of my life for the past few years. More photos to come later, but we visited some of the spots around Tokyo that gave me a renewed appreciation for this city - I was able to view this place again through their eyes, for both the good and the bad. Every city has its own personality and energy, yet in the end, a place is just a place - it's where you choose to call home, and the people you have with you who truly define it and help you feel a sense of deep belonging.

These days it's so easy just to move around and hop from one place to another. Having moved around a lot ever since I was little, I'm used to it and perhaps almost expect it now. There's nothing like traveling to help you learn, grow, and gain new experiences in life. But on the other hand, it's harder to build a stable sense of community... what with technology these days, it's so much easier to keep in touch with everyone. But still, nothing is like the real thing - being able to meet, touch, give a hug. When I first arrived in Japan, I used a regular Japanese cell phone for the first two years it was much harder to keep in contact with friends and family back home (unless I went on my computer after work, etc). Ever since switching to a smartphone, I can communicate by email, Facebook, chat applications, and I can instantly write back and forth to family and friends even on the train, at lunch break or walking around stations. It is wonderful. But it also depends on the communication style of each person, I've come to realize. Some are fantastic with keeping updated and in touch through these methods, while some aren't as motivated to write and do much better in person instead. Not just with people overseas, but especially those in Tokyo, sometimes it can be very hard to make schedules match, or even to get in contact since everyone is rushing around and being very very busy (myself included at times!).

So the Olympics will be coming to Tokyo for 2020. Seven years from now, it feels so incredibly far away that I still can't imagine it yet. Where will I be in 2020? What will I be doing? I have an idea of what I want to be doing. Now all it takes is working toward that and keeping positive.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tokyo Musician Photographer | Midi Science Live at Shimokitazawa Era


What a passion-filled, high-energy live by the awesome band Midi Science! So glad I got to see this show.


Midi Scienceの皆さん、本当にありがとう&お疲れ様でした!