Friday, May 31, 2013

Hayato




 

Here are a few select photos from a shoot I did with Hayato! It was fun exchanging ideas and going in search of interesting backgrounds to use. Hayato mostly gave me and the camera some quite cool looks, but I caught the rare burst of a smile in the first photo, after handing him a rock and saying it looked great! I hope I can learn more ways to bring out the personality of models and help them let their guard down, since it's so much more exciting to me when capturing those spontaneous moments and unplanned expressions. 

The weather's slowly warming up these days in Tokyo, and the humidity level is starting to creep up as well. A hint of the rainy season is rising in the atmosphere... everything feels so nostalgic to me around this time of year, since late summer is when I first arrived in Japan.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ichiran (一蘭)


 

Always fun trying out self portraits!


 

 So I tried out the ramen at Ichiran for the first time since coming to Tokyo. I can't believe I haven't gone there earlier! The taste is amazing and so different from other ramen shops I've been to. What's unique about Ichiran is that you can choose the hardness of the noodles, the flavor of the soup (light, medium, thick etc), how much garlic, and more.. but more than that, the overall finished product is just delicious. I highly recommend checking out Ichiran if you've never eaten there!

この間初めて一蘭のラーメンを食べたけど、すっごく美味しかった。何でもっと早く食べに行かなかったんだろう?今、このブログを書いてて写真を見てるだけで。。食べたいなあ。。(笑)一蘭のラーメンを食べたことある方、どう思いますか?

Floral Escape







 

 Model: Ariel
Hair & Makeup Artist: Maiko

For this late afternoon photoshoot with the gorgeous Ariel, whom I've had the pleasure of shooting with once before during cherry blossom season, we teamed up with makeup artist Maiko to create this feminine yet confident look. Maiko helped create emphasis on Ariel's eyes, adding warm colors and a purple shade that matched Ariel's dress. The Tokyo afternoon light illuminated everything, adding a lovely glow that I wish I had more chances to catch. Ariel, Maiko, thank you so much for working with me on this shoot! I really enjoyed it and love the outcome :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tokyo Wedding Photographer | Hitomi & Chris

 

Last month, I had the honor of shooting Chris and Hitomi's beautiful wedding party at Stellato in Shirokanedai. It was truly a joy for me to be a part of this very special event, and I was happy to be able to participate from the preparations in the early afternoon until the party finished in the evening. Hitomi and Chris are both such wonderful people, and both of them are deeply in touch with music, which made being their photographer that day all the more meaningful. Having the chance to hear them sing together, talk about their hopes and goals for the future... I was very much moved and inspired by their continuous hard work, courage, and optimism.

Hitomi and Chris, thank you again for having me at your wedding party! I absolutely loved taking photos for you both and can't wait to see you again :)













They are such a beautiful and happy couple!





Much love to you, Hitomi and Chris!! <3
I wish you all the happiness and success that the following years can bring! :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Tokyo Musician Photography | Sayulee






 

 I recently did a photoshoot with the beautiful and talented Sayulee! The shoot happened early on a rainy weekend morning, and Sayulee did an amazing job despite the rain. I first contacted Sayulee asking if she might be interested in shooting together a few months ago, but due to our schedules, it took a while before we could finally set up something. I'm so glad we were able to meet up this time! Sayulee is such a sweet and lovely person. Both of us being musicians who post our music on Youtube, it was easy to connect with her and talk. I felt so happy to see another musician doing her own thing, sharing what she loves with the world and being herself while doing so. It just reminds me that these days, we can do so much creatively and remain true to ourselves, without having to yield to what the industry thinks, what others tell us to become, or what others say we can or can't do. It's all about believing in who you are, at the core. Sayulee's strong heart and positive attitude really shone through for me, and I am sure she will get far!

Thank you so much for doing this photoshoot with me, Sayulee :)

Here is a video Sayulee made about this shoot:

Be sure to check out her music and websites:
Sayulee's Website: http://www.sayulee.com
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/SayuleeMusic
Blog: http://ameblo.jp/sayulee/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SayuleeMusic
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SayuleeMusic


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mystifying Worlds

 

 First of all, I would like to thank my friend Wendy for taking these wonderful photos! It's always visiting new places and shooting photos with her. This day was so cold, keeping me all bundled up in winter clothing and wishing spring would come more quickly. Right now, it's actually the perfect temperature - warm during daytime, cool at night. I wish it would stay just like this for some time.

 

Recently, I have been doing my best to get caught up with photo editing and posting! Last month, I mentioned I was a month behind in posting. Well, although April wasn't as crazy as March, I still ended up being quite busy with shoots and got behind again. Now I am slowly catching up, and if I keep going at this pace, I might finally get to post May photos before the end of May!

This is a good thing though. Never have I produced such a steady stream of images month after month. Whether they are good, is another question - but just to continuously have my hands on the camera at least a couple of times a week, exercising my photography mindset - I think it is helping me a lot. Ever since last fall, when I finally made the move to a full frame camera, I have been seeking more and more opportunities to develop myself (no pun intended :) photography-wise.  Sometimes I get frustrated at the slow pace at which things are going. Sometimes I look back at the last months of photos and wonder how I shot this many, on top of working full time. I've been to meetings with model agencies, publishers and magazines, designers... and things are still only starting, there's so much more I have to do and try. I still dream of the day my work will be published in a magazine.. I wonder if it is possible. How to get oneself out there? How to stand out, yet still be yourself?

 

I feel like I am asking myself the same questions as when I was trying to break into the music industry, before and after I first arrived in Japan. There are tons and tons of musician hopefuls out there in Tokyo, trying to make it, just as there are tons of photographers. Like other creative professions, both will take a large amount of luck, good timing, connections, as well as skill and perseverance. Being able to do something you love for a living... wouldn't that be the most beautiful dream to live? Of course it's not always easy, and sometimes you fall out of love in the process, caught up with all the complicated details and not-fun bits, the pressure and expectations that threaten to bend you until you break. It's a fine line to walk between the happy meadow of pure passion and interest, and the crazy zigzagging metropolis of work and survival.

 

 I think, if you know what you want to do and have the passion and energy to devote to it, then it must be possible to make that dream into reality. The question is, how? Well, even if you ask me, I'm still on the road to discover that myself. I don't think it's ever too late, as long as you still love what you do. You have to keep trying somehow, keep pushing forward even when you have no idea what you're doing sometimes, even when there's no guiding light and the goal is obscured in the thickest fog.

I guess, discovering what happens after that is part of the fun, isn't it? :)

 

When I start to get impatient or worried, I try to ask myself. 
What is most important in my life?
Am I enjoying what I'm doing? Am I having fun?
Why am I trying to get to there, for what purpose?

Adding to those, of course you've still gotta be able to eat and pay the rent and all. Even though it doesn't leave me with as much time as I would like to devote to photography at the moment, I am grateful for my full time job. It is allowing me to pursue photography and create without stressing out about how to pay the bills and so on. I think, it must all fit together in the end. This time, I'm not going to rush haphazardly without understanding the full picture. I'll take risks, but respect my feeling for what's right, and follow only that. I'll keep enjoying the process of creating. And hopefully, I can meet those who appreciate and value what I have to offer, along the way.



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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wisterious Wendy

 

 Last month, Wendy and I visited Kameido station in Tokyo, where a wisteria festival was going on at a shrine nearby. Even though I've been in Tokyo for over three years, I have never experienced the wisteria flowers here before, so I jumped at the chance. First, we had some lunch and dessert...

 

This was just as delicious as it looks! I want more now :)

 

Wendy sipping her coffee.

 

We arrived at the shrine, with raindrops still adorning the wisteria blossoms.
Luckily, they were already blooming beautifully!



 

Sky Tree looming in the background!

 

Even though it was overcast and set to rain again at any moment, quite a few visitors were coming to see the wisteria.



 

 This is a grey heron, I think! Such a beautiful bird taking flight.. I couldn't stop staring at it.

 




We had a lovely time strolling around and enjoying the gorgeous wisteria. I'm so happy we went to see them. Wendy took some great photos for me too, and I'll be sharing them in the next blog post!