Saturday, December 27, 2014

Another Year Ends

I swear every year passes faster and faster. I know I must say this every time,'s simply dizzying, the passage of time. It's frightening. But the way time falls away like this, so constantly, so urgently, makes it all the more precious. Makes even the little moments worthwhile.

This year, I've had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people and doing photography jobs for some fantastic clients. I think that's one of the best things about my work, meeting all these different people. Since childhood, I've been more on the shy, reserved side, but doing the work I love makes it easy for me to talk, connect, and just enjoy the experience of working alongside others, even people I've just met for the very first time. And even when our sessions aren't very long - an hour, a couple of hours - those moments are lasting to me. Not only in the photographs taken, but the thoughts discussed, the emotions and hopes captured in the sunlight of the afternoon, or the sparkling city lights of a Tokyo evening.

Not at all has been easy, of course, but working through the challenges and coming up with solutions becomes another invaluable experience. After all, as long as you don't let hardships beat you down into the ground, you grow stronger with them. And stronger. And stronger still. Little by little, mistake by mistake, stumbling and falling and clambering back up again.

I've made new goals in the latter half of this year, and I'm still struggling to achieve them. But struggling is good. It feels sweet and sometimes painful, but it is being alive. It is reaching out for excitement, energy, adventure. For something great. I hope to work harder than ever in 2015 and make those dreams come true.

Ever since I came to Japan and even before, having dreams has carried me forward. Sometimes I lapsed and broke and forgot what it meant to dream, to have passions. Sometimes I submitted. But always, I feel grateful to stumble blindly and grasp and climb my way back to that deep-rooted urge to create. The feeling has taken on many forms, has morphed and grown extensions, sometimes to unrecognizable or surprising shapes. Life itself is always a surprise. Just when I think I know how it will go, something wholly unexpectedly steps out and whacks me in the face again. Isn't it invigorating?

To you, reading this, thank you. Thank you, again and again, for coming along with me in this journey of mine, for reading these words and sharing my creative work with me. There's so much I want to do in this upcoming new year. The only limit is time (and possibly sleep). Let's all work toward our goals together, and make 2015 the best year so far for each of us.

Thank you for an unforgettable 2014!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Tokyo December

Even though it's so cold outside that I can hardly stand it, this is still one of my favorite seasons in Tokyo. I've always loved seeing the lights all around the city, even when I was visiting San Francisco in winter with friends, as a college student. Tokyo definitely doesn't hold back in the holiday decorations department; twinkling lights are strung up among branches of trees lining the street, little carpets of light cover the ground, trees and ornaments decorate the insides of department stores. Holiday music is in the air. Sometimes, I just want to curl up warm indoors with a hot cup of tea, but then sometimes, it's all worth it to make my way out into the beautiful night.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Falling Gold

Gingko leaves on fire with sunlight, well-baked and scattered across the ground. 
The end of autumn, the beginning of another winter.

Tokyo Fashion Photography: Firey End of Autumn

Phew, just a handful more days until the end of the year arrives! I'm behind on posts again, but it's always good to be busy. So much to work on, so little time. Today I present a few of my favorite shots from an autumn colors shoot with Samantha! Such a joy to catch the last of the vivid colors before they fade :) Please check out Samantha's blog post here for the rest of the photos!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tokyo Family Photography: Kimono and Fall Colors

What a joy to photograph Annie, Osamu, and their sweet daughter Rosa in her breathtaking first kimono! The bright yellow gingko trees and red maple leaves were displaying their full colors, making vivid backdrops for this family photoshoot. Thank you all, I had an amazing time!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tokyo Family Photography: A Sunny Afternoon at Home

It was lovely to shoot some photos for Carole's family on a perfectly warm, autumn afternoon. I just love photographing a family in their natural interactions with each other, and it's heartwarming to see each member's care for the others.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tokyo Portrait Photography: Hatsue and Jeffrey

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of photographing Hatsue Nakamura and Jeffrey Trambley, who perform opera together and are two of the coolest musicians around. They were so friendly and just overall a lot of fun to shoot with, especially as they came up with quite a few creative ideas and weren't afraid to be silly during the process. Hatsue and Jeffrey, thank you both so much!

Monday, December 1, 2014


A few snapshots of Shibuya from some weeks ago. This part of the city just has a unique atmosphere about it, and no matter how many times I've been there throughout my over five years in Tokyo, passing through for train transfers, for work, shopping, meeting up with friends... I find Shibuya sort of fascinating.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tokyo Portrait Photography: Adam

A while back, I did this portrait photoshoot for Adam. He brought his daughter along to the shoot, and it was so much fun to watch them interact with each other. It was easy to see their strong bond, and inspiring to hear from Adam that he hoped his daughter would grow up strong and adventurous.

Friday, November 21, 2014

First Illuminations of the Winter

The other day, I took my first trip to Venus Fort in Odaiba. I've been to Odaiba a few times, but never the Venus Fort area for some reason... but I'm really glad I got to see the beautiful illuminations inside. It's still not even December yet, but seeing the tree and lights really got me in the mood for the holidays :) Although I dislike the cold temperatures of winter, the festive holiday spirit, warm drinks, and being cozy indoors are some of the best parts for me!