Saturday, June 14, 2008

My 'hood

It is often said that art is all around you. Thus, if anyone needs inspriation (for writing, painting, taking pictures, etc.) they should look no further than their own back yard. I recently came across a photography blog entry in which the photographer walked to work one day and shot photos of everyday life. Although her photos were of simple things: trash, shopping carts, the curb, etc., there was something special about the way she captured things. She challenged readers to do the same.


So, here is what I see everytime I walk to the store, post office, or pay a bill. Enjoy...









Cigarette Vending Machine



I swear I thought this cat was sweet and right as I clicked the button, it hissed at me!







I will be sure to add more photos as I take them from around the village that I live in. It's definitely not Los Angeles, but it's home for the next year, so I might as well embrace it! :-)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

my.first.model.

Starting something you have never really tried to be good as is scary. I remember the first time I ever bartended at the good old Outback Steakhouse when I was in college. I was so nervous. No, I was terrified. What if I make the wrong drinks? What if I drop something? What if the customers don't like me? Looking back, it was nothing to be nervous about at all. Come to think of it, it wasn't very hard. My point is that in order to get better at something, or learn how to do it, you have to suck it up and try...

Since Abe was the sweetest person ever and bought my my coveted Nikon slr (d40) camera for my birthday, I have been a photograph machine. I've taken pictures of my feet, Abe's hands, trees, flowers, birds, shadows, my piranha...you get the point. Abe got pretty tired of me taking pictures after about the 50th one of him lying on the couch. Thus, I decided it was time to venture out and find some real test subjects. It's very embarrasing to ask people if you can take pictures of them just because, but I guess that's how lots of people got their start taking pictures...So today, I nervously asked a friend of mine for a huge favor: to be my first model.

Meet TOMOKO

Tomoko is a student of mine. I have been teaching her English for a few months now. She is very sweet and is used to being in front of the camera as she does some newswork for Tochigi TV. She was so patient with me today even though she wasn't expecting me to take her out for a mini-photo shoot. We went to an event that Abe's basketball team was holding and I just happened to have my camera in my bag. She also happens to be the wife of Abe's old coach from last season. She'll be moving up north to Hokkaido next month, so I thought the timing of these pictures were great so I can give them to her when she leaves. I'm so happy to have had this opportunity today because I've already learned a lot about what to do the next time. Here are a couple of the MANY that I took:

Ahh, the peace sign. Gotta love it! :)




This is my favorite. It describes her personality a bit.


I am still in the process of bugging coworkers, students, friends, and yes, Abe, to help me build up my photo portfolio (for fun of course!). Hopefully, I will be able to share a lot more pictures in the near future.

Friday, June 6, 2008

stereotypical

Whenever I tell people back home (in LA) that I live in Japan, they like to ask me if I eat sushi "like, everyday" and my answer is usually "YES!". I love it. It's so cheap, I can walk down the street and buy it fresh, and it keeps me and Abe nice and lean! :)

Whenever I tell people in Japan that I am from LA they think it's very interesting. Then the two automatic questions they ask me are:
1. Do you go to Santa Monica Beach?

2. Can you eat with chopsticks.
Again, my answer is yes.


Here are two pictures that I took to pay homage to the stereotypical questions, that have proven to be true. I'm going to go eat some sushi now.

Wish me luck

OK, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE taking pictures. Not because I'm a quarter Japanese, but because I feel like I want to capture everything that makes me happy. I also want to capture anything that makes me think, creeps me out, makes me laugh, or something that I know people would never believe unless they saw a photo of it.

Thus, I have started this photo blog. It is more meant to be an aesthetic memory of the time I have spent here in Japan, and will continue to spend as long as my fiance and I live here. What started out as a little hobby has quickly grown into a daily activity: taking pictures, and looking at photography blogs. I hope my blog can inspire others like I have been inspired.

So, please enjoy my photos and stories about my life here in Japan. If you want to comment, feel free.

-Julie