Wednesday, December 31, 2008

looking back, and ahead

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Last year, I promised myself that I would do three things:
1. Take more picutres
2. Write more
3. Learn Learn Learn!


I didn't imagine that I would engage in those three things to the extent that I actually did. I'm just getting my feet wet with photography and all the constant learning that goes along with it, but I am truly enjoying what I have done so far. Networking has been difficult for me being that I am on a different continent than the photographers have inspired me and answered so many of my questions. But I have been fortunate enough to get in touch with some friendly and helpful people that I hope to someday meet.

Since it's New Year's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to show a big part of what Japanese do for this special day. They go to their local shrine and give thanks for a wonderful year and pray for a successful upcoming one.


This is the big shrine in my neighborhood. You have to walk these steps as part of your journey to get there:

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Once you have arrived to the top, and before you can enter, you must wash your hands and mouth out with this water (which was freezing!) as a sign of respect...

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Around the shrine, you can find these brightly folded origami cranes. Many believe if you fold 1,000 of them, you will be granted a wish. Many people fold them when someone gets sick, to pray for their recovery.

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These are wooden prayer tablets. Hopeful people write their dreams, wishes, and prayers on the tablets and hang them at the shrine for the priests to bless. I have filled some out in the past as well.

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These red gates are called "tori" and are found in front of shrines. This particular shrine had a bunch of them layered all the way down towards the smaller shrine.

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This year I hope to do a lot more. Within the next few months I want to:
1. Get my own head shots taken (a blog is not complete without one!)
2. Get media access to a sports event to get some action shots (workin' on that now)
3. Attend at least two workshops or follow a pro.


Now that my lesson on shrines is finished, Happy New Year! :)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW.. Its always a pleasure looking at your page!

I truly think that you are so talented and i wish you will continue to grow with your passion!

The pictures are beautiful and i love that u described everything i even learned from reading it.

Im also very prouf of u for following your passion and being so humble .
Cant wait till u will take some more pictures of us..!
Happy New year Hope you guys had a great night!

Anonymous said...

Ups I forgot 2 write my name..
What a dork i am.. Sorry!
Fie

Julie Ann said...

awww fie, thank you for that! it means a lot to hear such nice things!
thank you for volunteering your gorgeous children for my "hobby" :)

can't wait to do more!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Heather said...

Now this is the inspiration I was speaking of. How stunning!
Way to go on your 2008 resolutions and power to you in 2009.

Julie Ann said...

*HUGE smile!*
Thank you Heather! What a way to start the year...a compliment from a pro :)
I can't wait to see where this all takes me, and thank you for the encouragement. Happy 2009 to you too!

michelle cunningham said...

julie! i love your neighborhood! and those steps are cheaper than my neighborhood gym. great shots keep it up!