Thursday, March 26, 2009

California, here we come...

Although my blog has been on the quite side recently, my life has been rather hectic. Even though I'd been planning on going home for a while now, I didn't think we were headed back so suddenly. But Abe bought some tickets and we are leaving tomorrow morning! Eeek!

While at home, I'm planning on catching up with my family and friends and doing a little US traveling while I can. And of course, I'm planning on getting a ton of photography practice and experience under my belt. I already have a pregnancy shoot planned in San Diego...and I looove me some SD!

Which reminds me to share with my blog friends: If you're interested in having some pictures taken, send me an email (dodgerjuldog@yahoo.com)! I'll be all over California and would love to shoot some new people!

Ohhh, I can't wait to eat some "American" food. First stop: In-N-Out Burger (animal style, please!)


And I had to post a picture of my new obsession for the sesaon...the blossoms right outside my house:


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Onward, to LA!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Ito Family Time

Yay for babies! In the two years that we have lived here in Tochigi, none of the players on Abe's team had any children. Needless to say I was ecstatic when one of the new players' wives told me that she was expecting a baby. Baby Ito was born on the morning of the last game of the season and Abe and I couldn't wait to meet her.


I wasn't planning on doing a photo shoot, but I always have my camera with me for any special opportunities. Plus the Ito family are readers of my blog so I had to post their new addition here! :)

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We got her a pair of really girly shoes and her parents were giddy at their size:

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I love the way babies stare at their parents. It's so honest. And pure.

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I know I put this in the preview earlier this week, but I just love it because I was suprised that her parents were excited to try something new for a photo.

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I had to get a photo of her tiny hand compared to her daddy's giant hand (he's 6'5!)

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Aya and Iton, thank you so much for inviting Abe and I into your home and for allowing me to get all paparazzi on the baby. I'm so glad we all met this year.

Aya とItonに、 あなたの家にAbeおよび私を誘うためにありがとう! 私達はあなたおよびあなたの美しい赤ん坊との出費の時間を楽しんだ。 私はあなたの写真を好むことを望む! (please excuse my terrible japanese!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yuwano: Preview

Yea, I've neglected my blog recently. Unfortunately, an evil computer troll came and did a number on my laptop. Once again, it's not operating and being in Japan makes it pretty much impossible to repair an American computer without actually sending it to the US...

...which is where I'll be in a few weeks, so I'm holding off. So as of lately, Abe and I are patiently awaiting the end of this month so we can head back to Cali (details later). I do have a few pictures to post in the meantime though, which I'll hopefully get to this week.

For now, here's a preview of a pretty little basketball baby whom Abe and I had the pleasure of meeting this afternoon. Her mommy and daddy wanted to do something a little different and I immediately thought of the style of one of my favorite photographers...I'm nowhere near her caliber, but had fun in an attempt:

*swoon*



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More fun later!



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A little Wabi-Sabi for ya!

So, if you have ever read my blog before, you know that I, uhhh...live in Japan. This week actually marks my four year Japanniversary and I must say that I never, in a million years, would have ever guessed that I would be living anywhere outside of LA at any time. But alas, love can change any plan and I'm grateful for that...

Recently, I've gotten some really encouraging comments and emails from photographers whose work I admire and whose words inspire me to pick up my camera and try new things. Their words range from constructive criticism (which I love, by the way!) as well as what things they think I should shoot more of. The overwhelming words of advice from the "pros" out there was something that I think I sometimes take for granted: "Take more pictures of Japan!" I think that since I actually live here for the time-being, I have stopped being the camera-toting tourist that I was when I first arrived and see Japan as my neighborhood. But the reminders from the US photographers really made me embrace the last few months of Abe's basketball season and take more photos on the road trips.

This past road trip was very special for me as we went to Osaka (and I went off on my own to Kyoto). I went a few years ago with some friends with a FILM camera and now that I have my digital Nikon, I had to do it all again...


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The infamous Golden Temple:


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My student told me about a very famous concept of appreciating art, life, almost anything in Japan. It's called Wabi-Sabi. It is basically the way to appreciate the simplistic and modest nature of things as opposed to flashy ornate scenery or ideas. Deep, ey? :)


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Funny story about these next photos...I saw these trees in a picture years ago but didn't know where this place was:

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So I did some research and found that it was in Kyoto, although at a very hidden and remote location that most people don't even know about...


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So I ventured out, on my own, and took a train, an hour bus ride, and walked 20 minutes and got lost. I asked a police officer for help and he drew me an inaccurate map. So I got lost again. Then, I found a sweet old lady and her 2 grandkids who kindly escorted me on the 20 minute remainder of my journey...


Sooo worth it:


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~Hope you enjoyed your wabi-sabi fix for the day~

Sunday, March 8, 2009

spontaneity

I just got back from a last-minute trip with Abe and had a splendid time...I wasn't planning on going but it was the last game weekend of the season and we don't know if we're coming back to Japan next season, so I had to take advantage! Here's a preview of the peace I experienced:



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I'm thinking of doing a Japan post this week of lots of stuff I haven't had time to edit and post...
Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Anna: headshots

When I first met Anna, I knew her as a wife and a Tokyo model. We spent many afternoons chatting at Starbucks and shopping at our favorite bargain-spot: Uniqlo. Although she was a model from Sweden and I was a teacher from LA, we shared a commonality: supporting men who play pro basketball in Japan, on the same team.

Three years later, Anna is still a wifey and a model...and now, a wonderful mommy. Although we no longer support the same teams, nor live in the same part of Japan, we still text each other when we visit our local Starbucks and send silly emails back and forth.

When I first confessed that I wanted to get into photography, she was not only supportive, but also very excited. A few weeks later, I darted to her house to get some pics of her adorable daughter, Hanna and, although I realized just how much I had to learn, I also realized that I wasn't going to put my camera down anytime soon.

Last weekend, Anna came out to Tochigi (where I live) to watch her husband's team duke it out against Abe's. She also got a gig that requires blogging and needed a nice photo to post with her bio and asked for my help...I gladly offered my services!

It was a gorgeous day at the park, with the various blossoms proudly on display:



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Anna in all of her ferocity:



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I love these...I told her to do something silly and she came up with what looked like pretending to call her daughter to come to her:


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These beautiful plum blossoms that I can't get enough of were trying their hardest to get in some photos...


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One of my faves of the day...



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Anna, I'm so glad you and Hanna made it out to gyoza-town. Going to Starbucks and Uniqlo last weekend made me feel like we were back in Chofu. Best of luck to Mike in the playoffs!