{Portrait} Norah – Harrisburg Children’s Photography

About a month ago, I had the privilege of photographing one of the cutest, funniest (almost) two-year-old girls, Norah. I shared a Sunday afternoon with her and her mommy. I’ve done some kids’ photography, but I guess I’ve never worked with children under three. It was quite an experience. I didn’t have any clue how hard it is to get a 2-year-old’s attention 100 percent while I point a camera and make her smile.

Well, she did not even give me five minutes of attention. Honestly, they don’t care about you. If the photo shoot happened to be at a playground, running around and trying all the stuff is what they care about. “Hey Norah, look at me. Say cheeeeeeeese!” of course, it did not work.

Despite this difficulty, I  just learned a new lesson. Please don’t get me wrong. No matter how hard it was to get Norah’s attention, I had a blast spending time with her and her mother. Did I mention I loved her smile and funny personality? She was a beautiful girl.

Her mother let me know that Norah loves ice cream. Since she spent more than an hour of being photographed by me, she enjoyed a cup of ice cream afterward. I photographed some pictures there as well.

Oh. Officially, she is two now. Happy Birthday!

*Side Note*

I just wanted to point it out that I love how a two-year-old’s brain functions. She was waiting for her mom to come sit with her, but her mom was in line. Norah started feeling uncomfortable sitting alone… so she decided to go to her mom. She grabbed her cup of ice cream first and then tried to get off the chair. Ice cream was all over her dress. How come she didn’t just get off the chair first then grab her ice cream? It’s too cute.

The last picture tells the end of the day. Thanks Norah for letting me be part of your Sunday afternoon. She was exhausted running around, playing at the park… and of course being photographed.

{Personal} World of Macro Photography

Yay for the warm, nice weather. Yay for having an opportunity to meet several local photographers the other night. Yay for pretty tulips which happen to be one of my favorite flowers of all time. Although the title says “world of macro photography”, this first photo wasn’t shot with a macro lens. I just wanted t make sure I’m not confusing anyone.

My yays pretty much sum up everything I wanted to write.

The awesome spring weather means… time to do some flower photos. To be honest, I’m not so crazy about capturing nature as much as I love to photograph people (and cats). BUT! Earlier this month, I had a chance to meet local photographers, and they shared what kind of gear they use. One of the photographers I met that night had this interesting piece of gear. (Check her work here.) Without buying macro lens, you can enjoy the world of macro photography.

Since I moved, I had to look for some outdoor locations where I can have some photo shoots in the future. So, one weekend afternoon we decided to take a short hike at Pine Hill Arboretum. Checking out the location and also being able to test out my new toy, this day was a good day.

See what 70 dollar gear can do for a macro photography:) *Some photos are shot without the piece of gear. Images are from Pine Hill Arboretum and backyard at home.

{Personal} Sakura Festival 2011

Fully-bloomed cherry blossoms (Sakura) mean it’s time for flower viewing. You instinctively know this if you grew up in Japanese culture. Some say flower viewing is an excuse for grownups to drink sake under a big pink umbrella of trees. Groups of people plan a flower viewing with friends. They bring food, snacks, and alcohol and enjoy the warm weather. Some might have too much fun. It truly makes one feel free spirited.

When I moved to Baltimore I found out there’s a Sakura Festival down in D.C. As a Japanese person, this time of the year is a big deal. Sakura is a symbol of beginning. Students start their new school year in April. Graduates start the first day at work in April. April is the beginning of new chapter.

Because I moved away from Baltimore, we picked the festival held in Philadelphia this year.

I think we all ended up having the same opinion: we liked the festival very much, and more than the one in D.C.

Attending Sakura Sunday, we saw a great performance of taiko(drum) and traditional Japanese dance by Tamagawa University.

More photos from the day:

{Personal} The Book.

Or the so-called photo album. This is the first wedding book I have done. It’s not just a collection of photos. My books go along a story of the day(s) and this particular one ended up almost 130 pages. Every book is created for you specifically. They are special just like how your day I photographed was.

Whether I photographed your event or not, if you have a collection of photos you want as a book, let me know. I’ll create a special one for you!

{Personal} Photo Booth #01

SO! This has been a quite interesting project for me for about several months now. I gotta admit that I had fun shopping and creating all these props for the photo booth. I think my very first try went well (at least I liked what I saw from the shoot).

I know that photo booths have been a trend and a lot of people like to have it at their weddings and events. The bride I was supposed to photograph back in March e-mailed me and said, “I wanna do a photo booth at my wedding.” (Her wedding has been postponed due to the earthquake in Japan.) That got me seriously thinking. Hey, it’s about time I actually try this crazy thing! Thanks to you, Miss E.

I did some research. Maybe tons. I learned that a photo booth is a limitless fun situation you can create for your friends, guests, and clients. Go beyond your imagination. There’s so many ways you can set up your photo booth!

Since I’m still in the experimental stage, I created a ring flash for my photo booth. {interested in DIY Ring Flash? make your own today!} I think eventually I’d like to buy some nice ring flash or… two soft boxes after trying out different types of lightings.

Some sample images from my first photo booth! Enjoy.

{Personal} To Someone Special.

Yes, that’s right. March is my dad’s birthday. Please excuse my poor quality photo of my dad’s birthday ice cream.

In honor of my dad’s birthday, in a long distance sort of way, we went to a local ice cream shop and wished him a happy birthday.

May your birthday be filled with joy and laughter. Wishing you another wonderful year of happiness.

Happy Birthday!

Posted: March 20th, 2011
Categories: Love, Personal
Comments: No Comments.

{WEDDING} Kim + Mike, Married! –sneak peek

Kim and Mike are a happily wedded couple. Their ceremony took place in Harrisburg, PA on March 12th, 2010! Congratulations, both of you:)

Posted: March 14th, 2011
Categories: Love, Wedding
Comments: No Comments.

{Personal} Last Day-Part 2 (Osaka, JP)

The Ultimate Photo Collection of Osaka Castle.

This post might annoy you with the overwhelming amount of photos from Osaka Castle and its surroundings. Don’t you worry. I won’t blame you even if you quit looking at the photos. You may get the feeling that– this is WAY too much.

It might be easier if I give the gist of what you’re going to see in next few minutes. I’ll also be helpful and list off some facts about the castle. Well, this won’t be facts. Most likely my descriptive opinions.

  • osaka castle: brief history– please read here if you want to know.
  • hideyoshi toyotomi
  • different types of flowers/trees, pretty much all year round. (always something blooming.)
  • so MANY tourists.
  • the whole place is well-taken care of, except the fairly dirty moat around the castle.
  • castle is gorgeous with bright gold and pretty green.
  • home of stray cats. a cat paradise for them and a cat lover like me.
  • friendly Japanese version shoni resides. it’s proven with my tons of her pics.
  • when it rains, it’s pretty gloomy. while taking pictures and climbing up to the top, the sun decided to show its face and lit up the area. i saw a castle with a pretty blue sky in the background as well.
  • there’s a shrine in the area. it’s called hokoku shrine, southwest of osaka castle in the park, to honor of h. toyotomi.
  • “huge stones” — a part of the stone walls.
  • you are supposed to purify yourself upon entering a sacred place. there’s a water station with several spoon-like things. you are not supposed to put your lips on these, but a lot of tourists do.
  • chrysanthemums were displayed. i hear they’re hard to grow.
  • high school students visit here as part of… trips?
  • at souvenir stores,  you’ll meet even more cats. yes, cat toys, cat figurines, cat… this and that. japan is a cat heaven, srsly. the one i was looking at just looked like my uber.
  • the most friendly pigeons i’ve met in my lifetime. maybe they are just greedy and love popcorn.
  • i found out i liked to take pictures of pigeons if i’m at osaka castle (or not.) regardless of that, i have many pics.
  • osaka pigeons drink water from water puddles. maybe popcorn is too salty.
  • osaka castle from different angles and directions = so many faces. i seem so mad about the castle, but i’m not.
  • something peachy. i don’t know why there was peach.
  • inside the castle: observation deck, exhibit floors where you learn more history.
  • encountered a dude with 4 umbrellas at the observation deck and i followed him to snap photos.
  • shachihoko is cool (dragon head with carp (fish) body).
  • exploring osaka castle is tiring. people take a nap in public areas.
  • some of the exhibit floors do not permit photography.
  • miniature: “the summer war of osaka”
  • met another human bird feeder. he said he feeds the little birdies several times a week.
  • osaka castle makes me feel i’m at home away home. so strange. i saw shoni, then saw uber figurine. then saw another tux who looked like the twins. the tux was with an orange tabby, who reminded me of my pj. well, they are all common breeds. probably that is why.
  • for spending 5 hours here, i was tested for a quick quiz by a stranger. he was a friendly elderly man from osaka. he gave me 5 questions about the osaka castle. i answered all wrong. he said i failed. oh noes.

Ha! Even writing down the summary of what I’ve seen, it took me a long time.

Well, at least give it a try. Let’s begin the ultimate photo collection of Osaka Castle. You’ll get a glance of more than you’ll need in your lifetime. Fast-forward. Keep pressing down the down arrow. It’ll be a quick tour, I promise.

Anyways… ENJOY!


Posted: January 28th, 2011
Categories: Japan, Personal, Place
Comments: No Comments.

{Personal} Last Day-part 1 (Osaka, JP)




昼前の特急で友達は石川に行く。余り時間がないので、友達も妥協して他のものにしようかと話していた矢先、たこ焼きのイイ匂いが漂ってきた。道頓堀に本店があるくくるのJR新大阪駅店を発見♪ 朝ごはんとして、たこ焼きとシュークリームを購入。不思議な組み合わせ。日本のシュークリームって本当に美味しい。ビアード・パパの作りたて工房のシュークリームに初挑戦。オーダーしたら、その時点でクリームを入れてくれるので、まわりのシューパイはさくさく。最近はこの方法で売ってるシュークリームの方が多いのかな?コージーコーナーのようなやわらかくなったシューパイも結構好きだけど。









Posted: January 25th, 2011
Categories: Food, Japan, Place, Uncategorized
Comments: 2 Comments.

{Personal} www.yokography.com

Woo. I’m finally the proud owner of my brand-new website, yokography dot com!

It’s under construction, but hopefully it’ll be up running in a month or two.  Come visit from time to time to get some updates!

Special thanks to the king of letters, who came up with the name “yokography.” You are brilliant. You solved my problem instantly. Coming up with a website’s name is damn hard. You want to have something simple, straight-forward, yet catchy. Within that simplicity, you want to convey who you are and what you do. “Yokography” almost sounds like a new type/field of photography… don’t you think? I totally fell in love with the word. I feel I became a part of science hearing it. Thank you, thank you for naming my new site.

Another special thanks to you (you know who you are), who is helping me build a kicka$$ website! You are the technological hemisphere of my brain. I’m glad that you decided to give me a helping hand. Dealing with tech stuff is frustrating, but I’ll be more cooperative and patient. I promise I won’t freak out so often. Ha-ha.

このハイテクの時代に・・・自分のウェブサイトを持つことなんて当たり前かもしれない。だが、私にとっては大ごとなんだよね! low-techなことも非常に関連してるけど、何かが形になっていくのを実感できると、一歩一歩着実に前進している気になる。フリーで写真をやると決めたからには、頑張らねば。会社の組織内で撮っていた時と、自分で全てをするってのは本当に違うな。テクノロジーに限らず、どうビジネスをしていいのやら。全ての事を自分でやる。新しい事との出会いの毎日で悩む事の方が写真を撮ってる時間より遥かに上だけど、また写真の側にいれると思うのは嬉しい。



Posted: January 22nd, 2011
Categories: Personal
Comments: 1 Comment.

{Personal} Umeda (Osaka, JP)

(( 最近は大阪に行った時の写真を修整をしてるから、これから数回のpostは大阪についてだろう。))


昼頃からずっと雨も降っていて、夜になるとなかなか寒かった日だった。梅田駅を出たら、大きな観覧車が視界に入ってきた。晩御飯もHEP FIVE内で済ませ、その後は観覧車に乗った。夜景の大阪を見た。


HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel!


Posted: January 21st, 2011
Categories: Japan, Personal, Place
Comments: No Comments.

{FOOD} La libertà (ラ・リべルタ) –Restaurant Review





レストラン評論家では無いので、このお店の美味しさをどう伝えていいのかわからない!そこがもどかしいですね。なので、大阪付近にお住まいの方・・・もしくは、大阪に行く予定がある方・・・ 是非一回でもトライしてください。(お店の詳細は最後に紹介します★)


Cucina Italiana La libertà

イタリア料理 ラ・リベルタ

大阪府箕面市船場西3-6-43 バリューコート壱番館105 (パーキングは4台まで可能)

営業時間=PRANZO 11:30-14:00(L.O.) CENA 18:00-21:30(L.O.)







Posted: January 20th, 2011
Categories: Food, Japan
Comments: No Comments.

{Personal} 500人のゴスペル大作戦②


ワークショップは毎度100人前後の参加者がいたけど、当日は600人近くの方がゴスペルを歌ったのです。 ゴスペル講師さんからの指導もあり、全7回のワークショップで共に練習して一月以上参加者の皆様は頑張っておられました。練習に参加できない人は家でのCDによる自主練。当日は皆様の頑張りもあり、ステキなものでした。[[初回のワークショップ]]


Posted: January 16th, 2011
Categories: Event, Japan, Personal
Comments: No Comments.

{Personal} 小倉十日ゑびす祭「宝恵(ほえ)かご道中」

「商売繁盛 商売繁盛で ヨイヨイサー!ヨイヨイサー!ヨイヨイサー!」の掛け声と共に小倉の”まち”を練り歩く新春恒例の行事。私も人生うまれて初めての経験を今年してきました。寒いのがとてつもなく嫌いな自分ですが・・・雨にも雪にも負けず行ってきましたよー。この行事は威勢がヨイのもあり、心がなんというかスッキリしてなぜかパワーを分けてもらった気がしました。行って良かったと思いましたよ。


さて、we love小倉のサイトによると宝恵かご道中の説明がされていました。


余談ですが、we love 小倉のサイトに写真コンテストの情報も載ってるではないですかー!この際だから応募しようかな。道理でこれでもか!ってくらいおじちゃまカメラマンさんがわんさかいたんだねー。日本のおじちゃまカメラマンさんの腕はあなどれないからな。グランプリには羽子板を用意している模様・・・。期待せずに、気軽に投稿してみようかな。審査の仕方も・・・難しそう→



See, photography is a serious biz!




Posted: January 13th, 2011
Categories: Event, Japan, Personal
Comments: 2 Comments.

{Personal} 11.25.2010











Posted: November 28th, 2010
Categories: Event, Japan, Personal
Comments: No Comments.