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Monday, November 19, 2012


Shashin o totte mo ii desu ka? Translated to english it means can I take a photo? I learned this phrase quite well during my stay in Japan. Having my camera with me most of the time prepared me to always be ready to capture something in digital, but nothing could have prepared me for the first day I met Nami Miyazaki. I was tongue tied and I couldn't even remember the first word in the phrase. I wanted to set up a shoot right there on the spot. No test shoot was necessary. Her unique blend of Kenyan and Japanese heritage already certified that she would yield great images just from watching her approach me. But as it turned out this shoot wasn't going to be just any ordinary day. The makeup artist on hand was the ultra talented Niki Medina whose heritage derived from the Phillipines. This shoot was going to have to be something uniquely different than the towering buildings and crowded streets of Tokyo. Yugihama Beach in the Kamakura District located about 31 miles south-south-west of Tokyo was chosen. But the uniqueness of this shoot still wasn't over. Traveling light, I had nothing but my SB-900 and no external power. I knew I was going to need a reflector/bounce, and I had forgotten to pack mine.Niki showed up with her younger sister; Katrina in tow. I smiled because I knew I could teach her how to hold a reflector as soon as I fabricated one. Buying a roll of aluminum foil and finding a piece of cardboard, I was set. Looking back on this shoot,  my translator had absolutely nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the view and the weather. I didn't need anything translated to Japanese; well, except for "can I take a photo"?

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