Thursday, April 30, 2015

Annie Chang, Founder, Women in Technology Japan

I met Annie the week I moved to Japan. She was full of energy as she described how Tokyo was a "dynamic" city, how she moved here from Taichung, Taiwan, in 1981, and later built her own company recruiting candidates for senior-level positions in IT companies mainly in Japan, and also Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Two years ago, Annie, a mother of two and running her own company, founded Women in Technology Japan (WITJ) to build "a community for professional IT women to network with like-minded women of all nationalities, exchange ideas, share experiences, and improve work-life balance" in Japan. 

When Annie commissioned me for her portraits, we decided the Mori Garden at Roppongi Hills would be the perfect backdrop, as it's international, in her neighborhood, where she enjoys going running and bike riding, and a quick walk to her office in Azabu-jūban. アニーがウェブやソーシャル•メディアでのリーチを高めるために新しいプロフィールの写真をいらいしました。

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cherry Blossoms, Tokyo | お花見、東京

The day before yesterday, I headed to Chidorigafuchi 千鳥ヶ淵, a park beside a moat that surrounds the Imperial Palace, a short walk from Hanzōmon Station. My friend Izumi had suggested I go for hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, which is taking place all week in Tokyo and other cities. Canopied by pale pink Yoshino cherry blossoms, I was able to catch them in full bloom during my first spring in Japan. 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tezukuri Ichi 手創り市 | Handmade Arts + Crafts Fair, Tokyo

On February 11th, my friend Ikue introduced me to Tezukuri Ichi 手創り市, an outdoor handmade arts and crafts fair in Zōshigaya, about a fifteen minute walk from Ikebukuro station in Tokyo. Held monthly, with the next one coming up this Sunday, March 15th, the lively and animated marketplace, set up around the Kishimojin Otori Shrine 鬼子母神・大鳥神社, was buzzing with imaginative and charming, one-of-a-kind handmade items, from woodwork and pottery to  bags and accessories, created by participating artists and artisans.


Monday, February 16, 2015

A Day Inside | Downtown Women's Center, Skid Row

It was early December. At 4am, I woke up, got ready, and drove about an hour downtown to San Pedro St. in the Skid Row community of Los Angeles, just a few blocks from Little Tokyo, to the Downtown Women's Center. I was tasked with a dream project to create imagery capturing the spirit of the center ahead of the launch of their brand new logo and website that went live last week. Although I'd visited before to meet with staff and photograph a MADE soap-making workshop, this was my first time witnessing what happens inside the Day Center after it opens its doors at 6am. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Downtown Women's Center's New Website Goes Live

I'm proud to share Downtown Women's Center's newly launched website and branding, featuring many of the images from our full-day shoot. Stay tuned, I'll share more images soon. In the meantime, take a look around their site and get to know the wonderful work they do everyday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Portraits for Talk to Amber

Just before leaving for Japan, I shot portraits for The Conversation Coach, Amber Wright of Talk to Amber, at her longtime Cal State LA campus. We wanted to create fresh authentic images that reflected the grown woman she's become and fully captured her vibrant and fun personality that's at the heart of her brand. Here's a look behind the scenes, with final shots now live on!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Coming Soon! Portraits for Talk to Amber

I had the joy of capturing the vibrant and expressive personality of Amber of Talk to Amber at the beautiful Cal State LA campus this past December. I'll share my favorite shots from the photo shoot with a few behind the scenes soon! Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Podcast Interview: The Creators of "Carnal Orient"

Actress/producer, Camille Mana, recently sat down to interview the creators of "Carnal Orient," a short avant-garde music video project exploring the 'nightmarish undertones' of Asian fetish.

With less than one month left to raise funding on Kickstarter, the project, which launched on Kickstarter in May and was featured in Bust Magazine, is a collaboration between Mila Zuo, a PhD candidate in film studies at UCLA, Angela Seo of art-rock band Xiu Xiu, and Mana as producer.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Inspiration

It's finally St. Patrick's Day, and I'm excited to share photos from a recent collaboration with Hostess to Hostess. Organized by Jackie, with creative direction by Emma Petievich, the St. Patty's Day themed shoot featured a delicious and colorful assortment of pastries made by pastry chef, Nika Yazdani of Sugar Studio LA.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kelvin's Art Show

My blogging tutee Kelvin, participated in his first art show recently at his after-school program, Ability First, in Pasadena. He produced five acrylic paintings and exhibited the framed prints alongside many other artists with special needs for the silent auction. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Second Autumn

A few shots of my niece at the beginning of her second autumn.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Homeboy Industries Portraits by Mike Saijo

Artist Mike Saijo just completed a book piece series of eighteen portraits of members of Homeboy Industries, the nation's largest gang-intervention program, founded by Jesuit priest Father Gregory Boyle. Laid onto pages of Father G's book, Tattoos on the Heart, each portrait has a story. The homeboy above, on the weekend before Mike shot his portrait, had a gun pulled on him, but the trigger jammed, and he survived. He appears on the pages of the first chapter, God, I Guess.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Angie and Ian, Bates Ranch House, Carpinteria

In the end of June, Angie and Ian were wed oceanside at the charming and rustic Bates Ranch House in a sunny small town called Carpinteria, just an hour and a half drive north of Los Angeles along the coast toward Santa Barbara. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Coming Soon! Angie and Ian's Wedding

A little over a week ago, I had the honor of shooting the wedding of Angie and Ian at the Bates Ranch House in beautiful, sunny Carpinteria. I'll share highlights from their wedding on the blog soon! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Inez + Sarah

We got to spend time with Sarah, or Nani to her grandkids, while she was in town for one of her grandkids, Hannah's graduation from Berkeley. We snuck in a few shots right before heading off to the airport.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Inez + バ–バ–

It definitely was one of our niece Inez's first words: Ba-ba (バ–バ–), which means Grandma in Japanese. She was rolling around one day on her play mat, and she started: ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba, and that was like the only thing she said for a long time. 

Kelvin's Painting of Buildings

Kelvin started painting lessons with Mike in the back of a small Taiwanese tea shop in Arcadia several years ago. I documented one of their private painting lessons, as Kelvin, who is autistic, painted in his characteristic style with bright, vibrant colors using acrylic, and focusing on detail, taking his time, and building concentration.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Evergreen Cemetery

We spent the afternoon on Memorial Day at Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights, on the Eastside of Los Angeles. American flags and flowers were laid by the tombstones of many soldiers killed in battle. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Kazu and Tomo

Brothers, Kazu, 7, and Tomo, 4, came out to warm and sunny San Gabriel Valley, to visit their father, an asteroid research professor, from Kanagawa, Japan. I shot portraits as these two played together with their parents and their friends' dog, Berkley, in Sandy's front yard with scarecrows, and in her vegetable garden in the backyard among the kale and greens. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Renegade Women's Conference 2013

This April, I shot the Renegade Women's Conference as an official sponsor. The inspiring all-women business conference, co-organized by the gracious business coaching duo, Donna + Nailah, brought together a diverse group of women entrepreneurs to hear from phenomenal speakers.

Speakers included keynote by the trailblazing author of Escape from Cubicle Nation, Pamela Slim; soulful talks by Dr. Danielle Dowling and Natalie MacNeil founder of She Takes on the World; and knowledgeable business advice from panelists: financial planner Kelly Alexander, attorney Merissa V. Grayson, and organization consultant Alaia Williams to name only a few. Read my full post on Tech/Candid here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Women 2.0 Conference 2013 "The Next Billion"

I just returned from a week in San Francisco, where I shot the Women 2.0 Conference 2013 "The Next Billion" on Valentine's Day. The event featured an incredible speaker lineup of female founders, renowned Silicon Valley investors, and PITCH finalists and judges. Here's Rashmi Sinha, CEO and Founder of Slideshare, speaking about balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship. Check out the full recap with photos on my tech blog, Tech/Candid here.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy Holidays / Cleo + Inez

Happy Holidays / Cleo + Inez

Happy holidays, everyone! Wishing you + your family a warm, joyful and peaceful holiday. I also want to thank you so much for reading and supporting the blog in our first 4 months! Finally, I want to share this fun holiday family shoot I just wrapped with our niece and her reindeered sister, Cleo...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Fisher Family, Exposition Rose Garden

The Fisher Family, Exposition Rose Garden

Stephanie and I met living on the same floor of the dorms our freshman year at CAL, and later lived together sophomore year at a funny Berkeley student co-op called Cloyne. I ran into her recently at Sarah and Anthony's wedding, where I had a chance to meet her husband Jesse and their adorable 8 month old son, Sullivan. I documented them this November at the Exposition Rose Garden, where Steph used to visit as a young girl with her family.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hayashi / Saijo Collaboration

Hayashi / Saijo Collaboration

Artist Mike Saijo met textile master, Setsuko Hayashi, known to her students as Hayashi Sensei (林先生), a few years ago when he attended one of her classes. They have since started collaborating every week to create custom silk batik (ろうけつ染めの絹) drapes and silk tie dye scarves using a 400 year old Japanese method that dates back to the Edo Period.  I documented them during production of one of their custom silk drapes when they were applying a batik wax drawing on silk by hand. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Yo Yo

Yo Yo

I met Yo Yo by happenstance in November when she came by the studio. Yo Yo grew up in South Carolina, and lived internationally. She now works as a producer, and she's assisting with a documentary about life in South Central LA. A natural in front of the camera, it was no surprise Yo Yo grew up with a mother and sister who modelled professionally.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sarah + Anthony, Morcom Rose Garden / Camino

Sarah + Anthony exchanged their vows under a chuppah at the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland near the Piedmont border. The ceremony culminated with the Jewish wedding custom of breaking the glass, and was followed by a gourmet reception prepared by chef Russell Moore and his team at Camino Restaurant just around the corner. I had the honor of documenting the day for the longtime couple, together about 11 years since the days they met living at Cloyne.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Say Amor | Roseli and Jacob, Ocean Song

Say Amor | Roseli and Jacob, Ocean Song

This September, I had the honor of shooting the wedding of my friends, Roseli + Jacob. The two Libras exchanged vows in an intimate commitment ceremony, named Say Amor, on a sunny, serene hilltop at Ocean Song, a farm and wilderness center in Occidental, about an hour from San Francisco on the Sonoma coast.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coming Soon! Roseli & Jacob's Wedding

Coming Soon! Roseli & Jacob's Wedding

I had the honor of shooting my friends, Roseli and Jacob, and their beautiful wedding in Ocean Song in Occidental recently. I'll share highlights from their wedding on the blog soon! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012



Our sister came up to visit us in Oakland just a few months leading up to our niece's birth. I remember feeling the little one kicking inside her belly creating sudden animated spurts of energy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Big Belly

Big Belly

As many of you may know, my older sister gave birth to a very active, and powerful little one this past October.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Portraits: Ojiichama & Obaachama | 祖父と祖母

Portraits: Ojiichama & Obaachama | 祖父と祖母
Portraits: Ojiichama & Obaachama | 祖父と祖母

My grandmother, Obaachama, asked me to take portraits of her and my grandfather, Ojiichama, during our trip to Japan this summer. Mama stood behind me working hard to make them laugh, and Leslie helped Obaachama with her hair and makeup.