Shaw family portrait

It has been stormy and rainy over the last weekend. Not like a couple of weeks ago, leaves started turning color and Halloween displays were seen here and there. As temperatures dropped, I had to drag out sweaters and a pair of boots from a closet. It began feeling like fall on the West Coast, so it was nice to see images from a previous season, a sunny and warm September.

It was truly my pleasure photographing Shaw's family again. Emma has started talking much more words than last year and being able to express a variety of emotions towards her parents during her short conversation. She also became more curious about things around her. She finds something interest everywhere. It seems like her world became little bigger than the session in last year. When I witnessed her growth, again I found magic in a human being that our possibility is endless.

Next year, I will see upgrade version of Emma. She will be more talkative and will show her emotion differently. This session gave me a little emotional touch because I fully understood how precious it is for parents to see their kids' growth. As a photographer, this experience is also irreplaceable because I can acknowledge the deep insight of life by staying along with someone's life moment that will never be the same.

Others are a mirror of yourself

I think that everyone wishes to maintain mental well-being. Although we simply try looking at the bright side of life, there are sometimes people who find it annoying for some reason. I had been thinking about this strange relationship for a little while since I became very curious about this topic, and I found a very interesting idea; others are the reflection of one's self.

One day, I was hanging out with a good friend of mine. We were catching up on my recent issue with a person who passed severe judgement on my positive attitude toward life. Then, she told me that this person's attitude of not accepting me being happy was a reflection of myself and asked what had been restricting me from being a state of content. This question was very fresh yet seemed very difficult to answer. So I decided to observe my behavior and thought about what was blocking me from being a state of mental well-being. After several weeks passed, I had started noticing something, and that I felt much more content when I was working on my photography, but I was resisting my desire for creativity and living my life with photography by focusing on a sense of insecurity and concern about my creativity. During my awareness, my mind began to be much clearer, and I became more open with myself and focused on letting me be who I wanted to be.

After the discovery, creativity has welled up in me much more than before. Now, I truly appreciate the person who judged me because I feel free and happy about being myself. Perhaps, beginning to dislike the person is an usual reaction, but I cannot choose to dislike the person because the person is a reflection of myself and has shown me what I need to work on. Because I cannot hate myself.

幸せでいたいということは誰もが望むことだと思います。ですが、ただ 人生の明るい方を見ようとしているだけなのに、なぜかある人たちはそれを気に入らないということが時々あります。私はこの奇妙な関係を面白く感じて、それ をしばらく考えていたところとても興味深い考えを見つけました。それは“他人は自分を映す鏡”ということです。

最近友達と近況を話していた時に、私の前向きな人生に対する態度を理不尽に批判されたことを話しました。すると彼女は私の前向きな態度を受け入れられないその人は、実は自分自身を映し出している鏡でそこに映っている私が私自身にしていることはなんだろうかと聞いてきました。このアイデアはとても新鮮で同時にとても難しい質問でしたが、興味が湧いたので私が幸せになることを私自身が妨げていることはなんだろうと、何週間か自分自身の行動と思考を観察してみることにしまし た。ある日いつものようにフォトグラフィーの仕事をしていた時でした。写真をしている時が一番充実していて精神的に幸せでいられるのにもかかわらず、将来のことや私自身の想像力の限界など写真をやっていく上で伴う色々な不安感ばかりに集中することで、私の想像力と私自身が自由になることを妨げているということに気づきました。それに気づいた時彼女の質問が腑に落ちてとてもクリアな気持ちになり、その時からもっと自分を自由に表現することに集中してみることにしました。

今は創作意欲も以前よりも湧いてきて、今まで以上に自分が自由でハッピーでいることが実感出来るようになりその批判した人に本当に感謝しています。きっとその人を嫌いになるのが普通のリアクアションなのかもしれませが、その人は私自ら自分自身にしているネガティブな面を映し出しているのだから嫌いになんてなれません。だって私自身を嫌いになることはできないのですから。

今回のブログは私ごとですが、私と似たような経験をしたことのある人にとってそしてこれからもし理不尽だなと思う出来事に遭遇した時に、一つのヒントになればいいと思い紹介させていただきました。読んでくれてありがとうございました。

nanae xo

* A big thanks to Tina who always open my mind with her wisdom and give me great insights about life!

いつも私が彼女の知恵が必要だと思う時にやってくるティーナ。知恵だけではなくポジティブな心の持ち方で人生の壁にぶつかるのが楽しくなるような助言を私にくれるだけでなく、私の視野を広げてくれるティーナに心から感謝します。今現在本を書く側アメリカやイギリスで講演をして忙しい彼女ですが、これからの活躍を楽しみにしています。

Tina Spalding photo by Nanae Nishimura

Tina Spalding photo by Nanae Nishimura

Nozomi + Hide

 The first time I had photographed Nozomi when she had yet not known anything about falling in love.

The pure white condition of her heart and soul reminded me of a snow field which nobody had marked yet. I told her that women would become even more beautiful when they had experienced being in love. I had thought it was a great advantage of being born as a woman. I was very curious how it would change her perspective when she experienced being in love.

A few years later, she had met a wonderful person and got married. It was my honor to have an opportunity to photograph her and her husband during my visit to Japan. Because I had not seen her since the last time I photographed her, I was filled up with excitement and almost cried when I met her. She had remained pure yet grown into a refined woman.

Since the last time I photographed her, I have also got older and have thought about maintaining mental well being as a woman more than when I was in twenty. During the experiences, I have come to the facts that many of us have a great fear of aging, and we have been afraid of being invaluable as a woman when wrinkles cover our face, and we become incapable of having a baby. But I have met a lot of older women, and they are all very confident and comfortable in their skin and have reconfirmed that real beauty of being a woman is undefinable by these time-limited conditions. I saw the beauty that shined from inside of them through their eyes, smiles and positive attitude toward life. They had showed me that the best advantage of being a woman was that we could transform into a more beautiful being with knowledge, education, and compassion for others.

Now I have the different perspective about being a woman, so I am even more curious how she will be growing with what she gets from the experiences through her life. I hope that I can follow up with her at each of her life events and photograph her transformation.

私が最初にノゾミちゃんの写真を撮ったのは、彼女がまだ恋を知らなかった頃でした。

あの時の彼女は、まだ誰も立ち入っていない雪で覆われた野原のように真っ白で純粋でした。“女の子は恋をすると綺麗にになるんだよ”っといった事を今でも覚えています。あの頃の私はそれが女の特権だと思っていたので、彼女が恋をしてどんな風に変わっていくのかとても興味がありました。

あれから何年か経ち、彼女は素敵な人と出会いそして結婚しました。今年のお正月に日本に戻った時にラッキーにも彼女と旦那さんの写真を撮る機会を得る事ができ、長い間会っていないのでとてもドキドキして待ち合わせ場所でノゾミちゃんと会った時、あの頃の純粋さがそのままで洗練された女性になっていたことがあまりにも嬉しくて思わず泣きそうになってしまいした。

私も20代の頃と違って年を重ねていく中で、価値のある女でいるというのはどういう事なのかを考える機会が多くなりました。一般に女性は年をとる事に恐怖を感じていて、シワができたり子供ができなくなる事で女の価値がなくなると思っている人が多いのではないでしょうか。しかし、私が今まで出会ってきた年上の女性は自信があり魅力的でとても素敵な方ばかりで、その方たちの美しさは眼差しや笑顔そして人生に対して前向きな気持ちでいる事で内側から輝いていました。その出会いで私は年齢や外見で女の価値を測る事はできない、そして知識と教養と思いやりを持って周りと関わっていく事で、私たち女性はどんな年代にいてもいつでも綺麗になれるという事を教えられました。

今の私はこうして違った観点から女性である事の特権を見る事ができようになり、ノゾミちゃんがこれから何の経験をして、そのなかから何を肥やしにして素敵な大人になっていくのかとても興味があります。その人生の一つ一つの経験のなかで変わっていく彼女を写真に収めていけたらいいなと思います。

Chelsea

It was rainy Sunday morning. Chelsea came to my studio. We talked about movies and girls talk. We had a lovely portrait session.

Styled editorial shoot

Last week, I had a great opportunity to do editorial shoot for Baracuta G9 Jacket with Darian from Free/Man

It was a simple editorial shoot and was my pleasure to be a part of it. 

"I think it looks great, you and Nanae did a wonderful job portraying Baracuta in a different light. I am very happy with how the images turned out and the article was spot on. Please forward my thanks and regards to Nanae for shooting such a beautifully stylized editorial."

—David at WP Lavori USA