Friday, March 30, 2007

Wedding Photography

"Do you have time tonigt?" "Yeah."
"I want to inform you in person that we are married." "Ok.. then I'll see ya."
My brother called me at the 4th of March, 2007. His fiancee and him were married on previous day. I had little hang over but went out to see them. We met up at the station close to their house, and move to Japanese restaurant. As soon as we sat on the seat, my brother opened his mouse.
"Miki(my name), can you take our wedding photo? We didn't request the wedding photographer. Can you do that?" "OK..."
My first wedding photography experience had started.

photo taken by (C)mkyg

I went to preview of the chapel and the banquet hall after a week from that day, the 10th of March. I was very lucky be able to make an appointment, moreover, the guide was very professional. I've checked,
- Where and How much the lights come during the ceremony :imagined the time of the ceremony, considered the strength and angle of the lights. these were allowed me to adjust the brightness.
- How, When, and Where the people move : this helped me find the best shooting position(left/right/front/back with zoom/etc..), beforehand.
- The progression of the ceremony : I guess this was most important. I had known what is going on throughout the ceremony, able to make focus on the point quickly.
- The spot that would look most beautiful : this could be more important when you have weekend wedding. My brother's were on Fri, so was not too bad but finding place to take photo for keepsake should have done before the ceremony. Because on weekends, it's very crowded, we usually kicked out as soon as the ceremony finished although not always the ceremony held in a perfect place for photography. Take photo for keepsake right after the ceremony.
- The time table : the time when bride and groom appear in anteroom, when they go to rehearsal, and of course when the ceremony starts. Figuring out the wedding schedule helped me making shooting schedule.
- The changes of clothes : usually, more clothes more length of wedding. to estimate how much memory device I should prepare. In their case, about 4 hours started from the anteroom, the change of clothe was only once. I used about 3G memories and took about 550 photos.
- What they do in the banquet : it was not too hard in their case. the banquet hall had windows, the natural light came from outside add to artificial lights inside. No candle service, no Karaoke on stage.

And today, the 30th of March, was the wedding day. To be honest, I couldn't feel like I was attending a wedding. I felt exactly the same as on the street, taking photos of people. But I knew what will happen next and where I should be ;-) That's the only difference between street photograhy and wedding photography after all. Oh, yes, one more thing. There's commonly lots of white. Be aware for the reflections.

My first wedding photography experience had finished.
This is just a note for my next challenge ;-)

p.s. I haven't got permission to publish their photos with beautiful expressions yet.. if I got it, will add some more photos ;-)

photo taken by (C)mkyg
Happy Wedding! Kenji & Tomomi.

Monday, March 26, 2007


She was talking to herself.

Do you think you are being loved?
If yes, you are giving love.
We are just the reflectors.
Helping our family, friends, and all other companions receiving what once theirs were.

If you think you are not being loved,
you are not giving love.
Anything is neither only given nor only giving.
It's just the reflections.

Have alot of reflectors around you.
That gives you more opportunities to receive your smile back to you.

Maybe.. ;-)

Two roads seems to have different destination, but in reality these two roads meet in ahead.

photo taken by (C)mkyg

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Yes, Hi-Lites (Hi-Lites)

It was last Sunday I met Hi-Lights on the street in Akihabara. They were about to start photographing. As I always do when I encounter the strong energies, I pointed my camera at them. It was really interesting to see how they being taken, how the assistant use the reflector while the photographer was back on the ground. The photographer asked them for several expressions like "smile", "angry", "relaxed", and so on. I've been watching similar situation for past 6 month. I really missed the days of shooting with an amazing photographer.
The name of Hi-Lites, according to their home page, is came from the name of cigarette. They were united in May 2005. At that time, 3 members out of 4 were smoking the cigarette called "hi-lite". They also said it compounds the meaning of "brilliance". I'm planning to go their live in April.


see other photos

photos taken by (C)mkyg

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wind-chill (Uta-tabi-bito Cima)

This is just my opinion.
I met a guy this afternoon. His name is Cima. At first glance, to be honest, I thought he is homeless man. His hair was heavy and greasy, the skin was dark and wrinkled. The chipped front tooth and stubbly chin. But once he started to play his guitar and sang, surprisingly he was skilled musician. Yet, more surprisingly, people didn't stop and listen to him at all.. why? because of the place? time? or his appearance?? The place was near the station right beside the crossing. The time was about 2:30pm. It was cloudy but not raining. I had no idea.
When I got home at night, I found one thing from the photos I took. In some photos, he looked so cool and confident, but others were exact opposite. He was more anxious about people around him than his play. His eyes were keep moving, trying hard to get attention by talking than playing. It was pity that he has great voice, fine techniques, yet seemed to have a difficulty in concentration. People tends to turn away when they felt hung on to them.
Uta-tabi-bito(song pilgrim) Cima. He's been playing on the street for 11 years now. Also works as an assistant director of TV programs in Kyoto film studio, and security guard in Tokyo. You'll find him along the JR Chuo-Line, eg. Koenji, Asagaya, Nakano in Tokyo, and Koyoto, Fukuoka. He hitchhikes when he traveling. He showed me both sturdiness and frailty of the human heart. I liked his song.

see other photos

photo taken by (C)mkyg

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Heaven Artist

The Heaven Artist is an "official recognition system" of street performer founded by governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, in 2002. It is part of his Tokyo art town plan, and the "license holder" is also called Heaven Artist. The purpose of the system is to promote and foster the high-quality street performer who provides the amusement to the citizen. The model of this is from France. The license is issued to the artist who passes in the audition by the cultural bureau of Tokyo, and only who acquires the license is permitted to perform in a specified places in Tokyo.
The name "Heaven Artist", I suppose, came from historical background of Tokyo street performers. There was huge movement in 1980's in Harajuku, the road used to be pedestrians' paradise(vehicle-free promenade) every Sunday, gathered so many artists, dancers, musicians, and all types of performers. This pedestrians' paradise was called Hokousha-Tengoku(Hoko-Ten). Tengoku means both paradise and heaven.. yes.. Japanglish. Tengoku Artists in 21st century is the heaven artist.
What I most like about the street performance is its high degree of freedom. On the street, we can walk around and enjoy the various views, come and go anytime you needed to. Moreover, we could enjoy the expressions from both the performer and its audience.., generally, hard to see both if we were in the seat. . ;-)

see other photos

photos taken by (C)mkyg

These photos were taken in Akihabara, but you can also find them other places in Tokyo. eg. Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Yoyogi, Hibiya, Odaiba, Akasaka, Shibuya, etc. The schedules are found in the following URL.. sorry written in Japanese only for now..
"Tokyo Bureau of Citizens and Cultural Affairs"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tapping, Slapping, and Body Hitting (Otofuke KENTA)

This is not a violence gossip ;-)
Tapping, Slapping and Body Hittings are rather new guitar techniques. Otofuke, the acoustic guitar unit by Kenta and Ishii, was organized in April, 2003. They started as a street musician, sold 2000 CDs in 6 months(about 80 CDs per weekend :-). After the performance in the CMJ Music Marathon, NY, USA, in October 2004, Otofuke went into a brief while hibernation. An year later, October 2005, Kenta restarted Otofuke as a solo musician. His works are used in TV and Radio, and had performed in the widely known annual music festa "Summer Sonic 2006" last year.
Now he plays on the streets again, in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. every weekend. There was great atmosphere with passions and positive energies from Otofuke(Kenta) and his audience when I saw him near the south entrance of JR Shinjuku station.

Otofuke's 2nd Album "butterfly effect+" sound (feel the tapping, slapping, and body hitting ;-)

photo taken by (C)mkyg

photo taken by (C)mkyg