Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Meeting With A Japanese Producer

Yesterday I went out on a shooting expedition with my new friend Katherine. Shooting as in with the camera. I'm sure you knew that. Kat's way cool. I met her at a photography show Suwanee was doing at Foster Library a while back and as it turns out she said she was a "blog stalker" of mine. She treated me like some kind of celebrity which was a very new and strange feeling for me... I'm so NOT. I am very flattered by this, but I mean come on ... let's keep it in perspective. So we exchanged emails and a while later when I got in touch with her we didn't make plans right away, and then Craig & I ran into Kat and her hubby at the PX and liked them a whole bunch and then I called her to make plans.

So yesterday we bummed around American Village with our cameras for the morning. We played with light and metering and a couple of lenses and apertures and stuff. As we wandered by the Okinawa Beach Hotel, we were taking pictures of the shells, flowers, and anatomically correct shiisa (I will spare you that image), and an older Japanese gentleman was helping a couple of people into a white BMW SUV. He was wearing a suit, and as we walked by he asked Kat where she was from. We like being friendly, so since we both moved here after having lived in San Diego, we said, "San Diego."

"Oh! Go Padres!"
"Haha, right! How about you, sir? Where are you from?"
"I'm from Japan, from Tokyo," he answered in perfect English with an accent. He commented on our nice cameras, and asked if we were photographers, and Katherine said, "SHE is!" and I shot her the quick "oh gimme a break, stop it" look.

"Are you in Okinawa on vacation?"
"Yes, vacation and work."
"Ah, what do you do?"
"I am a producer - of music. I have a studio here, and several on mainland."
"Oh - what kind of music?"
"Hip-hop - Japanese artists. Right now a record I produced has the #1 hip-hop single in Japan. over 6 million downloads."

Ok. Wow. So you're filthy rich. No, we didn't say that.

"Wow! Congratulations, that's fantastic!" I held up my camera and asked him if I could take his picture.

"Oh sure! Here..." and he leaned over and opened the back seat door of the SUV and helped out 2 pretty young women. "These are my massage therapists, I bring them with me when I travel."

AAhhhhhhh yes.... your personal "massage therapists" that you bring WITH you when you travel. Nice.

The girls smiled and made motions with their hands like they were giving a massage. They're good.

They stepped out of the car and posed for a couple of shots with the man they accompanied here. I showed them the pictures on the back of the camera and they were all quite tickled.

"Do you have a business card? I can email you the photos if you like."
He smiled and said, "Yes, sure!" and handed me his card. I'm not giving up his name in case he has some folks scouring the net for information about him, but let's just say I got home and Googled him and he is most definitely a major record producer. Since the mid-70's. And his email has the year 1941 in it so that puts him at 67 years old. He was one of the coolest guys I've met and I would happily party with him.

As we walked away, Kat and I joked that maybe after sending him the photos I took maybe he'd hire me to take pictures of some hip-hop artist for an album cover or something. I guess that would make me "huge in Japan" in yet another whole new way.

Hajimemashite, Shoro-San!

I'm Not Sure Where To Begin With This One...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Would That I Could Have My Daughter's Life

I know... "Would that I could..." that's a real expression, right? It doesn't seem like it's current. Possibly some kind of Shakespearean quote, but there it is. I AM JEALOUS OF MY KID.

She snorkels.
She swims.
She runs amok with not one, but TWO boyfriends.
She spends 100¥ coins happily after losing teeth and buys toys that are worth oh so much more than 100¥ of fun.
She takes a Cessna flight around the island.
(insert at least 50 more things here that anyone would be jealous of)
She paints shiisa (at a recent trip to Murasaki Mura):

(She's smiling like her new shiisa in this one - since her mouth is shut, she's a girl shiisa - I know, didn't make sense to me either - but something about holding on to the good spirits and not letting go.)
She goes to the beach with said boyfriends....
Oh that? Around her neck? Yeah - that's a life jacket. Because after this, she went TUBING BEHIND THE NEATHERYS' JET SKI.

Yeah. Exactly. Next time I'm donning my suit & such and going with 'em. She was SO excited when she got in, but after the experience she wasn't thrilled about it - I hadn't taken into account the amount of salt water spray, and we'll need to remember some goggles next time. She was scared of going fast because of that. She rode back in with Derek on the jet ski, and that seemed better - though loud & fast. She'll get used to it. And promptly become addicted.

I have lots of amazing shots from Kadena Marina that day, but this one of the kids is just awesome. She's one lucky kid. For so many reasons.
SOOOOOOoooo many pictures I'm going through to share with you. But I'm also working on a project. A big one. More info soon. But the hint is that all this equipment and effort might actually end up working for me here soon. We shall see. Another thanks to all the supportive and willing participants in front of my camera!