December 6, 2015 § 1 Comment
I’ve been feeling a bit down lately, and I’m only human so it’s only natural that I go through all these emotions. Maybe it was because it got cold so fast. Maybe it was because I wasn’t on a ship going around the world like the last two years. Maybe it was because it felt like I wasn’t doing enough. Or because it felt like I was alone, away from all the people I missed.
But today, I printed this photo.
It was from last February when I was on a tiny boat to land on my favorite place, Rapa Nui. This has been my favorite picture from my last trip, and I’ve looked at it on my computer screen thousands of times. I let everything else get in the way and never did anything with it. It was just tucked away like all the rest of the thousands of pictures I took.
But today, I printed this photo.
As I held it in my hand, it felt like a whole new experience. Making it something tangible, finally making it exist. And it made me so happy. Isn’t it crazy that something as simple as a print could do that?
I let things get too complicated, I procrastinated, I was stressed out. And they’re all just excuses that I only have myself to blame. So I’m going to refocus, and let myself be the person I’m capable of, and do all the things I’ve let it slip aside. Not saying that I’m going to be a brand new person tomorrow, but that I’ve found a little bit of light to push me out of this funk. I’m going to be okay. Let’s keep it simple. Let’s keep it moving.
Thanks, photography. You cheered me up.
September 29, 2015 § 2 Comments
It’s been exactly a year since my last blog post… My apologies.
A lot has happened in a year. To keep it short and simple, I’ve made a list.
- I went around the world again with Peace Boat as their official photographer. It was the same route as the last time, and second time was much easier work wise. I was also able to enjoy myself much more and photograph much better. It was amazing to reconnect with the people that I met last year as well.
- I got promoted, and became the Audio/Visual Technician at the Phoenix Art Museum. I’m learning the IT side of the museum and also in the planning process of doing some photography/videography. It’s keeping me busy so that’s good.
- I’ve been doing photoshoots here and there which I will post on my website once it gets published.
- Lastly, I did a photoshoot… with me in it!
That’s the photo you see above. We did a “Kats Sisters” photoshoot, that’s my older sister Riho on the left, and me on the right. Usually I’m behind the camera, but it was my first time being in the shot, and directing it. My cousin, Hiroto, assisted me with pushing the remote to take the photos. We blew up 50 balloons which didn’t take much time with the three of us, like the last time we did the balloon shoot! I’d set up the camera on a tripod and frame everything and then I’d run back and pose. It was hard running back and forth with my heels on. Riho’s always been a natural at posing but I definitely am not. Modeling is a serious skill that I admire, which I lack. I should’ve practiced a little more on facial expressions and postures but I just got so nervous in front of the camera. I feel much more comfortable taking the pictures.
But I learned so much from this experience.
I need to get better at giving directions, better time management, and STOP HUNCHING!
It was a good experience all in all. I think the pictures turned out pretty nice too. I think by just looking at these pictures, you can probably tell we get along pretty well. We’re sisters and we’re best friends.
Kats Sisters 写真撮影
- Phoenix Art Museum （フェニックス美術館）でオーディオ・ビジュアル・テクニシャンに昇進しました。美術館のITの面や写真・映像などのプランニングを任されています。これで結構忙しくなりました。
September 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
Fellow photographer who’s been so supportive of my work, Tim Poole, was able to come out to my exhibition and wrote a blog post about it! :) Please take a look!
Photographer Airi Katsuta has been mentioned in a few of my previous blogs. I first met her at the 2013 Phoenix Matsuri Festival. She was displaying her 1,000 origami cranes that she had made as part of her fundraising effort to travel to Japan as a volunteer to help rebuild the tsunami ravaged village of Ishinomaki. Her exhibit also included images she had taken while on that mission. Since that chance meeting at the Festival, I have been sure to attend her other exhibits over the course of the year.
Last night I attended the opening reception for her new show “Voyages” at the Method Art Gallery in Scottsdale. The show is photographs that she took while on traveling on the Peace Boat last year.
The Peace Boat starts from Japan and tours several destinations in the Southern Hemisphere on a 105 day cruise. But the Boat is not a…
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August 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
Last week, I had the opportunity to take some maternity pictures of my old friends Amanda and Nick. They’ve been together forever and they’re adorable together. I’ve known them from my Barro’s Pizza days on Baseline & Mill, a job that I worked during my college years.
Amanda reached out to me for a photo shoot since they’re expecting a baby next month! Emilie Isabel, a baby girl. Amanda has always looked gorgeous but she had such a nice glow to her face. And since we’re about the same size, I hope I look as good as her when I’m pregnant (but don’t expect a baby from me anytime soon) But it’s amazing and magical how life is growing inside you. I know we’ve been doing this for thousands and thousands of years but still! Life is awesome.
I could tell they were a little uncomfortable at first getting their pictures taken, but soon enough they were sharing stories, laughing, joking around and smiling. Their puppy, Luca, is a little cutie pie too.
I’m very happy for these two, and I know they’re going to be amazing parents. I’m looking forward to meeting Baby Emilie in a couple weeks!
August 26, 2014 § 1 Comment
I often ask people to rate their day, how they’re feeling, at that moment, from 1 to 10, 10 being the best. They always ponder for a minute or two, which feels like forever because I’m anxious to know. I think it’s a fun game. I’m usually at a 9, since I tend to be a happy person in general. Maybe because I have a family that loves and supports me, friends who have my back even when I’m at my worst, jobs I enjoy, 2 beautiful cats that cuddle with me, a fish that’s been living in my room for 3 years now (I love him even when he rebels against me at times), projects I’ve accomplished in my short life that I’m proud of, and plans that I’m excited about (like an exhibition coming up very soon! ). I try to be thankful for everyone around me for being in my life everyday, and even if I don’t say it to you directly, just know that I am.
So I walk out the door with a “9”. I usually leave room for that “1” to make it a perfect “10” for an unexpected surprise like kindness or a compliment from a stranger, or as simple as a good cup of iced coffee when I’m feeling a little sleepy, or a good dream I might have that night. I’m pretty simple. Life’s great, and I’m happy living everyday at a 9 hoping I’m lucky enough to get that bonus “1” to make it a “10”.
I know sometimes I can be overly happy and it may annoy the crap out of some people, like “why is she bouncing off the walls? Man, she’s kooky as hell.” Don’t worry, I know. But wouldn’t you rather be around a positive energy rather than a Debbie Downer or a frown face? Even when I’m having a bad day, I try to leave it at the door. I admit I’ve had some dark periods of my life when I couldn’t even smile or say anything nice, but I’ve decided I want to carry a positive image and project a good vibe.
I read somewhere that everything around you is showing you love. For example, your pen cap. It doesn’t want to write on your shirt pocket and ruin it. Love. The cushion on your chair, it doesn’t want your back or your bum to hurt so it’s providing support. Love. The seatbelt in your car, don’t want you flying out of the window. Love. Though all these things are merely objects, it’s showing you love. Even if you think “no one” loves you, things around you will love you anyways. Yeah this sounds silly and I may sound a little loopy saying stuff like this, but wouldn’t you rather be happy? Wouldn’t you rather be smiling? Just know that something good will happen even if you’re feeling down. Optimism isn’t that far away from you if you look up (especially if you live in Arizona, the sky is beautiful!)
I know this isn’t a post that I usually put on here, but I’m feeling extra positive today.
So I started today as a “9” like most days, and I got that extra “1.5” and finished the day with a “10.5”.
Today was a good day, matter of fact, a great day.
What’s your number?
August 16, 2014 § Leave a comment
Since I’ve been back, I’ve been trying to be more active and explore what’s around me. Back in my college days, whenever I felt confused, sad, or had the “photographer’s block”, I went out to photograph the desert to clear my mind. Being in the middle of nowhere and walking around to stumble upon a surprise was always a pleasure. Whether it was a fallen down cactus that looked defeated, graffiti that kid’s left behind, the golden sun hitting the side of a rock illuminating it like it was ready to explode… Just the simple things. I realized I stopped doing that, because I got caught up in working. And my friends know this that I hardly ever do anything that relates to me wearing sneakers. But I decided after getting back from Peace Boat, I’ll be more active! Whether it’s hiking or driving for hours to see something. Okay, enough of my rambling. Traveling and exploring is fun.
Over the last couple months I went to South Mountain, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Colorado. So here are photographs of mother nature and whatever that sparked my interest. PS. this post is very picture heavy. Enjoy.
See my photos from the Global Voyage series at my website: http://www.airikatsuta.com/global-voyage.
June 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
So I’m back to Arizona, my home sweet home, after being away for 5 months on a global voyage with Peace Boat. I was working as a Japanese Web Reporter / Photographer to document the daily events that go on board and special reports for on location, write multiple reports everyday for general audiences who are interested in what life on board is like, for family members who are on land to know where their loved ones are at, and for passengers to reflect back on their voyage after their trip is over. I wrote close to 200 reports, and I cannot begin to tell you how difficult it was! Writing in Japanese was definitely a big challenge for me. I’ve acted the messenger role with Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami project where I wrote the survivor stories of the people in Ishinomaki, but it was always in English. It was my first time being away from home, and working in a Japanese setting, so language and culture was a lot to take in. The electronic dictionary (電子辞書) was my best friend.
I went in with the mindset that “I’m young, it’s 0kay to make mistakes, it’s a MUST to ask questions because I don’t know everything, “ And let me tell ya, I made many mistakes, I asked so many questions, and realized there are kind people that have a lot to share and are willing to lend a hand. With my 105 days on board, I learned to appreciate people on a deeper level because they were there when I was in a time of need. There are more to each country than what tourism has to offer, especially with the cultural exchange tours that Peace Boat provides, it was great to interact with locals in their environment and have that experience. Here are some of the photos of the countries I went to that are on view on my website. See full albums on http://www.airikatsuta.com/global-voyage
Here is a little bit of a preview, but you can go to my website to see more! And I was blessed with an opportunity to go on another voyage with Peace Boat as a web reporter again. So in November (which is in a couple more months!) I’ll be in Japan and then off to explore the world again. In the meantime, I am making art in different mediums (photography, origami, india ink, watercolor, ceramics, and even henna!) I am working at the Phoenix Art Museum being a Gallery Attendant, Control Room Operator, Projectionist, and back at Method Art Gallery being an assistant to Davin Lavikka and doing multiple duties. Hopefully I’ll have an exhibition coming up there so I will keep you guys posted!