Although I am Japanese American, Shinto traditions were all foreign to me, although there are plenty of Buddhist Church's to be found dappled alongside the west coast, such is not the case with Shinto shrines. Being here in Japan I have done my best to try to reconnect myself to this lost piece of my heritage. Luckily I get an up close view to many of the traditions and ceremonies. One such ceremony is Seijinshiki, or coming of age ceremony, a Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January. It is a funny thing, now as a photographer you would assume I may have lots of photos of myself celebrating my the various achievements in my life. Such is not the case, in fact I very few photos of myself so I hold photos of events like this perhaps a bit more sacred than others for my lack and wish that I had photos like these.
When anyone books a photoshoot with me outdoors they always have to be aware that weather may be an issue. However, for me weather is not an issue, more of an added bonus because bad weather means dramatic photos. The weather forecast for that day called for heavy winds, and snow which made the client a bit sad that I wouldn't be able to get a good shot, that her hair would be a mess etc... I sort of feed off of worries, the more a client worries the more energized I am to soothe their worries by creating something special. In this picture it did in fact snow despite the sun peeking through the clouds. I shot the image with a Hasselblad H5D-50 and a single strobe with a white beauty dish, nothing really fancy, but certainly as you can see it got the job done, though I shouldn't use the word job, what I do is never a job, I love what I do, it is a passion and it is hard not to see that there is a ton of passion behind what I do.
As with all my Seijinshiki clients I generally make a book for them with around 20 exceptional prints. Generally it may take 3 hours to 8 hours of work, mainly driving from location to location to get all the shots, so it takes a lot of stamina to keep going. Of course if a client wants a single print that time can be reduced to an hour at most. Also I don't work with package deals, I used to in the past but then I would always get so many special requests it would sort of make things pointless. Everyone is different in terms of their needs so I try to create prices that match those particular needs.