Archive for the ‘Japan’ Category

It has been some time since I’ve posted, I know. I have taken many photographs in hopes to elaborate in words and it’s not as if there has been nothing so interested that I haven’t felt compelled to share,  just that I’ve been a bit pre-occupied with life. If you are interested in checking out the photographs most of them are uploaded to my Facebook page. Since my last post, I have experienced saying goodbye to my job, home and dear friends in Okinawa; visited with family in Sweet Home “Indiana” where I was introduced to three of our family’s newborn boys; reunited with my best friend I’ve had since I was 7 years old, Lara; temporarily lived in eleven different hotels and homes; experienced 8 different airports; driven over 4000 miles; successfully moved with a husband, three pets and over 5000 pounds of belongings from Japan to the panhandle of Florida; had my precious Doobie Boi go MIA for 12 days; watched Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Doobie Brothers, Fuel, Pop Evil, Josh Turner, Long Reef, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Better Than Ezra, 311, 30 Seconds to Mars and Stone Temple Pilots in concert; submitted approximately 40 job applications; met with one of America’s top modeling scouts, Linda Bennett, who has provided me with modeling contract opportunities at Wilhelmina Models and Ford Models; ate at many new and wonderful restaurants; watched fireworks blast off a barge on the Boggy Bayou, as patriotic music blared from a boat on the 4th of July; spent a wonderful Labor Day weekend in New Orleans as the Southern Decadence Festival went on; celebrated my 25th Birthday; explored Panama City from the back of a Harley; watched the sunrise and sunset on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico; experienced wild dolphin sightings while boating with new friends; and have embraced a new military community. As you can read, I’ve been extremely pre-occupied! I hope to get back into keeping up with my blogging as it’s a creative outlet for me. Also, I have hopes to keep all of you, my friends and family, up to date on the many exciting life changes that will be happening in the near future. You will have to check back often or subscribe to see what exactly I mean!

Thanks for reading, I’ve missed this!



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Seth’s Photography

I have been teaching Seth what little I know about photography and he took me out on a small walk about shoot in our neighborhood. See for yourself but he’s done very well, especially for his first time. I still couldn’t persuade him to let me show him any Photoshop skills though so the photography is his work and the editing is mine.

It’s been taking me a lot longer to make posts than I’d like because of our upcoming PCS move. Shamefully I’ve got to admit these were taken at the end of February but I guess better late than never! Below are some of my favorites; you can also see a couple on the “About Me page”.

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Preparing for PCS

Of course, we still have not received our flight tickets and have no idea what day we’ll actually be leaving Oki. I only know it will be sometime in-between March 29th and April 7th, and that time will fly so we’ve really got to get on the ball!

In attempt to help support our PCS move I will be doing a few select photography Mini-Sessions before we leave. I had started my own photography business two years ago and decided to quit once I started working full-time with Verizon. It’s been a year since I have done any paid portraiture photography and now that my work hours have been cut, I’m going to take advantage of the beautiful backdrops Okinawa has to offer. So if you or anyone you may know would be interested in doing a Mini-Session with me please send them my way!

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Mangrove Kayaking

I have really been neglecting my blog lately and I sincerely apologize. A lot has been keeping me preoccupied with us having less than two months left in Okinawa. I have a whole checklist of things to do and see before we get booted back to America. One thing that has been at the top of my list for a while was to take advantage of the eco-tourism up North and go sea kayaking. Take note, I typed “was” at the top of my list. That’s because several weekends ago we finally ventured back up to Higashi with the only purpose being to go sea kayaking on the Gesashi River. There’s a great, little school up there who offers all sorts of eco-tourism packages, see below for contact information and directions. We went on the shortest course which was kayaking along the mangrove forrest for 30 minutes. This plan it costs 3000 yen per person. I highly recommend going with someone who speaks some Japanese so you can take full advantage of the tour, as English is limited. Our short trip up the river was nice and relaxing but it would have been good to learn a little along the way.

I also have to give an update on my friend, Kinjo-San, as many of you have been asking if I’ve been visiting him. If you don’t know who I’m referring to, see my previous blog post here. Kinjo-San is not who you would typically picture from America, hanging out in the same spots; he travels all over the island on his motorbike and could show up anywhere when you least expect him! On our drive back home from our kayaking trip on a busy highway we passed the silhouette of someone on a motorbike piled high with stuff. It was on the very far edge of the road and was so dark but I could barely make out the flowers sticking off the top of his helmet. It was Kinjo! Of course I would have loved to flag him down but as luck would have it there was a median and no where to turn around. Probably better that way; he seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere, maybe to his golden castle?

Front and Rear View From the Kayak

Yanbaru Nature School




If coming from the West side of the island take H58 to Nago and use Route 14 to cross over to H329. On the East side of the island take H329 North past Camp Schwab. Continue North on H331 after Camp Schwab. Follow the signs on H331 through Nago, you will start to notice the swampy mangroves on you right hand side and shortly after you will enter Higashi. Turn right directly after crossing the Gesashi River bridge. Go about one “American block” off of H331 and Yanbaru Nature School is on the left. Watch for a large garage filled with kayaks, the school is on the second floor of this building.

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Earth Goddess

A little over a week ago I did a long awaited modeling session with photographer friends Anya and Jyll. It was Anya’s idea to do an Earth Goddess theme, needless to say I was in at the word Earth. I worked for the first time with makeup artist Kimberly of Glamour Eyes and she was great, I can’t wait to work with her again!

The shoot turned out great despite the cold, rainy weather. There was one point where they were directing me to point my foot one way and it just wouldn’t work because it was twitching from being so cold. Good thing you can’t tell in the pics…

Anya Photography

Anya Photography

Anya Photography

Anya Photography

Jyll's Photography

Jyll's Photography

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Hints of Higashi

Seth and I took a much needed weekend escape to Northern Okinawa and I swear I will never get used to the beauty of this island. We stayed in a log cabin at the military recreation facility, Okuma, which was only a 15-minute drive from the area I wanted to explore, Higashi. Since the first couple months I arrived in Okinawa, over 3 years ago, I have been dying to go kayaking through the mangroves up north and that was our big intentions for this weekend. Well, we didn’t get to do the kayaking because it was out of our budget for this weekend trip but we found a nice kayaking place for our next weekend getaway. However, we did get to explore a secret beach, follow a stream to a waterfall and got to see what the Japanese call the “Looking Glass Tree”. Directions for both are below.

For about 30-40 minutes we followed a stream that was coming down from the mountainside into the Pacific Ocean, from the beach we discovered, only to be rewarded with a beautiful waterfall. We reached the waterfall at the perfect time of day because there was a rainbow at the bottom of it the entire time we were there. It’s just amazing that we reached it at just the exact time that the sun would be shining down through the trees to make that rainbow. My co-worker Tina believes it was some sort of sign for us. Just maybe, who knows though?

We had a traveler’s guidebook explaining how to find the tree with amazing, wall-like roots but were having some trouble following the directions. After searching for about an hour on our own we finally came across a conservation museum and the polite Japanese girl working the front desk gave us directions in broken English; luckily I had my number cheat sheet that co-worker, Nao San, created for me so I knew exactly how many kilometers she was telling us to travel. We finally found the tree and it was like nothing I will probably ever see again, some of its roots were nearly up to my shoulder. Looking down onto the roots from above they made intricate swirls and designs; some of which held water. I have tried to learn why they call it the “Looking Glass Tree” but my Japanese co-workers couldn’t answer and the closest thing I could come across on a Google search was that the leaves are a silvery color underneath. I can’t help but remember back to my childhood of watching “Disney’s Pocahontas” where that great willow tree tells her to listen to her heart and of watching “Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” where the wicked queen would ask her mirror (or looking glass) “who’s the fairest of them all”. So, just maybe you’re supposed to look into the water, as if you would a mirror, and hope for the great answers to life. Just maybe this weekend was supposed to be full of signs and answers but as life would have it, I overlooked them all. Maybe next time God… if you are listening… if you are up there.

Directions from Okinawa Explorer 2nd Edition by Kenny Ehman:

First, to get to Higashi:

If coming from the West side of the island take H58 to Nago and use Route 14 to cross over to H329. On the East side of the island take H329 North past Camp Schwab. Continue North on H331 after Camp Schwab. Follow the signs on H331 through Nago, you will start to notice the swampy mangroves on you right hand side and shortly after you will enter Higashi.

To get to Looking Glass Tree:

Take Route 70 North to Taira Village and turn left after the second bridge from center of Village. Turn left at the fork and follow the winding road until a white sign with an arrow is pointing the way on the left. Follow these signs until you come to a lot on your right. Park here and the looking glass tree is near the edge of the woods.

To get to Miyagi Meoto Waterfall:

Take Route 70 North through Kawata Village to Miyagi. About 6.2 kilometers from Kawata you will find Bus Stop #70 on the right along with a small store, turn right directly before this Bus Stop. Follow this road down until a sign and small lot appear on the right. Park here and walk down a trail to the beach, then follow the stream up until you find the waterfall.

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I did a vintage modeling shoot with my photographer friends Deni and Anya. (Click on each name to visit their blogs.) Deni worked up the nerve to ask a couple of well-dressed, Japanese, gentlemen passersby to pose with me. Below are my favorites from Anya, I will make a later post of Deni’s images when I get them.


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