I was so fortunate to have been selected to travel to Tokyo, Japan to join more than 50 other iStockphoto and Getty photographers from all parts of the globe for what you might call a nine-day photo orgy, also known as an iStockalypse. During these arranged gatherings of photographers and models the mission is to create stock images, Iron Chef-style. The days were crammed with models, stylists, MUAs in studio and urban locations where each photographer had about 30-40 minutes to design, light and shoot their ideas. In some of the more public areas, like ultra upscale Ginza, we also had to accomplish the directive while avoiding the attention of security and police – just to add to the excitement. The whole event was exquisite.
Included here are just a few favorite images that I brought back among the 91 gigs of shots I captured. I will undoubtedly be cataloging and processing images from this fantastic experience for months to come.
The entire experience was fantastic (not counting the horrific jet-lag I enjoyed on both ends of the trip.) The time flew. The Japanese models were a pure pleasure to work with and the city was as culturally rich and gracious as I remembered it from my first visit back in 2002. Most of our time was spent in studios or various Tokyo prefects but there was a trio of days in the middle to wander about on our own.
On one free day I traveled with fellow photographer Ivan Solis to Kamakura to visit the bamboo forest and giant Buddha. Along the way we were treated to a Shichi-Go-San Ceremony at the local Shinto shrine. Shichi-Go-San (7, 5, 3) is a celebration in which prayers of good health and happiness are offered for 3 and 7 year old girls and 5 year old boys. The children and many adults, especially women, wear traditional Japanese kimono for the girls and hakata for the boys. It was a feast of adorable!