Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category

{ out of office // japan }

Monday, April 7th, 2014

There was one time I was at a gathering at a friend’s house and there was this guy there, a friend of the friend, who I had only met in passing and maybe only exchanged a couple words with up until that point. I noticed at this party though that he was wearing a somewhat obscure shirt – it was labeled “Zushi Beach”, which is a beach in Japan close to my grandmother’s house. I remember thinking that awfully random and explicitly blurting out, “WHY ARE YOU WEARING THAT SHIRT?” to which he of course cleverly replied “um, because it’s my shirt?”

The important thing about this story is not how awkward Adrienne is at starting conversations or forming reasonable questions, but that that one shirt started an entire conversation about Japan, about how I visited almost yearly, about how despite not being Japanese he’s been 5 times, about climbing Mount Fuji (AKA MORDOR, DON’T DO IT, IT’S AWFUL), about different cities there, about travel in general, about lots of things two people have in common that they had no idea about.

And now two years later, this boy {who has since been promoted to boyfriend} and I are going to visit this place that is special for each of us separately, for the first time together. We will be visiting my family in Yokohama, and the plan is to head south and end up in Fukuoka, eating ramen & okonomiyaki & katsu & sushi & 7-11 & Dennys (IF YOU KNOW YOU KNOW) on the way. I am crossing my fingers that the cherry blossoms are still in bloom (anyone in Tokyo care to confirm?) and planning on posting our adventures all over instagram, so be sure to follow along!

I’ll be doing my best to check email but will be back in the office on 4/22 and will definitely return all correspondence then. Thank you for your understanding!


{gunma, japan // 2006 }

{ 2013 moments }

Monday, December 30th, 2013

There was a time, about 6 years ago, where I sat quietly in front of my computer, staring at photos of camera equipment online, shortly after coming to the decision that I wanted to become a wedding photographer. I had no idea how I’d do it, and barely even the slightest idea of the first step to take, but I knew for the first time in my life I had an inkling of a career path, and that I wanted this so so badly, with every fiber of my being.

And my how 6 years flies. A little fact: I’ve found that in the past 6 years, I find myself from time to time {to new friends, acquaintances} explaining to people what I do and what my job entails, and in the process, I sometimes convey that it’s not all fun and games, and pretty centerpieces, and bouquets of peonies, and romantic pastel sunsets all the time. That I work real hard, and that a lot of the time it’s 1am editing sessions, and 60 hour work weeks, and running to the post office 5 minutes before it closes, and scarfing down my lunch with one hand while the other goes through emails. That it’s fretting over marketing and branding and spreadsheets {photographers use spreadsheets!} and paperwork. That it’s finding it difficult not to take small criticisms or things not going my way personally, even though it should technically be all business, because this whole thing is my heart and soul. That it’s wearing 400 different hats, and it’s a lot of discipline, and responsibility, and at times, just plain ole stress.

But in reality? When I really think about it, who am I kidding? Because the reality of it is, it really is all fun and games. The truth of it is, I get to be a part of someone’s most special day ever, people who are celebrating finding their soulmate, their other half, surrounded by family and friends, in a wonderful place, and I’m honored with the task of helping it be remembered, every last piece of it. This job is about joy. It is about beauty. It is about tears and hugs and moments. And to top it all off, I get to meet these amazing people along the way. Every year I somehow get connected with a couple dozen couples who just happen to be some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Who simply radiate fun and graciousness and warmth. Who support and encourage me endlessly. Who send me thank you notes filled corner to corner with words that bring me to tears. Who make my heart ache with their kindness and thankfulness to me, when I am so thankful for them, I am so indebted to them, for allowing me to live my dream. For inviting me into their lives and treating me like an old friend. How can you repay someone for a gift like that?

So for this new year, I’ve decided to remind myself that no matter how many years I do this, I will not forget this. I will not forget the nervous girl who sat at her computer 6 years ago and would have given almost anything to be the girl sitting here now. I will not forget the first clients who trusted me in 2008, and the ones who continue to trust me today. I will be thankful, thankful, thankful, because that’s all I should be.

I’ve included some of my favorite captured moments from the year below. Thank you so much to my family & friends and most of all to my amazing clients, for another blessed and inspiring year.

{ thankful }

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

This past Thursday was Thanksgiving, a day for good food of course (stuffing!! I wait all year for the stuffing!!) but mostly for the simple act of reflecting on our blessings and giving thanks. It also just happened to fall on my mother’s birthday, which brought additional meaning to the day. For you see, each and every year I find that I grow more and more thankful for her – this amazingly positive, endlessly loving, admirably strong-willed, shining light in my life. This person who drove me to countless lessons of every kind growing up {piano, ice skating, orchestra, tennis, the list goes on}, who filled our home with laughter and the sound of her singing voice wafting over from the kitchen, who always took the time to enjoy life and all of the little things.

There is the thankfulness of now – of when I visit her and we share a cup of tea, or go out to lunch, when she asks me about photography, and tells me how proud she is of me for doing something I love. But more and more I find that I’m thankful for then, for things I hardly even realized growing up – that she always pushed me to do my best, but never pushed me to be something I wasn’t; that she was active in our lives, but never overbearing; she was always there to listen, but never pried; that she had this immense trust and expectation in us to do the right thing, even as kids, that helped us learn to trust & respect ourselves as we grew older.

I haven’t really said this before, but I am 110% sure that if it weren’t for my mother and what she taught me, I probably never would have had the inkling that I could pursue my dreams, or have the discipline to work for what I wanted, and do what I now do. That if I got it into my head that I wanted to photograph people’s wonderful weddings, and build a business with no initial idea at all of what I was doing, I should and could go for it, absolutely, and could actually be successful.

So on this Thanksgiving day, I gave thanks for so many great things and wonderful people in my life, but I quietly included just an extra “thank you” to my mom. Thank you for always believing in me and supporting me to the fullest. For all your love and strength. And for just being you. I leave you with some photos I’ve been meaning to share, from a mother-daughter session my dear friend Ala photographed for us earlier this year :) { Thank you to Kelly Zhang for dolling us all up! }