Yuki and his family reached out to me for some spring portraits near their home in Long Island City. I had photographed several of their friend’s families, and when they saw their prints in their friends home – they knew they had to document and record their precious family with Manhattan’s skyline as their setting. It was decided: Gantry Plaza State Park. A crowd favorite among the families in New York and one of my favorite places to photograph. With the glistening skyscrapers of the Upper East Side, the United Nations, and the stretch of pier leading out on the Hudson, combined with their timeless and classy outfits and their charmingly adorable 10 month old in tow, they pulled up with the stroller and we went out on our adventure.
They met in Japan. The bright lights of Tokyo and a mutual passion for their work brought them together. We chatted enthusiastically about our mutual love for Japanese culture, me mostly talking about how I desperately wanted to travel there to eat ramen, see the northern mountains and experience Tokyo DisneySea Park, as we strolled the wooden piers and beneath the willow trees. They brought all of their joy to the session. Joy is, afterall, why I chose my profession. Family love, joyful connection, and childhood – the three things I love most about photographing people. And they brought it. They brought their smiles, their laughter and their sweetest soul of a little boy.
Curious about the little leaves and flowers he found, I photographed him from a distance as he played, explored and expressed his most natural self. I love these moments. These moments I feel as if I’m a journalist – recording the aspects of childhood that inspire me most: innate joy, endless curiosity, intensity, and soulfulness. Children have so much soul.
Long Island City, NYC
September 19, 2018
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