Underwater Healer About Face Underwater Healer About Face

Grand Cayman Trip Report 2018

Travel, uw portrait
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YES! Adios America! My travel buddies. #titosodanoice DAY 1 Arrived in Grand Cayman after 12 hours. Immigration officers were so kind at the airport. One of them were so happy to find out I'm Japanese because she is watching Japanese Animation to learn Japanese. She practiced a little with me while other people were waiting in line stressed... I washed my face and jumped in the pool right away! Pool is not heated but it's not necessary. It was warmer than 90F!! Iguanas are every where on the island... The resort has a scuba dive shop and the dock is right outside! I can't wait for tomorrow morning! Reef Divers in Grand Cayman First sunset. ...and I can have my dinner, Wahoo fish with this beautiful background! DAY 2! Morning dives begins at 7:45am. I woke up every morning at 5am to set up my camera so I have enough time to chill before we took off. Beautiful morning from the boat... I felt SO good! It was awesome to be back in the water for sure. After diving, I had an appointment with Jim Catlin, an underwater photographer to master a new skill, split shot!! 2 hours flew by so quick! I tested out my new knowledge few days later. Photos coming soon. I still need to practice more! After that, I had a different appointment with Jennifer Weber, an operation manager at Cayman Islands Cancer Society. We are collaborating an underwater transformative photo project with 4 children and 1 adult who survived from Cancer. I'm meeting them at the resort in...

NiNi – Cerebral Palsy

about, Uncategorized, Underwater Healer About Face, uw portrait
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I met NiNi, one of the cerebral palsy clients from Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center. Nini is 38 years old and was born in Rangoon, Burma. She has Cerebral Palsy. It caused during her birth. The doctor couldn't get to the hospital in time, NiNi was suffocating and her body was blue when she came out. In Burma, the doctor didn't take good responsibility back then, no operation, no oxygen equipment and the doctor left the room as soon as he heard NiNi cried. The doctor didn't show up for 3 days after the birth and didn't know that Nini was unconscious for 5 days. When she was one year old, they learned that she had Cerebral Palsy because she couldn't stand, walk and talk. She could stand better when she was 7, but she falls a lot untill this age. The family moved to America in 1989. NiNi joined movement therapy class before she started her school in America. Also they learned that swimming is very good for her balance. Her waist is very weak so walking in the water is the best exercise for her balance. She has been swimming since 1991 and she loves it so much. She wanted to be involved in the Underwater Transformative Photography Project because she likes to challenge and learn new things. Nini waits until the pool clears. She couldn't wait to jump in the water! Mother and daughter :) "I was  so excited in the beginning and it was a little scary. Water felt...

Transforming into a water dancer

about, Underwater Healer About Face, uw portrait
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"The secret to happiness is freedom...And the secret to freedom is courage" -Thucydides Beast cancer survivor “My name is Laurie. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34 that was already metastatic to my bones. Water has always meant freedom to me. It means the freedom to go somewhere new. A new place to spend a vacation, free from everyday worries. A new place to be creative, free from gravity. A new place in my mind, free from self judgement.” Please read her beautiful story and more images from here. Since after the underwater session, she's been going back to the water 5-6 times a week to enjoy being submerged. I'm happy to hear the result of underwater transformative session changed her life style. She got so many pretty...

UW Fashion Photography with Zena Holloway in Bahama

Travel, uw portrait
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UW Fashion Photography with Zena Holloway in Bahama and an extra stop in Florida I've been scuba diving for over 12 years and I became a scuba dive master in Venezuela. I started taking photographs of fishes and marine life. And one day, I saw Zena Holloway's work, Swansong, I instantly thought I want to be like her. Over 10 years later, I found out she was leading a workshop organized by Aquaspirit in Bimini, Bahama! If I miss this opportunity, I might not see her again. I finally decided to sign up to meet her in person! A dream came true! I did a mini interview with Zena at the end of the workshop. She gave us a great advice! SO... my adventure began from this huge canvas... #oceanhug Arrived in Bimini, Bahama! I cried looking at this crystal clear water!!!! It looks like a painting... SO GORGEOUSSSsssss!! The sky is not covered by any buildings. I felt like I was in the planetarium. If you have guts to walk up stairs on these. I'll give you $5. Don't worry, it's super safe. Rainbow before the sunset... aaand this is the place I stayed. At welcome dinner to meet Zena, other photographers and models! People are coming from 11 different countries!!?? So awesome to connect through our passions. AND I ran into Tammy from San Diego!! When I photographed 3 cancer survivors in San Diego last year, I got to rent her pool! Thank you so much for supporting my my project! It was a great night! The food...

Gold Medal Olympian – Brenda Villa

uw portrait
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I had an underwater photo shoot with a water polo Olympian, Brenda Villa and I had an opportunity to do an interview with her! I feel so lucky!! What was your dream when you were a child? My first dream was to become a doctor or lawyer. However, I as I got older and became a better water polo player, water polo took over my life and lead me in a different direction. What was the relationship like with your brother? Was he your inspiration or somebody else? Parents? (I read that he was a water polo player too) As a younger sister, I followed my brother everywhere and wanted to do everything he did. I was lucky enough to play on the boys HS team with him and win a HS championship. I always wanted to be like him or get his approval. It was hard to get as a younger sister. What was like to play in a boys team being only a girl? (high school?) I know kids can be mean! My team was very supportive, I grew up playing with most of the boys. It usually was the opposition team that made comments and sometimes made me uncomfortable but my love for the game kept me playing. Are you coaching a team now? Right now, I coach a couple teams. I coach the HS girls at Castilleja School and I run a youth water polo team called the Menlo Mavericks. http://menloswim.com/belle-haven-pool/water-polo/menlo-mavericks/ You told me your happy place is underwater. Why? What does WATER mean...

Underwater Healer on NBC Bay Area

Underwater Healer About Face, uw portrait
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Last week brain cancer survivor Maya and I were interviewed live by Robert Handa of NBC Bay Area (KNTV Channel 11) to discuss my Underwater Healer project and her transformation. It aired this past Sunday morning on Asian Pacific America and is finally online to share with you! The interview was incredibly fun and also full of surprises. When I arrived at the studio I discovered it was not a taping, but live! I was a little nervous, knowing there would be no editing if I stumbled my words, but this situation is exactly what I’ve been working towards in my public speaking practice. It was hard, but it turned out great in the end. In addition to the studio interview, NBC followed me to Maya’s underwater shoot to capture  behind-the-scenes of an underwater portrait shoot. I’m so happy I was able to share the entirety of an Underwater Healer project, from start to finish, with others. Maya was a complete pro as well - from her underwater portrait shoot to the interview on Asian Pacific America.  Thank you Maya for sharing your story and transformation with us all! I’m very thankful to Robert and NBC Bay Area for giving me the opportunity to share my Underwater Healer project with their viewers. Be sure to watch the interview below and share with your...

Palm Springs Trip Report

about, Travel, Underwater Healer About Face, uw portrait
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Palm Springs Trip Report September 18-20, 2015 Underwater Healer About Face in Palm Springs! This is my first time traveling to Palm Springs! I was super excited to find out about this new place! A little about PS trip: A 3 time cancer survivor and my good friend Nancy is one of the supporters for this project. When I approached her for this year's photos shoot, she was happy to do it! But she wanted to pay her own session and take me to her best friend, Don's house in Palm Springs because he has a beautiful pool! And I can reach out to other survivors. Thank you so much for this opportunity, Nancy!   I can't believe she designed this house!! http://www.homteamdesign.com/modern1--palm-springs-ca.html 今月は忙しい日々が続きました!これからパルムスプリングスで3人のサバイバーと水中撮影をしにいってきます。今回のアバウトフェイスの旅は少し違って、 3人の中の一人は私の親友なんです。3回のがんから克服したとてもパワフルなファイターです。今年の水中撮影プロジェクトの誘ったとき、自分の分は払いた いと言ってきました。しかもパルムスプリングに住んでいる彼女のベストフレンドの家のオリンピックサイズプールでやりたいとの事。私の飛行機代も払ってく れました。彼女は私にもっと他のサバイバーに会えるようにと願ってお金をきふしてくれたんです。この家は彼女がベストフレンドの為にデザインしたそうです。本当映画にでてくるような家でした Beautiful friends, delicious dinner, tasty drinks and full of love! It's my dream land to wake up and swim everyday... Photo shoots with beautiful survivors went really well! Photos are coming soon! DATES!! I bought dates from Palm Springs for my co-workers! They are so...

Boston Trip Report

about, art show, Travel, Underwater Healer About Face, uw portrait
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Boston Trip Report This was my Boston office for few days!! I'm missing it! I met Chien-Chi, a breast cancer survivor at 7:30-8:30am We connected in the water instantly! I met Katie at 8:30-9:30. She had her own mermaid tail from Hawaii! She did a beautiful job in the water! I met Kim at 9:30-10:30. She was nervous at first but look at this! She looks so natural! ' Next day, I had a presentation at Apple Store on Boylston street. I was super nervous as always. I had a different speaking coach this time and I practiced a lot before I left for Boston! The event was successful! It was the most emotional and impactful presentation I've ever had! It was so nice to hear everyone talking about this project. My heart was full with happiness!     I made these cranes for Boston people to wish them good luck and feel better. Next day, I had a maternity photo shoot with Vicky and Charles. They came from NY to support for my project. They helped me so much when I had a ABOUT FACE project in NY in 2013 We had lunch at The Neighborhood Restaurant in Somerville. I came here twice and I really liked it! I was recommended to go to Spanish restaurant, Dali. I was introduced to delicious wince, La Cana. I stopped by at this normal looking Sushi place. AND they were amazing!! So fresh! I always walked by at this local bar with bunch of alcoholics at...

Apple store underwater healer event in Santa Monica

about, Underwater Healer About Face, uw portrait
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Apple store underwater healer event in Santa Monica It was such an amazing experience being in Los Angeles to give a presentation on our campaign, Underwater Healer About Face, help cancer survivors rediscover their beauty through underwater portrait photoghraphy. I've done this last year at SF Apple store location but I still have a fear towards public speaking! practice practice... Ok, time is up! I'm going to do this! I was happy to meet new people, see old friends and co-workers! I showed some of the creative underwater shots. This is an underwater BJJ. The images were featured on Fightland, VICE and printed on the February and March Issue. I also want to thank Fightland for the contribution to support our future underwater healer project to help cancer survivors! Thank you! I shared a story of one of the 13 cancer survivors, Amber from Hawaii. She survived from Thyroid cancer when she was 20 years old. Chelsea is a pediatric cancer survivor. She was diagnosed brain cancer when she was 8 years old. She shared her story and an underwater experience to inspire the audience. The presentation was successful! For the Q&A session, I asked them what they thought of our campaign. Erin is a professional underwater photographer. She gave us positive comments and encouragements for the future project! It meant so much to us. Thank you so much for your support, Erin! Diane is a BJJ practitioner (purple belt) and a medical school student. By hearing from a future doctor, her opinion meant so much for all...