Underwater Healer About Face Underwater Healer About Face

San Diego Trip Report with Liz Carmouche!

Travel, Underwater Healer About Face, uw portrait
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Leaving San Francisco was such a hectic experience! I was really stressed out but when I woke up to this beautiful morning, I inhaled and exhaled deeply with my eyes closed. I could forget all the negative thoughts and restored fresh mind. It's so dreamy and surreal. I started assembling my new Ikelite gear. This is my first time using their new housing and I find that it's simpler than the older version. I'm liking it! I met Liz! She is already comfortable being underwater because she plays in the UTL (Underwater Torpedo League), so I wasn't worry about anything! She can stay solid underwater. Her body is like a weight! (100% muscle) Communication is important during the photo shoot. THANK YOU Liz and her son for making time to meet me and do underwater transformative photography! They were so amazing underwater. Please read her story and beautiful images from here. BIG THANK YOU to Michael Timm, a free dive/scuba instructor from SD who helped me capture behind the scenes. I treated myself with an amazing lunch after the photo shoot! The sushi chef was Japanese and highly recommended me to go to Sea World... (ah...no thanks...) My Airbnb host was friendly and sweet. She was also backing 400 cup cakes for her grand kid's school event!!! ...yes, 400!! The place has a pool and Jacuzzi!! Gotta come back here in Summer! After I left the house, I decided to do Falconry for the first time. I actually didn't know that this sport is 4000 years old!! They were so beautiful. ...

Huntington Beach Trip for PADI, Dive Warriors, Jared and Xoe

Travel, Uncategorized, Underwater Healer About Face
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It seems like I travel back to the same place twice this year. I was in Grand Cayman twice and Huntington Beach next!! I love traveling to see same people to catch up and build a tighter relationship. Back in September, I was in Huntington Beach to meet a veteran, Jared from Dive Warriors and an accident survivor Xoe to do underwater transformative photo shoot. Also I was happy that PADI asked to contribute a dive trip report with veterans for their blog page. As soon as I arrived to Huntington Beach, I wanted to jump in the ocean. The weather was gorgeous and made me feel at home. So beautiful. I drove to L.A. to see my busy friend, Carlos! It's been awhile. He has been making amazing movies and his work always blows me away. So inspiring. You need a break! Stop working!!! I went back to my AirBnB in Huntington Beach and I saw my host, Don cleaning the pool! This is my second time coming back to his place!! He is super supportive for my campaign. He took care of his pool back in April for 3 breast cancer survivors. I really appreciate how generous and humble he is. I've never met any host like him!! He is always smiling too! (and his hair is awesome) His beautiful kitty and a pup :) Guarding the pool. I went to visit my boyfriend's aunt and uncle who live near by. They fed me Impossible burger!! Thank you Laurie and Ben!! The next day,...

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...

Los Angeles 2017

Travel, Underwater Healer About Face
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Let's go to Los Angeles!! It's been awhile- WooHoo- I love traveling! First stop, Wolf Mountain Sanctuary! One of my bucket list to see beautiful wolves! Hmm...The sign needs to upgrade... It was SO hot out (more than 100F). Wolf said, "Human time..(sigh) my early shift begins with these two...(sigh)" "HEY, heeey human, where are my carrots!!??" I brought carrots (organic!) for them but I was not allowed to feed them at that time :( "HEY human, got it, got it! I'll pose...where are my carrots?" The guide repeatedly told us they are not dogs. But you know....I want one!!! His big face didn't fit for selfie- "Carrots?" There was one more human friendly wolf. She is 15 years old, an oldest wolf at the sanctuary. "Oh hey, human:)" She was a friendly grandma. Just like this! I was so happy to meet 11 wolves. They were rescued from hunting in Alaska and from abusive owners. We found a cafe 247 for lunch. Home made Chiiiips! As soon as I got to the Airbnb, I had to jump in the water to rejuvenate! Next stop, Natural History Museum! Next stop, Anime Expo!!!! Check out the VIZ Media Blog! SO MANY people! I heard it was twice much bigger than last year! At the Food Wars panel, the creator, Yūto Tsukuda had to challenge some American snacks: Spicy Cheetos! It was a huge surprise for me when they played a manga trailer I worked on!!! I got super emotional seeing and hearing fans' reactions. The creator loved it, that means a lot! Thank you so much!...

Medical conference 2017

about, art show, Underwater Healer About Face
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It was one of my dreams to be part of medical/health field. My work was displayed at a medical conference!! They look gorgeous!! Thank you for your continuous support! ガン関連のメディカルコンフェレンスで 私の作品とバックストーリーがギャラリーに飾られました!3年連続での サポートありがとうございます?!! Please read a story of a breast cancer survivor, JoAnn. Please read a story of a stomach cancer survivor, Steve, a breast cancer survivor Kim and a testicular cancer survivor Scott Please read a story of a thyroid cancer survivor Pauline and a brain cancer survivor...

Academy of Art University

Underwater Healer About Face
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Back in 2001, I graduated from Academy of Art University as a New Media major. And few month ago I was interviewed by the editor from AAU and it was published! I was so happy to see the article! The article is online now! Please check it out! "Ever since she was a little girl, Erena Shimoda fantasized about being a mermaid and calling the ocean her home. As an adult, she felt like her childhood dream had almost come true the first time she went scuba diving during a trip to Honduras 14 years ago. "  - See more at:...

Underwater Healer About Face in Florida!

Travel, Underwater Healer About Face
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I'll be in Florida from 2/10-2/15! Arriving at night on the 10th and leaving early in the morning of the 15th. Super short trip but I want to make the best out of this trip! I'm excited! Originally, I was not going to work BUT that never happened for me :) I just LOVE working with cancer survivors, sharing stories and making beautiful memories together. Les is 52 years old and was born and raised in Maryland. He lives in Florida for the last 30 years. He is a 2 time cancer survivor (skin and lung cancer) He used to go scalloping every season. He says, "One reason I want to do this, if I can be truthful, is because I'm kind of worried about getting back underwater since I have only 1 1/2 lungs and no idea how long I can hold my breath anymore. The second reason is because I haven't done anything just for me since cancer took my life and I don't have any pictures of myself! I also want to make my daughters proud :)" Amber grew up in Hot Springs Arkansas and spent time in Ketchikan Alaska as a teenager. Then she lived in Alabama for 14 years until she moved to Florida. She was diagnosed with PTSD and Colorectal Cancer. She has also been left with a colostomy bag and that is a constant pull at her feelings of beauty and causes much doubt and sadness. She says, "I hope to have the opportunity to...

Meet Sara, a breast cancer survivor

Underwater Healer About Face
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I had an amazing day working with an adorable couple who wanted to celebrate their 10 anniversary under water and after that, I got to work with a beautiful breast cancer survivor, Sara. She was born and grew up in the south bay, and have been living in San Francisco most of her adult life, other than going to Berkeley for undergrad and UCLA for law school.She was iagnosed breast cancer in December 2015, when she was 38. After the photo shoot, she said, "I totally would recommend underwater portrait to other survivors! For survivors, I think it's an experience that can help you feel strong and confident again, especially because Erena was so warm and encouraging. It is a nice escape from thinking about cancer. It also is a moment where you can feel like you're in control and you're guiding the concept and deciding what to do, instead of being told what's happening to you and your body by doctors. It's a fun "appointment," instead of all the mandatory doctor appointments that poke and prod you. I think it also would be a great experience for anyone, not just survivors. It is such a unique, artistic experience and different way of seeing yourself." Thank you so much, Sara for being a part of this beautiful project to inspire other survivors and everyone in the world. Her underwater transformative images are stunning! I can't wait to show them to you...

Wigs for Kids

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As some of you may know, I just celebrated a birthday! I spent it with many people I hold dear and loved every moment of it. Thank you to every one of my family and friends who sent lovely birthday wishes or helped me celebrate. It was a wonderful day and this year is going to be the best one yet! For this birthday, I wanted to do something extra special - something that would make a difference. A friend of mine suggested I look into Wigs for Kids, an awesome organization that creates wigs for children that suffer from hair loss due to illness. Wigs and hair replacement treatment is always covered 100% at no cost to the families. There are many ways you can support a child through their organization - either through sponsoring a child’s hair replacement treatment for a year, a monetary donation or a hair donation. It’s a wonderful charity and I was so moved by their mission that I decided I would donate my own hair for a child’s wig!  See my dramatic birthday transformation below! Change is wonderful and I’m thrilled that I was able to help make a difference in a child’s life. The hairpieces and treatments Wigs for Kids obtain for children in need help boost their self-esteem and not feel self conscious about being “different”. Growing up is hard enough, and battling a difficult illness is something no child should ever have to go through. I am happy to go through my...

Inspiring Young Minds

Underwater Healer About Face
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As you may remember, one of my resolutions for 2016, is to increase my speaking engagement frequency - and yes, still aiming for that TED Talk! I’m so excited to tell you that am speaking at not one, but two, college photography classes this month! First, I’ll be speaking at City College San Francisco in mid-April, and shortly thereafter at City College San Jose. I’m excited to share my passion with young, budding photographers. My work, and my Underwater Healer project, has evolved so much over the years. I’ve learned and grown so much. I’m excited to share a few of the lessons I’ve learned and hopefully inspire THEM to tell their own empowering stories. Hopefully this is a great opportunity for me and the students alike and that they will also find an interest in my project sharing survivor stories. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll find myself leading them in a workshop because they discovered an interest in underwater photography! The possibilities are endless. I’m also happy to try out some of my new-found presentation skills and tips I learned at a public speaking workshop I attended earlier this year! I am taking my resolution very seriously and am proud at myself for accomplishing what I have so far this year. I have a few more surprises in the works that will bring me even closer to my goal. Stay tuned, only good things are...