San Francisco

Business Trip. I arrived a day early to ride the cable car and take photos. The weather was perfect, the city was filled with wonderfully crazy people and I felt only mildly guilty about leaving Kei at home on a Sunday with the boys.

Warning – many photos follow and not one of them includes my children. Shocking.

View of Union Square from my hotel room.

View from the cable car.

Alcatraz. I visited the prison back in 2008 and only wish I had had the time to do so again. Instead I settled for admiring from a distance.

Street entertainment.

Impressive ‘fro.

Cable car museum. Experimenting with slow shutter speeds to capture motion.

The closest I got to a self portrait and proof that I actually took the photos.

Love that I caught this kid mid-jump.

Getting Closer

Since Samuel was born, I have been dreaming of the day when my two boys would become best friends, play together and … stop driving me crazy! I am happy to say that as we near Samuel’s first birthday, they are finally getting there. I know, I know, it’s hard to play with someone who lies around like a bump on a log, but now that Samuel is crawling and can say “up”, “mum”, “dada” and “uuuuuuurgh”, there really is no excuse.

Thankfully Thomas has begun to see the value in having a 24/7 playmate. And he’s tried to get Samuel engaged in his Star Wars games (don’t worry – he hasn’t seen the movie), but Samuel seems to be stuck on putting “Dark Spader” in his mouth rather than make him fight Luke Skywalker.

Every now and then, however, I get a small glimpse of what is to come and it makes me happy to know that these two boys will always have a playmate – and that sometimes those moments of playtime won’t result in someone ending up in tears.

[OK, that last photo really has nothing to do with my little story except that it was taken on the same visit to the zoo – it was a mistake and, for some reason, I really like it].

Jenny Sizzler – Portland, Oregon Event Photographer

I was recently hired to take photos of local band, Jenny Sizzler. They play once a month at the Mississippi Pizza pub in North Portland and, thanks to a daycare connection with the fiddle player, the Ishidas have often been seen rocking out to the Sizzler music – complete with toddler mosh pit up front.

When Samm, the guitarist, contacted me through Facebook, my first reaction was really? You want me to take photos of your band? Have you seen the photos I take of children and families… outdoors… with loads of natural light? But then Samm said (well, typed) the words that made me know I could do it. He said “we’re about community and we would like the photos to reflect that”.

Of course that didn’t mean that there weren’t challenges. Backlighting, moving subjects, obstacles (people, instruments, electrical cables) and funky stage lighting, all made my task just a little more difficult than the usual natural light scenario that I am used to.

But I think I did it. This is just a small portion of the over 100 photos that I was able to proudly share with the clients. I’m not sure I’ll be touring with Pearl Jam anytime soon, but it’s a start. 🙂

I call this one “beer drinker bathed in light”. Sometimes you just get lucky. 🙂



Business Time

Kei and I enjoyed a much needed night out and a good laugh last night when we went to see Flight of the Conchords live in Portland. At one point there were tears coming down my cheeks because I was laughing so hard. Oh it felt good to let go of the cray business that has infiltrated our lives and just sit back and relax for a couple of hours.

Here is one of my favourite Conchords songs – quite appropriate given a big anniversary that we’ll be celebrating tomorrow.

Toddler Pot Luck

It began about three years ago with six babies and six sets of new parents who decided to get together for a pot luck. It may have been the shared experiences that we mothers discussed at the baby and me group, it may have been the need for somewhere to go every couple of months without spending huge amounts on babysitting. Whatever the motivation, we have maintained this regular get-together over the years and it continues with the newest additions to the group – 4 baby siblings born in the past 18 months.

Behind the fun and laughter however, the Ishidas were guilty of one shameful fact. We were yet to host a pot luck dinner. I could spout off excuses – house renovations, travel to Australia, baby #2 – but there was really no excuse – we simply had not been pulling our weight.

So in April we put aside our embarrassment over half painted renovations, bare wood trim and missing kitchen baseboards, and invited all six families over for the Ishida Toddler pot luck. That’s 12 adults and 10 children in our 1000 square foot ground floor.

Of course it spilled outside to the sidewalk (our backyard is another source of shame).

But the enchiladas were a hit and the kids fell in love with Thomas’ bunk bed (of course I later read the warning that recommended only one child on top at a time… woops).

And all in all, the evening was a great success.

Samuel even made a new friend.

I’m not sure why we waited so long.

Colour and Change

After 18 months, the P365 project has finally become too much. There are only so may photos of my kids in the bath that I can take before I wonder why I am taking a photo each day.

I will continue to post here, it just wont be dated like i has been in the past. I have so many photos to share from my recent trip to San Francisco, my birthday and mothers’ day. And don’t forget my rock star moment when I photographed a local band.

Hopefully this will free me up to post in-the-moment thoughts. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Back soon.