I took all the photos on this post with my friend’s camera.
Who I am right now has been shaped by many people I have crossed path in my life. There are people who have influenced me more than others. My friend, Meredith (Mere), is one of those people who have influenced me in many ways and helped me extend my horizon.
There are two areas in relation to this blog that I feel knowing her made a difference. Since the first day of our meeting, Mere always carried her SLR wherever she went. She was pregnant with her second son when I first met her. We, the parents, always carry a huge bag full of diapers, snack, sippy cups, change of clothes, and who knows what in it. It seemed to not have bothered her to bring her huge camera on top of everything and she would always bust it out whenever she saw photo-taking opportunities.
She took classes given by an American photographer, Serena Nicole, who was well known in the U.S. military community in Okinawa and used to base there. Not only did she learn the techniques that helped her be a good photographer, but she would also practice constantly. Mere’s passion for photography eventually took her to be a photographer herself.
I have always been interested in photography, but because I could never own a fancy SLR (and still can’t), I never imagined that it would be something I could do. One day I would like to own a fancy SLR. Then several months ago I thought that even if I didn’t own one now, I should ask Mere to teach me how to take pictures with one while I live close to her and have the resource by me!
Mere taught me some basic knowledge of an SLR and how to use it with different light and settings and even let me borrow hers so that I can learn and practice.
Mere always take awesome expressions on kids. The photos of my own kids I’ve taken in the past are usually ones with the back of their heads or their profile, their face with a fake smile, off-focus off or blurry subjects. Just by being around her I learned how she took photos of kids. It’s always eye-opening to see both how she finds locations to photograph and the outcome she gets from them.
Another thing she did passionately was blogging. She’s a wonderful witty writer. I love her sense of humor. She is the founder of a blog called Okinawa Hai!. She initially started a blog, writing about life in Okinawa and eventually developed it into more organized and structured blog which became the current form of “Okinawa Hai!“. She runs it with a team of writers. It is a blog for English speakers and provides vast range of information on Okinawa.
When the Okinawa Hai! blog just started, I was given an opportunity to join the team and contributed my humble posts for the blog for about a year. I knew what ‘blog’ was at that time, but everything about it was new to me when I first started it. (I know I’m not so hip…) Writing has never been my strength, plus English is my second language. Thus, I had never imagined that I would write something that would be publicized. In retrospect, it became an invaluable experience for me and I gained confidence and learned a lot from it.