Puppy Birthday Party | Yokosuka Pet Photography | KRUSH Photography

For some of us, our pets are our children too. And for my daughter whose only sibling is grown up and out of the house, ours is also her sister and best friend.

Meet Molly.

We found Molly just hours after I landed back in San Diego (home at the time) from a business trip. My husband asked what I wanted to do, and we ended up going to the Farmer’s Market in Little Italy, which is probably San Diego’s biggest Farmer’s Market of the week…every Saturday.

Anyway, I stopped at the ATM to pull out some money, crossed the street where she was being cuddled by another couple, and I instantly fell in love (with Molly…not the couple). I was pretty surprised that my husband said it was okay, and we took her home and didn’t even look at any other booths that day. And the rest is history.

Today, May 5th, also known as Cinco de Mayo or Children’s Day in Japan, is also Molly’s 4th birthday, and her sister was insistent on throwing her a little party. So today was the first time that I made a cake (from scratch, no less) for a member of my family. I feel a little guilty that it was for the dog, but really, it was quite simple.

We invited Molly’s current best friend, Blue (Molly loves Blue more than Blue loves Molly), my daughter made party hats, I made the cupcakes, and they had a little photoshoot. 2 dogs in a small space isn’t exactly the easiest to shoot, but it was fun nonetheless.

I hope you enjoy these fun little shots!

Birthday Girl...4 today! A quick shot before her guest arrived

Birthday Girl…4 today! A quick shot before her guest arrived

Sisters

Sisters

Pupcakes...homemade. Not the prettiest thing, but they were fresh, and apparently delicious. The color is an egg white wash

Pupcakes…homemade. Not the prettiest thing, but they were fresh, and apparently delicious. The color is an egg white wash

Party hats...compliments of her sister. Her's says "4" and Blue's says "Best Friend." <3

Party hats…compliments of her sister. Her’s says “4” and Blue’s says “Best Friend.” <3

Obligatory Party Hat shot

Obligatory Party Hat shot

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Okay, so maybe this is a little bit fun...

Okay, so maybe this is a little bit fun…

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Let's bring out the props!

Let’s bring out the props!

This is exhausting...I think we've had enough...

This is exhausting…I think we’ve had enough…

But wait….

CAKE TIME!!!!

CAKE TIME!!!!

Blue ate hers in one gulp and was outta there.

Dear Fellow Business Owner….

Dear Fellow Business Owner,

I have a lot of friends that put their time, hearts, blood, sweat, and tears into their businesses. It’s their life, as I imagine that it is yours.

Their business is a reflection of THEM…not just a service or a paycheck. So when you hear that you’ve lost a client to someone who purposely under-bids you just to get that client, let’s face it…it burns. Not just your pocketbook, but to the very depths of your soul.

“Am I not good enough?”
“Why don’t they like me?”
“What did I do wrong?!?”

Questions like these are likely to run through your brain. Or perhaps you go all out through the five stages of grief. But remember that it’s up to you to pull yourself out.

Just like a relationship, people are either going to appreciate you, or they’re not. And the reasons whether they do or not depends on the person. It comes down to priorities. And those that don’t appreciate you aren’t worth getting upset about. You’re not going to please everyone. Not everyone has to be your friend. Quality. Not Quantity.

When you feel yourself getting dragged down trying to figure out why someone chose the cheaper option, try to remember why you do what you do. What you love about it. The fire that drove you to take the leap to leave a 9-5 job and the security of knowing you can pay your rent and feed your family.

For me, photography is my life. Even if I didn’t get paid, I would still do it. The love will always be there – it’s been there since my parents handed me a Kodak at the ripe old age of 2. I have the vision of a photo my dad took of me holding it on the front steps of our house next to my sister ingrained in my head. You can feel my excitement and love through that shot. When I start to let the business side take over and the worry of money, I find myself going downhill, and it honestly does affect my business.

Re-focus that energy to improve yourself. Not in spite of that client that you lost…that client was never yours to begin with. But to give more to those who admire and appreciate you. And more importantly, for yourself.

Because YOU are the reason that you are successful. Not your pricing. Not your income. Don’t let someone who doesn’t appreciate you tell you differently.

Teen Modeling Portfolio | Yokosuka Modeling Portraits | KRUSH Photography

It’s so difficult to decide what my favorite thing is to shoot, but helping an aspiring model to build her portfolio is definitely one of them.

This session was both on location in Yokohama, as well as in our studio. It was a long day for her, but we were just getting her prepared for what’s to come. The life of a model can be tiring and can sometimes last up to 18 hours in a single day. We didn’t go that long, but we didn’t want to scare her off before she got started. =)

Not only was she a trooper during the shoot, but we spent quite a few hours leading up to this shoot shopping for outfits and picking a wardrobe with some different options for her.

Say hello to Julia, who did an amazing job on her shoot, and was strong all the way through. Cold weather in a strapless dress isn’t as easy as she makes it look! I look forward to working with her again in the near future!

Makeup by Rosie Hunter Makeup Artistry out of Yokosuka, Japan
Wardrobe selection by KRUSH Photography

©KRUSH Photography 2016 ©KRUSH Photography 2016 ©KRUSH Photography 2016 ©KRUSH Photography 2016 ©KRUSH Photography 2016 ©KRUSH Photography 2016 ©KRUSH Photography 2016 ©KRUSH Photography 2016 ©KRUSH Photography 2016

30 Days of Gratitude

We’ve all seen posts from friends regarding being thankful, or showing gratitude. I’ve decided to try this as I was challenged by my talented friend, Dawn of Dawn Nash Photography, to do a 30 day challenge, along with a day 15 deadline for a vision board, and day 30 deadline for a list of goals. I figured the best way to do this was to keep everything together in one lengthy blog post.

Regardless of what day you come in on, I hope you at least return after day 30 to 1) see if I made it to the end, and 2) see what I’m grateful for, or at least what I decide my goals will be at the end of this challenge.

So, here we go:

Day 1
Today I am thankful that we live so close to a gym, and that my friend Stephanie B. shared with me last night that she was going, which pushed me to go (she didn’t have to twist my arm…just gave me a slight guilt trip…LOL!).
I’m also thankful for Costco where I was lucky enough to score a snowboard WITH bindings for a really great price. They only had 2 sizes, and fortunately one was exactly mine, AND it was 10,000 yen (just over $80 USD) off! AND it’s kind of pretty. Happy early birthday to me!
Of course I’m thankful for a million and one other things, but I’ll keep this to a minimum so you won’t get too bored.

New Snowboard...a steal at Costco at just under $140 with discount!)

New Snowboard…a steal at Costco at just under $140 with discount!)

Day 2:

I’m grateful for Yoga. We have a class offered once a week near home, and right now it’s absolutely free. The instructor is amazing, energetic, and knowledgeable. I look forward to going every week, even if some weeks I’m a little less flexible than usual.

Day 3:

I’m thankful that my kids are somewhat self-sufficient. K was able to walk herself to school, and to and from ballet today. She’s growing so fast, and is such a beautiful girl…inside and out. Super caring and empathetic. She has a great heart. <3

I’m also thankful for some clarity…not just with photography (although I’m not all the way there), but with life in general. I’ve been reading The Complete Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. I have a long way to go, but I feel like I’m gaining so much.

Day 4:

So thankful for new opportunities and experiences. Today I was able to experience Reiki, and I’m fortunate enough to have it performed by an amazing lady who doesn’t live too far from me. I learned so much today, and feel like I’ve made a huge leap forward in the right direction because of it.

I’m also extremely thankful for my friends Diana and Yumiko. I had a great dinner with them, and love their company!

Also thankful for my friend Stephanie who watched K so I could get a much needed night out.

Day 5:
I’m thankful for great ramen, and great friends. The best ramen that I’ve ever had is less than 10 minutes from my house. Lots of garlic, and lots of flavor. And I was fortunate enough to have it with some of the best company.

Day 6:
Years and years ago…probably close to 10…I went on a drive with my husband around the Miura peninsula…just getting lost. On that drive, I notice a beauty statue up in the hills with spikes coming out from her head. Ever since then, I’ve been calling her “my girl” and have wanted to find her, but could never figure out where she was. 1-2 weeks ago I took some friends to a beach to go seaglass hunting, and on the way home, asked them to help me look for her since it’s difficult to look while you’re driving. Minutes later, I found her. And not only did I find her, I found the road that lead up to her AND a beautiful pagoda.
Today, I was able to finally make the trip just to see my girl, and I was very, very thankful to 1) have the opportunity to find her, and 2) that it was so easy this time around!
**update** found that the location is kurihama-reien, and “my girl” is better known as Amitabha, and is actually a boy. Oops.

Day 7:
Although the day didn’t start as planned, it turned around, and I got a lot done. I am thankful to be given the opportunity to feel accomplished. It’s not a feel that everyone gets to feel.
I’m also grateful for email. I remember years ago when we weren’t able to communicate at this speed – especially with loved ones that are out on a boat out who knows where doing who knows what. I was able to send photos of our daughter and discuss what happened during the day. It hasn’t always been this easy.

Day 8:
I’m very grateful for my friend Tonya. She started an amazing group called Let’s Explore Japan, and because of that, so many people get to explore new places and make new friends. She has also pushed me (unknowingly…LOL!) to explore teaching English, which I’ve always been curious about but never took the steps to do. I love the conversations, the learning, and most of all meeting new people!

Day 9:
I’m thankful for chocolate. Yes, chocolate. Especially the really good stuff. I went to Kamakura today to pick up something I needed to get and found that the chocolatier that I used to love the last time we were here was still there, and they still sold my favorite pistachio truffles. It’s probably the only white truffle that I like. Also, I’m thankful that I didn’t have the right change for the parking machine, which forced me to search for change, and the first place I came across was a flower store, and I now have a beautiful small bouquet that will make me happy for the next few days or weeks!

Day 10:
I get a lot of happiness just thinking about teaching. Sat in on a lesson with a future student, and I was really happy, even though I wasn’t the one teaching.
I’m also thankful to be part of such an energetic group of people who help others (American Red Cross). I had just a little too much fun brainstorming ideas for an upcoming event.

Day 11:
Grateful for the opportunity to try new restaurants and see beautiful new sites. Also for awesome friends (Gretchen) to share it with. AND to know enough about cameras to help others learn how to use theirs…even if it IS a Nikon. 😉

Day 12:
Thankful to have the day to spend with my son. He got an extra day off work. He even made me a cheese bagel and egg sandwich!

Day 13:
I am very thankful for the wonderful friends that I have. How thoughtful and kindhearted they are….I am really, really lucky.
Also thankful that my husband was home today, as well as my son, and we were able to experience Ginza together.

Day 14:
Thankful for my kids who get along so well, and how thoughtful my son is. Also that today didn’t turn out to be the rainy day it was supposed to be, and we were able to walk a little bit outside…without jackets even!

Day 15:
Thankful to spend the day with my kids, and Will was even able to come home at night. Also for new experiences such as visiting the owl forest where you can pet owls!

Day 16:
So thankful for Yoga, which keeps me grounded and helps me to feel accomplished. Also for the gym and my gym buddy.
Also thankful for great friends and the ability to catch up with them. =)

Day 17:
Thankful for a job that’s flexible enough to allow me to go to the gym in the morning while the youngest is in school, and having the drive to go by myself this morning instead of copping out, which would have been super easy. LOL!

Day 18:
Thankful for a “free” day. K’s medical appointment rescheduled and a full afternoon having fun!

Day 19:
Thankful for great neighbor friends, a sunny day, relaxing at the beach (and plentiful sea glass!), and that Denny’s in Japan is a million times better that Denny’s in the states.

Day 20:
Thankful that my husband came home unexpectedly and is cooking dinner. HAHA!

Day 21:
Thankful for the ability to get out and get in a better mood, even though things didn’t go as planned. And 100 yen sushi. That stuff is awesome.

Day 22:
I’m thankful for my bed and the ability to just have a day where I can take a break.

Day 23:
Grateful that Will is home.

Day 24:
Thankful for short days at school, and the opportunity for K to learn ballet and music.

Day 25:
Thankful for a job where I can work from home and for the most part pick my own hours. I also am thankful when I have a course to work on and feel accomplished when it’s complete.

Day 26:
Thankful for my son living so close that he can come home on weekends.

Day 27:
Thankful to have a day where we could all go snowboarding….or at least attempt it.

Day 28:
Thankful for new experiences and the opportunity to interact with animals. =)

Day 29:
Thankful for being able to travel and meet new friends, and to be able to keep in touch with them. Also for Leap Year. Once every 4 years….how special is that?

Day 30:
Thankful for my health. Even if I’m not exactly where I want to be, I am definitely thankful for what I have.

And that’s it. 30 days complete.

Vision board was done in time on the 15th, however I am still working on my professional one.

Goals? Honestly, I’m still figuring these out. For now, it’s to follow through with a collaboration that my good friend Michel proposed. More on that to come…
But to also meditate at least 5 minutes a day.
Drink at least 36 oz of water a day (I know this isn’t enough, but I need to start somewhere).
Shoot for ME and stop worrying about everything else.
Find something new at least once a month to improve on photography-wise.
Print a 30×40 image to hang on my wall by May 1st (this is difficult for me).
Read at least 10 minutes a day.
Practice deep breathing at least once a day (this goes with meditation).

Kyoto Kitashirakawa ramen Sakigake-ryoku-ya | Foodie Friday | KRUSH Photography

Today I’m going to share a few photos from our visit to Kyoto Kitashirakawa ramen Sakigake-ryoku-ya. This particular location is found in Asahina, which isn’t too far from where I live, and the ramen is delicious. And I hear the fried rice is as well.

The way the location is set up, it appears that this place gets pretty busy, but we went at about 2:30, and although it was pretty busy when we first arrived, it died down quite a bit when we were ready to leave.

As you can see from the photos below, there are many toppings to choose from, as well as many menu options as well.

So, SO much garlic. So if you love garlic, and you love ramen, this is the place for you!

entrance ramen shop asahina

entrance ramen shop asahina

menu and toppings ramen shop asahina

menu and toppings ramen shop asahina

menu ramen shop asahina

menu ramen shop asahina

menu ramen shop asahina

menu ramen shop asahina

menu ramen shop asahina

menu ramen shop asahina

ramen shop asahina

ramen shop asahina

toppings ramen shop asahina

toppings ramen shop asahina

menu details ramen shop asahina

menu details ramen shop asahina

dining area ramen shop asahina

dining area ramen shop asahina

dining area ramen shop asahina

dining area ramen shop asahina

waiting area ramen shop asahina

waiting area ramen shop asahina

waiting area ramen shop asahina

waiting area ramen shop asahina

ramen shop asahina

ramen shop asahina

Kamakura Rooftops Cafe & Diner | Foodie Friday | KRUSH Photography

Kamakura, Japan is a famous tourist location, better known as the home of the Great Buddha. But it should also be known as the home of one of the best American burgers…at least in Japan.

Following it’s namesake, it is found on the rooftop of one of the buildings close to the JR Kamakura Station. As you exit the station, walk forward, but more towards the left where you’ll see a decent sized bright red tori gate – the entrance way to many great shops.

As you turn down this street, you’ll see a Baskin Robbins immediately at your left. Look up, and you’ll find the signs for the many other establishments that share the building, including the sign for Kamakura Rooftops Cafe & Diner on the 6th floor.

Walk in to the little entrance way just past the Baskin Robbins, and you’ll see stairs and an elevator. Although it might be a good idea to get a head start on burning some of those calories, we opted for the elevator.

As you step off the elevator, you’ll see that it’s got a rustic look to it. Plenty of seating and great views, and although we went during lunch on a weekday, you can tell this place is probably hopping on weekends and evenings, and I’m sure the view is just as beautiful at night.

They have a pretty decent size menu (including some popular American beers) with lots of pre-designed options and toppings including avocado, pineapple, and grilled avocado, but you can also add any toppings you wish to the existing burgers items. Not only that, you have the option to get a full sized burger, but you can also get a half burger, which was the perfect size for me. And for another 400 yen, you can make it a set which includes 2 side items (I recommend the fried potatoes), and a drink.

The hand made burgers were absolutely delicious….seasoned perfectly. I will definitely be back again, and if you like burgers, I recommend you check it out soon too! You don’t know what you’re missing!

You can also check out their website at http://www.rooftops.jp

Visit us again to see where we go next week!

Cindy Palmer
KRUSH Photography

Entrance

Entrance

Front Room

Front Room

Stairway to the roof

Stairway to the roof

Back Room

Back Room

Half Burger!

Half Burger!

Kamakura Rooftops Cafe & Diner

Kamakura Rooftops Cafe & Diner

A Beauty Portrait Session | San Diego Portraits | KRUSH Photography

There’s just something about working one-on-one with a client. This is why I enjoy shooting senior sessions, modeling and acting portfolio building sessions, and boudoir. You get to really know your client…their likes, their laugh, and how they like to have fun.

Meet Lauren. She’s a Freshman in College. Fun, sweet, intelligent, and as you can see, beautiful.

Here are just a few shots from a recent photography session we did.

A huge thank you to Brittney Ciampoli who did an amazing job on her make up. Absolutely flawless, yet natural.

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Cellar 3 | San Diego Craft Beer Scene | KRUSH Photography

Cellar 3 Green Flash

Now that I’m back to blogging, it’s time to get some of these brewery images out there.

For those who don’t know me, I have many loves. My family, traveling, photography, good food, animals, art, wine, and beer. Well, really beer is more my husband’s love, but I love to try new things, and I DO love stouts, so I tag along. Plus it gives me an opportunity to meet new people and photograph something different. Plus, there’s just something about a brewery that’s laid back and relaxing.

For those of you who are familiar with the local San Diego craft brew scene, I’m sure you’ve gone out there and checked out some of the popular names, Better yet, you’ve taken advantage of some of the tours.

Yesterday we were fortunate enough to tour Cellar 3, better known as a Green Flash, but their newest location in Poway (they opened just 2 weekends ago), just outside of San Diego.

The tour was just $5 and included 3 tasters, normally $1.25 for Green Flash brews and $2.25 Cellar 3, so you do the math.

So if you like beer, definitely check them out. Well worth it.

Oh, and they have a food truck, which is bonus, and really awesome as well with a great selection.

San Diego Craft Beer Menu

San Diego Craft Beer Menu

Tasters

Tasters

Wall Art

Wall Art

Bar

Bar

Tasting Room (indoors)

Tasting Room (indoors)

Bar Display - fisheye view

Bar Display – fisheye view

Cellar 3 Green Flash

Cellar 3 Green Flash

Entrance Room

Entrance Room

Tasters - Fisheye view

Tasters – Fisheye view

Tasters

Tasters

Wall art

Wall art

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Rollers

Rollers

Rollers

Rollers

Beach House Ale Taster 1

Beach House Ale Taster 1

Wine and Whiskey Barrels

Wine and Whiskey Barrels

Tour Guide

Tour Guide

Racks. Don't pull the nails...

Racks. Don’t pull the nails…

Bottling Station

Bottling Station

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Tanks

Tanks

Tour

Tour

More tasters

More tasters

Natura Morta with cranberry

Natura Morta with cranberry

A little lesson

A little lesson

Can't wait for the plum!!!

Can’t wait for the plum!!!

And more tasters

And more tasters

Silva Stout - my fave

Silva Stout – my fave

End of the tour

End of the tour

 

A Dance Session | San Diego Photographer | KRUSH Photography

Dance.

Poised. Precise. Elegant.

It’s what I’ve grown up loving.

I was never lucky enough to be able to take ballet lessons, and so now I live vicariously through my clients by getting to photograph it.

Please take a moment to enjoy and appreciate this very talented dancer and what we were able to capture for her, here in San Diego.

And with the “May Grey” and “June Gloom” season upon us, the clouds were especially good to us for her session. Most people love sunny weather, and we do too, but there’s just something about a cloudy day that makes for perfect lighting and closer to dusk, a lot of moodiness that we here at KRUSH Photography thrive on. It was a win-win for us on this particular evening! Things couldn’t have been better…gorgeous client, amazing theme, and perfect weather.

We love what we do!

Dance/Ballet

Dance/Ballet

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A Business Journey – From Start to Finish (maybe)

Last month I decided it was time to close up shop in beautiful San Diego in preparation for our move back to Japan where we’ll be calling home for the next 3 years. And with that move, I decided it would be a perfect time for change. I mean why keep things simple by leaving them as they are, right?

So, I’ve got this great idea (or maybe not…only time will tell) to start a blog post that I’ll update on a weekly basis. Each week I will post goals, and the following week, post if I followed through or not, give any pertinent updates, and set new goals.

So, are you ready?

WEEK 1:

Goals: Decide who my ideal client is, and put it in writing. Find the most popular social media sites for browsing, and for service shopping.

So….

What social media platforms do you spend the most time on?

FB? Twitter? Google+? IG? Pinterest? LinkedIn?
Something else?

How about when you’re looking for a service? Same, or something along the lines of Yelp or Google or word of mouth?

Week 2: Bombed.
It’s just an excuse, but there’s a lot going on with the move.

Week 3:

Completed: Nothing. AGH!!
I have half of my ideal client written down.
The social media sites are all over the place. But research shows FB has the most users, but I’m finding the most interaction is on Instagram. No leads though. I figured since I’m in limbo, that won’t happen for awhile.

Goal:

Finish the ideal client write up.
Post at least 1 blog post this week.
Add at least 1 new photo a day to Instagram.

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