Published in 2011 Metropolis Japan Calendar

I became more serious about photography in August 2008.  I already had plans to leave Japan in February 2009.  In that six month period I had a goal of getting a photograph published in the "Photo of the Week" section of Metropolis, the #1 English magazine in Japan.  To my great surprise I reached that goal on October the 24th.  Though no money was involved, for a few minutes it felt like I had won the lottery.  

Then almost two years out of Japan, Metropolis contacted me for permission to have one of my photographs considered for their 2011 calendar.  I had originally submitted it in January 2009.  I said, "sure."  I was then told it was selected for the month of January and the copies they mailed to me across the sea arrived this afternoon.  I was also happy to find out I was sharing space with two other old Japan photographer friends, Vladimir and Alfie.  I was with Vladimir when I made the above photograph, and really only went out shooting that day because of his invitation.  So I guess I have him to thank most!  The photograph is in fact, one of my own top five all-time personal favorites, and a shot I am rather proud of.

Getting a photograph published in Metropolis I feel is still a sort of right of passage for a photographer in Japan, and perhaps Tokyo especially.  It results in a sort of Who's Who of photographers.  A small, but nice honor.

This got me to thinking this afternoon about where my photographer career would be if I had stayed in Japan.  Alfie is a true professional photographer with many connections and he was starting to appreciate my work.  Could I have gone on to be more of a photojournalist like he is?  Would I still have pursued lifestyle photography in Tokyo as well?  I can imagine wedding shots with Mt. Fuji as the background, or family portraits taken under the cherry blossom trees in full bloom.  Who knows . . .