I'm a realist and a dreamer. This difficult dichotomy permeates how I interact with others and my photography. On the one hand, I like saying things how they are. My choice of words are blunt; the image I may make has no underlying statement. Likewise, I also want to hope for the best and create images that move others; to create images that make me proud to have created them.
With that said, visiting JapanFest was a chance for others' words, actions, and art to move ME. Part of it was the welcoming culture. As if I were a close friend, the people there gave off a positive vibe. Their body language was kind and comfortable. Their smiles were genuine. It was a completely different pace than most day to day encounters. Most people, even at work, barely notice your "Good Morning" and "How are you?", let alone even acknowledge you with a response; so I was at ease being submerged in this setting.
And the art, wow. I don't mean art in the quote-unquote drawings and images. It's... style. The way one man shot an arrow at a target. How, with care, vendors made and served food. Kids dressed in traditional clothing while their faces were painted as Japanese cartoon (anime) characters that would bring an instant smile to my face. Then there were the photos of the devastation in Japan. It was, honestly, surreal. They inspire me to document what I see. They inspire me to appreciate what I have and move past what I've lost.