Playing models with Kristi James = One of the highlights of 2015 for me!
I love Kristi James. I’ve had a bit of a photo crush on her since I arrived in Okinawa and started exploring the photography scene out here. Sometimes I’m drawn to light and airy photo styles with blown highlights and muted colors, and sometimes I’m absolutely captivated by photos with dark, vibrant colors and gorgeously rich blacks. Kristi’s photography is definitely more of the latter.
A few months after I started following Kristi’s blog, she posted a photo series called “Moody”. Maybe that is part of the reason that I always describe her style as edgy and moody. She describes it as clean and simplistic. I think we are both right. But I’ll let you decide for yourself.
When we got engaged, Dane gave me a professional picture *quota*. He said that he would participate in a certain amount of professional photo shoots in our life, but that I better choose them wisely, because when they run out, they run out. I love taking photos, and I love having photos taken. He really loved our wedding photographers, Corey & Abbie Conroy, so I hoped he might change his mind after our wedding. He didn’t. I’ve always been a huge scrapbooker/photobooker/framer etc. So the idea of limiting my photo shoots was not exactly music to my ears. When we received all of our engagement pictures, and then all of our wedding pictures I wanted to print them all (have I mentioned we LOVED our photographers?) However, as I started framing things to put around our house, I realized he had a little bit of a point. One only needs to spend so much money having pictures taken of themselves. When we have kids he better get prepared that all of his ideas of limiting my photo shoots is going straight out the window, but for now… I guess I see his point.
Still… I wanted a good picture of us in Okinawa, and Christmas cards were just around the corner, so at the beginning of November I contacted Kristi James for her price list. She’s not cheap. But her work is worth her price — for sure. So I suggested them to Dane. He smiled. “You really want to use one of your photo shoots already?” he asked me. Our fantastic wedding photographers had taken hundreds of pictures of us less than two years ago- and I’ve still yet to order our wedding album. I love professional pictures and I absolutely see their worth, but I also agreed that maybe we didn’t need more done right away. I decided this year we’d use a picture from our trip to Africa for our Christmas card and let it go.
A few weeks later I saw a “Model Call” by none other than my photo crush Kristi James Photography pop up on facebook. Lots of photographers who are building their portfolios put these up all the time- but I had never seen one from Kristi James or anyone who shoots at her level before, and I just couldn’t resist “applying”. I quickly picked a few photos from facebook, emailed them to her, and said a little prayer that we would be what she was looking for.
For three days I checked my email compulsively. Then I figured she had selected another couple and moved on. On the fourth day I got an email from her. She had a very specific look she was going for. She asked if we were still interested. Umm… duh! She sent me a picture of the clothes. Yes, we could do that! She sent me the timeline. Small hiccup… Dane was scheduled to be in mainland Japan for the date she was looking for. She said she could push the timeline in order to accommodate him. (I like to think it’s because he’s just that cute!)
I was thrilled. THRILLED. I decided this would be a good time to tell my husband that I had entered us to win something- and we had won it! He’d made a rule about how many times we could PAY for photos, but he’d never specified a thing about winning them. “Congratulations!” I told him. “We get to spend next Tuesday playing models!”
We met Kristi at Katsuren Castle and within minutes she started working her magic. Neither of us really knows what we are doing in front of a camera- although Dane fakes it much better than I do! For a guy who hates smiling for pictures, Kristi and I were both impressed by his ability to not smile and still look this good! We might not be models… but we can cuddle with the best of them, and for a shoot with the theme “Cozy” it turns out that was all we had to do!
She captured so much between us- not to mention so much of this beautiful island we get to call home. I’m pretty sure that these photos will be some of my favorites for the rest of time! ( And the best part?? It doesn’t count as one of my allotted photo shoots!)
…. from Okinawa!
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.