We Are All In This Together
Egypt. Libya. New Zealand. Japan.
So much going on in the world right now, it’s hard to know where to place your eyes.
For me, since Friday morning, it has most certainly been Japan. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may remember that I started 2010 with a trip to Japan. My first to the Far East and about as unforgettable as it can be.
I was there for a number of reasons, first and foremost to oversee a shoot for the annual report project that I was working on at the time.We landed in Tokyo where we spent a few days. I got a chance to meet quite a few of my colleagues based there, and had a few dinners with them. One was a gent named Naoya, and he and I have kept in touch throughout the year on both a business and personal level. He was the first person that I sent an email to when I heard about the earthquake. He responded almost immediately, saying he and his young family are doing well, but understandably shaken. He was still at the office working on crisis planning.
The second email I sent was to Rico. When I was planning this trip with my crew, I knew the culture and language would be an issue. I dropped my buddy Joe McNally a note and asked if he knew of a good fixer (i.e. someone that could help us navigate culture and language) in Tokyo. He recommended Rico, someone he had worked with a few years prior.
Rico stands five foot nothing but makes up for it in tenacity. Whether she was dealing with drivers, local security or just navigating us through the crowded streets, she was on it. Myself and the crew even joked about her style – a hand raised as high into the crowd as she could, fingers together like a beak pointing which way to go. This way, if we were separated from each other, we could pick her out right way.
Plus, she’s a designer and photographer as well, so she helped in scouting locations for us too. I did hear back from Rico on Thursday evening and she too and her family are doing well in Tokyo. However, she did express concern for the folks we met, and the friends we made, on the second leg of our Japan visit.
On that leg, we headed by plane a few miles north, to the Hokkaido, Ukarawa region. And in January, much colder, much snowier than Tokyo. So much so, we dubbed it Snowkkaido.
This region is right on the coast, though, and it’s these folks that I’m now fearing for the most. Still waiting to hear what kind of damage the tsunami did to that area. They were hit hard in 2003.
We landed in Sapporo then traveled about three hours up the coast to Urakawa, stopping in a couple of small towns a long the way. The Hokkaido region is pretty, a fishing down but with a number of horse stables. Even in the snowy weather we could see how pretty it was.
Made a few nice portraits of Rico there…
Again, met some pretty incredible people there, people we’ll never forget even in the best times. But it’s in the tough times, like that, that really takes me back to these trips. And my photographs help reinforce that time to me. Our feet were freezing in the snow and the wind was blowing, but we know we made some friends. I just hope they are all still doing well.
And this post is just about people I’ve personally met in my travels. This doesn’t mention all the wonderful people from these regions – Libya, Egypt, New Zealand – that I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” through the small world that is the Internet. Pretty incredible, actually.
We are all in this together….
© Mark V. Krajnak 2011 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 50D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS4 or PSE6 and Nik Software.