Photographs, quotes, thoughts and trees by Julie Walton Shaver, a lifestyle photographer based in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut


We May Be Far From Tokyo

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 01 1 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I laugh every time I look at this picture from Patricia and Alan’s lifestyle session in Tokyo! If you’d like to see the slide show from their session, shoot them an email.

Or, if you missed the preview slide show from my trip to Japan, click here. Lots more pictures from Patricia and Alan’s session!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 02 We May Be Far From Tokyo

    Patricia and Alan wanted my help in documenting their Tokyo neighborhood because when we did this shoot, they were only a few weeks away from moving to Singapore. Patricia told me they LOVED Tokyo and were running out of time to document some of the things they enjoyed so much about their life there.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 03 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I think it’s great that we were able to take some pictures in the school where their son went to kindergarten.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 04 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I knew this was going to be a fun session only minutes after I’d met this little boy. He was so interested in sharing his life with me!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 05 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I love that canvas of him on the wall in his room!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 06 We May Be Far From Tokyo

His little sister has one too! Those are so cute!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 07 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I’m so glad we were able to document her room in Tokyo and her crib. She probably won’t be in a crib all that much longer.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 08 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I didn’t get a chance to go to Tokyo Disneyland, but this family LOVES it there. There are various Mickey Mouse things all over the house.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 09 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I love this shot.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 10 We May Be Far From Tokyo

It is my goal to determine, one of these days, if laying on the floor playing with cars and trucks is truly a universal pasttime for 5-year-old boys.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 11 We May Be Far From Tokyo

You may remember this shot from my preview slide show. Their balcony had a really nice view of the city. I love the softness of the sky.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 12 We May Be Far From Tokyo

This is the building they lived in. I was walking by one night, coming back to Beth and Rich’s house from Savoy — the awesome pizza place that I love — and took this shot. I’m putting it in Kara and John’s gallery too. They lived in the same building!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 13 We May Be Far From Tokyo

It was super windy the day I hung out with Patricia and Alan, but we went up to their rooftop garden anyway. Those apartment buildings in the background are pretty tall by Tokyo standards. Because of the constant threat of earthquakes, there aren’t that many super-high-rise buildings there.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 14 We May Be Far From Tokyo

We didn’t stay on the roof very long. The security guard up there was totally freaking out at me in Japanese about it being too windy to be safe. I perfectly understood that she wanted us to leave, but playing the eager gaigin, or foreigner, helped me get a few nice shots in the few minutes we were permitted to stay. For example, I took that awesome bubble picture at the top of this post while we were on the roof. It’s one of my all-time favorite pictures!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 15 We May Be Far From Tokyo

He is such a handsome boy.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 16 We May Be Far From Tokyo

She is so cute!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 17 We May Be Far From Tokyo

See how windy it is?

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 18 We May Be Far From Tokyo

Ahhh, back on the ground, we had some fun in the playground behind their apartment building.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 19 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I love getting shots of fathers playing with their children.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 20 We May Be Far From Tokyo

Children usually have the best time of all when their parents are paying total attention to them.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 21 We May Be Far From Tokyo

He loved to ride the bikes.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 22 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I’m not so sure he loved being turned upside down though.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 23 We May Be Far From Tokyo

That’s called drinking from the water fountain with GUSTO! I have a very distinct memory of drinking from the water fountain at my elementary school playground in Aiken, SC. I have so few pictures of me as a child. I would love to have a picture like this one of me or one of my brothers at the playground in Aiken.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 24 We May Be Far From Tokyo

This one was in the preview slide show. Love it!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 25 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I was in Japan around the time of the celebration of Children’s Day. Koinobori, or fish kites, are displayed all over the country in celebration of children. It’s so cool because the wind socks (sometimes known as carp or koi kites) are tied to something, usually a bamboo pole or high hook. When the wind catches them, the fish appear to be swimming.

One legend says that the reason koi were used was because koi have a way of leaping out of the water in an energetic show of courage, a metaphor for parents’ dreams for their children.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 26 We May Be Far From Tokyo

No lack of energy and courage here!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 27 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I got a lot of nice walking shots of this family. The cool thing about that is that I have learned that documenting a family’s neighborhood and favorite places to go in the town where they are living at the time of our shoot can be an important memory for everyone involved. There’s really no need to go out of our way to go some place “special,” especially if you live in a grand city like Tokyo!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 28 We May Be Far From Tokyo

He has such a beautiful smile.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 29 We May Be Far From Tokyo

This is one of my favorite of the walking shots. This is the street where they lived. I love the expressions on everyone’s faces.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 30 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I’d have that one framed for the office desk!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 31 We May Be Far From Tokyo

That one too!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 32 We May Be Far From Tokyo

You know, it’s true what they say about vending machines being on practically every street corner of Tokyo. I love this shot because it tells that story!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 33 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I just can’t get enough of his adorable smile!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 34 We May Be Far From Tokyo

This one was in the preview slide show too. It was Patricia’s idea to stop for a quick family shot under those lanterns by a restaurant. I love it!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 35 We May Be Far From Tokyo

One of the things I loved most about Japan was the kanji letters everywhere. The calligraphic letters are so beautiful. I can’t help wondering what some of the signs and graffiti that I’ve captured actually say. I hope I haven’t displayed anything rude or profane. Most of it is probably just boring stuff, like a special lunch deal or something.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 36 We May Be Far From Tokyo

This is Gonpache, aka “the ‘Kill Bill’ restaurant,” where I had dinner my first night in Japan. Patricia and Alan took me there too. The food was excellent both times! The Accidental Epicurean offers a nice review with lots of pictures of food. I don’t know why I didn’t think to take that many food pictures when I was in Japan. I guess I was too eager to eat it! Lesson learned! Next time I go some place with such interesting food, I’m taking pictures and keeping notes!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 37 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I did wander around and take pictures of the restaurant though. It’s really a cool place with that wrap-around 2nd floor seating.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 38 We May Be Far From Tokyo

We were there around 4 o’clock, long before the dinner rush would begin.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 39 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I absolutely love this window on the 2nd floor of Gonpache, from the light on the red wall to the texture in the panes of glass to the little splash of a napkin at the bottom. It’s cool!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 47 We May Be Far From Tokyo

Here’s a crop of the window to show how, because of the window panes, the trees outside look like a watercolor painting! Awesome! In case you’re in total disbelief of that water color effect, I have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to this picture in photoshop. I mean, look how noisy it is — I didn’t even try reducing the grain. This picture is straight out of the camera. I love it!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 40 We May Be Far From Tokyo

Our waiter was pretty cool too. Doesn’t he look like, you know, sent over from Central Casting?

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 41 We May Be Far From Tokyo

Can you see Patricia and Alan’s family in this picture? They’re all the way against the wall.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 43 We May Be Far From Tokyo

It was almost dark when we made it back to Robot Park near their apartment.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 42 We May Be Far From Tokyo

In their slide show, I used this picture in color. But I like the black and white because it draws attention to the emotion of the sweet hug and the expression on Patricia’s face. The color version makes me think more about the park and less about the emotion of the shot.

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 44 We May Be Far From Tokyo

I love this one! Patricia — you look gorgeous!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 45 We May Be Far From Tokyo

Love this one too! Patricia said she really wanted a picture with both of the children, but children being children, and it being pretty close to bed time, this is the best we could do: a picture of each child with mom. I love them anyway. The kids would love to have a little framed one in their rooms!

City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography 042709 pas blog 46 We May Be Far From Tokyo

Thank you so much, Patricia and Alan! I hope we meet again someday. I’d love to come to Singapore! (hint. hint.) It would be awesome to see you again and reminisce about Tokyo. We both may be far from Tokyo now, but there’s something special about that place that stays in your heart forever, don’t you think?

Be sure to check the blog for lots more Japan pictures to come, including my rainy day in Nikko pictures — some of my most beautiful photographs! I LOVE a rainy day!

Be Sociable, Share!
  • City of Nouns: Julie Walton Shaver Lifestyle Photography more We May Be Far From Tokyo
Be Sociable, Share!

15 Responses to “We May Be Far From Tokyo”

  1. AllisonS says:

    These are great Julie!! What an awesome experience that you got to go to Tokyo! I’m definitely jealous :) This family is so adorable and they’re lucky to have had you document their life in Japan. Love these!

  2. Aunty Joan says:

    Unfortunately we do not get to see AJ and his family all too often, so this is a wonderful opportunity to see their lives from a distance and to have it done so beautifully! We never got to visit them in Tokyo and now they are off to Singapore…I hope there is a Singapore chapter! To the artist — you are fantastic! Love you all! Aunty Joan

    • Thanks, Joan! I felt a connection with Patricia the minute I met her. I think we just clicked, so to speak! I have to admit — I LOVE your “Singapore chapter” comment. ;) Peace to you and the whole extended family! –jules

  3. Joseph Stevenson says:

    Dear Ms. Shaver –

    My wife and I are very close friends with (though living at a distance from) Alan’s parents. (The two women were best friends in school.) We’ve followed these two kids since they were born, as well as their equally cute cousins by Alan’s two brothers. We can’t tell you how heart-warming and beautiful your photographs are, and what a joy it was to see them on your site. If you develop such rapport and friendliness with all the families you photograph, you and they are all truly blessed! Thank you for sharing your great talent with us.

    Joe Stevenson

  4. Yunna says:

    A cool set! Love the family photos and a view of Japan. I really love that first shot, adorable! :)

  5. I love these!! They are fabulous! What an awesome collection of images.

  6. I love the bubbles picture and the water fountain picture. Just perfect.

  7. What a gorgeous family, and what gorgeous photos! So glad I stumbled upon your site.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    These are fantastic! They almost make me want to do family sessions… almost! ;)

    I adore the shot of the little girl and the telephone.

  9. Kara says:

    Awesome photos once again. And a glorious way to remember such great friends of ours, through their smiles, old stomping grounds, and of course Sakurazaka and the memories from there! Miss you Patricia!

    Can’t wait to see the slideshow.

  10. Beth says:

    What a purely delightful show! Everyone looks so at ease and NATURAL! Don’t know whether this is a compliment to the Julie or to Patricia’s family– but I do know that it is just such a nice slide show to watch. Patricia, Julie’s right, that’s a perfect picture of you (I’d actually get t-shirts made and make my kids wear them everywhere!!) And Julie, really a suberb job of capturing the family and the places that matter to them. Hope that Singapore is becoming more like home everyday. We miss you!! xo, Beth

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture of yourself to appear in the comments, you can sign up at Gravatar and just use the same email address. Voila, it's magic!

Related Posts

Recent Chatter