Monday, June 30, 2014

Okinawa beach wedding for Rebecca and Ethan

Summer is now here in Okinawa and the busiest part of the first wedding season of the year is coming to an end. With the rain season in full effect it has been quite difficult for outdoor location weddings and preweddings to get the timing right with great weather. For Ethan and Rebecca their private beach wedding was a gamble that paid off. It was raining on and off right up to the start of the wedding but the sky came great with beautiful clouds just in time for their ceremony with a few friends and the beautiful ocean as the background. 

In all honesty this was actually quite a tricky wedding to photograph as nothing was quite in the normal order of things and all the friends were gathered in very close making it tricky to get good angles of the bride and groom during the ceremony. To make things even trickier the sun would occasionally poke through giving a very harsh light on Rebeccas face which is never a good thing in wedding photography. In the end though it all worked out great and we had a fun time exploring the island for locations to shoot at after their wedding. 

Check out a few of the photos from their day below. 

Interested in having a wedding in Okinawa? Drop me an email and I'll be happy to photograph and help you organize your big day!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mentawai all Japan pro surf trip

Im delighted to have been asked to come along as the official photographer to the Mentawai islands in Indonesia for 10 days on a live aboard boat to photograph some of Japans best bodyboard and surfers on some of the best waves in the world to help promote these trips to the surfers of Japan.

From the end of July I'll make the trip down to Kuala Lumpur then onto Padang before getting on the boat which will be our home base for the 10 days with riders Ryu Nakamura, Kaori Mayaguchi, Akiko Sato and good friend Hayato Maki. Also joining me on the trip will be the organizer of the event and the man in charge of bookings if your interested in coming along on dream surf trips like these, Mr Dane Gillett of Surfing in Japan.

Hayato Maki on one nice ride in Indo
(photo not by me)

Dane also will be organizing trips with the pro's where budding Japanese surfers can go along on the trip with a pro surfer and will get to hang out with and learn from the best. 

If your in Japan and interested in getting some killer waves in the Mentawai then hit up Dane by clicking here to get all the info. 

No doubt it will be the trip of a lifetime for any surfer looking for the perfect waves. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Off Camera Flash Workshop is back!

Myself and Chris Willson of Travel 67 will be having another off camera flash "strobist" workshop next month in Ishikawa, Okinawa for two days of fun and learning to take your flash skills to a new level. The great folks at Spider holster and Expo imaging will be sponsoring the event with prizes and you'll also get to practice your lighting skills with  a Japanese model on location to to add to your portfolio.

Only 4 spaces left, $150 per person. Send an email to book your spot today!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Bic Camera store comes to Okinawa

The big Japanese camera store chain Bic Camera is just about to open on the 14th of June to Okinawa photographer customers in Naha. This is pretty big news for local photographers in Okinawa as we have never had any decent camera shops down on our little island so all shopping had to be done on the internet pretty much which is fine but its always nice to be able to go into a brick and mortar store and pick up and feel the product before dumping lots of Yen or dollars into it. The only half decent camera store Okinawa has had in the past has been Kitamura camera but they are pretty limited in what they stock and mostly cater to the beginner and amature market. From my quick tour of the new Bic Camera shop that is combined with Kojima denki it looks to be quite a well stocked shop with lots of filters, bags, lenses and higher end camera bodies as well as entry level ones. Another nice feature is they will be stocking Apple gear which is a little hard to find on the island unless you have base access.

Heres a few iphone picks of the pre opening set up to give you an idea.

A decent variety of lenses on display

Quite a few tripods, camera bags and other goodies

Nice to see theres going to be a large selection of filters

So theres just a quick sneak peek into the new Kojima + Bic store. Granted its still nothing like the camera shops up in Tokyo or Osaka and the like (those are insane!) but its a welcome sight for Okinawa anyway for when you need some kit in a pinch or just want to try out some new gear. 

Kojima + Bic camera can be found on route 58 as your heading south just as you enter Naha. Its on the left as you go over one of the overpasses in the big building with the red sign like the top image. Parking is underneath. You can't miss it. Open from June 14th. 

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Another behind the scenes on location engagement shoot video

Well what a crazy month May was. I didn't get to have a day off all month with weddings and location shoots galore. The hardest part is trying to keep up with editing so I don't fall too far behind but often you come home from an all day shoot at 11pm or sometimes 1am the next morning and only have the energy left to copy and back up the days images before crashing and doing it again the following morning.

In the little spare time I did have I was studying for my Rescue scuba diver licence for which I had to also learn Oxygen providing and CPR over again as well as several rigorous ocean rescue practice scenarios. I've just finished my testing now and happy to say I got a 47 out of 50 for the written part so Im pretty happy with that.

This month I wont be taking as many bookings so I can hopefully catch up on my editing and enjoy a little free time and concentrate on more dive photography. I also just received an assignment from another in flight magazine that want certain traditional buildings of Okinawa photographed so that should be interesting.

Anyway I thought Id share a behind the scenes video I put together from one all day location shoot I did with couple from Hong Kong Jem & Freeman. Come along and see how we get the job done.

Also a special thanks to +spiderholster for providing me with the awesome camera support gear that you see me using in all my videos. After you try these you'll never go back to using camera straps!

Check them out at and use my offer code leong20 to get 20% off your order! I don't get anything out of this deal but Im just happy to help share a discount for a quality product. 

If your interested in having  me photograph your prewedding / engagement / wedding in Okinawa or some other destination overseas then feel free to contact me at by clicking here!