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Practicing my portrait shooting skills over seas


Exactly a month ago, on Jan. 9, I departed Indy for the trip of a lifetime.

I was given the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Japan. And I absolutely fell in love with the country and it's beautiful culture. 

We were gone for 18 days and got to visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Sendai, Kobe, Yokohama and Hiroshima. 

As you can imagine, I was juggling cameras the entire trip. From my phone (so that I could immediately post on social media), to my vlog camera, to my DSLR. 

Since I was using each camera for a different purpose, I put my 50mm lens on my DSLR and dedicated it as my portrait camera. 

Not going to lie, there are moments where I wish I had switched lenses to get some good landscape shots, but I think in the end it was worth it.

I really got to practice shooting portraits and I had the perfect settings for it. From crowded Shibuya crossing, to the traditional streets of Kyoto, to shooting in a konbini (convenience store) and in front of vending machine on a random street in Tokyo, I know that these will be some of my favorite photos ever. 

Whenever we had somewhere on our itinerary that I thought would be a good photo op, I couldn't stop thinking about until I got out there and took the photos. As funny as it seems, from the moment Ashley and I thought of the idea of taking photos in a konbini, I could not stop thinking about it until we finally did it.  

Traveling in a group with 11 other students, you'd think I'd have more portraits of different people but my travel buddy Ashley Shuler completely rocked it. And I guess no one wanted to try to one-up her in the modeling game. 

Being in a new environment and constantly having a camera in my hand definitely gave me a new sense of motivation to go out and shoot more, no matter where I am.

My time in Japan is one that I'll never forget. I can't wait to go back someday (soon) and take more photos. 

This was my first trip abroad, and I gotta say, it made me realize how much I really do love traveling and how I want to make a point to do it MUCH more often. 

Thank you Japan: for your beautiful views, unique and respectful culture, delicious food, kawaii (cute) EVERYTHING, and for reigniting my passion for photography. 

— Nicole 

#Japan #AshleyShuler #Travel #Portraits #Photography

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@2020 by Nicole Hernandez.