I am currently working on a set of personal/campaign images for Organic Crash Pads and was lucky enough to spend yesterday working with the wonderful and powerful Akiyo Noguchi (2009, 2010 Bouldering World Cup overall champion. Second overall in 2011, and again in 2012.)
Akiyo-chan drove over two hours from Yokohama to meet us in Shirotai, she spent almost two hours getting into makeup and then proceded to pose while hanging on a V7-8 as if it were a ladder. As photographers we are all gifted our career by those who are willing to stand in front of our cameras but yesterday I was humbled watching Akiyo work to create our images. O-sama, domo arigato gozaimasu.
Other people who must be thanked are my wonderful makeup artist/wife and friend Nobu-san for allowing us into his gym to do makeup before heading into the mountains. Incidentally, Nobu is also part of this project.
One of my favorite memories from the day came at the end, when we returned to the gym to remove makeup. Our 9 year old climbing friend Nana was there and when she realized who was coming in you could see here through the door jumping up and down as if Christmas arrived early (that is probably not a culturally appropriate analogy but lets roll with it), truly adorable to watch her giddiness around her idol. Akiyo was lovely and gracious signing her chalk bag and posing for pictures, class act.
More shoots to come and Obe-san as soon as your new pad arrives your next! For now, here are some more images from our amazing day in Shirotai with Akiyo-chan.