I rediscovered my love of climbing in Japan. I stopped going to the gym in lieu of heading into the mountains or to one of the climbing gyms close to home. Our time in Japan is not the windfall of shooting opportunity I still wake up daily hoping to take advantage of but rather a long slew of battles competing for time with my wife’s military/nursing schedule and life with two kids sans help. The crag and the gyms are sanctuaries for us to play as a family, release tension, hide from the falling dollar in a very expensive city or to simply meditate as we work a problem to the sound of the river running through the Mitake valley. The more we head to the wall the more amazing people we have befriended here in Japan.
My stock producer is a climbing friend, my daughter had her third birthday at our local bouldering gym, and I look forward to seeing some of the same faces at my night sessions where someone will inevitably be chanting "GANBA!" for my efforts. Surprisingly, this is the community we have become apart of in Japan and the one I will miss the most when we leave in a year.
To keep these faces and these memories I decided to start a portrait project paired with quotes on why they climb. Last week my good friend and climbing partner Eddie packed up the car with the gear and my kids and headed to Rock Master Yuji Hirayama’s BaseCamp gym for the first day of shooting. What followed was a great start to a project I don’t even fully have mapped out in my mind. From the World Champion himself to little girls my daughter climbs with it was an amazing day to get everyone chalked up and in front of the lens. I have several unfinished ideas where I want to go from here but thought I would share some images here and take suggestions.