Meet the Photographers!
One of our favorite activities to close out the Japanese Festival season is to see all the photos that were captured during our performances. This year, three photographers visited Missouri Botanical Garden to capture the Japanese Festival and we couldn't be more amazed by all the great images they've shared!
Kevin Dingman is no stranger to the Japanese Festival; in fact, he’s been photographing the festival since the 1980’s when it was a two-week event. Kevin’s passion for photography began while working on his high school yearbook and by his senior year, he was working for his local newspaper as a sports photographer covering high school sports teams. Whether he's photographing live concerts, sports, or nature, Kevin notes how important it is to be familiar with the subject to anticipate the moment of peak action. Below, he captures Andrew in action during a solo. Check out more of Kevin's festival images here
Joanne Norton considers herself a photo enthusiast and has enjoyed the hobby for most of her life. Over the years, she's photographed everything from landscapes to architectural details; she also enjoys photographing festivals to capture the vibrant colors and activities that are all around. When she's photographing people, Joanne is drawn to interesting facial expressions such as in the photo below of Mana and Jack playing Kagura by Osuwa Daiko.
Joanne captures Theresa, Eddie and Mana in mid-twirl during our finale, Omiyage, by Shoji Kameda. See more of Joanne's photos from the festival here
Ashley Webelhuth has practiced photography as a hobby for many years, learning a lot from observing and asking questions to former classmates and professionals that she's worked with as an art director. In her photos, she works to capture the emotions and moods that help to tell a story, particularly when the expressions are spontaneous. The photo at the top of this newsletter, captured by Ashley, shows us playing one of our favorite songs, Drive. The song has incredible energy, and through watching the performers' interactions with one another, Ashley was able to anticipate our moves and catch the genuine excitement we feel while playing this song.
Ashley captures our shishi,
performed by Hitomi Salini, at play during Lion Chant.
One of the biggest challenges of photographing a taiko performance is the amount of movement that takes place. Each of our songs has a unique configuration, and the performers are in constant motion, making it difficult to capture a clear image. Coupled with hot, humid weather and changing lighting conditions, it's no easy task to get a good image! All of our photographers commented they have plenty of photo "fails." Maybe next year they'll be willing to share some bloopers, but until then, we hope you enjoy this year's images!
Learn to Play Taiko
Our Adult All-Levels Class
begins October 13th! Join us Sunday afternoons from 1:00-3:00 PM at our studio to learn how to hit the drum with grace and power.