A handful of times I was able to hang out with Taro and his coworkers, and during a Brazilian all-you-can-eat dinner, I met Grace and Matt (although prior to the dinner, I am pretty sure I met Matt and also saw him during Facetime sessions with Taro). We had a funny conversation that night and after that night, I still saw Matt through Facetime (Taro would show his face on the phone and Emi would become stone cold silent!) and would get tidbits of the lives of Taro’s coworkers. So it was definitely a pleasant surprise when Grace emailed me expressing interest on doing a Mad Max inspired photo session. I was instantly intrigued – where? when? how is this going to look? Luckily, Grace had a vision, but in the process of creating that Mad Max look, she realized it would take an insane amount of hours to make it happen! However, she came up with a great alternative – a crow scouting out a desolate looking landscape – and found the perfect location for our shoot together. Through months of conversing, I have to admit my excitement and nerves were building. I couldn’t wait to see Grace’s final look after getting sneak peeks at her costuming and wardrobe through email. At the same time, the perfectionist in me was worrying that I wouldn’t get the look Grace wanted, really nailing that post-apocalyptic look and feel. But the minute I saw Grace in her costume and we talked in the car on the way to the location – I am so grateful that Matt picked me up because I would have gotten lost and confused getting there! – I knew it would all come together. The result? A blend of the post-apocalyptic feel with a sense of desolation, Game of Thrones inspired crow element and landscape, and the grittiness of Mad Max with the magic hour of light. I love what resulted in the end and I especially love the mix of rawness, femininity, strength, and athleticism captured in Grace.

Thank you so much for this opportunity, Grace! I had so much fun behind the camera and I loved how your creativity inspired mine! I cannot wait to do something like this again very soon!




I met Caroline through my BFF and recently we were bridesmaids together at our BFF’s wedding. Through the years we have seen each other at dinners, gatherings, but more recently, spent time planning, organizing, and executing a memorable bachelorette party and bridal shower. Caroline is the go-to person for ideas, detailed planning – you should have seen the beautifully crafted email with visuals, and fun. So it was no surprise that she planned, organized, and hosted her Going Away Pink Party to commemorate a big change in her life – moving to Japan to participate in the JET program. She was able to get nearly every guest to wear some form of pink, even if it was socks, include a delicious and gorgeous spread of desserts made by Mr. and Mrs. Creamery – handcrafted ice cream popsicles, delicate macarons, and just yumminess in bite size portions, have a photo booth set-up where guests could be as silly as they wanted to be, and provide an environment where people from her life could eat, drink, and be merry in a unique space, APT 503. Everyone was celebrating Caroline and her upcoming adventures in Japan, but also a bit sad to see her leave for a while. I was very fortunate enough to take photos at her party and see how much Caroline is loved by those around her and document just the start of her adventure and new chapter in her life.

Caroline, I wish you all the best while you teach in Japan! I love traveling to Japan so I hope you get to enjoy the culture, the food, the beautiful architecture, and the lifestyle, but more importantly, I hope you enjoy the teaching experience with your friends and colleagues! Good luck and I look forward to seeing your pictures online!

Venue: APT 503

Dessert Table: Mr. and Mrs. Creamery

{Know someone interested in a family session or event photography? Feel free to view more photos from this event: Andrea Takeoka Photography}



Sassy. That is the one word to describe the teenager trapped in Emi’s 4 year old body! I’m not sure where she is getting it from – is it a part of the early years? Japanese school? TV? – but it makes me fear the future. I’m hoping it is just a stage – please be a stage! – and that it is a matter of creating some kind of voice or opinion…or something! But for now, sassy.

Even though there is some sass, Emi is also still her loving, goofy self. She still likes to shake her booty, give a nightly kiss to Abby before Abby’s bedtime, say things that crack me up – and Emi even says, “That cracks me up!” and laughs harder, draw a happy face for herself and sad faces for those who make her upset, and want to copy the things I do, including be a bridesmaid, but will settle for a flower girl. The funniest thing Emi said this past month was, “Why you holding someone else’s hand?” after I walked down the aisle for Kris and Adrian’s wedding. There was plenty of sass and triune concern and I reassured her nobody was replacing Baba. She has Taro’s back! So because of that wedding, Emi is now obsessed with being in a wedding and having a partner to walk with. She literally has asked me every day when is a wedding taking place. If anybody needs a flower girl, Emi is available!

I feel like Emi just grew out of nowhere. She is able to push the car that Abby sits and rides on, can open the door at my parents’ house, unlock the door at home, and even ride Tower of Terror in Orlando (trip coming up very soon)! The last one is super crazy and probably won’t happen, but when did she get so tall??? I had to buy Emi new shoes and now she wears 10 1/2 in Nikes, but continues to need size 4 in the width of clothing yet size 5 in length. Emi is still super skinny and I sometimes use a rubber band hair tie to keep her pants from falling off! I improvise well.

Emi is writing far better now and especially loves to write her name whenever she gets a chance. We need to work on her sizing and writing on the lines, but overall, she is getting better. Some numbers, like eight, are still challenging and she still doesn’t always know how to write all her letters without seeing them first, but Emi does her best and I know it will eventually kick in, like all other things. She is going to start TK in August so I am hopeful that she will be on track with the other kids…and not have too much homework!

Emi has come a long way in swimming. She can do the backstroke, although occasionally she forgets to alternate her arms. Emi still needs to practice kicking on the surface, but she can pretty much make it across a 25 yard pool! I laugh when she swims and tries to talk to her instructor because she constantly wants to know where he is in relation to the direction she is going. Emi is completely water safe and can jump into the water and get herself to the wall safely. Her instructor is teaching Emi to dive and even go underwater, blow bubbles, and kick to the surface. The money I have put into the swimming lessons now seems all worth it since Emi has progressed so far since her first day. I am really proud of her and now Emi doesn’t cry, although she still gets nervous. Also, since she is now getting private lessons (at the semi-private rate) Emi is learning even faster!

The next update will be after our Disney World trip. Fingers crossed that we all survive the madness! Until then…