Project Hohoemi | The Nazomi Project

During our first day in Ishinomaki we had the privilege of meeting some of the women behind the Nazomi Projec (http://nozomiproject  This is such an amazing enterprise that is “bringing sustainable income, community, dignity and hope to the women in Ishinomaki, Japan and the surrounding region by training women to craft unique jewelry products.”  They actually use pieces of broken pottery left by the devastation of the tsunami to make each necklace, sets of earrings, and various other types of jewelry. There story is heart touching and I encourage you to read more about their vision here (http://nozomiproject

If you would like to purchase jewelry from the Nazomi Project you can do so one their website (http://nozomiproject They update their site frequently with new pieces so check often.

  If you do decide to support this project and purchase some jewelry  please let me know! I would even love to see a photo of your Nazomi jewelry so be sure to share on the RBP Facebook Page (https://www NULL.facebook

November 3, 2013 - 6:19 pm

Mindy - Renee, I saw you post about this on Facebook and I already bought a couple pieces for Christmas gifts. I love them!

August 1, 2017 - 10:24 am

Donna Louise - Wow lovely pieces specially the blue ones !!!

Project Hohoemi | The Vision Becomes Reality

Last weekend I had an amazing opportunity to travel to Ishinomaki, an area struck hard by the 2011 Tsunami, with four other amazing photographers. Our mission was to use our abilities to bless both those who survived the tsunami as well as those who are are now living in the area as missionaries. The five of us collaborated with some fabulous people in the area and what started out as a small vision become Project Hohoemi (https://www NULL.facebook (Project Smile).

We arrived in Ishinomaki on Thursday and were immediately put to work. We spent three days meeting wonderful people, hearing some of their stories, and photographing them in various locations. Even in the midst of heavy rain, an earthquake, and a tsunami warning (more on that topic in a future blog post) everyone on this trip remained positive and upbeat. And how could we not! We were received with such kindness and thankfulness that I almost cried at every photo shoot.  I was there to serve and give back, but I received far more than I could ever give.  I can’t wait to share all the stories with you about this adventure. So come back soon for more updates, photos, and stories.

Below you will find some images from my first day. Through my amazing translator I learned that the couple below are business owners. It is people like them who will rebuild this community because they decide to stay in the area. I also learned that this sweet man use to be a high school teacher. A high school once stood where we were shooting. After the tsunami it had to be demolished because it was so damaged. It just makes you think…He also teaches the art of sword fighting. His smile captured my heart and I believe that I if I had the chance I could sit with him for hours and talk. I hope to return one day so he can teach me how to handle a sword.

Below: Michiko is the master mind behind Project Hohoemi. She made this thing happen! Here she is acting as my translator, which I am very thankful for. I really wish could speak Japanese! But we made it work.

Below: An aunt and her niece. I did not get to learn much about their story, but their smiles still speak to me.

Below: Michiko’s daughter getting a sword lesson

A group shot because these families are friends!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read about this project. I will be posting more over the next two weeks. I can’t wait to share more with yall!

October 31, 2013 - 6:25 pm

Lynnie (http://www NULL.threegirlies - Beautiful photos of beautiful people. I cannot wait to see more.

November 3, 2013 - 11:45 am

Kara (http://kararodriguez NULL.wordpress - Renee, I knew when I introduced you and Michiko, something cool might happen, and I am THRILLED to see what God has done. 🙂 Jonathan and Michiko have amazing hearts for the people of Japan, and they couldn’t wait to get back there to serve those who were impacted by the tsunami. It’s just wonderful to see you using your talent and compassion for something like this. I’m blown away by these images and can’t wait to see more! Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us. It’s a blessing to know you.

Tokyo Portrait Photographer | The Stapenhorst Family

Autumn in Japan is the perfect season for family portraits don’t ya think? What I love about Japan is that an hour and a half east of Fussa I can be in the biggest city in the world and then forty five minutes to the west I can be in the mountains. Having both the city and lovely nature at my disposal for portraits is more than ideal. It’s fabulous. Love being a photographer in Japan. So blessed to call this my home and to be able to do what I love for awesome client’s like the Stapenhorst family.  They were so great to work with and their sweet girls were such great sports!

October 21, 2013 - 8:42 am

Susie Booe - Renee, these images are amazing and I love that I know exactly where you were when you took them. Such a beautiful place! I really like the one where they look like a totem pole. LOL 🙂

Tokyo Portrait Photographer | Penton Family Session

The Penton Family session had a lot of firsts for me as a photographer. First time photographing “older”  sister siblings, so much fun by the way!!! First time shooting family portraits in the city of Tokyo, all my other city session client’s have been couples. And first time dragging my shutter to capture motion, which you can see in the train picture below. Stepping out of my comfort zone was way worth it in my opinion.  These are some of my favorite images to date, the lovely subjects being the main reason that is so. I love being able to see the dynamics of this family in their photos. We had a blast during their shoot and I think it shows. What do you think?

Below: This is the photo I mentioned where I dragged the shutter speed. No tripod used. Just rested my elbow on me knee and head my breathe while snapping this.

October 20, 2013 - 5:40 pm

Meg Martin - That picture of this family standing in some sunlight near the shibuya crossing should win awards… it’s amazing! I keep going back to it… it’s a total OMG picture!!!! They are all amazing… but that one definitely took my breath away! Love your pictures, Renee!

Two Down by the River

I am so in love with photographing in Japan. Just so many beautiful places to take pictures. Last weekend we headed to the river with the goal of taking photos of my daughter who just recently turned two. This is such a fun age and she is seriously so full of personality, however I am finding it hard to capture her personality on film. The girl seriously runs the other direction when I point my camera at her. And getting her to smile naturally, forget about it. So we went for a more natural/lifestyle approach and I like how they turned out.

Oh…and did you notice the new look on the blog??? It’s still a work in progress, but I am excited about the direction it is going. What do you think?

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October 16, 2013 - 12:18 am

Abbey - This is so perfect! Can’t wait to see our session up here on your cute new blog!