Golden Week 2011: The Genesis of Usolee

Six weeks after the crisis I went to volunteer.

Volunteer Work in Iwate

I took my camera with the intention of being the eyes and ears for those who could not go themselves – my family, friends, and especially my students.

My original intention before volunteering was to simply have a slideshow of pictures and some video for my students to see. But after 5 days of first-hand experience in Iwate that original intention evolved into TREASURE.

TREASURE post can be viewed here

After 5 days of volunteering I came back with so much emotions and experiences I felt I absolutely had to share. It was impossible for me to not share this.

Looking back, TREASURE was the first time I felt, with every ounce of my being, the power of videography.

This was the first time I consciously shot video with the intention of communicating a message, a situation. The first time I internalized the influential power the holder of a camera has – the autonomy to frame any content as one pleases. This brings to mind the saying:

β€œThe single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”

– Ansel Adams

Genesis of Usolee

Yesterday my good friend asked me why I like making videos and what kickstarted my passion towards videography. I paused for a while, thinking deeply. Until it dawned on me that TREASURE was indeed what propelled me into videography. It kickstarted my passion for storytelling with a camera.

As my videography career has begun to gain momentum I just wanted to take a second to reflect, to glance over my shoulder at the footprints behind me, to remind myself of the leaps I’ve taken, and to steady my direction for the path ahead.


  1. Yo homey! This is a beautiful post man.

    You got a gift to give this world. You are able to communicate a message with your art. Keep on doing your thing.

      • Totally can’t! Don’t worry – I was really nervous too. But I agree with a lot of what you said about team-teaching being tough and such. Growing up with the kids (or watching them grow) is also super cool eh? πŸ™‚

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