Feb 9, 2014
Nov 19, 2013
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Henry and the Pacific
Jun 24, 2013
May 24, 2013
Go Mighty’s 31 Days of Inspiring Women, #24: Kristina Yamamoto
Meet Kristina, a San Diego based photographer who finds the world fascinating. Mostly self-taught, Kristina really enjoy creating scenes, telling stories and making people laugh, think and feel. She’s a dreamer and a wander-luster. She always wants to be exploring, meeting new people, and experiencing new things. You can view her work at kristinamoto.com.
So, Kristina, what’s your story?
I’m a San Diego based photographer. Before getting into photography, I studied design and fine art in college. I really enjoy creating scenes, telling stories and making people laugh, think and feel. Growing up, I centered myself around art and imagination. Anything that involved creating things, I wanted to do. Having an artistically inclined family helped too; they have always encouraged the pursuit of art. I also traveled a lot with my family, which in turn has given me a never ending feeling of wanderlust. I always want to be exploring, meeting new people, and experiencing new things. I find the world fascinating and want to experience as much of it as I can.
How did you get where you are today? Where do you want to go from here?
In photography I am mostly self-taught, through obsessive research and experimentation. I had always been interested in photography, but didn’t really get into it until I was halfway through college. When I started spending more time doing that than I did on anything else, I knew that’s what I should pursue. I would take on new challenges finding inspiration in everyday objects or events, and then let my imagination run with it. I started from the ground up, with minimal equipment and taking any opportunity or job that involved photography or could potentially teach me more about it. They weren’t all great experiences, but they all taught me something. I’ve also learned a lot through taking self portraits.
As far as where I’m going from here, I just want to go up. I want to travel more, take on bigger challenges and get better at what I do.
Tell us a bit more about these ten goals from your life list. What’s the inspiration behind the goals you chose?
I’ve always been a very curious person, so most of my goals are geared towards having new experiences. I believe life is more about what you do with it rather than what you have. The more we experience, the more we can understand the world and the people in it (including ourselves). Whether it’s meeting new people, seeing a new place, trying a new food, or doing a new activity; I think it’s important to work past any fears or assumptions and take opportunities to do something unfamiliar. Any new experience can be exciting, scary, fun, challenging, and it’ll always teach you something. I’ve found that making this effort almost always leads to something good.
Perception also has a lot to do with how you live your life. With any situation, there’s always a silver lining. It just depends on how you chose to perceive it and what you do with it.
I’ve had a lot of these goals for a while and I want to start taking them more head on. Having a list as a daily reminder helps keep things in perspective of what I’m doing on a daily basis.
1. Move to another city - I’ve never made a big move before. I feel there are more opportunities to do what I love in other cities.
2. Get back into painting and illustration - I used to stay up through the night working on an illustration or painting. The nighttime allowed me to work on these without distraction and let me focus on one piece, one idea, for hours on end.
3. Travel to another continent on my own - I’ve always wanted to take an adventure on my own. I love spontaneity and the idea of moving with things as they come. You never know where they will lead you, but it will always be interesting.
4. Photograph a big commercial job - it’d a big challenge, a new one, which would only give me a new experience to build upon. I think it’d be a good stepping stone in my career.
5. Have a solo photo show - I would like to exhibit my work in a cohesive manner. I think doing this would give me a sense of accomplishment.
6. Speak another language fluently - Growing up I learned bits and pieces of many languages; my parents both spoke English as their second language. I’d like to speak a second one fluently.
7. Get published in a national publication - Seeing my work in print is always exciting. Seeing it on a larger scale would be even more exciting.
8. Live in another country for at least a few months - I love experiencing other cultures. Being immersed in another culture for a longer period of time would allow me to experience/understand it better. This would also help with goal #6.
9. Continue to do things that challenge my fear of heights - I have a nearly crippling fear of heights, but I hate the idea of that fear keeping me from doing something, so the only thing to do is work past it.
10. Fly a plane - I think it’d be a cool experience. I’ve always loved flying in planes and taking control of one would be exhilarating. I often don’t sleep much before a flight because I get so excited.
11. Start a new project/series - This is something I should always be doing; creating new ideas and work. I feel the most accomplished when I’m constantly challenging myself
12. Pursue more philanthropic endeavors - because doing things for humanity is good :)
Any advice for others on how to stay motivated/focused on achieving their goals?
Dream big, but take it one step at a time. The big dreams can take some time, so be patient, but persistent. And don’t make excuses, they only hinder you from actually doing things. Find what brings you happiness and do that.
One thing that’s helped me is surrounding myself with people that inspire me. Seeing other people pursue and achieve goals encourages me to keep heading in the direction I want to be heading in. If I’m not growing and moving forward, I get very restless.
Follow Kristina’s journey through completing her Life List here.
Want to make a Life List of your own? Easy—join the Go Mighty community here.
(Photo by Helena Price)
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