Thursday, June 1, 2017

Photo Essay


This photo essay focuses on the journey that two young teenagers take to try find their place in the world. Singer and songwriter Mara Tsjuimura and Ka'ena Larson performed in front of their first live audience in downtown Portland on April 23, 2017. After months of casually singing together and playing music together, they decided that it was time to take it to the next level. To them, music has a great impact in their lives, and they want to have music careers potentially one day in the future. Through all their nerves and doubts, they performed their own original songs along with some of the popular music of the time at the Analog Cafe and Theater. Though it was a small venue, it was a very big deal to Mara and Ka'ena because it was something they have never experienced before. With the support of their family and friends, they went on onstage and sang their hearts out. It was a fascinating experience to witness a live event where the main performers were teenagers my age, because it inspired me to dream, proving that anything is possible. What I am conveying through my photos is the passion that these teenagers have for music, and how it is possible to do anything and be what you want in life because only you can make your own place in the world. I felt very inspired, and I hope that this example inspires others to do what they might be too afraid to do. Many people believe that music is just a hobby, not a supporting job. Both understand that it is difficult to one day be famous, and be singers and songwriters, and the stigma with young musicians is that they will never make it. However, these teens take these first steps to making their dreams come true. Not only were they loved by the crowd, but they were invited to perform there again. Throughout their performance I observed their body language and the way they closed their eyes taking in their moment really proves how passionate these two are about music. After their performance, there was a new found confidence and they both realized that they can do what ever they want and prove to others that young people can live their dreams by taking it one step at a time. This performance was that one step. 

Lead Photos:

Singers Mara Tsujimura and Ka'ena Larson, are best friends and young aspiring artists. They both get on stage,  ready to perform their music set in front of their first live audience at the Analog Cafe and Theater (Portland, OR) on April 23, 2017. 


The dim blue lights are illuminating the bar and the content on one half of the Analog Cafe and Theater.

On the other half of the Analog, there are people dining and enjoying drinks, surrounded my colorful canvases on the walls. There is a radiant red stage light encompassing the whole cafe, and the customers wait for the entertainment to come on stage. 


Ka'ena Larson,  aspiring artist and one of the two artists in the duo group called DJ Heartbeat, is playing his piano solo to the song, "Death of a Bachelor" written by Panic at the Disco. 

Mara Tsujimura the other aspiring artist in the new found group called DJ Heartbeat, is smiling, feeling confident and thrilled before performing on stage in front of the her first live audience with her singing partner and best friend Ka'ena Larson. 

Detail Photos:

The whole time that DJ Heartbeat has been on stage, Ka'ena Larson has been playing piano, but he stops briefly to sing soulfully, unintentionally using his hands to express his feelings towards the music that he is singing. 

Though Mara Tsujimura is ecstatic to be playing in front of a live audience, she is still apprehensive, contemplating on how she will perform.

Close Ups:

A moment of Ka'ena Larson singing one of DJ Heartbeat's original songs underneath the blinding stage spotlight

 The whole world is blocked out, right now it is only Mara Tsujimura and the music. So passionate about the her work, she closes her eyes making this moment hers. 

Signature Photos:

Both Ka'ena Larson and Mara Tsujimura are singing the same song, but both express their love for music differently when they are performing. Creating beautiful harmonies, working together, yet not working together.

DJ Heartbeat is singing their last song of their thirty minute set as their night comes rapidly to an end. 

Clincher Photos:

The artists beam and smile big, embracing each other tightly, after singing together on stage. They can't comprehend and express the amounts of happiness they feel right after they walk off the stage.

DJ Heartbeat strikes one more pose together in front of their group sign before they leave the Analog Cafe and Theater after their eventful lively night on stage, hoping to perform again one day. because this was just step one to becoming famous local artists. 

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