Monday, October 02, 2006

Studio Alice

The guy who does repairs for the company I rent my satellite dish from (who's been to our apartment a couple of times, because satellite tv is buggy, especially when you live in a place with half a dozen typhoon hits a summer) told me about a photography studio in the big mall just down the seawall from here. He said they had taken their little girl for her one-year photos (must be a milestone in Japan) and that they turned out really well. So as a surprise for my husband's birthday, I took the kids to Studio Alice at the Jusco mall in Mihama. What an adventure!

The whole studio photography thing is big in Japan, and I'd seen some people's photos of their children in which the kids were dressed like "Gone With the Wind" and wearing senior-prom levels of makeup. I had already decided, before we went, that we weren't going to do that, so I made sure the kids were wearing nice, everyday clothes when we went. But the lovely ladies at Studio Alice (only young women were working there ---- the photos can include adults, but the studio specializes in children's photography) talked me into letting the kids wear traditional Japanese kimonos for some of the pictures, and the result were amazing. The children had a BLAST! The ladies dressed them from the undies out in traditional robes and socks and belts and props (a sword! an embroidered ball! a fan!). They brushed and styled the children's hair. Atanasia even got the delux goes-with-the-kimono hairstyle, complete with extensions. You should have seen her face --- she was, so clearly, a princess for that half an hour while she was being costumed and photographed. (No makeup, though!)

Sebastian had a big, goofy, happy grin the whole time.

Even Indiana, who refused to be separated from me by the two feet it took to take the street-clothes pictures, warmed up to the Studio Alice ladies so much that she not only let them dress her in a kimono (although she drew the line at socks, my only-bare-toes girl --- no socks!) but let them sit her down and take a few dozen pictures. In several of them, she even smiled!

Just seeing how much the kids enjoyed it made it a wonderful thing just as an experience, but the pictures turned out to be very nice, too. So if you're ever in Japan, I recommend Studio Alice highly! One thing, though: wait for the annual sale.