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Studio shoot with Brylee – Skylum Video

My next video in collaboration with Skylum Software is now online. Loving the process of making videos, it is a real team effort. Huge thanks to everyone, this includes the model Brylee Williamson, the makeup artists Jessica Ochoa and CJ Palomo, Gary Hughes for video, Keith Gordon for the intro music, Kaley Kinjo for the song, Yuki for Japanese subtitles, and Hiroshi Tsuji for proofreading. Thanks also to Skylum Software for working with me and striving to create better and better products.


Humpback Whale Watching on Okinawa

Here’s my latest collaboration video with Skylum Software. I take to the waters off the coast of Motobu, Okinawa to try and photograph humpback whales.

Please like, share and comment on the video as it will help others find it and allow us to keep on making videos!

Skylum Software just released a new update to Luminar this week so it is now faster with a few new editing options also.

A big thank you to Okinawa Island Crew for letting me shoot photos and video on the boat. I much prefer whale watching from Motobu rather than Naha as the whales are located much closer to the port.

The gear used in the video was the Pentax 645Z camera with the 300mm f4 lens.

The tripod was a carbon fibre LEO by 3 Legged Thing, and the bag is the Whistler by Lowepro.

Now on YouTube!

In 2016, I was contacted by the team at Macphun Software who had come across my photography on the web. Macphun produces photo editing programs for Mac computers, and received Best of the Year awards from the Apple app store six years running. They were producing new inspirational content for their website and asked if I’d like to be involved. James Pankiewicz, Patrick Batac and I produced a behind the scenes video about The Karate Masters Portrait Project.

In 2018, Macphun became SKYLUM software as it is no longer just Mac only. As its popularity grows around the world, Yuki and I are going to help introduce the software to the Japanese market.

We’ve created a Japanese language YouTube series called the Shoshinsha Photographer Yuki (New Photographer Yuki) in which Yuki learns how to take photos, and edit the pictures with SKYLUM’s Luminar editing software.

Episode 1 has a brief introduction then Yuki explores Bise Village in Motobu.

Episode 2 is all about the 100 Kata for Karate Day event at new Karate Kaikan.

Episode 3 is Yuki’s first time shooting with studio lighting with the lovely Bernadette and makeup by Audra Pesika.

Episode 4 is the Shuri Castle New Year’s Celebration.

This is a really exciting new project for us, and as Yuki learns about photography I’m learning just as much about videography. We hope to make many more videos in the series, and you are a big part of making that happen!

Please watch the videos, and if you like them, click the thumbs up symbol, comment, and subscribe to the channel.  If you can help get the word out by sharing the videos on social media we’d be super grateful.

Thank you all for your support! Big hugs from Chris & Yuki, and gurgles from Jasmine.


It’s a girl!

Yuki started going into labor at around 6pm on Saturday the 10th of February. We called the maternity clinic and drove from Motobu to Nago City.


At the clinic they confirmed Yuki was in labor, but that it was going very slowly.


The whole of Sunday was spent in bed with the contractions getting stronger.


At around midnight Yuki was moved to the birthing room in the clinic. Yuki was attached to monitors,  but the birth wasn’t due for several more hours.

At around 3.15AM things got very busy. The heart rate of the baby  suddenly dropped from around 130 to 60 bpm. The doctor made the decision to get the baby out right away and at 3.36AM on February 12th 2018  Jasmine Victoria Willson was born.


She was weighed (2868 grams),


and measured (47.2cm).


She was checked and cleaned.




and then given to Yuki.


Unten-sensei was able to explain to me what happened at the birth. The low heart rate was a sign of foetal distress, so he immediately delivered the baby by ventouse (suction cup). For the first couple of weeks Jasmine’s head  was a little cone-shaped, but it is returning to normal now.

Yuki and I are so grateful for the kindness and professionalism shown by all the staff and  Dr. Unten at the Unten Maternity Clinic in Nago City, Okinawa.  Thank you for bringing our baby girl into the world.




Nearly there…

There may have been little activity on the my blog, Facebook, or Instagram the last few months, but things have been very busy behind the scenes.

Yuki is due to give birth anytime in the next few weeks. I took a few pics in the garden this morning just in case we have to rush off to the hospital before we take more photos.

Meanwhile, I’m currently sorting out taxes for 2017, invoices, contracts, and a new workstation for video work.

Spot, the kitten, is also a new arrival. He was a stray that appeared at our door on an unusually cold Okinawan night. We tried to give him away, but it turns out the local rule is “feed it once, it’s yours for life.”

Senior Session with Jocelyn

On Saturday morning I had a wonderful senior session with Jocelyn where we really got to make the most of Okinawa’s spring flowers.  Cosmos, cherry blossom, and  bougainvillea all created beautiful settings for our shoot.

A huge thank you to Sandy for choosing me to shoot her daughter’s pictures. It was a pleasure to see you again, and we wish Jocelyn all the best with her future studies and adventures.

Learn more about senior sessions with Chris Willson Photography here.

2018 – We’re going to need a bigger boat

2018 is going to be a big one. There’s a baby arriving in mid-February, so it will definitely have a memorable start.  A trip to Shuri Castle at New Year was also a reminder of how life is changing professionally. Not only am I shooting both stills and video, but I’m doing it as part of an expanding team.

More clients, more collaborations, more learning, more gear, more processing power, and a lot more data.

The first piece in a series of necessary upgrades to the studio just arrived in the mail. A 24TB G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttle external hard drive system. Data access and security have to be a priority, and there will be significant speed improvements when the setup is complete.

Collaboration is going to be the keyword of the year.  There will still be days when it is just me and a camera, but more often I’m working as part of team.

Thank you in advance to my clients, sponsors, family, friends and collaborators. Here’s to a successful, creative, and collaborative 2018.


Chris Willson Photography 2017 Highlights

2017 has been another busy year. So many things to mention….

Photography workshops have been a success, and it’s been great sharing my passion (and terrible jokes) with so many other people, whether its learning the fundamentals,


or dressing up as rockstars in the studio.


We had an amazing 1-week workshop in Kyoto with six lovely ladies, and a combination of planning and a little luck meant we got to photograph maiko, cherry blossom, shrines, temples, castles, bullet trains, and blue skies over the week.


Yuki started taking kimono classes before the workshop so she could be our subject for staged shots,


and there were plenty of opportunities for fortuitous street photographs.  (We’re planning the next Kyoto Workshop for April 2019.)


A huge thank you to clients who have booked me for sessions. It has been a pleasure shooting commercial portraits,

Norifumi Kid Yamamoto at Krazy Bee Gym, Itoman City, Okinawa, Japan



fairy tales,


and senior portraits.

Savannah Fermin - Senior Session Colab.

We’ve shot several events including the USO Service Salute, the Warrior’s Ball, and karate seminars.


We’ve also worked on assignment with international clients including NBC, Cinq Mondes, and Forbes. A huge thank you to Keith who became my mentee and assistant for the year. It was a delight working with you.


There have also been plenty of fun shoots simply to practice skills and make new friends, especially when makeup artist Audra Pesicka could add her magic touch.

The Karate Masters Portrait Project has continued, although at a much slower pace. It was however a pleasure to photograph Hatsuko Machida, and Koichi Nakasone. On a positive note we’ve also started to record some of the karate masters on video, a new exciting challenge.

There have been a few great days exploring Okinawa on land and underwater, but things have been busy, and I hope to dive more next year.

However, 2018 is already looking like it will be a super busy, epic year!

Yuki and I are currently working on producing videos for Skylum the company that creates the award-winning photo editing software Luminar. It will be exciting to share photography and Okinawa with a much larger audience.

We’re also expecting our first baby in February so 2018 shall be full of new experiences and challenges.


Once again thank you to all my students, clients, models, assistants, make up artists,  and the people of Okinawa who make the job possible.  Have a wonderful New Year and a marvelous 2018.

Photography Workshops

A great Photography Fundamentals workshop last weekend with Marco, Kristin, Heather and Gary. This was our last photography workshop for the year, but we’ll start back again in 2018.


December 2017 Fundamentals Workshop. Photo by Yuki

There will be a Photography Fundamentals workshop on January 6th and 7th, then there will be a break for a couple of months as Yuki and I are expecting our first child in mid-February 🙂


December 2017 Fundamentals Workshop. Photo by Yuki

By May, workshops will back on track and we’ll be hosting Fundamentals, Advanced, Off-camera flash, Studio and other exciting opportunities to learn and take photos. We hope to hold the Kyoto workshop again in early April 2019.


December 2017 Fundamentals Workshop. Photo by Yuki

A big thank you to everyone who joined us for workshops this year, it was a pleasure hanging out with you all. A huge thank you to Yuki for making banana bread, listening to my dad jokes (again and again), and putting on kimonos at 4AM. Wouldn’t have been possible without you.