Award Winning & Internationally Published
Photographer & Videographer
Specializing in Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs,
Engagements, Headshots & Portraits.
Los Angeles | Worldwide
IN WORDS AND IN PICTURES
Hi there. I'm Shiggy.
Great meeting you here. I do hope I get the privilege to meet you in person, in the near future.
BIO AND STUFF:
I was "made in Japan," by a Japanese (Kobe,) father and a German (Hannover) mother. My sister (Needham, Massachusetts) is an American citizen and I'm currently in the process of becoming a Naturalized US. Citizen. USA. USA. USA!!!
Moved to Chicago,Illinois. 6 months-5 years old.
My formative years were spent in the suburbs of London, England for seven majestic years, from the ages of 5 to 12. I attended Kingston Grammar School where we played cricket and field hockey, since "football" was considered a 2nd class sport. So "lah-di-dah," as they say! Learning French was a given, and Latin was the required language for the bright future of scholars. Posh and fancy, huh!! The first anthem I remember singing was "God Save The Queen."
My Freshman & Sophomore year were at Rolling Hills High School, CA
and my Junior & Senior year at New Trier High School, Illinois.
I was accepted to USC and Boston University. Since I already had lived in the West Coast (LA) and the Midwest (Chicago,) I decided to go to the East Coast for some clam chowder!
I ran the Boston Marathon as a bandit. (Will tell you the story in person.)
In the Summer of my Sophomore year. at BU I ventured over to Heidelberg, Germany to study for 2 months.
My roommate at Boston U., gave me the nickname "the mayor." He said that he couldn't walk 10 feet On Commonwealth Avenue without me stopping to say "hi" to people, be it a college professor, fellow classmates and even the homeless people in the street.
Upon graduating from B.U I moved to the Land of the Rising Sun. In Japan I started studying Japanese in earnest. When I took a bath at night time, I would hold my head under water until I was able to recite what was going to be on the test the next day. I passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Exam Level 1. The Highest level. The HARDEST level.
Worked part time cleaning stalls, feeding and washing horses at the Kobe Horse Riding Club. It was freezing in the winter. I was cold, but learned more colloquial Japanese that was not taught in text books. Invaluable experience.
I became an English as a Second Language Teacher at all girls high schools and two female colleges. I also was a language immersion teacher at corporations including Mistubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Electric and the Hyogo Prefectural Government.
Teacher. High School. College. Language Immersion Coach.
•For ten years, I was an English language conversation teacher at various high schools and colleges in Japan. In addition, I was an English language immersion teacher for major Japanese corporations such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Kawasaki Electric. I was on contract to teach the Hyogo Prefectural Government, the art of debate.
Making English learning fun was a challenge that I enjoyed immensely.
I loved teaching and miss my incredibly brilliant students.
Passing the Japanese Proficiency Test gave me the confidence to pursue a career in TV, radio and voice-over work. I created, wrote and starred in my own TV show which had THE highest ratings in time slot. There was talks about making a Shiggy-bobble-head doll!
I was a TV talent for ABC TV Japan, Kansai TV, Direct TV and was an On-Air-Live Top Hits Radio Countdown for FM Tokyo network. I climbed Mt. Fuji twice, once sponsored by FM Shiga/e-radio station. I did numerous voice over work as a talent for TV, radio, in-house, corporate and video games (Sony Playstation.)
Get this! My dad heard my voice at 33,000 feet on Japan Airlines in-flight audio when traveling from Chicago to Tokyo. That was a proud father moment.
Big in Japan. TV. Radio. Voice-Over
• Shiggy had his own TV show in Japan and was a regular personality on a weekly live-on-air Japanese variety TV show on ABC TV, Japan. On an international flight at 32,000 feet, Shiggy's dad heard his son's voice on a voice-over on Japan Airlines (JAL) from Chicago to Japan. You can hear Shiggy on various Sony Play Station Games. There was even talk of making a Shiggy bobble head doll.
Dreams come true. Here I am with THE David Spector (far right) on the same TV show. THAT is called visualization and asking the Universe for what you want.
Shiggy created, wrote and even stared in his own weekly TV show. He got to play over thirty different characters on this hit TV show. Insights gained by being "in front" of the camera totally helps with being a photographer behind the camera.
Moved back to Los Angeles because of 9/11. (Will tell you details in person.)
Got my Screen Actors Card.
Rescued a pit bull and named her Indy.
Adopted two sister cats and named them Mikan (orange) and Star.
Adopted a 2nd pit bull and named her Cali-blu.
Got a 180 gallon fish tank.
Got two outdoor bird feeders for the squirrels (LOL) and birds.
Shiggy becomes Dr. Doolittle. In fact, you’ve got to DO A LOT to maintain a healthy quality of life for all your pets. Worth all the time and energy spent.
Indy became an animal assisted therapy dog. I took her on my days off from work as a volunteer twice a week for almost 5 years. We went to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Shriners Children’s Hospital, Florence Blend School for the Visually Impaired and to St. Johns Hospital, Santa Monica. Took Indy to St. Johns after my sister Nadya’s baby, Mingus, was born.
Indy entered a contest and was awarded the Ambassador for Bully Breed Dogs. My dream come true! Before rescuing Indy from the Los Angeles Animal Shelter on Bundy, I went to the local PetSmart and thumbed through a Bully Breed Dog Magazine. On the cover it said,”Ambassador for the Bully Breed.” I wanted Indy to become an Ambassador. Five years later she did. I still have that magazine. The power of speaking something into existence.
Indy suddenly passed away at 5:30 in the morning. The saddest day in my entire life.
Why I LOVE dogs.
My pit bull story.
Voluteering with Indy the
My animal assisted therapy dog.
(Above Video : Indy and I were featured in a PetSmart Commercial.)
"Everybody can be great because anyone can serve." Martin Luther King Jr.
•The above quote by Martin Luther King Jr. had a profound impact in my life. I always wanted to be "great" at something. This quote sums it up succinctly. "SERVE." And of being of service to others. It's amazing how much better life gets when we aren't trapped inside of our own heads, and it's all about me, me, me, rather, when we are service and helpful and giving to other people.
I was an animal assisted therapy volunteer for 5 years with my, YES, pitbull, at:
-Children's Hospital Los Angeles,
-Shriner's Children Hospital,
-Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, and
-St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica
-Promises of Malibu
-Florence Blend School for the Visually Impaired.
We also volunteered at the Special Olympics and at Gold's Gym for an autistic children event.
We volunteered 3 to 4 times a month, even on my days off. But it was worth it. It was awfully heartbreaking though going into PICU and NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) one week and seeing the kiddos and premies, and then learning a week later, that cancer took their little lives.
I never built up tolerance to human suffering, and would have to compose myself or quickly use the back of my arm to wipe away a tear or two.
I was just Indy's chauffeur. It was all about the kiddos (and adults too,) and my Indy girl. The power and impact a doggie has on a vulnerable, oft lonely, hurt and scared person lying on a hospital bed has, is immeasurable and beyond mere words.
The story of my pitbull Indy was the basis for a grant that was awarded by the distinguished Annenberg Foundation. Indy and I were also featured in a PetSmart TV commercial. (Click here xoxo at the 2 and 14 second mark!!)
Indy was the winner of the Best Therapy Dog by Found Animals Foundation.
I miss Indy-Windy. Lovabull, Adorabull, Hugabull. Pitbull. xoxo
Y'up, Indy had an ID Card at CHLA!!
Offered an incentive to become an LAPD officer. K-9 Cop was my direction.
Earned Associates Degree in Administration of Justice from El Camino College
Decided to go to the Fire Academy.
Earned National Registry Emergency Medical Technicians License (NR-EMT) after attending UCLA.
-Top 5% in my Phlebotomy class at UCLA.
-Passed EKG Technician Exam from Cal State University Los Angeles.
-Passed BLS (Basic Life Support) Exam
-Passed BLS Instructor Exam
-Passed ACLS (Advanced Cardio Life Support) Exam
-Passed the Firefighter’s CPAT (Candidates Physical Ability Test)
-Accepted into El Camino Firefighter Academy (The top three academies in the United States.)
-Learned Wild land Firefighting Skills in Malibu.
-Hands on instruction in how to extinguish an oil refinery fire at Chevron Oil Refinery
-Instruction in auto-extrication and how to operate jaws of life
-Instruction in a scolding hot 1200 degree flash over chamber
-Learned to repel from the Fire Academy training tower
-All my photos and videos that I was permitted to take were used in our Class presentation. Really enjoyed capturing and documenting our time in the Fire Academy. Proverbial photography and videography seed gets planted.
-Graduated from El Camino Firefighter Academy Class 125, sir!
FireFighter Academy Graduate
•Shiggy graduated from El Camino Fire Academy, a California State Fire Marshal Approved Firefighter Training Academy, located in Inglewood, CA. Click HERE for Shiggy's Class 125 Graduating Class Video.
In preparing to become a FireFighter/Paramedic, Shiggy became a certified phlebotomist (surgical incision of the vein) from UCLA Medical School, received EKG training from Cal State LA, and was BLS and ACLS (Advanced Cardio Life Support) certified. He earned his EMT certification from UCLA and Passed the National Registry EMT Test (NREMT.)
Shiggy received a Certificate of Completion, a two year program, in Administration of Criminal Justice from classes he took at both El Camino College and Compton Community College.
Here I'm in an auto-extrication class, performing "jaws of life" exercises.
Graduation Day. With my sister, her son and my mom (RIP F'Cancer) and dad!! xoxo
Oil refinery fire containment/abaitment drills at Chevron Refinery, El Segundo.
Doning our PPE and mask at the Inglewood training academy.
-Elected Co-Chief-Editor for El Camino College Newspaper.
-Two classes shy of obtaining Associates Degree in Photography from Santa Monica College.
Finished two Ironmans. Ironman Coeur d’Alene & Lake Tahoe. Safely took photos and videos throughout the Ironman. I believe taking photos and videos is banned now for safety reasons.
-Finished Escape from Alcatraz triathlon and jumped off the starting boat with waterproof video camera in hand.
I collaborated with Eric Roth, a a USC Professor and Master Lecturer, and with him became a co-author of "Compelling Conversations: Japan." Available on Amazon! As an internationally published author I'm happy to say that I'm in the process of writing two more books!!
I joined the LA Tri Club and have participated in numerous triathlons, including Escape from Alcatraz and finished two Ironmans (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, followed by a 26.2 full marathon!!) In 2010, I was honored to be nominated by the 1,800 + member LATC, as "Member of the Year," and was invited to go to San Diego for the "Endurance Sports Awards," ceremony to receive a very prestigious award that I'm so grateful and thankful for.
I graduated from the Fire Academy and wanted to be a FireFighter/
Paramedic, however, my calling to leave a legacy in the form of something tangible----photographs/videos---lead me to become a photographer/videographer.
Triathlete. Ironman X 2 Finisher
The characteristics of doing triathlons and Ironmans that apply to life.
1) Ability to see things through to completion.
4) Hard work
5) Solid Commitment
6) Laser Focus
7) Grit. Day In (usually very early in the morning) and Day Out.
8) Teamwork (Ironman triathlons takes teamwork to make
the dream work.)
9) Planning & Execution
10) Strength of Character. Strong Mind. Strong Body.
11.) Showing up. On time. When you said you would. InteGRITy.
I have completed two full Ironman Triathlons. (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 run.) Ironman Lake Tahoe (Air temp was 38 degrees COLD) and Ironman Coeur d'Alene. The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon was the most memorable. (Watch my video, by clicking---->> HERE as I jump off the boat.) I've also flown to Kona Ironman five years in a row to photograph the Ironman World Championship. It's kinda coolio when the CEO of Ironman gives you a direct shout-out when doing the famous ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge a few years back. Click----->> HERE for video
Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Rinny Carfrae. Multiple Kona Ironman World Championship Winner.
J-Lo and I before the
With Paralympian, Rudy Garcia-Tolson at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.
I was nominated by the 1,800 member LA Tri Club, as "Member of the Year," and represented LATC in San Diego. Special moment for me.
Doing a photo shoot with Chris "Macca" McCormack for Triathlon Lab.
Focused on the bike at the
-Have been taking paid photography and videography jobs since 2009. In February 2012, GoShiggyGo Photography was officially born. The rest, as they say, is history. But what I say is, the rest is YOUR history. I have the pleasure of documenting and recording your history in still photos and moving pictures. It definitely is an awesome journey both in front and behind the camera. Seeing and being on both sides gives perspective and knowing one helps the other and vice-versa. My acting experience gives me skills in helping non-actors not feel shy or self-conscious helping them feel relaxed. I know what it’s like to have a big camera lens right in front of my face with a big boom mic inches away from my mouth. Having the knowledge and experience of being in front of the camera as I did for many years in Japan, helps me make my clients feel relaxed, comfortable and at ease instead of being shy, nervous and self-conscious as many non-actors are.
I have found my passion and calling and absolutely love what I get to do. I’m full of gratitude and thankful for all the blessings and opportunities that I am given.
I love what I do. Taking photographs and creating purposeful videos for clients.
Who I am as a possibility is being powerful, peace, love, calm, enthusiasm, joy, abundance, compassion, understanding and bold leadership. Onwards. Upwards.
Love & Light + Laughter,