so its saturday afternoon. i just finished a photoshoot and just having lunch with the client.
i get a text message inviting me to a art gallery in Harajuku, displaying works of Juergen Teller also being curated by Francesco Bonami.
wanna talk about wow, right?
fast forward // 5 hours later
i arrive 30 mins prior to the opening time.
ride the elevator up to the 3rd floor.
Juergen is standing right infront of my face.
so i walk in...
its me Juergen some japanese guy he is chatting with
and a short japanese girl there.
WTF do i do... should i say something. but what do i say??
hmmm. hi, my name is Freddie... no I'm Frederick... no ....
so after two minutes of debating in my head...
i quickly go back to the elevator and go down and outside to save myself the embarrassment.
on the way down and back outside the elevator doors opened and BAAMMM!
Leslie Kee is standing at the elevator waiting.
i come out and say...
"Oh! Leslie Kee!"
He say's "Hey! You know me?"
i said "Yes, I sure do."
he asked me where i was from and whether i was leaving the venue.
then I said "I'm from the states, but I'm living in Japan. I'll be coming back up shortly."
he went in, then I went out ...
NOOOO WAYYY! either the universe is poking me or i'm daydreaming
JUERGEN, KEE ... both great photographers who's work I admire...
i call my girlfriend to tell her about my exciting encounter... let me tell you... real confidence booster. :)
shortly after i met a friend and then we went back up together.
we arrived on the 3rd floor , but by now the gallery is half full.
coming off the elevator Kee warmly greets me and my friend again. He was genuinely interested in conversation and how I knew of him. I explained to him that I was a follower of his work and that during my first trip to japan early 2013, I met someone who invited me to his exhibition in Omotesando Hills. Then I explained I met some of his assistance or partners in the past too.
after a brief chat we exchanged direct contacts.
Not to mention he had a friendly personality and seemed to be modest.
then I made my way around. typical meet and great.
so eventually after meeting some new unfamiliar faces like art dealer Bill Brady, Jeffery Chiedo and Yoshiko Edstrom... Yoshitomo Nara...
...Kee asked me had I met Juergen yet and I told him no.
his words were
"believe in yourself. belief is very important."
i agreed and i responded with " and patience too."
then he agreed.
so I bought one of the Juergen's paperback books titled "enjoy your life".
and quickly walked past the STAFF ONLY sign
walked around the table Juergen was sitting at and ask if he would sign my book.
he politely said yes. then sign it and addressed it to me.
little did I know Kee was right behind me and I asked for him to take a photo of us.
then Juergen was bombarded by someone wanting to introduce him to others waiting outside the back office.
soon after, my friend and I, said our quick goodbyes and left.
soon after, I received a message from Leslie Kee saying " nice to meet you".
by now, I felt that my night was complete.
one thing I will say about my experience from yesterday night is that, being in the right place at the right time is very important.
i believe that when you align yourself up with the universe and tap into what your purpose in life is, you will surely get signs that you are moving along the right path.
BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OFF ALL...
while we all want success and to make it big one day... we often times overlook the amazing journey that we took to reach our final goals or destination.
in fact the journey along the way can be more rewarding than the actual end itself.
there is one question i wanted to ask but never could. i wanted to ask Juergen.
as a young commercial photographer working in the fashion industry... what words of advice would you care to share?
now i can only just image what he would say...