Cailin Hill Takes Us Through Her Tokyo Neighborhood



We were in the market for some personal style blogging tips while also in the mood for an imaginary adventure to a far-off place, so who better to enlist than model and blogger Cailin Hill to take us on an informative and visually-pleasing adventure through her ultra-cool Tokyo neighborhood?

I’m pretty obsessed with cute tins, especially ones that come with cookies inside that I am FORCED to eat in order to use the cute tin for storing my treasures. You know, the usual treasure–crystals, postcards I mean to send eventually, tiny trinkets from my travels. They all live here (and in equally cute tins) until I’m ready to blog about them or glue them to my walls. It’s called organization…maybe.


 I always make a note of fantastic color backgrounds to use in my photo shoots. This robin’s egg blue house is in my neighborhood. Sadly, I live in a boring grey house down the street. All is not lost tho, you shouldn’t blog your own house…because stalkers.


This is my friend Totoro–he’s kinda a big deal in Japan. I take him with me in my backpack when I’m shooting. Okay, I take him with me everywhere to be perfectly honest. He livens up the B-roll footage. Nothing is worse than a blog with only photos of yourself. Give the eye a break. A vanity break, as I like to say.


 I chose a baby pink wall to match the baby pink accent on my Jeffrey Campbell sandals, but sadly the film didn’t pick up how vivid and rad the pink was. Bummer. Hey, all the more focus on those killer Shakuhachi shades! Accessories to the rescue…phew.

Also, when all else fails–PUPPIES! Look at this place, I’m surrounded by astro-turf and old pails of stagnant water. You wouldn’t know it though, because awesome accessories, bed-head, and some well placed cuteness to distract the eye…


There never seems to be a shortage of pylons in Tokyo. I’m not sure what these guys are placed here to signify, but I dig it. When you’re taking photos for your blog, don’t forget that the things that seem mundane to you might be interesting to someone halfway around the world. Never rule out your neighborhood pylons as a photo op!


When when my partner and I shoot, we always use Kodak Portra film because it makes your skin G.L.O.W. Look Ma, no Photoshop! If you don’t have a film camera, you can keep skin glowing with a little tinted moisturizer and lipstick dabbed on the cheeks as blush. Forget face powder, trust me. Always try to shoot outdoors about an hour before the sun goes down. In the biz we call it the ‘Golden Hour’: it allows for perfect shadows and sun-kissed skin.


Carry your camera with you at all times. I adore this photo of two cat statues sitting in the window of a restaurant in Azabu Juban. #NoFilter! (Can I do that here?) My point is, not everything has to be fashion related. These colors look beautiful and work with the photo set. So, keep your camera close to your heart and an extra roll of film in your back pocket.


Keep things interesting with local shops as your backdrop. The magic wheel of carbs being spun by a hungry lion leads me to believe this is a bakery…no? Shooting on weekdays and on Sundays can be beneficial. There aren’t as many people around to walk through your shots, and if you’re shy you don’t have to worry about crowds forming to watch your photo shoot.


I never get sick of ankle grazing pants because they make me look tall as heck in photos. We also shoot from down low, so my partner is practically laying flush with the ground just to make me look a few inches taller. I love him so! I despise high heels, so I tack on some extra height with these Jeffrey Campbell sandals. Not quite platform status, and I feel comfortable lying about being 5’9 while they’re on my feet.


SHOW OFF THE SHOES! This ‘lil knee-point-to-the side-pose is gonna show off the inside profile of your awesome kicks and make you look like a street style pro. Bonus Level: Stand about a shoe’s length out from the wall and lean back, resting only your shoulder blades on the wall, this is a classic model trick to make your legs look longer. Shhh…our secret.


The order of your photos tells a story, so don’t forget to close with something!  I chose this photo of a Japanese mailbox because the colors tie in nicely with the red Hawaiian shirt and the blue Disneyland sweatshirt in early shots. Keep it fluid. If you introduce Totoro into your story in the beginning, use him throughout for continuity. Same goes for the colors, the lighting, and the location. Think of the photo shoot as a whole and never ever forget to credit your photographer…


(special thanks to my partner Dai Araki who is forced to photograph my blog because he is married to me xx)

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