Long Beach photographer to be honored for capturing the heart of the city

A local photographer known for capturing Long Beach inhabitants with a kind and creative curiosity will be honored during CityHeART, Inc.’s third annual HeART of the City Award on Friday, Jan. 25, the nonprofit announced.

You’ve probably seen Richard Shimizu at any given event, from festivals to open mic nights to art shows, snapping away at the action with his Panasonic FS19. He posts his raw and unedited photos to social media for viewers to enjoy, offering a truly authentic look at local life.

Posted by Richard Shimizu on Thursday, January 17, 2019

The HeART of the City Award event celebrates the nonprofit organization’s three years of “wholeheARTedly loving our city and telling its stories.”

Shimizu, a longtime volunteer with the organization, was chosen to receive the award for his unrelenting support of local events. A Long Beach native who turned his awkwardness in crowds into a hobby of capturing cultural happenings on camera, Shimizu is a familiar face around town.

However, it wasn’t always so simple. He said in a 2017 interview with the Long Beach Post that he used to feel a little embarrassed when photographing people.

“You know, a stranger taking your picture is always awkward, so I met some people in a band, they were very welcoming about my taking pictures,” he said. “After that it was like, ‘Oh, okay,’ it just went from there.”

“We honestly couldn’t come up with anyone more deserving of the award,” CityHeART Executive Director Paige Pelonis said in a statement. “We had our annual meeting to plan out our list of potential honorees, and every single one of us suggested Richard. He’s truly one of the best people in all of Long Beach.”

Also scheduled for the event is a special keynote presentation from fellow photographer Matt Roberts, the creator of Humans of Long Beach, an increasingly popular Facebook Page highlighting the lives of Long Beach residents. Attendees can also expect live art, live music, games and refreshments.


Founded in 2016, City HeART works with the community to lessen its struggles. Every year the nonprofit gives sack lunches to those experiencing homelessness, offers therapeutic art workshops to veterans and others in recovery and hosts self-care workshops to victims of abuse, among other programs.

The third annual HeART of the City Award is on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Event Center, 855 Elm Ave. Tickets are $30 for general admission with sponsorship opportunities available. Proceeds benefit CityHeART, Inc.’s service programs. For more information, visit the website here.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.