A Long Beach Love Story Honors “the Man Behind the Camera,” Richard Shimizu

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Poster art by Deyo Glines. Image courtesy of Heather Kern, by Jon Wallace.

A Long Beach Love Story: Tribute to Richard Shimizu will open this Sunday, February 12 from 5:00PM to 9:00PM at MADE by Millworks in Downtown Long Beach.

“It’s something I have wanted to do for a while,” said Heather Kern, curator of A Long Beach Love Story. “Richard is so generous and does so much to spotlight artists, musicians, businesses, events, and organizations that I thought he deserved to have the spotlight on him.”

Known as the man behind the camera, Shimizu is often seen at myriad events holding his point-and-shoot up to one eye, then hurrying off to find another angle or subject.

“The show will focus on what he sees through that camera,” said Kern. “We see a love story which is why we named the show A Long Beach Love Story.”

Kern described Shimizu as “a true artist,” saying that when you offer yourself, your talents and enthusiasm to support your community, “a whole new world will open up to you.”

Shimizu is known as the man behind the camera, most often his inexpensive Panasonic FS19 to be exact, for a reason. When asked how he felt about being in the spotlight himself, he said matter of factly, “It’s embarrassing,” followed by a loud, genuine laugh.

“I’m not really good around crowds or the spotlight so it’ll definitely be very interesting,” he said. Attendees shouldn’t be surprised to see him behind a camera at his own event.

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Born in 1951 on California Avenue, Shimizu is a Long Beach native, and has turned his awkwardness in crowds into a love for capturing the city’s cultural events. He’s also a very considerate photographer, attributing the blurriness of some of his photos to his refusal to use the flash.

“I prefer not to use the flash, if you’re a performer and someone puts a strobe light in your face it can’t be good, to me, so I try to avoid it,” he said.

When Shimizu first started snapping images several years ago, he would just pop in and out, he said. He was “kind of embarrassed.”

“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.”

“There are so many of us dedicating our time to supporting local endeavors with our own set of skills and interests,” she said. “Richard’s medium is photos posted to social media, which is so immediately rewarding that it fuels itself.”

Shimizu doesn’t only post photos every day, but also contributes a weekly list of events, called Dick Picks, posted regularly on the Long Beach, Kalif. Facebook page here.

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Image courtesy of Long Beach, Kalif.

The exhibit is a manifestation of the photos Shimizu posts regularly on social media, spanning from 2012 to current. Set to open Sunday, the show will run through March 11.

For more information about the show, visit the Facebook event page here.

MADE by Millworks is located at 240 Pine Avenue.

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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.
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