Photographer and mom Laura Izumikawa’s daughter Joey Marie is a heavy sleeper.
As such, she got the idea to dress the baby as some iconic pop culture figures during her daily naps. Izumikawa posted the images to Instagram, and the adorable Joey Marie went viral.
Izumikawa started taking the nap portraits when Joey Marie was 6-months-old, and she’s now over 1-year-old and travelling the world in her sleep. She has been everything from Marty McFly (“Back to the Future”) to Jon Snow (“Game of Thrones”) to pop star Sia.
More recently, Izumikawa has been dressing Joey Marie in cultural costumes from around the globe.
Oh Canada! Today’s #JoeyWorldProject costume comes from our new friend Shipra & her baby Misha who live in #Toronto, #Canada! 🇨🇦Shipra, I LOVED the package you sent with the maple syrup, ketchup chips, chocolates and the Hortons cups. I especially loved your card and the cute illustration of how to dress her up in this impressive Royal Canadian Mounted Police (#RCMP) uniform. I tried to do my best with the gardening bee hat you sent. Hope it looks somewhat close to the mountie felt hat! Seeing this uniform reminded me of my happy memories visiting Toronto and Quebec when I was a kid and more recently Vancouver and Banff. It’s a country that I absolutely love. Not only is the nature view so breathtakingly beautiful but the people are the nicest I’ve ever encountered. Literally everyone we met was extremely friendly and helpful to us clueless travelers. We’ll never forget their hospitality and generosity. Although Canada doesn’t have a “national dress,” this RCMP uniform is the most recognized Canadian attire so I am so honored to have this in our world series. I know for sure we will be making our way up to Canada again with Joey. Hopefully this year as we got the Discovery Pass which will get us into all the national parks in Canada for free! (You can get one at parkscanada.gc.ca!) Btw, July 1st is a monumental day for Canada this year as they will be celebrating their 150th anniversary, the Sesquicentennial! I’ll be keeping my eye out on the happy celebrations! #ohcanada
to Costa Rica
Today’s #JoeyWorldProject comes all the way from #CostaRica 🇨🇷 from our new friend Dana who lives in San Jose, Costa Rica. Costa Rica is made up of seven different provinces: San Jose, Cartago, Alajuela, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Limon. Each province has its own unique variation of the traditional costumes for men and women. This particular dress was custom designed and made for Joey from a store called Tienda Paco in Guanacaste where Dana’s mother’s family is originally from. It has a ruffled blouse with a flowery shiny skirt (gola) that goes to the ankles. The skirt usually comes in very bright colors. The hair is typically worn in a braid with a flower. These outfits are usually worn at festivities, dances, cultural events and celebrations. I can just imagine how beautifully these skirts move when the women wear them to dance! Thank you so much Dana and Tienda Paco for gifting us this stunning dress. This skirt is EVERYTHING! The book about your national parks gave me a glimpse of how gorgeous Costa Rica and I’m so grateful to have it in our home library. I have many friends who visited Costa Rica and came back saying only the best things about this country so I’m excited to visit one day especially to see the outdoors and of course to try the famous coffee there. One of my favorite coffee shops here in Los Angeles area is @copa_vida who gets their coffee beans from Costa Rica so I’m already familiar with how delicious the coffee is…but still. I’ve got to get to Costa Rica one day soon and try it for myself! #puravida
to St. Petersburg.
Today’s #JoeyWorldProject dress comes from our new friend Natalie who is an Ohio native but now teaches in St. Petersburg, #Russia. 🇷🇺 She was so gracious to bring us this #sarafan from Russia. The sarafan is a long, trapezoidal traditional jumper dress that was worn as early as the 1400s in Russia! Most commonly they were ankle-length sleeveless summer dress on straps worn over a white undershirt with sleeves. If you look at #matryoshka dolls, traditionally the outer layer is a woman wearing a sarafan. Joey here is also wearing a beautiful #kokoshnik, a headdress worn to accompany the sarafan. It was primarily worn in the northern regions of Russia in the 16th to 19th centuries. The crest can be embroidered with pearls, gold work or simple appliqué, usually using plant and flower motifs. Fun fact: one of the costumes #PadméAmidala wore in Star Wars (the Gold Travel Costume) was inspired by the traditional Russian dress and the kokoshnik! Anybody remember it? By the way, isn’t it amazing how all of these countries' traditional wear are so unique from each other? It’s really fascinating that these costumes have lasted so many generations till even today. Thank you so much Natalie for gifting us this beautiful piece of Russian history. Hope we can meet next time you make it out to Los Angeles again! 😘
“In all honesty, it costs me next to nothing to put costumes together,” Izumikawa told OC Register. We just use whatever we have at home or borrow items from friends. Every once in awhile I’ll buy something I don’t have, but that’s pretty rare. My agency also provides me with items from brands they want me to feature. Because of our following, many brands send us gifts.”
Along with Izumikawa’s punny witticisms, when she dresses Joey Marie in traditional costumes she shares a story about what the costume is, and where they learned of it.
For the mother and daughter, this photography project is a way to connect with other people.
Since Joey Marie went viral, Izumikawa has also begun blogging about their lives and sharing behind-the-scene videos of some of the shoots.
Behind the shot: I have to admit, I was really nervous about this one especially because #Belle is my FAVORITE Disney “princess”, I ADORE @EmmaWatson and I really really don’t know how to sew clothes. I’m just glad I didn’t have to hot glue or staple anything haha! Thank you @fabricdotcom for sending me the fabric so I could try this! Joey, don’t ask me to make you this again when you’re older…cuz I won’t be able to haha! So excited to see the new @BeautyandtheBeast film that’s out today. Question is, when will we have the time to watch it? #DateNightPlease #BeautyandtheBeast #BeOurGuest @disney @disneystudios
It’s been 10 months of diaper changing, nursing, dressing you, cleaning after you, and carrying you everywhere. Yes, you may depend on me for literally everything right now but it’s me that can’t imagine one day without you,” Izumikawa wrote on her blog.
“I’m the one that can’t get through the day without first dancing with you in my arms and kissing you a thousand times over.
I can’t imagine a day when you’re not grabbing my face, pulling my hair or letting me tickle you with my nose until you shriek with laughter. I HAVE to hold you tight, bury my face in your neck and smell you in. I absolutely NEED to hear your babbling and cooing because it’s the music that gets me going. I just CAN’T comfortably eat until I know you’ve finished your meal and watch you clap happily when you’re “all done”. ”
“I CRAVE my playtime with you because not only is it my only form of exercise these days but watching you discover new shapes, colors and textures is better than any other kind of entertainment there is. I go to bed every night missing you and reliving all of our new memories we’ve made together that day and I get wake up in the morning excited knowing we get to do it all over again.”
“I’m not sure when I’ll start getting used to you and when all these tiny moments will start to fade but something tells me you will ALWAYS fascinate me, inspire me and challenge me in new ways. I know not everyone gets the chance to experience this and all I can do is remain humble and grateful to live each day with you. To soak in every second that I can get with you and to live every day with you like it’s my last. Thank you my juicy dumpling for the best 10 months of my life and for loving me back.”
Izumikawa and Joey Marie’s Instagram is wonderful and full of life.
“Smile often and smile big. Not just for the photos,” Izumikawa wrote.