Congratulations on your film and the release of your book Etienne, we would like our readers to know a little more about you.
Thank you 🙂
How did you start your journey with photography?
I came from an illustration background, and I learned Chinese ink painting for 9 years, so I guess that’s why I’m quite sensitive with colors and compositions.
Wasn’t interested in photography until later when I started studying cinematography at a film school, which was a big jump for me after graduating from a graphic design degree.
One day, when I was packing up at home for our next big move, I found a plastic bag in the cupboard with something heavy inside – it was my dad’s Minolta, which then eventually developed a stronger passion in film photography.
As a filmmaker/ photographer, what do you focus on?
The Story. Once you get the story, you can then know how to express it with certain camera placement, whether to go wide or tight. Do I want to suggest the character in full-blown sunlight, or in total darkness. I tend to allow the talent walks into the specific spot with better lighting
How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
I always allow myself to meet other people from different fields.
Every little conversation might give an impact in your lives
Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
Good question…..I guess it would be this photo here.
Shot in 1 Jan 2017. I spent the NYE in Kyoto with a good friend of mine. During that night, we went out watching a boxing match, ha d hot soda for dinner, and celebrated New Years at Yasaka Shrine overnight. After making our blessings, she offered to let me stay at her parents’ place that night. The next morning, I found her in this funny position in bed. I like how the placement of her pair of glasses has made the composition of this photo like a painting. I was then served with a traditional Japanese new year breakfast meal, and both her parents said blessings to each person, which genuinely made me feel like home even though we didn’t really understand each other.
Which artists/photographers have influenced you and how?
Helmut Newton – He was the type of photographer to followed his first instinct to choose locations, model, and clothes to grasp certain mood. He could shine on the women’s soul with an erotic approach. Some weren’t even professional models, which made his photographers even more organic.
Saul Leiter – Color intensity is the most characteristic feature of his aesthetic. This is something that I can’t explain, but I get fascinated when I see a bit of red on someone, as it somehow make the person shines. I guess it’s because Leiter had the eagle eye of searching good-looking passers-by in vibrant outfit in the street, and that specific definition of beauty has been imbedded in my mind.
What is your daily source of inspiration? What would you do If you find a dead end in your photography?
Music, reading, watching movies.
Perhaps I would get back to drawing again…
What are your thoughts on projects and single images?
I guess it depends on the message of the photo tells.
A photo can always stand on its own, but if it’s in a series, it could create an atmosphere to the spectators – For example, if you want to show a progression of someone’s bedroom as they grow up, then a photo series would be able to tell the changing personality without the need of revealing the person.
Are you developing any personal projects at the moment?
A few. At the moment I’ve just been documenting stories around my daily life with photos. At some point I’ll look back, gather the bits-and-bobs, and see if they could be grouped into an introduction of the theme
Any tips for aspiring documentary photographers/filmmakers?
Find the subject you love, then just go out and shoot!
Work part-time to feed yourself, and it doesn’t have to be camera-related, because getting to meet different people is also an inspiration. Perhaps one of the many conversations could create a huge impact in your lift…. you’ll never know!
What is your biggest fear?
Spending the end of my life alone
What’s your greatest achievement?
So far I’m still fresh in the field, but last year not only my short film Lucky Boy, but I also published GNMA book with the kind support from brownie publishing.
My short stay in Gunma was definitely a lift-changing experience for me, therefore I worked hard on returning something back to the people I met there, and I did.
Favorite place to shoot?
Wherever I feel welcomed and loved.
First thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
Avocado? Or peanut butter and toast…?