“ I’m searching for people who aren’t already shaped, corrupted or even broken by the world. Young people. In one way, this is the closest I can get to the human spirit. ”
You are mainly working with the youth, high schoolers, even children. Why is that?
I like to think that there is a certain kind of purity captured in my pictures. I work in natural settings and I’m searching for people who aren’t already shaped, corrupted or even broken by the world. Young people. In one way, this is the closest I can get to the human spirit.
How do you approach people that you want to photograph?
I do interviews. It’s difficult to find models in Japan, especially since most of the people I shoot are middle or high school students. I usually rent a van or an RV and take the group on a one-day-trip, meaning the pictures have to be taken only within a couple of hours. There are locations that I keep going back to, since they can have something different to offer, new to explore every time.
I always draw sketches of the compositions beforehand, but things can change on set without a warning. I may imagine a scene and kind of expect a moment to happen, but at the end of the day, the pictures I take are more about documenting reality. You can’t exclude the human factor. Sometimes there is no other way forward but to abandon a plan and improvise. There’ve been occasions when I panicked because I felt like I was losing the image I had in my head. I had to learn how to let go of my ideas and let them evolve their own ways instead of trying to correct them all the time.