One of the first images I took with my D60 in 2007

The Beginning

My passion for photography grew out of my love for travel. Based in Tokyo for over sixteen years, I had the opportunity to visit over twenty different countries; many of them more than than once. For the majority of that time, however, I was without a camera and looking back, it is one of my more regrettable mistakes –  I have no way of sharing those experiences and memories with others and the memories are becoming increasingly vague as time passes by.

I always had an interest in photography but spent most of my life enjoying other people’s work rather than taking photos myself. It wasn’t until the spring of 2007 that I decided to give it a go. I bought my first dSLR, a Nikon D60, in April that year.

The Studio

An image from my first studio shoot in 2009

In the summer of summer of 2008 I attended my first lighting workshop, put on by Japanorama, in a small Tokyo studio. I never thought I would find studio work enjoyable, but I was instantly hooked. Although very different than travel photography, the idea of capturing the essence of a moment is, in my mind, the same. The only difference being that in travel photography I am looking for a natural moment, whereas in the studio I am working with the model and light to create it. This new-found interest in the studio eventually led to shooting nudes in a makeshift studio I set up in my Tokyo apartment in the spring of 2010.

This vs That

I have come across some photographers who are very opinionated about what is/isn’t acceptable in the world of photography. Film vs. digital, studio vs. street, flash vs. no flash…even within a specific genre such as street they have categorized what they feel is or isn’t acceptable. This bothers me immensely. I may not like or agree with another photographer’s style or interest, but I do not feel it is my place to judge whether they are right or wrong. Their style and interest is simply different from that of mine and I respect that, even if it may not be my thing. Haas once said: “I still do not understand all these problematic discussions about color versus black and white. I love both, but they do speak a different language within the same frame. Both are fascinating.” Photography is an art, and as such, it is open for interpretation; there is room for all the different artists with their different styles. Pushing the dos and don’ts will only limit our imagination and prevent us from trying new things. Without artists breaking the rules, art would not be where it is today. My photography is still at a stage where I cannot define my style; it is still a work in progress and I will continue to experiment with both styles and genres for the foreseable future.

What’s Next?

Although I found Tokyo an amazing city for photography, I made the decision to leave Tokyo in the fall of 2010 and returned to Canada to study photography full time. Although travel photography is still, and likely always will be, what I enjoy most, I have become more and more interested in studio work and enjoy working with models and studio light immensely.

UPDATE
I returned to Tokyo in November 2012 to take up a position in a US-based company. I continue to hone my photography skills, shooting when I have time. I’ve found Tokyo more challenging than Vancouver in terms of finding stylists and models to collaborate with, but I am slowly building up a good network of strong professionals to help me realize my visions.