It has been some time since we featured a photographer and I wanted to pick one that was very technical. Miki Chishaki always has “Light, Composition and Emotion” in her mind and works. She likes to capture people’s feelings, the moment of happiness, and love. We sit down with Miki and discuss a variety of topics. Read below for the full interview…
As a flight attendant you had the opportunity to visit many places and see many things. How did these experiences cultivate into making you abetter photographer?
Miki: I think it influenced my work. I went to many places and see various cultures and met many people from all over the world in my flight attendant days. Those experience made my horizon broaden, identify myself more as a Japanese. Recently I’m more interested in my own culture than before, and I’d like to express the beauty of Japan to the world as a Japanese photographer.
It’s often said that removing color from a photo can add something to it – revealing detail that you wouldn’t otherwise have noticed. Would you agree with this?
Miki: I think it’s true that you can emphasize the detail of the subject more in black and white photo because people can concentrate only the detail when they see. But it works depending on the subject, depending on what you want to express. Sometimes colors works better too.
How do you approach family portraits from a creative perspective? How are you able to shoot kids in their most gentle moments?
Miki: My policy of family portrait including only kids is a “natural shot”. I try to shoot them when they are doing something; talking, eating, playing…I feel affection in their relationship between family, I also see the beauty in each children of their real face. I want to express those things in my works. When I take photo of kids, it reminds me of my own happy childhood days. I think it might help to catch the gentle moment and express their beauty.
What do you wish to convey to your viewers through your photography?
Miki: I wish to convey “happiness” through my works.
Do you have any favorite Asian films you could share with us?
Miki: One of my favorite Japanese movie is “Swallowtail Butterfly” by Shunji Iwai. It was made in 1996, which is more than 15 years ago, but I feel it’s just been released recently, not old at all, high sense images.
What type of camera and which lenses do you use for your nature photography?
Miki: I have a few cameras. I usually use the Nikon D700.
What tips would you give to aspiring photographers in the community?
Miki: Love your subjects, it makes your work great.
Winning multiple awards throughout Japan, how has this benefitted your career as a photographer. Has it garnered you more exposure on a professional level?
Miki: Sometimes people get interested in my works when they see the awards, but not so much actually. I think it is more important to meet people and show your recent work and personality as a professional photographer.
I’ve heard that, to be a successful black and white photographer, you need to learn to ‘see’ in black and white when looking for potential shots – how do you master this technique?
Miki: To see light and shadow.
What kind of projects do you have for the remainder of the year? Anything you can share with us?
Miki: I made a documentary photography, “家族時間／A close family” in TDPW workshop which was held just two weeks ago.
To see more of Miki’s work, please follow her cookie crumb trail below:
http://itunes.apple.com/jp/app/childrens-planet/id479111849?l=en&mt=8 – “Children’s planet” a photo album application for iPhone and iPad released last November:
This is a photo album of children I met during my trip in many countries.
You can download from Apple store from anywhere in the world.