Born in 1967 in Kyoto, Japan, Osamu Yokonami specializes in a wide range of photography from portrait, fashion, and commercial work. For the past several years, Yokonami has been focusing on children in variety of ways, bringing out the beautiful moods of melancholia, adventure, and curiosity. Yokonami’s images evoke an undeniable autumnal feeling. Slightly spooky, but overall enthralling, we sit down with Osamu and discuss his photography. Read below for the full Q&A…
Can you describe when you first became interested in photography? What was it that caught your attention?
Osamu: I first became interested in photography when I was junior high school, after I saw a TV Drama about a newspaper photographer.
Many photographers get overwhelmed having more than one subject in their photos. You, however, embraces photos that capture numerous people. Is there a special technique or frame of mind in order to achieve this?
Osamu: I don’t have any special techniques. When I take pictures, I am myself, because I really like to shoot portraits. I rarely have subjects I can’t shoot. I easily take in people [because] I love taking portraits.
What kind of results do you hope to achieve having a group dynamic?
Osamu: I aim to show the strength of the collective.
There is also the duality of having multiple people with similar aesthetics. For example, portraying schools girls traveling in packs in identical uniforms. What brought upon this series?
Osamu: The idea came when I was working on ‘100 Children’ which focused on individual personalities. The collective entity stood out more.Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
In your professional opinion, can clothing affect a given mood, narrative or visual effect within a photograph?
Osamu: I think that clothing can strengthen the image I want to portray.
What are some of your favorite Asian films or anime?
Osamu: I like Ghibli’s animations.
Putting the focus on you, do you have a problem expressing individuality in your own life?
Osamu: No. Well, I don’t think so? I have never thought about it.
What is the most challenging thing about being a photographer today?
Osamu: In this time, photography has become more accessible for everyone thanks to digital cameras. So, professional photographers have harder time getting jobs.
What lies ahead for you in 2014? Any details on upcoming series?
Osamu: I have an exhibition in March. It is a continuation of 100 Children; called 1000 Children. I just finished shooting all the children in December. Also I will publish the project as a book at the same time.
Lastly, any advice for novice photographers?
Osamu: My advice is keep going. You can do it!
Want to stay up to date on all of Osamu’s work and future exhibits? Visit the official site below: