I had a great time working with the models, make up artists and other photographers shooting these images. Looking forward to creating more images and meeting more amazing people!
Styling for Emi by Lori Ono and Camilla Douraghy
Styling for Menya by Lori Ono and Camilla Douraghy
Make-up for Yukari by Daniel Bodin and Maya Webb
Styling for Sepha by Sepha
Styling for Jessica by Lori Ono, Make-up by Daniel Bodin
Styling and Make-up for Candice by Daniel Bodin
Night time at Onishi Summer Matsuri provides lots of interesting scenes and light and color for photographers. This summer festival has been voted the best festival in the Kanto region. People come back to this little town just for the festival because of it’s warm atmosphere and spectacle. When the danjiri (wagons) meet to compete for the lantern dance and music competition, you can see how hard the people of Onishi work to get to the talented level the achieve.
I’ve been obsessed with the ice monsters, the juhyou, of Zao Ski Resort in Yamagata Japan. They are pine trees covered with snow, frozen then sculpted by the high winds. I first saw them on a ski trip ten years ago. At that time, I only had a really cheap point and shoot digital camera and it did not enjoy the cold. Plus I was skiing. It is very hard to take photos on skis or on deep snow wearing ski boots.
Last year I finally figured out how I could get the photos I was looking for–snowshoe around the area. It didn’t really matter that I didn’t know how to snowshoe. I was determined to do it. Snowshoes HAD to be more stable than skis. I convinced my friend, fellow photographer, Maria Trabucco to join me.
I found a tour guide, Ito-san, who was a certified guide as well as an instructor! Excellent! The one thing about traveling with a photographer is how long it takes to move along. We are always stopping to take a shot. It was good to have a guide who understood.
I wanted to bring a medium format camera but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to carry a large camera safely. It would have been fine… sigh. But I suppose that’s better than crying over a broken, beloved camera. I vowed to pack light. I was worried about my fitness. Would I be able to carry my gear around a mountain in deep snow all day? I ended up bringing three cameras: the pinhole converted Minolta7, iPhone and my Canon EosM. It seems like a lot of gear but it all fit into a smallish backpack with a change of clothes included.
Shot with iPhone
Shot with Eos M
We had amazing weather for February. It was warm enough we even saw the unkai, a sea of cloud in the valley, that usually only appears in March. The last time I was on the peak, it was -30C and this time it was just below 0C. Snowshoeing was not as hard as I thought. It was certainly work, but I was much more stable than on skis. I fell quite a bit but always managed to keep the camera out of the snow. Priorities, right? The other challenge was the intense brightness at the peak. It was hard to compose images because of the glare.
So what was your toughest location shoot? How did you overcome your challenges?
I met Daniela Arias last summer in Onishi, Gunma while she was doing an artist residency at Shiro Oni Studio. From: Patagonia, Argentina, currently Buenos Aires
Currently: Illustrator for graphic design and editorial.
Tell me about your work and your medium?
I started in graphic design and moved into illustration. Mostly I use water color and pencil on paper. I like lines. I paint as if I’m using drawing material.
I love illustrating. When I imagine something it’s like a comic. I imagine things in panels. I think I don’t communicate very well. What I do is like a bridge. If I have a pencil I can draw and I feel like people can understand who I am or what I am thinking. But I think whoever is making art is doing that. Interesting Point that Daniela Made During Our Discussion
We make what we make to understand who we were before this moment. What makes us the way we are now.
Why did you choose to come to Japan.?
I’m a big Japan fan. I wanted to come to Japan for ten years. I really like that in Japan people talk about anime and manga and it’s not just for children. Even adults have a favorite Studio Ghibli movie.
Why did you choose Shiro Oni?
I decided that when I come to Japan I wanted to have a real taste of what it is like to live in Japan. I like what Shiro Oni is trying to accomplish. It was great to participate in the culture here. I’m in the matsuri (festival) not just taking pictures of it.*
What are you working on now? I planned to do an illustrated travelogue. After meeting local people. I changed my idea. I want to make short stories, fantasy-style recollections of my travels. I also want to do some portraits–not a real life style. I like drawing people the way I remember them.
Louise Rouse is a British illustrator and designer.
Louise did the concept and styling of the shoot and Michelle was an amazing assistant director. The idea was yukata in Yoyogi Koen with (hopefully) a few of the rockabilly guys and gals that perform near the entrance, or beating the heat with a nice kakigori (shaved ice with sweet syrup). We got a couple of shots with a great rockabilly couple.
It was a super hot summer day but it was worth the effort. Lots of compliments on the amazing Hiroko Takahashi yukata Louise bought and many people admired the hair by Hikaru Terada.