Take a peek into the life and inspiration of Japanese photographer Tomoki Momozono in this interview. His career began as a sports photographer and from then on has widen his span and influence in the world of photography. Each of his images has a story to tell and will surely inspire you. Read on and discover his experience as sports, portrait and street photographer.
We’d like to know more about you. Can you tell us a little bit of your background?
I was born in Aomori and raised in Tokyo and Chiba in Japan. I was a kid just like the other kids were back in 1980s : kicking the ball with a perfect image of being “Captain Tsubasa” and playing basketball to become the next “Sakuragi Hanamichi” if you know what I mean. Neither worked properly though.
Have you always been into photography?
I had always loved to attend my art class in school but not really had a chance to be in touch with photography. Then at the age of 20, I bought my first camera as my old compact film camera was broken and cost to repair as much as buying an old-fashioned film SLR. From the day I pressed the shutter of my SLR for the first time, I really got into the world of photography. Owing to unexpected job opportunities and connections, I could eventually become a professional photographer. I never expected to be a photographer even in my college days, though. I should say it was just so automatic.
What is is about Sports photography you love?
Unlike shooting models with lighting in a studio, you cannot create what is in your mind in sports games. Only you can do is to read the situation, expect what will happen next and prepare to shoot at the right time in right angle. It is somehow similar to fishing; if you are unlucky, you don’t find any interesting one in these thousands of photo you have attempted to capture for a game. When you capture a highlight happening right in front of you, you will enjoy your beer with a big game in your camera.
Emotions are said to be an important aspect of photography. How crucial is this element for you as a photographer?
Yes, I consider it to be very significant especially when you face people as a subject. We as human beings have a lot of emotion which come out with action, facial expression and even in atmosphere. I always try to capture the moment intentionally. One emotional portraiture could tell a story far more than hundreds of photo for keeping track of an event.
What tools of the trade do you use most often?
I use my Canon Mark IV and 5D Mark II for most of my work. Now I’m keen to shoot with my iPhone4 for my street photography blog “another day in London”( http://anotherdayinlondon.tumblr.com/ ) I really think iPhone is a smart and useful device to cut out a nice little world of London.
What message do you want your photograph to convey?
It depends on the subject. For photography in general, I still cannot really say exactly what but I would say it is my sense of vision. I want people who look at my photo to get interested; no need to figure out what but at least if you like them, I feel it was worth capturing.
How does photography influence your life?How does the people/scenery you capture influence you as a photographer?
Since I jumped into the world of photography, my procedure of seeing things has changed dramatically. When I face something/someone attractive, the next thing I know I find myself looking for a best way to capture it. The outcome, which could be people and the scenery if you like, is like a quiz grade for me to review the photo and think what I am satisfied with them and what I could have done to make them better.