2022.11.01 BLOG

In this age of excessive emphasis on "words," there is an overabundance of photographic works that are all about logic and concepts. That is absolutely fine, but at the moment of taking a snapshot, there is no room for logic.

Talking about snapshots in words is nothing more than an afterthought. Walking down the street, letting one's instinct take over, and taking a picture with a physical reaction at the moment is what a snapshot is all about.

This is true not only for street snapshots, but for portraits too. The secret to being a good portrait photographer is to be communicative, reacting intuitively to facial expressions and gestures, and pressing the shutter.

When your mind is occupied with an unnecessary thought, you are missing the opportunity to release the shutter.

The real essence of snapshots lies in the reflection of the photographer to the awareness in the visual coincidence. The accumulation of those reflections eventually becomes the record of the time.

You are allowed to take snapshots anywhere on earth. Except for the issue of manners, snapshooting is essentially a free form of expression. In this sense, there is no deep or shallow expression in snapshots. All snapshots are equally important.

However, in fact, there is a clear difference between good snapshots and boring snapshots. All good snapshots are cool, without a doubt.

You might think that "cool" is a cheap term, but you have to understand the true meaning of being "cool". Acting cool and being cool are two completely different things.

The same is true for personality. Just because someone dresses up in a superficial, trendy style does not mean that he or she is cool.

Truly cool snapshots are, for example, those that accurately capture the time and place in which the photographer lives, those that go deep into people's lives and capture them vividly, those that capture miraculous moments with skills and intuition, those that are filled with a sense of beauty, or those that have something outstanding.

That is what makes the snapshooter's " identity", and it is the reason why photographs taken simply by walking the street and pressing the shutter can be considered artistic.

Of course, to be able to take cool pictures, you may need an innate talent, or devote your whole life to photography with continuous effort and discipline.

In any case, they are not taken by logic, and the necessary skills can not be easily acquired. That is the reason why they are cool.

The snapshots of the photographers who inspired me in my youth were all cool with no doubt.

That is why I admire them and they make me want to take even cooler pictures. They are my model and inspiration.

I hope someday I can reach that level. All I can do now is just keep walking, keep shooting, and keep facing my own photographs.

Takehiko Nakafuji
Born in Tokyo in 1970. Graduated from Tokyo Visual Arts Department of Photography. He has continued to create photographs focusing on snapshots of cities. In addition to Japan, he has covered Eastern Europe, Russia, Cuba, Paris, New York, and other parts of the world. He has also photographed artists, and has been the official photographer for rock musicians such as Les Rallizes Dénudés, Yura Yura Teikoku, and Masatoshi Tsunematsu. Besides his work as an artist, he runs Gallery Niepce in Tokyo, where he holds numerous exhibitions and workshops. His photobooks include "Enter the Mirror", "Winterlicht", "Night Crawler", "Sakuan, Matapaan-Hokkaido", "Paris", and "Street Rambler". Winner of the 29th Higashikawa Special Photographer Award and the 24th Tadahiko Hayashi Award.

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