Isamu Yamamoto, who is based in Kumamoto, Japan, is relatively new as a freelance photographer. Having completed a degree in Business Administration, it was inevitable that he’d end up working in a financial institution. He did–until he realized that his heart was not in it. Last year, he made the brave decision to leave his job to pursue photography.
His career move was influenced by different factors: when he was eighteen, he borrowed a compact camera from his grandmother for a trip abroad and enjoyed taking photographs; for a time, he worked as an assistant at a camera studio; and, upon seeing the documentary “Bill Cunningham New York”, he was greatly inspired. While Isamu says that he can’t take pictures in the style of the veteran New York City fashion photographer, he admired him.
Aside from photography, Isamu likes to travel to see nature–it refreshes his mind. ”I often go to Aso, which is my hometown. I can feel the universe at the moment when it changes from night to morning. When I take pictures, it makes me realize that photography is the best hobby.”
His subjects may vary from people to landscapes, plants, and random things. But his hometown will always inspire him, and he paid tribute to it in his first photo exhibit, Honomeku.
” Photography is everything in life,” Isamu says. ” Even in the usual day-to-day, I try to capture a moment that I find beautiful. I always carry my camera with me and believe in my intuition when taking pictures. Of course, there are days when I don't take pictures at all.” He uses film for the most exciting moments and digital cameras for work (but also offers film for interested clients). ”I think both digital and film have their own merits.”
Ask any analogue photographer about what they love about film photography, they will always answer that it is the process. Loading up the film, winding it up, releasing the shutter to take a picture, and waiting until the roll is developed. Isamu shares the same sentiments and appreciates the quirks that come with shooting film. "Photography goes beyond my imagination, good or bad. I like photography that celebrates imperfections."
"I'm a photographer who makes just enough to get by," Isamu says. "There are many times that it doesn't go well, but I believe it was a wonderful choice."
With his talent and skill, determination, and passion, there is no doubt that he'll eventually earn the success that he deserves. We are rooting for you, Isamu!