Fondness #05 - Taku Iwama

In the fifth series of ‘Welcome to The Human Race - Fondness’ talking about a sense of living, home, and freedom. We had a chance to talk with Taku Iwama, photographer and owner of Sunday Morning Studio, a coffee shop and film lab based in Malaysia.

Could you introduce about yourself and what do you do?

Pretty much I’m shooting streetwear mostly, I don’t know how it started but it happened when I moved to Tokyo. The industry was big there but I wasn’t shooting for local brands there, instead, mostly I was shooting for overseas brands, so it kinda “win-win solution” for them when those brands just send me their products and I kinda organize everything there. 

When did you start to jump into photography?

It started back in Tokyo when I was sixteen, I went to this thrift shop and found an old camera for 100 yen and just bought it straight away and brought it to a camera shop to actually ask how to use the camera and if it was still working. But yea after that I just started to take photos like random ones, and when I was in the middle of my study in the university I kinda committed to do photography as my job.

At the beginning of my career, I wasn’t sure because I only shoot stuff or photos that I like and I’m not making any money at that time, so I kinda find some way to balance up basically to do something that I like and be able to make a living out of it.

Can we run to your creative process or works that you’ve been working on and where did you get your inspiration from?

It is so random for me. I don't have a certain mindset when I shoot it just all about capturing a moment and the creative process comes later on when I gather all my materials, developing it and curating it to make a certain theme and I move forward from there.

But with work, it's all about communication, between what clients want and to have that mutual understanding it’s important in terms of creating the output.

What was your first break and what was your dream back then? 

Yea, when I was sixteen and starting shooting, my dream is actually to shoot some surf brands and be able to shoot for them not even to think to get paid but just only maybe to get some free stuff from them is cool because I’m really into surfing myself and that was my dream. 

And yeah I mean I haven’t reached that point myself that I still push forward to work better, but my first break I think it was when I was shooting for Nike in Tokyo that probably was the one.

What about people? Do you have any idols?

Stephen Shore is one of my favourite photographers, the way that he did stuff back then it was different. When everyone is trying to get into some big gallery, he’s the one that pushes the limits of his spirit that he’s not trying to please anyone but more for himself.

What’s the thing that you like to do that you haven’t had a chance to?

I mean because of the situation, I just want to be able to travel again. I’m stuck here in Malaysia for more than 3 months now. I want to go back to Indonesia and also Japan.

How’s home feels like to you right now?

At first, it felt so good because I'm constantly travelling to Indonesia to Bali and Bandung, and right after I came back Malaysia started to lockdown. After these 3 months I just really want to go out.

If you have any advice for others what would that be?

Probably try different things and what suits you. After that just focus on it because it’s really not that hard and keep pushing it.


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