TJ: How did you first get interested in photography?
Suzuki: I first became interested in photography 50 years ago when I was in the 5th grade of elementary school and was given a Konica Camera as a present. At the time I was also interested in painting. I was in Yaizu in Shizuoka Prefecture, which is a port city, so I often painted boats. Normally, people paint a boat in the center of a picture, but from the beginning I would use a non-standard composition. I might paint 2 boats in the painting, but for example, only part of one boat would be on left side of the painting and part of the other boat would appear on the right side of the painting, with a gap between the boats. It was not the usual focal point for a picture. I often use this same approach in my photos.
TJ: How would you describe your style of photography?
Suzuki: I wouldn’t say I have a specific style. I like to capture the moment. I play soccer, and I learned that if you want to score, you need to seize opportunities, and that’s what I do in my photography. In black and white photos, composition and light are important. I don’t need any colors. In my photos, the composition of my pictures is like my original style of paintings, and is not like that of other photographers.
TJ: Why do you photograph in black and white instead of in color?
Suzuki: I think it’s easier to find the real facts in black and white than in color. There is too much information in this world and black and white simplifies the information. I think it’s like seeing your wife how she really is before getting married. The husband should see his wife without makeup so he can see the real ‘her’.
TJ: Is there someone that has inspired you?
Suzuki: My wife (Fashion Designer Junko Koshino) constantly inspires me. Actually, I wonder why it happens. I respect her designs, but I am kind of shocked and intrigued by her daily life. She is very unique and my life with her is constantly fun. Her behavior is very unexpected and this inspires me.
TJ: What is the best part about being a photographer?
Suzuki: For me, taking photographs enhances my male fighting instinct. After taking pictures, I feel young and alive. I often take pictures in very dangerous places. When I go in the construction zone, I sometimes think I might not come back again, so it enhances my instinct. In the fashion world, I will never die from danger, but taking pictures in a construction area can be quite risky. At first I didn’t realize this, but now I do. tj
This story appeared in Issue 270 of the Tokyo Journal.
To order Issue 270, click here.