This time round has been extraordinarily difficult in Tokyo. It has been my longest trip to date (a full month), yet a slew of practical things and unforeseen circumstances have made me go home without a single usable image...
Yes looking at it this way it seems frustrating... But, oddly enough, in hindsight, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be... concentrating on the stuff that comes after shooting the images, proved to be very fruitful. Oh, and of course this very same situation gave me time to get the first issue of 893 magazine out there.... A milestone for me.
For some reason, this time we could not get a quick “hello I’m here” meeting with Yamamoto Kaicho, something which we normally always do first thing.
We walked the streets to the places we knew they would hang out, hoping to run into him. But we ended up walking around for over a week....
The area that they control is geographically very compact, yet it proved impossible to even catch a glimpse of anyone's whereabouts. Very surprising for a sub culture so openly integrated into Japanese society.
At first I felt really bad in my little room in Kabukicho... waiting for something to happen. This is not the sort of project where you can make anything happen... you follow the agenda, you do not set it.
And then there was the rain.
During these many room confined Tokyo nights, I often thought about which role photography I felt should be playing in my life, and how attainable that goal actually is.
I mean, we all want to feel like we live “purely” from photography, don’t we? Yet everyone knows that nowadays photography alone (generally speaking) can hardly pay the bills.
But... I wonder... should one ever allow that to be the driving force for a decision to do or to not do?
I've always thought that, when making these kind of decisions, one should always, at least for the sake of argument, make abstraction of money...
Or am I being too idealistic here? I mean, of course I know I should keep doing some “other” things to support myself financially... playing wide... Yet I do feel the incredible urge to chuck out everything not directly relevant to photography. Even though I know that all this "other" makes me the person I am today... including my photographic vision.
I guess it's all about finding the balance and slowly growing in a certain direction, keeping as much life energy as you can... as opposed to cutting away stuff that you don't seem to like at first sight... Positive versus negative decisions.
All's well that ends well.... eventually our meeting did come through, vows were strengthened, and new appointments were made for the future, and I got to hang out again... everyone involved still very much into the story as ever before... And I'm heading back out soon.