Five years ago, I was a college student. My country, Japan, is a small island country on the eastern end of the world. The world is huge, but I had only seen this small island country. I thought to myself, “I want to see more countries with my own eyes and I will regret it if I die without seeing the world. It’s now or never.” So, I started working and saving money.
In the meantime, I began looking for a small, lightweight and high-performance camera to take on my trip. I ended up choosing the Richo GR. It was the best option for me.
In October 2016, I began traveling the world. After about two months, I met an honorable photographer who taught me the basics of photography. Since then, I’ve been enthusiastic about taking photos. Looking back, I realize, that if I hadn’t gone on my trip, and if I hadn’t had this wonderful encounter, I would never have started taking pictures in the first place.
The size of my Ricoh GR camera contributes to people feeling comfortable when I take their photo. The camera fits conveniently in the palm of my hand. I think that’s why people keep a natural posture even when I am holding my camera. In addition, I usually try to take pictures without being noticed. I do this by shooting without the viewfinder, standing still in a single place, erasing the strangeness of a foreigner and so on. I think that when I am being natural, my photos better reflect the “human essence” of my subjects.
After almost two full years of travel, I can say that some of my favorite pictures were taken in India and Egypt. Once in Egypt, I was walking along the street and a boy talked to me. Though he looked like a child, he had a job and was on his break then. He asked me to take photos and began clowning around a bit. When I finished taking photos, he shared all the drinks and bread that he was eating. I wanted to refuse his offer, but he returned to work. In other words, this picture is the first one I got rewards from.
Street photography has taught me some valuable things. For instance, I’m always sad. In the past, I thought this is a bad thing. But when I project my feelings to street photography, my images become a box of my feelings. When I take out my sad feelings and look at me objectively, I feel attached to myself. I learned that mine is an important mind, just the way it is.
Editor’s Note: You can see more images like these by visiting Takehiro’s Flickr photostream. Takehiro was selected from our Flickr group (Street Photography Magazine) where we regularly choose photographers’ work to be published in our magazine.