I took this photo in January while in Fukuoka staying at an apartment style hotel next to a hair salon. I walked past one day and was interested in the owner's style and asked if I could take a photo. I used a Pentax 67 with 105mm f2.4 lens which I really love. After waiting forever for the negative to arrive, I'm glad that this image has the medium format film look I was after. There's something about this picture that makes me think of a modern cowboy stylist that's quick on the draw with his trusty side snippers.
I've been meaning to do a 100 Strangers project for some time to motivate me more in approaching people on the street. I have taken photos of random people in the last year or two so might back date it, but until then I think this makes for a nice official first photo.
I was particularly drawn to Akari's fashion sense and especially her hat. Japanese people have a special way of being uniformly fashionable and unique at the same time, often by combining Western brands and items in a distinctly Japanese way.
I met this temple gardener and couldn't believe how hard he worked to make the temple look nice every day. The way into the temple must be 100 metres of gravel which he sweeps several times a day to make sure it looks clean and tidy. He was a friendly guy, enjoyed his job and meeting people from all countries and religions. I don't know how he managed to keep calm after seeing people walking on his freshly raked gravel every day; must be something about Buddhist philosophy. I tried my best to walk on the edge and not leave too much of a mess anyway!
I met Ichiro while walking with my son carried on my chest through the streets of Hakata. We were waiting at a crossing as I was contemplating whether to head towards Nakasu to take photos or not but figured I had already done enough walking that day and should turn back. As I was waiting at the lights, Ichiro just started talking to me and said my son was cool in Japanese. I asked his name and what he did. He said he was an actor, singer and entertainer. I took it at face value but suspect he spends most of his time entertaining women as a bar host. I asked if I could take a photo and his two friends popped up out of nowhere and joined in. I like how in Japan interactions with people are always polite and enjoyable no matter who you might meet.
I asked this guy if I could take his photo after his girlfriend almost screamed in the street about how cute Josh was and how they should make a baby. He didn't look quite so enthusiastic. They were both actually very nice and not as tough looking as the pose suggests. I asked if I could take his photo as I wanted to get one of somebody with a mask on. Masks are so popular in Japan but I still don't know if they are for people with colds or for people who don't want to get them. They even come in cute colours and designs with bunny faces and more.