The best artists are not the popular or the wealthy ones. Not all the time, and definitely not 'often'. It's the passionate artist, who's a hero of his or her own right. Japanese photographer Mii Yatogi breathes, lives, and sleeps analogue. Read our interview with her here at Lomography Magazine.
Hi Mii! Welcome to Lomography Magazine! Firstly, how did you start off as a photographer?
Hello, I'm just a big fan of taking photos. When I studied English in London, I often went to see gigs of indie bands with a digital compact camera and uploaded live snaps to my blog on my private Japanese SNS. Some of my followers asked me to take photos and videos of their favorite bands who had never played in Japan, then it had become one of my routines to take photos of someone.
After coming back to Tokyo, we were not allowed to take photos at a concert at that time, then I've started to take photos of animals, food, friends and so on. As I couldn't stop taking snaps, I bought both digital and analog SLR cameras and studied photography on my own.
You shoot in film. May we know why?
Film photos don't need filter. They have beautiful gradation and grains, which doesn't need to be edited.
You also shoot a lot of portraits and sometimes concentrate on certain body parts. What's your favorite part of the human body, and why?
Hands. I love the movement of hands and fingers. Maybe I like something flexible, soft and looks universal.
You also photograph cats. There are many things about cats, they can be moody, sly, surprising. Share with us something you observed about them!
They are mysterious creatures. They are really cute but sometimes looks evil or fascinating. Soft and fluffy but moves like liquid. I never fed up with watching them and they make me want to shoot photos of them.
Film is an old medium now, but there's been a resurgence. Do you think there are some characteristics and aesthetics in analog photography that just can't be replaced by digital?
People have started to get sick of instagrammable or extremely photoshopped photos. Some people might photograph more simple things or normal moment. And other people take film snaps with a disposable camera to upload on their SNS, because they have the soft vintage atmosphere which digital photos never have. Film photography costs and takes time to see what we shot. However, they make us feel more personal rather than easy and rapid shot digital photos and it's also fun to see the result after developed.
Apart from clicking the shutter and being "in the moment', what's your favorite part of a photo walk or session?
As I seldom use zoom lenses, I have to move to get focus thinking composition. I love this moment, for I'm really concentrated and forget everything except what I see through the camera lens.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Who are your muses?
I often go to museum and shops to see fine art or design.They are photographs, drawing, fashion, interior and many things, which are my inspiration. I haven't met my muses, yet, and often take a self-portrait.
If you could work, collaborate or meet with any photographer or artist, who would it be, and what would you two be doing?
I think I want to collaborate with artists except for photographers and start a new project or make a photo book with a photographer in another country.
Describe to us -- what's a day in the life of Mii Yatogi?
I'm not a full-time photographer. I work at the office to earn money for film rolls. At break time I go to a bookstore to get inspiration and buy a cup of coffee or I take photos.
What do you usually do during your downtime? Any on-going project, or other plans in the future?
Looking for something interesting or new in a magazine or via the internet, I go there with my friends or camera. Or I study English so that I won't forget it to get another job related to it or art in the future. As a certain plan, I will take portrait photos of the model my friend will do hair-make up in the near future. I need to make some plans for the next year anyway.