When I first moved to Tokyo I had the chance (and necessity) to work as a photographer for a bit of time. I was lucky enough to find a few publications who believed in this unknown, non-japanese speaker Italian guy who was too stubborn to not use films.
Here some of my favorite portrait series. The lady in the first batch has been so far my favorite subject (other than my favourite person in life), she is the one that poses for me every time I need to test a new lens, camera, film.
The second batch is my friend Simone, he is a celebrant. The portraits I took of him were part of an assignment for an Indie Magazine called Famo.
At that time I was using my beloved Mamiya 7 with an 80mm and a beautiful Fujifilm 690Gw III, an incredible 6x9 film camera. Very sharp lens, a true classic for 90s fashion editorial photography!
Other portraits from this page have been taken with one of the nicest 35mm cameras I ever used, Nikon f3hp, paired with Nikkor 50mm 1.4ais, a Nikon FE2 and a Bessa R3a, enjoy.
"First snow in Shinjuku" 2013. Nikon F3hp, 50mm f1.4 on Kodak T-max 400. Digital Scan from film.
The first time I saw Tokyo under the snow happened in 2013, I believe that I missed the previous years in order to spend winter holidays in Italy.
That day I convinced my wife (at the time my girlfriend) to follow me in Shinjuku, under the snowstorm, to take some pictures in the golden-gai area. I remember we didn't even make it to the place cause the snowing was too strong. I enjoyed the Nikon F3 for two years until I sold it to get a Bessa R3a. I still miss it.
"Metropolitan Governement Building " 2013. Mamiya 7, 80mm f4.5m on Kodak t-max 100. Digital Scan from film.
We were in the Metropolitan building for an assignment. I had to take a portrait of a person and in between, I took this portrait of Maki who patiently waited for the entire time.
What I love about this picture is how her body completes the geometry of the tree building on the right side of the picture.
"Yokohama - Minato buildings" 2013. Nikon F3hp, 50mm f1.4 on Kodak T-max 400. Digital Scan from film.
"Shinjuku gyouen" 2013. Nikon F3hp, 50mm f1.4 on Fuji Neopan 400. Digital Scan from film.
"Kugayama Station" 2013. Bessa R3a, 40mm f1.4 on Kodak T-max 400. Digital Scan from film.
This picture is one of the few shots I took on my Bessa. A camera I didn't love enough and sold a few months after. I have to admit the Nokton 40mm was a delight. I kept the lens on my Sony A7 for quite a while.
“Nel nome della fede“ is the title given to an article about Simone, a wedding celebrant in Tokyo. My assignment for the magazine was to follow him in a typical workday, so I took pictures of him the entire day from the morning to the evening. I ordered the picture in casual order, nonchronological, to give different takes on the same day. For this assignment I decided to use black and white film on two medium format cameras, the Fuji GWIII 690, a 6x9 camera with a built-in fixed lens (80mm), and a Mamiya 7 with the 65mm.
“Chapel“ Odaiba, Tokyo. Fuji GWIII 690 on Kodak t-max 400
Morning in the little chapel of Odaiba. I liked the reflection of the soft light, coming from the windows, on the shiny floor.
“Under the bridge“ Kanagawa, Tokyo. Mamiya 7, Sekor 65mm f4.5 on Kodak T-max 400
Going home after a day out. Leaving the concrete jungle of Tokyo to walk around the Kanagawa river, clearing the mind.
Shinjuku. Metropolitan government building, last floor.
Simone wants to relax and get a coffee to plan his next day's schedule.
The view of this building is always noticeable.
“Dressing the gawn“ is the daily ritual of wedding celebrants. It is important to look impeccable.
The light through the window gave a dramatic atmosphere to the Kodak t-max 400
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The celebrators in Japan aren`t really following Christian Church official system but I guess they are requested to act the role in order to give a more authentic atmosphere to the event. I asked Simone to kiss the cross like a real priest.
“Chapel 2“ Odaiba, Tokyo. Fuji GWIII 690 on Kodak t-max 400
The last picture I took before the start of this ceremony.
The celebration rehearses the name of the couple and the main point of the event since it could change case by case.
Simone going home after the ceremony.
I asked him to show me his customised bible.