Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I'm a realist and a dreamer. This difficult dichotomy permeates how I interact with others and my photography. On the one hand, I like saying things how they are. My choice of words are blunt; the image I may make has no underlying statement. Likewise, I also want to hope for the best and create images that move others; to create images that make me proud to have created them.

With that said, visiting JapanFest was a chance for others' words, actions, and art to move ME. Part of it was the welcoming culture. As if I were a close friend, the people there gave off a positive vibe. Their body language was kind and comfortable. Their smiles were genuine. It was a completely different pace than most day to day encounters. Most people, even at work, barely notice your "Good Morning" and "How are you?", let alone even acknowledge you with a response; so I was at ease being submerged in this setting.

And the art, wow. I don't mean art in the quote-unquote drawings and images. It's... style. The way one man shot an arrow at a target. How, with care, vendors made and served food. Kids dressed in traditional clothing while their faces were painted as Japanese cartoon (anime) characters that would bring an instant smile to my face. Then there were the photos of the devastation in Japan. It was, honestly, surreal. They inspire me to document what I see. They inspire me to appreciate what I have and move past what I've lost.

I had a wonderful experience at JapanFest and hope that next year my wife and I have more time to spend there. Whether you go for the color, the culture, or the culinary delights, it's worth the trip.


  1. are you based in Japan Jean-Pierre? I completely agree about capturing moments that moves people. I always think that if we can't stop time, pause emotions and create memories with photography, then what have we got left? whilst I am human like everyone else, every now and then i love to shoot "pretty" things (eg:great dof, bokeh, flare), it's the moments that evokes emotions is what I live for in this craft, there's nothing more powerful then seeing an image that moves you or makes you feel "something" right? so i really appreciate your words here!

  2. I'm actually in the United States, in a relatively small town in Georgia. I try to take photos in a way that their context is "re-assigned." I compare it to writing. Whereas a poem may allude to some famous previous work to add meaning and depth, I try to take a scene out of context so it could have happened anywhere and allude to that/those place(s) in my own way.

    And you're right: bokeh and pretty things are so fun to record on our cameras but little moments in life are often beautiful exactly as they appear. These scenes move me because they are special on their own. :)

  3. Excellent writing, JP. I've been to Japanfest twice and really enjoyed the entire experience, also. So many special little things going on everywhere... had my name written in japanese characters, origami toys, sushi and japanese ice cream, saki tasting, japanese pop music concerts, the archery and tea ceremonies, flower arrangements, all the youngsters in their animal ears and costumes... even the kubota tractor exhibit! Definitely a day in Atlanta well spent...and special indeed. :)