April 15th, 2012
Photography has long been a man’s game in Japan. But that’s changing, women in the 20’s and 30’s are starting to focus on the craft in a serious way. They’ve been lured in by advanced cameras and a growing number of places to show off their work. Blogs, social networks and mobile devices.
NHK World’s Rina Nakano has the story.
Asuka Konishi used to enjoy a quite life. She took care of children, her home and occasionally had lunch with her friends. Then two years ago everything changed. She picked up a camera, and began taking photos. Her muse: Mai, her three year old daughter.
“Before I just focused on raising my kids nothing else, but through the camera lens I started to notice other things: scenery, the beauty of every day things, even the weather and the seasons.”
Photography became a serious hobby. Now she’s a self-proclaimed camera girl, a growing of women in Japan that post their own high quality photos online.
Konishi takes pictures with a single lens reflex or SLR. She realized that type of camera shoots far superior photos than a compact digital camera. Accurate manual focus, high resolution, and interchangeable lenses have made the digital SLR the tool of choice for camera girls.
The pictures on Konishi’s blog have been featured in many photography magazines and they are inspiring more women to join the camera girl movement.
Photography classes and out door photo sessions designed for women are on the rise in Japan. From beginners to veterans they’re taught to take pictures with the feminine touch.
This is one of many camera shops putting its focus on female clientele. Its been in business for seventy-five years but after a recent renovation it went from traditional to cute.
Since then it’s become the Mecca for camera girls. It caters to the personal needs of customers, from printing, accessories and even materials to make scrap books.
“Finally because its male centered every time so its good that I can enjoy it too”
Sales have jumped 40% since the shop started attracting new customers.
“Before you’d simple paste the photos on an album. But we wanted to make it more fun. We suggest new aspect of photography, and I think that’s what has led to our success”
This shop gave Konishi the chance to take her hobby to a new level. And move from her blog to a gallery. She opened her first exhibition here from early April with three other camera girls. Konishi is especially proud of these photos. Each one tells a special story from her daughter’s life.
More than 800 people came to see the exhibition during its 10 day run. Konishi is inspired to develop her passion further.
“Its my hobby, I’m having so much fun through my photos I want to be able to connect with my audience, I also hope to discover new things and get better. “
The world of photography has long been a man’s world in Japan. But camera girls are changing that. They’re trying to inject new life, and a little bit of fun into an old art form one click at a time.
Rina Nakano NHK World