I Often Take Photos Without a Thought in My Mind

Get to know the talented Trope photographers through in-depth interviews, each offering unique insight into their craft. 

Mitsuru Wakabayashki (@mitsuru_wakabayashi) is a self-taught photographer based in Tokyo and his native Kyoto. He first became immersed in photography thanks to his iPhone and a barista at a local coffee shop. That encouragement was the catalyst, and Mitsuru’s love for photography grew. Photography is the medium that allows him to experience his travels and adventures more consciously and intensely, and gives him the opportunity to meet people. He is inspired by the desire to photograph places he wouldn't otherwise see or travel to and wants to capture every moment as a record that will last a lifetime. You’ll often find Mitsuru getting lost in the streets of Kyoto capturing an early morning sunrise, or caught in a rainstorm. Observing Kyoto through his lens inspires him and drives him to capture its unique spirit. His photographs are featured in the Trope Tokyo Edition.

I started taking photos four years ago. I was initially taking photos with my iPhone, and someone from the coffee shop I always go to suggested that I buy a camera instead of always taking iPhone photos. With this encouragement, I bought a Sony camera and began photography in earnest. No matter what camera you use, your perspective towards the subject does not change fundamentally. I am usually careful to not get too close to the subject.

Being moved by something I see with my own eyes is an experience that only lasts for a moment... so I use the technique of photography to save that memory as a record to last a lifetime. My perspective on life has changed completely since I began taking photos. I started focusing my perspective on the beauty and nostalgia hidden in everyday scenes.  

I often take photos without a thought in my mind. I am compelled from somewhere deep in my heart to capture a certain moment. I believe it is because I want to use the method of photography to give that moment a shape that lasts forever. I specifically like exploring unfamiliar lands with a 50mm-lens camera. Social media has influenced me when I first started taking photos but now I don't use social media. I am more influenced by print media.

There is no specific inspiration for my photos... but I always try to keep my mind clear, so that I can take beautiful photos. I don't think I can take beautiful photos if my mind is not calm. I am not influenced very often, but I always look carefully at the color of the atmosphere produced by various photographers when they shoot and edit. Some people have an editing style that has hues of blue, some are orange, and it is interesting because their personality comes through their photography and their style. 

I think it’s best to keep taking photos without dogma. Doubts will inevitably arise as I continue to take photos, so I think the best path to getting better is to clear those doubts and continue to grow. It will teach you about perseverance and compassion. Think about what photography and art mean to you. Are "photographs that jolt you" art? Being jolted is not the same as being surprised, but rather in the sense that it resonates in your heart. I think there are many other answers for photography and art.  

I really don't desire to be approved of, or remembered by somebody. I just work hard every day, so that I can take photos that I can be content with.