Welcome, Himari! Please introduce yourself to our readers!
I’m Himari, currently based in Kobe. I’ve been shooting film for about 6 years now.
What brought you to shooting film?
When I was younger, I was given a digital camera as a Christmas present and that’s how I started taking pictures in the first place. When I was in high school, I used to take pictures with my smartphone every day and liked editing them. Later on, I tried Fujifilm’s disposable cameras on a school trip and immediately fell in love with the pictures I got from those cameras. Since then I dedicated myself to shooting film.
What kind of pictures do you usually take?
I guess I’m looking for “light” when I take pictures. Orange sunlight before the sunset, sunlight hitting the pavement, light reflecting in the eyes and shadows of plants bouncing on the walls – I try to capture the little things that we might overlook otherwise. That’s the “light” I’m looking for.
Could you tell us why you shoot film?
The biggest reason is that I can capture the ambiance of light the way I see it. When I tried to capture the burning sunlight before the sunset with my smartphone, I kind of felt like the pictures were too sharp in a way that had a bit of melancholy mood. But with film, it clicked for me in the right way. The orange and yellow lines of light were captured perfectly on film. I’m also fond of the way film illustrates glares. I love that film preserves the temperature, atmosphere, smell and memory of the scenes I captured.
As you shoot portraits, I can tell you work with “light” quite a lot. Is it intentional? How do you work with it?
“Light” is also my number one priority when shooting portraits. Depending on the angles of the light coming in, I adjust the models’ poses and how the models position themselves. I pay a lot of attention to how “light” and my models interact with each other.
After seeing your pictures, I got the impression that your style is more spontaneous. It feels as though I’m going through your diary. How does your relationship and distance with your models affect your pictures?
Thanks for feeling that way! In fact, most of the time I let my models keep moving and just capture the moments that hit me. For portraits without themes or projects, I ask my models to act naturally and be the way they are. Whether you like it or not, the relationship with the models strongly affects my images so communication is the key to having a more comfortable, intimate time with them. I take pictures during a conversation too, haha. So, when I meet new models I try to share as much as possible and the more time we spend together, the more we get comfortable with each other.
It seems you pay extra attention to titles and I can tell you spend a lot of time on them as well. How do you define the relationship between words and photographs?
I guess I’d been fond of words long before I started photography. I used to write stories and copy the lyrics from my favorite songs as a kid. Actually, one reason I started my Instagram is to express my feelings through words, rather than posting pictures.
I sometimes create stories by seeing my pictures or I also get inspiration from my favorite words and lyrics. Both are my essential means of expression.
I saw you have a playlist on your Instagram where you share your favorite songs with pictures. Tell us about the playlist and also what is the relationship between music and pictures?
I also love music and it’s one of my sources of inspiration. Music also helps to come up with the captions for my Instagram posts. This is why I have a playlist on my Instagram. Just like words, pictures cannot live without music and music is nothing without its pictures. They’re similar to each other in a sense, but they are a bit different and that’s what makes each one attractive. I hope to keep integrating music in my photos.
What is your process of taking pictures like? What does photography mean to you?
When I take pictures, I try to focus on and listen to my mind to capture the moments that attract me. I too wonder what photography means to me, but I can’t seem to find the answer yet, haha. But I’m certain that it’s essential to me and this is what makes me love myself. I truly enjoy looking through the viewfinder and clicking the shutter and I will never stop seeking “light.”
Please share with us if you have any ongoing projects or ideas!
Nothing particular right now. But I had a great experience holding my solo exhibition last year, so I hope to have one again this year. Thank you for inviting us to this amazing interview!
Thank you Himari for your great interview and amazing pictures! For more lovely work by Himari, please check out and follow her on Instagram.